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Why Prince Charles’ latest outing held poignant links to Prince Philip

Prince Charles acts 'in contrast' to his role as a royal says expert

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On Thursday, Prince Charles visited Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, acting as a guest of honour as he watched the passing out parade. The naval college was once attended by Charles’ late father, Prince Philip, and it served as the backdrop for what was thought to be Philip’s first meeting with his future wife, the Queen.

The Royal Family has a long affinity with Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.

The future Queen Elizabeth II famously met her future husband at Dartmouth in 1939.

Then aged 13, Princess Elizabeth toured the grounds of the college with her father and mother, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, and her sister Princess Margaret.

At the time, Philip was 18 and was enrolled as a cadet at the college and was tasked with entertaining the princesses.

A famous picture was taken of Philip and Elizabeth playing croquet on the lawn during the royal visit.

The couple would tie the knot several years later in 1947, and their marriage lasted 73 years until Philip died in 2021.

Prince Charles was back at Britannia Royal Naval College this week, having passed out from the college 50 years ago himself.

And Charles paid tribute to the Queen and the late Prince Philip as he presided over the Lord High Admiral’s Divisions parade.

Charles said: “Britannia Royal Naval College has a rather special place in the hearts of my family.

“My father, as Lord High Admiral himself, was extremely proud of his links to this College, and it was here that my mother and father first met in the Captain’s garden, while my grandfather, King George VI, carried out the inspection of your predecessors.

“For myself, it is somewhat alarming to think that fifty years ago I was standing where you are as part of Blake Division on the eve of my own Naval service which, to this day, I still look back on with great fondness and pride.”

Prince Philip regularly visited Dartmouth in his senior royal role, overseeing many passing out parades.

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Philip also witnessed the passing out parade for his son Prince Andrew in 1980.

Philip’s death in April of this year aged 99 left a huge hole in the Royal Family, and Philip’s children have spoken out about how much he is missed.

Upon Philip’s death, Charles said: “My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that.

“It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”

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