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Prince William Puts on Uniform After Officially Taking on New Role

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Prince William officially took his position in his new role — and dressed for the occasion. 

On Monday, the second in line to the British throne was presented with the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps by his father, King Charles III

The official hand off happened at the  Army Aviation Centre in Hampshire, England. The role, which was previously held by Charles for three decades, makes William the official head of the miliary regiment. 

William, 41, and Charles, 75, were seen posing in front of an Apache helicopter as the king presented his son with the official uniform patch. William then suited up, and got right to work, joining members of the armed forces on base, and speaking with them about their military work. William flew out of the base in an Apache helicopter.

King Charles officially appoints Prince William with new military role. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

William’s new role has a close connection to his younger brother, Prince Harry. The Duke of Sussex actively served as part of the military regiment for 10 years, from 2005-2015. During his time in the military, Harry served in Afghanistan twice and was ranked Apache helicopter commander.

Last week, royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET that William’s new role would appear as a “slap in the face,” to his estranged younger brother, as he was stripped of his military duties when he stepped away from royal life in 2020.

“Yes, he’s over here part of the Invictus community celebrating 10 years, but he’s been stripped of his right to wear his military uniform,” Nicholl said. “And now his brother’s taken over the role that I think Harry would have expected to have come to him, had he still been a working member of the royal family. So, yes, I think the timing does feel poignant. And, yes, I think it’s probably another slap in the face for Prince Harry, and yet another reminder that he’s very much out rather than in when it comes to the royal family.”

Prince William is now the Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps.Getty Images

Charles’ appointment of the role to William comes amid his public battle with cancer. The monarch, who announced his diagnosis in February, has recently returned to public-facing duties. The Prince of Wales is also undertaking solo engagements, as his wife, Kate Middleton, privately undergoes treatment for her cancer diagnosis. 

William and Charles’ joint outing comes as Harry and Meghan marked their first international tour since stepping away from royal duties. Over the weekend, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex traveled to Nigeria after being invited for a visit by the Chief of Defense Staff. 

Harry traveled back home to the U.K. last week in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games. Prior to his travels, a spokesperson for Harry confirmed that he would not see his family.

“In response to the many inquiries and continued speculation on whether or not the duke will meet with his father while in the U.K. this week, it, unfortunately, will not be possible due to His Majesty’s full program,” a spokesperson for Harry told ET. “The duke, of course, is understanding of his father’s diary of commitments and various other priorities and hopes to see him soon.”

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