Prince Harry

Prince Harry Meets New Commandos At Royal Marines Training Centre

The Duke of Sussex presented the successful recruits with their coveted Green Berets.

The Duke of Sussex has visited the base of 42 Commando Royal Marines in Bickleigh, Devon.

Prince Harry assumed the role of Captain General Royal Marines from the Duke of Edinburgh in December 2017.

"The Royal Marines are really pleased to have Prince Harry as our Captain General," says Major John Middleton, Officer Commanding of J Company.

Last week he visited the Marines in Norway to mark 50 years of Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) and Joint Helicopter Command deploying to Bardufoss.

Royal Marines decorated the igloo with pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex prior to Prince Harry's arrival (Picture: Royal Navy).

In Devon, Prince Harry learned about the specialist teams within 42 Commando and watched a Joint Personnel Recovery (JPR) demonstration.

"It was great for him to go in front some of our guys and see them explain to him what it is we do," says Major Middleton.

This sees Royal Marines disembarking from a Merlin helicopter and simulating the rescue of an F35 pilot from the new HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier.

42 Commando sends small teams of men all over the world, training international special forces, protecting maritime shipping and joint personnel recovery. 

The Duke spent time with each department speaking to the marines themselves. 

He also went to Dartmoor to meet members of the Commando Training Centre and see a recruit troop finishing their final test.

This Commando Test, a 30-mile march, starts at the north end of Dartmoor and finishes near Plymouth.

It involves carrying around 40lbs of equipment and must be completed within eight hours.

Harry saluted recruits finishing the test and presented their coveted Green Berets to them - symbolically marking the completion of their commando training.

He told the newly-qualified Royal Marines:

“I’m fully aware of how lucky I am to be wearing the green beret without doing what you’ve done."

"I've been waiting [for it] to happen for a long time," admits Marine Christian King. "It felt very special. One of the proudest moments of my life."

"Surreal" is how Marine Dylan Joyce describes the moment he was presented the beret.

"My feet are in bits," he says with a smile on his face, "but I found out about half-way through [the walk] who was going to be giving me my Green Beret, so I was high on adrenaline."

Prince Harry visits Royal Marines in Devon 200219 CREDIT Kensington Palace Twitter
Prince Harry visits Royal Marines in Devon (Picture: Kensington Palace/Twitter)

This is not expected to be Prince Harry's last visit to the Royal Marines, as it's hoped the Captain General will spend the coming months and years getting to know the corps.