Prince Harry is expected to replace his grandfather The Duke of Edinburgh as Head of the Royal Marines when he retires later this year. Prince Philip has been Head of the Royal Marines since 1953 and has made regular visits to the Marines on exercise in Norway and at the headquarters of 3 Commando Brigade in Plymouth.
Major General Rob Magowan, the Commandant General of the Corps, has approved the offer of the role but The Queen has the final decision.
Two years ago, the Prince stepped in for his grandfather at the opening ceremony of a new amphibious centre for the Royal Marines, 1 Assault Group in Plymouth.
In 2012, Prince Harry saw action as an Apache helicopter pilot supporting The Royal Marines and special forces who were tasked with eliminating Taliban commanders in Afghanistan.
Prince Harry soon after left active service and is the only member of The Royal Family not to hold a ceremonial position in the Armed Forces.
Prince Philip has been described by a senior Royal Marine as “a hard act to follow”. As well as heading the Marines, The Duke of Edinburgh holds numerous high ranking positions in the Armed Forces including Field Marshall of the British Army as well as the Admiral of the fleet and Marshall of the Royal Air Force. Prince Philip is also head of the Intelligence Corps, the Hussars, the Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Honourable Artillery Company. The Duke holds similar titles in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
The Royal Marines are an ancient elite fighting force. Their motto is “Per Mare, Per Terram”, which is Latin for “By Sea, By Land”. During the Second World War, more than 70,000 marines served in the Corps, but today that number has reduced to around 8000 by government cuts.
Prince Philip announced his retirement from public duties last week claiming that, at the age of 95, he “can’t stand up much longer!”