Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, took over his grandfather Prince Philip’s role as captain general of the marines in December 2017. Nine months later, he has made his first official visit to the Royal Marines Commando Training Center.
As reported by People, the prince arrived in a Royal Navy Wildcat Maritime Attack aircraft at approximately 10 a.m. local time to the base in Lympstone in the south of England. The Wildcat is “a maritime attack helicopter from the Commando Helicopter Force, which provides crucial aerial support to the Royal Marines,” according to Express UK.
Prince Harry served two tours in Afghanistan, where he flew Apache helicopters. He rose to the rank of captain in the Blues and Royals, a regiment of the Household Cavalry, through his service.
Upon arrival, the new Duke of Sussex received a “ceremonial welcome” before meeting with new recruits both in the gym and on the assault course.
Kensington Palace’s official Instagram account shared an image of Harry on the base, speaking to the trainees while others traversed the high ropes of the obstacle course in the background.
“The @RoyalMarines, which can trace its origin back to 1664, is the UK’s elite amphibious fighting force. The Duke of Sussex, Captain General of the Royal Marines, met recruits at the Commando Training Centre, including those taking part in the ‘rope regain’ assault course.”
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The @RoyalMarines, which can trace its origin back to 1664, is the UK’s elite amphibious fighting force. The Duke of Sussex, Captain General of the Royal Marines, met recruits at the Commando Training Centre, including those taking part in the ‘rope regain’ assault course ???? Support offered to @RoyalMarines recruits includes an onsite rehabilitation centre, the Royal Marines Charity and a regular family group – called 'Who Let The Dads Out', which gives Marines families time to chat, play, and have a cup of tea once a week ????PA
The prince looked positively dapper in his neat blazer, tie, and pressed pants, particularly while surrounded by men in camouflage. Harry’s new wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was not in attendance with him at the base.
Kensington Palace also shared a number of images and video to Twitter, showing the prince inspecting the troops during a drill, joking with the men, and even footage of one of the assault courses at the base.
The @RoyalMarines, which can trace its origin back to 1664, is the UK’s elite amphibious fighting force.
Each recruit has to complete the Commando course, including the ‘rope regain’ assault course ???? pic.twitter.com/qSSmispUzL
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 13, 2018
Harry, along with his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is also a keen promoter of mental health and took the opportunity on the base to learn more about the other services available to recruits in the marines. These other services include a rehabilitation center and a family chat group called “Who Let The Dads Out.”
The duke also met with veterans who were seriously injured on active duty, but have turned their tragedy into something positive by turning to racing to help them recover from their injuries. The Invictus Games Racing Team were on site to show Harry their specially adapted racing cars.