Duke of Edinburgh’s Last Official Engagement Announced

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Duke of Edinburgh's Last Official Engagement Announced
The Duke of Edinburgh after presenting campaign medals to members of 40 Commando who have completed their first tour of Afghanistan, at Norton Manor Camp, Somerset, following their return.

The Duke of Edinburgh attends The Captain General’s Parade

Wednesday 2nd August 2017

The Duke of Edinburgh, Captain General, Royal Marines, will attend a Parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge on the Buckingham Palace Forecourt on Wednesday 2nd August 2017.

His Royal Highness’s association with the Royal Marines dates back 64 years to 2nd June 1953 upon appointment as Captain General in succession to the late King George VI.

As previously announced, The Duke of Edinburgh will no longer undertake his own programme of public engagements. The Captain General’s Parade will bring His Royal Highness’s individual programme to a conclusion, although he may choose to attend certain events, alongside The Queen, from time to time.

The Royal Marines are the amphibious troops of the Royal Navy, acknowledged as one of the world’s elite commando forces. The 1664 Global Challenge is raising funds and awareness for The Royal Marines Charity, marking the symbolic significance of 1664 as the year in which the Corps was founded. This year, the challenge will see Royal Marines from around the country running 16.64 miles each day for 100 days, totalling a distance of 1664 miles.

His Royal Highness will arrive on the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace and take position on the dais for the Royal Salute and the National Anthem. The Duke will meet representatives from the runners’ contingent, including two Royal Marines who have completed the entire 1664 miles. His Royal Highness will also meet veterans and cadets before returning to the dais to receive the 1664 Global Challenge baton.

The Parade will conclude with a march past, a Royal Salute and three cheers for the Captain General.

Background – The Duke of Edinburgh, Captain General, Royal Marines

The Duke of Edinburgh was appointed Captain General of the Royal Marines on 2nd June 1953, in succession to the late King George VI.

His Royal Highness carries out a number of engagements with the Royal Marines each year to include the following over the last 12 months:

25 March 2017 Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall
22 November 2016 The Royal Marines Colonels Commandant lunch (London)
18 November 2016 60th Anniversary Dinner – Op MUSKETEER (Plymouth)
28 October 2016 Visit to the Royal Marines School of Music (Portsmouth)
26 May 2016 Audiences with outgoing/incoming Commandants General

The Duke of Edinburgh has also undertaken a number of overseas visits to the Royal Marines including:

April 1960 40 & 42 Commando Exercises in the Mediterranean and Malta
June 1968 Presentation of Colours to 42 Commando, Singapore
February 1980 Royal Marines on Winter Training in North Norway
October 1984 40 Commando in Cyprus
September 1988 Royal Marines Exercise Teamwork ’88 in Norway
April 1993 75th anniversary of the Raid of the Mole at Zeebrugge, Belgium
June 2000 Service of Dedication at Ouistreham-Riva-Bella, Normandy (as Patron of Normandy Royal Navy/Royal Marines Memorial Fund)

Other key dates and information

Since 1948, The Duke of Edinburgh has been Honorary President of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Association and Club (a society for past and present members).

Since 1974, The Duke of Edinburgh has been Patron of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (was the Royal Marines Museum), in Portsmouth.

To mark the Royal Marines 350th anniversary year, in 2014, The Duke of Edinburgh accompanied The Queen to the State Opening of Parliament wearing Full Ceremonial Uniform as Captain General Royal Marines. Also in 2014, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh also attended the Royal Marines 350th Anniversary Beat Retreat.

This year, in 2017, a Band of the Royal Marines played at the DofE Gold Awards Presentation at the Palace of Holyroodhouse (expected to be HRH’s last Gold Awards).

A summary of statistics for The Duke of Edinburgh dating from 1952 to 2nd August 2017:

  • Total number of solo engagements – 22,219
  • Total number of solo overseas visits – 637 (Commonwealth countries – 229 visits to 67 countries / other countries 408 visits to 76 countries)
  • Total number of speeches given – 5,496
  • Total number of patronages – 785 organisations
  • Presentation of colours – 54
  • Number of service appointments – 32
  • Number of books authored – 14

The Royal Marines 1664 Global Challenge

Over the past four months, 1500 Royal Marines and Army Commandos from around the United Kingdom have taken part in the 1664 Global Challenge to raise funds for The Royal Marines Charity.

The 1664 running challenge began in Plymouth on the 25th of April and will finish 1664 miles and 100 days later on 2nd August at Buckingham Palace.

In addition to the 1664 mile run, Royal Marines from around the globe have been participating in extreme events which include a 34 mile swim underwater and a company of Royal Marines lifting 24,000 tonnes and running 10,000km over 20 days.

History of the Royal Marines

On 28th October, 1664, an Order-in-Council was issued calling for 1,200 soldiers to be recruited for service in the Fleet, to be known as The Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot. As The Duke of York was The Lord High Admiral, it became known as the Admiral’s Regiment. The Regiment was paid by the Admiralty, it and its successors became the only long service troops in the 17th and 18th century navy. On 1st August, 1923, the Royal Marine Artillery amalgamated with the Royal Marine Light Infantry to become ‘The Royal Marines’.

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