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The Kents

The Duke of Kent and the Scots Guards

On the 27th February, HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent will visit 1st Battalion Scots Guards, who are currently in Cyprus on deployment as part of a peacekeeping mission. The Duke is Colonel of the Scots Guard – who are a regiment of Foot Guards within the British Army – a post he has held since 1974. Her Majesty The Queen is Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment.

The Scots Guards were created in 1642 for Charles I and have fought in every major conflict since. A mechanised infantry, they were the first to use the Warrior Vehicle in Helmand, Afghanistan, in 2007. The regiment also has a ceremonial company – F Company – who serve as guards at Buckingham Palace, as one of five regiments of Foot Guards who complete this duty (the others are the Grenadier Guards, the Coldstream Guards, the Irish Guards and the Welsh Guards). The Guards uniform of bearskin hat and red tunic is internationally recognised. Foot Guards are infantry soldiers who also take part in public duties such as state and ceremonial events, including Trooping the Colour. The Scots Guards are known as ‘the third regiment’ of the Guards Division, and their tunics feature buttons spaced out in threes. The Duke is also the Patron of the Colonel’s Fund of the Scots Guards, which was established to provide support for soldiers injured in action and to the families of those killed in action. 

The Duke has had a long association with the military, joining the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst at the age of 18 and graduating from there as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Scots Greys. Whilst stationed at Catterick, in Yorkshire, the Duke met his future wife, the then Miss Katherine Worsley. The Duke retired from the Army in 1976 as a Lieutenant Colonel, and in 1993 was promoted to Field Marshal, which is the highest rank in the British Army.

The Duke’s military career included undertaking tours of Cyprus and Hong Kong. The Duke is associated with several regiments and continues to visit them as part of the many engagements he completes every year in a variety of areas. The Duke is a Personal Aide-de-Camp to The Queen, in a role which includes representing Her Majesty both in the UK and abroad.

Born in 1935, the Duke of Kent is a first cousin of The Queen and is the older brother of Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra. Upon the death of their father, Prince George, in a flying accident in 1942, the title of the Duke of Kent passed to Prince Edward as the eldest son.