The Sunday Telegraph

Duke of Kent retires as Scots Guards Colonel

Prince Edward to take up Colonelcy after Duke’s 50 years in the role, following final day of remembranc­e

- By Hannah Furness ROYAL EDITOR

THE Duke of Kent, the late Queen’s cousin, is to retire as Colonel of the Scots Guards after 50 years, as the regiment pays tribute to him as “a constant in a rapidly changing world”.

The Duke, 88, will hand over the Colonelcy to the Duke of Edinburgh after a final annual day of remembranc­e. The Duke is best known for his lifelong duty in support of his cousin, Queen Elizabeth II. He was the only person standing with her on the Buckingham Palace balcony to take the salute for the Platinum Jubilee in 2022, her final Trooping the Colour.

On handing over the Colonelcy of the Scots Guards, one of five Regiments of Foot Guards within the British Army’s Household Division, the Duke of Kent said his 50 years of duty – the longest anyone had spent in the role – “has been a true honour and one which will forever fill me with great joy”.

The Duke of Edinburgh has promised to “do my best” as he takes over, claiming he accepted the role with “a degree of trepidatio­n”, knowing he would “undoubtedl­y be measured against the formidable record and reputation of my predecesso­r”.

Colonel JDL Leask, Regimental Lieutenant Colonel of the Scots Guards, said of the Duke: “He is the only Colonel most of us have known. He has been a constant in a rapidly changing world. His loyalty to the Regiment and selfless commitment to the country has been an example to us all. The Regiment is delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will shortly become the 27th Colonel of the Scots Guards. This is a seminal moment for us. It marks the end of a remarkable era and the start of a new and exciting chapter in our long and distinguis­hed history.”

It is the latest change for the Duke of Kent, who last year also handed over his role as President of the Commonweal­th War Graves Commission, held for more than 50 years, to the Princess Royal.

The Duke said: “Serving as Colonel of the Scots Guards since 1974, the longest anyone has spent in this role, has been a true honour and one which will forever fill me with great joy. Through those years, I have seen the work of the Scots Guards during peacetime and war and witnessed their bravery, selfless courage and devotion to duty.

“To my fellow Scots Guardsmen, I am immensely proud to have served you all. I am delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will continue to champion all that you do and work towards preserving your great legacy.”

As the new Colonel of the Scots Guards, the Duke of Edinburgh said: “The Duke of Kent has been an extraordin­ary Colonel of the Scots Guards. Quite apart from his depth of knowledge and keen understand­ing of the Regiment and all those who serve, past and present, he has been a tireless and passionate advocate.”

The Duke of Kent will on Sunday attend the Scots Guards annual Black Sunday events in London, the annual day of remembranc­e for fallen members of the regiment and their families.

The Duke will join a Service of Remembranc­e at the Guards Chapel in Wellington Barracks before taking the salute for the final time as Colonel.

The Scots Guards, formed in 1642, have played key roles in major conflicts including the Battle of Waterloo, the First and Second World Wars, the Falklands War and undertaken deployment­s to Afghanista­n and Iraq.

The Duke of Kent has previously travelled to Afghanista­n and Iraq to meet members of the regiment. On Sept 23, to mark his 50th anniversar­y, a newly composed pipe tune, The Colonel, was performed by The Pipes and Drums in his honour.

He trained at Sandhurst and served in the military for over 21 years.

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