The Duke of Kent received a special gift from a longstanding partnership, marking 53 years at the helm of a special Commonwealth organisation.
In a social media post, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission shared that they had a commissioned a special gift to recognise the Duke of Kent’s 53 years of service as its President.
The Cross of Sacrifice was specially made at the Commission’s workshop in Beaurains, France, as a way to thank the Duke, who stepped down last November as the Commission’s President.
The Duke of Kent first became involved with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in February 1970 and was succeeded by The Princess Royal.
“When HRH the Duke of Kent stepped down from his role as our President towards the end of last year, we wanted to give him a very special gift to thank him for more than 50 years of service to the Commission,” the Commission’s Facebook post reads.
The royal was presented his marker—fashioned with a wooden box for easy transportation—at a meeting with the Commission’s Vice Chairman and Director General. The inscription on the box reads: “Presented to: His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission 1970-2023 With gratitude for your exemplary service.”
When the Duke marked 50 years with the Commission in 2020, he said: “Each of my visits to the final resting places of those who gave their lives for us is as profoundly moving as the very first, and I commend the vital work of the CWGC, through which the sacrifice of these brave men and women will be remembered for generations to come.”
Last November, when Princess Anne succeeded him, he said, “I look forward to watching on as Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal champions this remarkable organisation which ensures future generations continue to commemorate the sacrifice of the men and women of the Commonwealth.”
King Charles is also involved with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission: it was his first new patronage after his accession, and the first time the Commission ever had a royal patron.