HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

COLONEL IN CHIEF

A message from the Colonel of the Regiment, Lieutenant General Sir Tom Beckett KCB CBE

It is with deep sadness that the Regiment has learned of the death of our Colonel-in-Chief, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on Friday 9th April 2021 at Windsor Castle.

On behalf of the Regiment and our antecedent Regiments, I wrote to Buckingham Palace to ask that the condolences of All Ranks, past and present, be conveyed to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family. My letter can be seen here. I hope that it captures the affection that we had for HRH The Prince Philip across all generations. As our Colonel-in-Chief for 68 years, he suited us perfectly. Tough, tested in war, direct but with an acute sense of humour, he had a piercing interest in the Regiment, its people and its activities. His approach never failed to engage even the most awe-struck member of the Regimental family. It is a truism that officers and soldiers in every generation since 1953 have stories to tell of what he did when visiting us or what he said to individual members of the Regiment. In short, not only were we proud to have him as our Colonel-in-Chief we enjoyed it too.

At HRH The Prince Philip’s first visit as Colonel in Chief in 1953 at Lüneburg, Germany he is reported to have remarked on that “strange Regiment which has a sailor for its Colonel-in-Chief, an airman as Colonel [Air Marshal Sir John Baldwin KBE CB DSO] and itself hails from a country most of which is not even in the Commonwealth”. To be able, in such a relaxed and genuine way, instantly to endear himself to All Ranks was his hallmark from 1953 to 2021. He will be sorely missed.

The Regiment will play its part in ensuring that HRH The Prince Philip is properly laid to rest. The details of the funeral are not yet public, but the Regiment is already making its preparations. Inevitably, the commitment will be scaled down because of the pandemic but we will be represented and our loyalty to him as our long-serving Colonel-in-Chief will be clear.

Home Headquarters will create a collage of photographs for display on this website. The intention is to display photographs from every decade of HRH’s association with us. If you have a photograph of HRH and the Regiment, please email a copy to Home Headquarters with its circumstances, where and when taken.

Lastly, I feel sure that the Regimental family will pray for the repose of HRH The Prince Philip’s soul, and for Her Majesty and the Royal Family as they mourn.

Mente et Manu