Duke of Edinburgh ‘generous with his time’ during Royal Marines events

Taz Ali, PA
·2 min read

The Commandant General of the Royal Marines has spoken of the “generous” time the Duke of Edinburgh gave to the regiment.

Major General Matt Holmes said Philip had a “long and happy association” with the Royal Marines, of which he held the ceremonial title of Captain General for 64 years until 2017.

Speaking to Times Radio, he said of the duke: “We were utterly privileged and honoured to enjoy his company on numerous occasions.

“He gave his support to the corps and often visited us on operations at home during his time.

“We had numerous encounters, and I think that was the beauty of his service with us.

“He was always generous with his time.”

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Details of Philip’s funeral will be released by Buckingham Palace on Thursday. It will feature servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, the Army and RAF.

Major General Holmes said the Royal Marines Band Service will perform at the funeral, which is taking place this Saturday at Windsor Castle.

Recounting memorable moments with the duke, he said: “From my recollection there were a number of formal events that he attended.

“The one that really stands out is when he flew all the way to Exeter airport from London to meet one of my companies returning from Afghanistan.

“He spent an hour on the ground.

“He hated fuss, so we would host him and he would go straight amongst the marines and talk to our valiant warriors.”

He said the duke would be interested in the modernisation of defence, adding: “Certainly I think he was interested, in particular, in innovation and technological developments.”

It has emerged members of the royal family will now not wear military uniform at the duke’s funeral.

The move means the Duke of Sussex will not have to face being one of the only close family members who is not in uniform at Saturday’s service.

Harry lost his honorary military titles – including Captain General of the Royal Marines, which he had taken from his grandfather in 2017 – after deciding to step down as a senior working royal last year.