King hands over senior military role to Prince William – and discusses cancer treatment side effects


The King has officially handed over the role of colonel-in-chief of the Army Air Corps to Prince William.

During a visit in Hampshire, His Majesty also spoke to one veteran who had previously undergone chemotherapy for testicular cancer, discussing losing the sense of taste as a result of the treatment.

The King and Prince William were pictured smiling while chatting together during a visit to the Army Aviation Centre in Middle Wallop on Monday.

It comes as Kensington Palace posted two photos of the Prince of Wales when he was an Apache pilot.

“Time flies! Looking back at the last two visits to @ArmyAirCorps in 1999 and 2008 ahead of today’s handover at Middle Wallop,” the post on X said.

The Army Air Corps is the Duke of Sussex’s old unit, in which he served as an Apache helicopter commander and co-pilot gunner during his second tour to Afghanistan in 2012.

The decision to hand the role to William was seen as a blow to Harry when it was announced last year.

The King admitted the handover was “tinged with great sadness” – but hoped the Army Air Corps would continue to go from “strength to strength”.

He said: “Let me just say what a great joy it is to be with you even briefly on this occasion but also it is tinged with great sadness after 32 years of knowing you all, admiring your many activities and achievements through the time that I’ve been lucky enough to be colonel-in-chief of the Army Air Corps.

“I do hope you’ll go from strength to strength in the future with the Prince of Wales as your new colonel-in-chief.

“The great thing is he’s a very good pilot indeed – so that’s encouraging.”

William will embark on his first engagement with the Army Air Corps on Monday afternoon, receiving a briefing on its work and inspecting training and operational aircraft.

After speaking to soldiers, he will then leave the base in an Apache as part of a capability flight.

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The King has officially handed the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps to Prince William

Pic: Ben Birchall/PA

Read more:
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Today’s royal visit by the King – who was given permission by his doctors to return to public duties last month – comes ahead of his first major investiture on Tuesday since his cancer diagnosis.

He will knight the Archbishop of Canterbury for his key role in the coronation, and bestow a damehood on bestselling author Jilly Cooper.

The monarch will greet 52 recipients in total, one by one, at Windsor Castle.

The King, who is receiving treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer, has invested a handful of people with honours over the past few months.

However, these ceremonies took place in private during individual audiences at royal residences.

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