Prince Philip’s ‘special relationship’ with Armed Forces to be marked at funeral

Prince Philip’s funeral: Duke’s insignia put on display by Royal Family

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The Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away aged 99 on April 9, had close links with the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force (RAF). He served with the Royal Navy during WW2 and was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery during the German invasion of Crete in 1941.

The Prince went on to command HMS Magpie, an anti-submarine frigate, between September 1950 and July 1951.

In 1953 Prince Philip left his active role with the Royal Navy and was promoted to Honorary Admiral of the Fleet.

In 2011, to celebrate his 90th birthday, the Queen appointed him Lord High Admiral of the Royal Navy.

To mark his strong naval ties sailors from HMS Magpie, HMS Sultan, HMS Collingwood and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary will play a role in the funeral.

Service personnel from Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, 1710 Naval Air Squadron and Captain Naval Recruiting will also attend along with units from 40 Commando Royal Marines.

Prince Philip served as Captain General of the Royal Marines from shortly after the Queen’s coronation in 1953 until 2017 when he stepped down from front line royal duties.

His final solo royal engagement was the Royal Marines’ Captain General’s Parade by Buckingham Palace in August 2017.

The Duke held a number of honorary positions with the army during his life including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, Regimental Colonel of the Welsh Guards, Colonel-in-Chief of the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars and Royal Colonel of 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Troops from all these units will take part in a parade at the funeral with the Grenadier Guards leading the procession.

There will also be representatives from other units Philip held close ties with; Royal Gurkha Rifles, The Rifles, The Intelligence Corps and The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Prince Philip served as Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Northolt, a base that played a key role in defending the country during the Battle of Britain.

During the 2012 Olympics, four Typhoon fighter jets were stationed there to provide security.

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The Duke also held honorary positions with the Armed Forces of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago.

Military representatives from these countries will be present during the funeral.

Philip’s positions included Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal Australian Navy, General of the Canadian Army and Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

He also served as Colonel-in-chief of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment.

Due to coronavirus restrictions attendance at the funeral will be restricted to 30 mourners.

The public is being urged to keep away but a national minutes silence will be held at 3pm.

Prince Harry has returned from the United States for the funeral.

However, following medical advice the Duchess of Sussex, who is heavily pregnant, will not be able to attend.

Mourners at the funeral will remain socially distant and wear face masks throughout the service.

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