Duke of Kent to step down as Colonel of Scots Guards after 50 years

The Duke of Kent is to step down as Colonel of the Scots Guards after 50 years and hand over the role to the Duke of Edinburgh, Buckingham Palace has announced.

Edward, Duke of Kent, who was a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, paid tribute to the “bravery, selfless courage and devotion to duty” of the Scots Guards ahead of relinquishing his position.

The 88-year-old member of the royal family will mark his last day as Colonel by taking part in the Scots Guards Black Sunday events in London, the regiment’s annual day of remembrance for its fallen servicemen and their families.

Changing of the Guard
Guardsmen from the Scots Guards during the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (Victoria Jones/PA)

“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.”

The Scots Guards are one of the five prestigious Regiments of Foot Guards within the British Army’s Household Division – alongside the Irish, Welsh, Grenadier and Coldstream Guards – who carry out ceremonial duties like taking part in major state events in support of the monarch.

The Guardsmen are also fighting soldiers who when not guarding the King or participating in Trooping the Colour are deployed on operations or training around the world.

Falklands War anniversary
Veterans and members of the 2nd Battalion the Scots Guards, in Blackpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

The duke served with the Armed Forces for more than 21 years, starting his career as a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Scots Greys and retiring in 1976 as a Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1993, he was promoted to Field Marshal – the highest rank in the British Army.

On Sunday, he will join a Service of Remembrance at the Guards Chapel in Wellington Barracks with members of the Scots Guards, before taking the salute for the final time as Colonel of the regiment at a Scots Guards parade.

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.

“It is a distinct honour to be asked and entrusted by His Majesty to serve as the next Colonel. However, I accept with a degree of trepidation as I will undoubtedly be measured against the formidable record and reputation of my predecessor. I can only promise to do my best.”

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –