Duke of Kent steps down as Colonel of the Scots Guards, gives major role to Prince Edward

Prince Edward’s role in the Royal Family has been getting more and more important in recent years. Once again, he is getting a new title as elder Royal steps down.

Duke of Kent step down Colonel Scots Guard Prince Edward
© Mark Cuthbert / Getty Images
Duke of Kent step down Colonel Scots Guard Prince Edward

Prince Edward was one of the Royals who tended to work out of the limelight. However, in recent years, he has been more and more active and is working more within the eye of the media, alongside his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh.

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Indeed, for his 59th birthday, King Charles bestowed their father’s title Duke of Edinburgh to Prince Edward. Moreover, for his 60th, King Charles awarded him the Order of the Thistle, the highest honour in Scotland.

It has now been announced that one of the oldest working Royals is stepping down from one of his roles and it has been given the Prince Edward.

Prince Edward becomes Colonel of the Scots Guard

As reported by Express, the Duke of Kent, Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, is stepping down as the Colonel of the Scots Guard after holding the title for 50 years. The Royal Family shared a tribute to the Duke of Kent on Instagram.

As per the post, the Duke of Kent was awarded the title in 1974 and it is the longest anyone has held the title Colonel of the Scots Guard. At the age of 88, the Duke of Kent is finally stepping down and has given his title to Prince Edward.

To mark his last day as Colonel of the Scots Guard, the Duke of Kent will attend the annual Scots Guards Black Sunday events in London, which is today, April 14. Speaking about his time as Colonel of the Scots Guard, the Duke of Kent said, as per Express:

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 and witnessed their bravery, selfless courage and devotion to duty.

Passing down the title to Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent expressed his delight and is sure that he will continue to uphold the Guard’s ‘great legacy’:

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.

What is the Colonel of the Scots Guard?

As per Express, the Scots Guard is one of the British Army’s Household Division’s esteemed Regiments of Foot Guards, the other esteemed Regiments of Foot Guards include the Irish, Welsh, Grenadier and Coldstream Guards.

The Scots Guard are not just an honourary guard, they are also active combat soldiers and engage in operations or train globally when they are not performing duties such as guarding King Charles or taking part in Trooping the Colour, indeed the Duke of Kent has been attending Trooping the Colour as Colonel of the Scots Guard since 1975.

According to Express, the Scots Guard dates back to 1642 and has played important roles in several famous battles, including the infamous Battle of Waterloo in 1815, both World Wars, and the Falklands War. The Scots Guard has also had missions in Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Prince Edward in the spotlight

As mentioned earlier, Prince Edward, the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, has become a more active and noticeable working member of the Royal Family over the last year and a half.

Of course, the death of a monarch always involves some reshuffling but in the case of Prince Edward, it isn't the only reason. Another is that, as the family faces a shortage of working royals, there is no one else to pick up the work.

Since the beginning of January, he and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh have been covering for King Charles and the Waleses. One of the most recent examples of that was a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 8 April 2024, for the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale.

On the Royal Family website, his work is described as such:

[The Duke of Edinburgh is] championing young people and promoting the benefits of non-formal education across the world.

As it currently stands, Prince Edward holds several titles and is a patron of many organisations and charities.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

This was founded by Prince Philip (then the Duke of Edinburgh) in 1956. This award has a clear aim which the Royal Family Website explains as '[helping] young people build their confidence and develop key life skills in order to reach their full potential.'

Prince Edward has been involved with the charity for a very long time and became a trustee in 1986 when he was just 22. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award now reaches way beyond the UK, more specifically to 130 countries. As patron of the charity, Prince Edward travels the world.

London Youth

In 2020, Prince Edward was asked by his father to become Patron of the charity.

Patron of the arts

It has been known for a long time that Prince Edward is a man who loves the arts. For instance, before becoming a full time working member of the Royal Family, he worked in theatre. Though his current work is far from the world of entertainment, the arts are still something the Duke deeply cares about.

Therefore, the Duke is Patron of the Production Guild of Great Britain. As explained by the official royal website, his work has been toward 'widening access to opportunities' in the TV and film industries. He is also Patron of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, The Orpheus Centre Trust, Creative Youth, Northern Ballet and the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland.

In January 2023, he also launched the Earl of Wessex Award which promotes and rewards work that is inclusive.

Patron of sport

Many members of the Royal Family have emphasised the importance of sport in people's lives. The Prince and Princess of Wales have been vehement supporters of young people practicing a sport and the Prince is himself the President of the Football Association. Prince Harry is also involved in sports - in 2014 he launched the Invictus Games and it has recently been announced that he will produce a Netflix project focusing on polo.

When it comes to Prince Edward, the royal is Patron of the British Paralympic Association, GB Snowsport, Badminton Scotland, The Tennis & Rackets Association, and President of the Sport & Recreation Alliance. Moreover, he is Vice-Patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation and has been attending the event since 1986.

Conserving history

Highlighted on the Royal Family website, Prince Edward's work also involves the conservation of historic spaces. Throughout his life, he has supported projects to renovate cathedrals and churches - especially its organs - in order to maintain a sense of community.

Moreover, falling right in the realm of his brother King Charles, Prince Edward has been Patron of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute for over twenty years. The Institute works to protect marine biodiversity as well as coral reefs.

The Armed Forces

Like many, if not all, members of the Firm, Prince Edward is a strong supporter of the Armed Forces. After his BA, he briefly joined the Royal Navy. The Royal Family website explains that the Duke 'meets service personnel and their families whenever possible'.

The Duke also hold several honorary military titles both in the UK and in Canada.

Read more:

Prince Edward leaves fans delighted after stepping out in Royal Navy uniform

Prince Edward: The royal set to take on more engagements for the Royal Family

The Duke of Kent suffers from the same health issue as Queen Elizabeth

Sources used:

Express: ‘Prince Edward to be handed major new role as Royal Family member steps down’


Royal Family Website - The Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Edward: The royal set to take on more engagements for the Royal Family Prince Edward: The royal set to take on more engagements for the Royal Family