Prince Harry’s ‘deep sadness’ at title loss comes through in Prince Philip tribute

Prince Philip: Expert on ‘hopes’ over Prince Harry’s military roles

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Prince Harry, 36, honoured his late grandfather Prince Philip in a public statement on Monday. Harry, who has returned to the UK ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on Saturday, paid tribute in a moving message that touched upon his former title as Captain-General of the Royal Marines. The role was passed onto Harry by Philip following his retirement from public life in 2017 but Harry was forced to give it up after quitting the monarchy last year.

Harry’s tribute to Philip was shared on his and Meghan Markle’s official Archewell website and was signed off with the Royal Marines motto “Per Mare, Per Terram,'” – which means “By Sea, By Land.”

The touching statement read: “My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour.

“He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm—and also because you never knew what he might say next.

“He will be remembered as the longest-reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke.”

Asked to share his thoughts on Harry’s tribute, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told “Prince Harry’s affectionate tribute to his grandfather dwelt on several aspects of being the grandson of a dynamo like Prince Philip, who had so many facets to his character.”

Harry’s statement was “laid back” in keeping with Harry’s status as a non-working royal but also touched on both his and his grandfather’s military connections, Mr Fitzwilliams explained.

He added: “It was laid back in parts as is his style these days, but undoubtedly was from the heart.

“It ended with ‘Per Mare, Per terrain’, ‘By Sea, By Land’ which is the motto of the Royal Marines.”

Mr Fitzwilliams pointed out that Prince Philip’s last engagement as a working royal in 2017 was linked to the Royal Marines.

He added: “The Duke’s final official duty was attending an engagement outside Buckingham Palace as their Captain General.”

Harry’s upset at losing the title is hinted at by the use of the Royal Marines motto in his tribute.

Mr Fitzwilliams said: “Prince Harry succeeded him and was deeply saddened to lose the honorary title which he had inherited, when he stepped down as a senior working royal in March 2020, this was recently confirmed.”


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According to expert, Harry meant to evoke his military ties by including the pointed reference in his hommage to Philip.

Mr Fitzwilliams concluded: “In the United States it is common for the military to sign off a letter with a motto and its use is also to remind us of his links with the Marines, especially as the Duke’s funeral is to feature so many of his military links, as well as paying tribute to his much-loved grandfather.”

Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior royals in March 2020 at which point they entered a trial period with the Queen due to review their royal status in one year’s time.

Earlier this year, the Queen confirmed the Sussexes would not return to their roles as working royals and as such would need to return a number of royal patronages and titles to the crown.

In Harry’s case, these included his honorary military titles as Captain-General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.

Harry, who is extremely proud of his military past, is understood to have been upset about having to return the treasured titles.

While Harry and Meghan remain the Duke and Duchess of Sussex despite no longer being senior royals, they have agreed with the Queen not to use the titles in conjunction with their work going forward.

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