Prince Harry wearing green beret
Prince Harry

Prince Harry: His Military Career, Titles And Patronages

The Duke of Sussex is returning several military appointments to the Queen, including the role of Captain General Royal Marines.

Prince Harry wearing green beret

Prince Harry is returning his military appointments to the Queen, after the decision by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to not return as working royals.

Harry and Meghan first announced their intention to "step back as 'senior members' of the Royal Family" in January 2020, a move which has now made permanent.

Their royal patronages and military appointments are being returned to Her Majesty and will be redistributed among the Royal Family.

Prince Harry is returning the following military appointments:

  • Captain General Royal Marines
  • Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington
  • Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command

In June 2018, Prince Harry received promotions in all three services, becoming Major in the British Army, Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, and Squadron Leader in the Royal Air Force.

However, Harry has now lost the honorary Navy and RAF ranks.

The Duke of Sussex was appointed Captain General Royal Marines in December 2017, succeeding his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, in the role.

Prince Harry is also the founder of the Invictus Games – the competition for injured, sick and wounded Armed Forces personnel and veterans which he established in 2014.

It was also the setting for the Duke and Duchess' first public appearance together as a couple when they attended the 2017 competition in Toronto.

Harry will continue his role as patron of the Invictus Games Foundation.

He was also in the Army for 10 years, during which time he undertook two operational tours of duty in Afghanistan, and qualified as an Apache Aircraft Commander.

Prince Harry's military career

Passing his Regular Commissions Board (RCB), the qualification necessary to train at Sandhurst, in September 2004, Prince Harry entered RMAS in May 2005 to begin 44 weeks of Officer Cadet training.

In January 2006, Clarence House announced he was to join the Blues and Royals, after which he was commissioned as an Army officer on 12 April that year.

In 2007, the prince was deployed to Afghanistan for 10 weeks, working as a forward air controller, coordinating airstrikes on Taliban positions.

However, his tour ended early following reports in international media of his whereabouts.

Prince Harry during Spartan armoured vehicle training at Bovington
Prince Harry during Spartan armoured vehicle training in 2006 (Picture: MOD).

On 25 February 2008, it was made known Prince Harry had been serving with the Army in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, for more than two months.

He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant with The Household Cavalry on 13 April 2008.

The Duke of Sussex then retrained as an Apache pilot in the Army Air Corps and returned to Afghanistan in 2012 as a helicopter co-pilot and gunner.

His decision to leave the Army was confirmed in March 2015.

Prince Harry ended his military career at the rank of Captain in June 2015, following a secondment to the Australian military.

General Sir Nicholas Carter, the then-Chief of the General Staff, said that Prince Harry had "achieved much in his 10 years as a soldier".

"He has been at the forefront throughout his service," he said.

Recent engagement with the British Armed Forces has included a Christmas message for young children who have lost a parent in the UK military.

Cover image: Prince Harry with Royal Marines in Bickleigh in 2019 (Picture: MOD).