Last week Prince Philip, the 95-year-old husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, stepped down from public life. While many thought that a big deal was being made out of nothing, the move did raise some interesting vacancies, such as Philip’s position as the head of the Royal Marines, but now a replacement has been approved — Prince Harry.
Prince Philip, or as he is known by his royal title, the Duke of Edinburgh, has been the Captain General, the ceremonial head of the Marines, since 1953 and has been described by senior Marine officials as “a hard act to follow,” but now 32-year-old Prince Harry is in line to give it his best shot after being approved by Major General Rob Magowan, Commandant General of the Corps.
Of course, it’s not as simple as that. Not only does Prince Harry have to accept the position, but ultimately The Queen will make the final decision. “The invite if acceptable is for Prince Harry to step into uniform and support his grandfather and eventually take over as Captain General,” a source within the Marines said recently.
Prince Harry, youngest son of Diana, Princess of Wales, may have been somewhat of a controversial figure outside of Buckingham Palace with his past antics, but he is all business when it comes to the military. In 2008 he supported the 40 Commando unit in Helmand through his role directing air strikes and in 2012 the young Prince flew Apache helicopters to back up marines tracking Taliban commanders.
Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip, became the head of the Marine corp after the death of King George VI, but has held several other prestigious military titles such as Field Marshall of the British Army, Admiral of the fleet and Marshall of the Royal Air Force. This, however, won’t be the first time Harry has stepped into one of Philip’s roles, as the Prince has already deputized for the Duke of Edinburgh when he opened a new amphibious centre in Plymouth for 1 Assault Group in 2015.
If Prince Harry does become the head of the Marines, it will continue a long standing family tradition of high ranking men in the military. Harry’s brother, Prince William, is currently head of the Irish Guards, while father Prince Charles is the head of dozens of regiments in the Army.