Prince of Wales gets a promotion: William given command of Harry's old Army unit - while Kate handed Andrew's title

11 August 2023, 12:28 | Updated: 11 August 2023, 12:37

King Charles has ordered a major royal reshuffle
King Charles has ordered a major royal reshuffle. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Prince William has been given command of Prince Harry's old Army unit as part of a major shake-up of the Royal Family's military appointments by King Charles.

William has been appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Army Air Cops - a unit in which the Duke of Sussex served during his time as an Apache helicopter pilot in Afghanistan.

Kate has also been given three new roles, including the Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm - a title previously held by Prince Andrew.

The title was stripped away from Andrew and returned to the Queen amid allegations of sexual assault against Virginia Roberts.

Meanwhile, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh has been made Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Irish Regiment - also formerly held by Andrew.

The Duke of York has regained none of his previous titles in what is considered to be a major military reshuffle by King Charles.

Prince William is in charge of Prince Harry's former squadron
Prince William is in charge of Prince Harry's former squadron. Picture: Getty

The Ministry of Defence announced the changes on Thursday.

William's new title means he will now represent the Army's airborne wing, including the 662 Squadron, which used to belong to Harry.

Some royal commentators believe the role would have almost certainly gone to the Duke of Sussex had he not quit life as a working royal.

"Had Harry still been around he might well have had more appointments going his way," Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, told the Mirror.

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Another role bestowed upon William is the Royal Honorary Air Commodore at RAF Valey in Wales.

The Prince of Wales previously spent three years at this base in Anglesey, north Wales. He took part 156 search and rescue missions and saved 149 people.

He has also been made Colonel-in-Chief of The Mercian Regiment.

One of Princess Kate's new roles used to belong to Prince Andrew
One of Princess Kate's new roles used to belong to Prince Andrew. Picture: Getty

Kate, meanwhile, has taken on the position of Royal Honorary Air Commodore at RAF Coningsby, a title previously held by William.

Her third new title is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen's Dragoon Guards, known as the Welsh Cavalry, a title previously held by the King.

As for Charles himself, he has taken on eight of the Queen's roles.

They include:

  • Sponsor of the Royal Navy's warship HMS Queen Elizabeth
  • Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
  • The Royal Tank Regiment and The Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • Captain General of both The Royal Artillery and The Honourable Artillery Company
  • Royal Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Marham
  • Air Commodore-in-Chief of RAF Regiment

Queen Camilla is now patron of The Royal Army Chaplains' Department, a title also formerly belonging to Queen Elizabeth II.

"Following His Majesty's accession, the King is pleased to announce further military appointments for working members of the royal family," a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said.

"The new appointments will continue to reflect the close relationship between the armed forces and the royal family in His Majesty's reign"