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The Duke of Kent bids emotional farewell to long-held royal role

The Duke was a loyal supporter of his late cousin, Queen Elizabeth II

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent looks on while a Scots guard Regiment marches past
Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
14 April 2024
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The Duke of Kent marked a huge change on Sunday as he stepped down from one of his most long-standing royal duties. 

Queen Elizabeth II's cousin attended the Scots Guards Black Sunday in his last engagement as Colonel of the Scots Guard, a role he held for an incredible 50 years. 

The 88-year-old called the appointment "a true honour" in a heartfelt statement released via the royal family's official social media accounts.

It read: "Serving as Colonel of the Scots Guards since 1974, the longest anyone has spent in this role, has been a true honour and one which will forever fill me with great joy. 

"Through those years, I have seen the work of the Scots Guards during peacetime and war." 

The Duke of Kent takes part in the Scots Guards' Black Sunday Parade© PA Images via Getty Images
The Duke of Kent taking part in the Scots Guards' Black Sunday Parade

At the ceremony, he paid tribute to the "bravery, selfless courage and devotion to duty" of the Scots Guards. The King's youngest brother, Prince Edward, will now take on the position. 

The Duke said: "To my fellow Scots Guardsmen, I am immensely proud to have served you all. I am delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will continue to champion all that you do and work towards preserving your great legacy." 

The Duke of Kent wss applauded as he left the Scots Guards' Black Sunday Parade © Victoria Jones - PA Images
The Duke of Kent was applauded as he left on Sunday

He looked smart in a navy blue suit, blue checked shirt and a red and blue striped tie and also wore his impressive medal collection, representing his long career. 

A loyal supporter of the late Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke became a working member of the Royal Family after retiring from the British Army in 1976. 

Members of the Scots guard are seen during the Scots Guards' Annual Black Sunday events © Getty
Members of the Scots guard during the parade

He has often been called upon to represent the royals at significant events, including in 2022, when he accompanied the monarch to Trooping the Colour before her death a few months later. 

The Duke of Kent was by Her Majesty's side for the parade in the Castle's Quadrangle in his role as Colonel of the Scots Guards as the Queen's Colour of F Company Scots Guards were trooped at that year's parade. 

The Duke issued a heartfelt message
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Upon the return of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the Guards, the Queen took the salute from the balcony of Buckingham Palace alongside the Duke, who is also known as Prince Edward. 

The royal is the Queen's first cousin through their fathers, Prince George, Duke of Kent and King George VI. The 88-year-old was born on 9 October 1935 in London and was the eldest child of the late Prince George and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. 

The Duke of Kent leaves the Scots Guards' Black Sunday Parade at the Wellington Barracks © Victoria Jones - PA Images
The Duke held his role for 50 years

Prince Edward also has two younger siblings, Princess Alexandra, 86, and Prince Michael of Kent, 80. He has held the title of Duke of Kent since the age of six, after the tragic death of his father in a plane crash in 1942. 

Edward married Katharine Worsley on 8 June 1961 at York Minster in a ceremony where Princess Anne was one of the couple's bridesmaids.

Prince Edward in a suit at the Commonwealth Games© Getty
Prince Edward will now take on the role

Prince Edward and Katharine have three children, George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews, Lady Helen Taylor and Lord Nicholas Windsor, born in 1962, 1964 and 1970 respectively. 

The couple, who split their time living between Wren House Kensington Palace and Oxfordshire, also have ten grandchildren.

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