King Charles III has gained the title of Captain General of the Royal Marines after his son, Prince Harry, was stripped of the honour. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex lost various titles and roles after they stepped back from royal duties.
Buckingham Palace announced on Friday morning that the monarch, 73, will take up the ceremonial role, coinciding with the anniversary of the founding of the Marine Corps.
The Royal Marines were set up during the reign of King Charles II, on October 28, 1664.
The Marines are a highly-regarded commando unit, part of the Royal Navy’s amphibious forces.
The role of Captain-General of the Royal Marines has previously been held by several sovereigns since the Marines’ formation 358 years ago.
The King described taking up the ceremonial role as the “greatest possible pleasure”, adding he felt “honoured” to be associated with the “distinguished and unparalleled history” of the Royal Marines.
In a message for the troops of the Marines, he praised their “courage, determination, self-discipline” as well as their ability to “endure” in the most hostile of conditions.
His Majesty said in a statement: “It is the greatest possible pleasure to assume the role of your Captain General.
“I am exceptionally proud to follow in the footsteps of so many members of my family over the last three and a half centuries, all of whom held the role with a deep sense of admiration.”
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He concluded his message with a reference to the Royal Marines’ motto, “Per Mare, Per Terram”, which translates from Latin to mean “By Sea, By Land”.
The King’s son, Prince Harry, was appointed as Captain General of the Royal Marines in December 2017, taking over from his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh.
A Buckingham Palace statement at the time said the Queen was “pleased” to announce that her grandson was taking up the role.
Prince Harry retained the role after he and Meghan announced they were giving up their senior royal duties in January 2020.
After a probation period, the couple confirmed they would not return to royal life in February 2021.
At this point, the Duke lost a series of titles including Captain General Royal Marines, Commodore-in-chief of ships and diving, and Honarary Air Commandant of RAF Honington.