New roles for Prince William and Kate as king reshuffles duties

King Charles has reshuffled military posts as anniversary of queen's death approaches

Britain's Kate, Princess of Wales, and Prince William listen to young adults in the 'Mentor Room' during a visit to the Open Door Charity, a charity focused on supporting young adults across Merseyside with their mental health, using culture and creativity as the catalyst for change in Birkenhead, England, Thursday, Jan.  12, 2023. AP
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The Prince and Princess of Wales have been given three extra roles each after King Charles III reshuffled military appointments for working members of the royal family.

As the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s death approaches, the king has taken over eight of his mother’s former honorary posts himself, including sponsor of the Royal Navy’s warship HMS Queen Elizabeth, and has shared out some of his own affiliations now that he is sovereign.

The king has also handed over two of the disgraced Duke of York’s previous roles to Kate, Princess of Wales, and the Duchess of Edinburgh.

The Princess of Wales becomes Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm, while Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, is now Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment – roles held by Prince Andrew before he returned them to the late queen while he faced a civil sexual assault trial, which he later paid millions to settle.

The princess also takes over from her husband Prince William as Royal Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Coningsby, an appointment held since 2008.

And she is the new Colonel-in-Chief of the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards, known as the Welsh Cavalry, a duty which was carried out by her father-in-law when he was the Prince of Wales.

“Following his majesty’s accession, the king is pleased to announce further military appointments for working members of the royal family,” Buckingham Palace said.

“The new appointments will continue to reflect the close relationship between the armed forces and the royal family in His Majesty’s reign.”

The roles highlight the key members of the working royal family who are supporting the king in his duties.

Prince William has added Colonel-in-Chief of the Mercian Regiment, Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps and Royal Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Valley to his growing list of military commitments.

He spent three years at RAF Valley in Anglesey, north Wales, as an RAF search and rescue pilot.

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Queen Camilla also has a new appointment, becoming patron of the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department, a position held by the late queen.

Taking on his mother’s duties, the king, who is head of the armed forces as well as head of state, is now Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, the Royal Tank Regiment and the Royal Regiment of Scotland; Captain General of both the Royal Artillery and the Honourable Artillery Company; Royal Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Marham and Air Commodore-in-Chief of RAF Regiment.

The Duke of Edinburgh has followed in his father Prince Philip’s footsteps to become Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen’s Royal Hussars, which was left vacant when the duke died in 2021.

Prince Edward is also succeeding his brother King Charles as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Dragoon Guards.

His wife Sophie has taken on the king’s post of Royal Colonel of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry.

The Princess Royal has been appointed Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Scotland by the king in recognition of her strong links to the country.

The late queen’s cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, becomes Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and the Duchess of Gloucester is Colonel-in-Chief of the Adjutant General’s Corps, which were both held by Queen Elizabeth.

The late queen, who died a year ago next month, held more than 50 ranks and appointments in the UK and Commonwealth Armed Service.

There are no positions for the king’s second son the Duke of Sussex, but this is not unexpected.

Prince Harry, a former solider who served in Afghanistan, is not a working member of the royal family.

He lost his military roles after stepping down as a senior working royal in 2020.

A previous wave of military appointments was announced in December.

Updated: August 11, 2023, 10:56 AM