Prince Charles has announced a new role on the royal guard, saying he will be using the Royal Guard Armor to defend Britain’s coastal cities against attacks from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaeda in Iraq.
The move is intended to bolster the troops in a role traditionally held by the Duke of Edinburgh.
Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge, will be joined by three of the guardsmen, who are expected to wear uniforms similar to those worn by the current Royal Navy.
The Guard is based on the Royal Navy, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will command the guards of the Royal Marine Corps and Royal Marines.
The Duke of York will command a Royal Marines regiment.
The Royal Guard will also deploy to Iraq and Syria.
Charles said he had been told that the new role would be a “new beginning” for the Guard.
He said the role was to help protect the coasts of England and Wales, “not just the seas and the cities and the beaches, but to protect our citizens, our businesses, our country, and our culture and heritage.”
Charles said the new Guard will be based on existing Royal Marines units but he did not specify when they would be redeployed to Iraq.
The Guard will not be part of the elite Royal Marines but will work alongside the Royal Marines and Royal Navy in training and exercises.
In a statement on Thursday, Charles said: “The Duke and the Duchess of York are to be supported by the Royal Naval Staff, and they will be able to call in a Marine from the Royal Regiment of Scotland.”
The Duke of Cornwall, the heir apparent to the British throne, has already begun a role as a private soldier in Iraq, where he has already led a team of more than 100 soldiers in a convoy against ISIL.
The Guard has been a key component of the military response to the 2014 Paris attacks, when gunmen killed 130 people in the French capital.
It has been in Iraq since 2012, and is one of the most heavily armed units in the British military.