Prince Philip

When Prince Philip surprised British troops in Iraq

In 2006, the Duke of Edinburgh made a surprise visit to Basra to meet British Army troops deployed there.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, has died aged 99.

Despite leaving the Senior Service in July 1951, Prince Philip maintained a close relationship with the UK Armed Forces and held a number of honorary roles.

In October 2006, he made a surprise visit to Iraq to visit British Army troops.

He spent time with personnel from The Queen's Royal Hussars (QRH) deployed in Basra, who at the time were nearing the end of a six-and-a-half month tour in the country.

Prince Philip Basra Iraq 2006
Prince Philip spent hours meeting troops in Basra (Picture: US Department of Defense).

At the time, the UK had about 7,000 troops in Iraq.

During his visit, the Duke gave praise to the soldiers he had met, saying: "It's a great pleasure to see you here.

"Everyone at home has been following what has been going on in this part of the world with a great deal of sympathy for those of you at the sharp end, who are trying to do your best to make life civilised and tolerable for the locals.

"You have done a fantastic job, and I hope you all get home safely and have some well-earned leave."

Prince Philip Basra Iraq 2006
QRH were approaching the end of more than half a year in Basra at the time of the Duke's visit (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Prince Philip was visiting as the regiment's Colonel-in-Chief, with the trip his first to British forces in Iraq.

The Duke of Edinburgh gave five promoted soldiers their new rank patches during the trip.

Prince Philip Basra Iraq 2006
Thousands of British personnel were deployed to Iraq at the time (Picture: US Department of Defense).