Prince William officially handed military honour by King Charles in major snub to Prince Harry

King Charles III and the Prince of Wales pose for a photograph with members of the military during a visit to the Army Aviation Centre at Middle Wallop, Hampshire -Credit:PA
King Charles III and the Prince of Wales pose for a photograph with members of the military during a visit to the Army Aviation Centre at Middle Wallop, Hampshire -Credit:PA

King Charles has officially appointed Prince William as the head of Harry's former regiment, the Army Air Corps, in a move perceived as a significant slight to his brother.

This decision comes after news surfaced that Prince Harry did not have plans to see his father during a brief trip to the UK last week. The formal transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief title to William was conducted today at the Army Aviation Centre in Middle Wallop.

Additionally, King Charles took the opportunity to reveal a commemorative plaque marking the introduction of the first Apache AH Mk. 1 into a British museum collection.

Upon his arrival, he was greeted by a guard of honour and then accompanied by Lieutenant General Sir Nicholas Borton and the Army Air Corps' Colonel Commandant to the Army Flying Museum, reports the Mirror.

During the ceremony, Charles expressed a "tinge of sadness" about relinquishing his role but showed confidence in William's capabilities, saying: "I do hope you will go from strength to strength in the future with the Prince of Wales as your new Colonel-in-Chief. The great thing is that he is a very good pilot indeed so that's encouraging."

In a personal exchange, the King also spoke with veteran Aaron Mapplebeck, who shared his experience with chemotherapy for testicular cancer last year, including the loss of taste - a symptom Charles empathised with, noting his own similar experience.

The weekend brought confirmation of a significant military honour development, which is set to be a disappointment for Prince Harry due to his previous service with the same regiment in Afghanistan. Buckingham Palace revealed on Saturday: "At the Army Aviation Centre in Middle Wallop, His Majesty The King will officially hand over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

"In August 2023, following His Majesty's Accession, The King was pleased to announce military appointments including that The Prince of Wales would become Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps. The role was previously held by His Majesty The King, as Prince of Wales, for 31 years."

Commenting on the situation, royal commentator Michael Cole expressed that this decision would likely not sit well with Harry, who has just wrapped up a visit to Nigeria with wife Meghan Markle. Speaking on Sunday, he remarked: "It is quite a snub. For the King to not see his younger son, Prince Harry, although the two men will be only two miles apart tomorrow afternoon, gives an indication of the depth of the divide.

"The Prodigal Son is not welcome - not for the present, anyway. In royal terms, this is big medicine. Prince Harry is bound to see it for what it is, the clearest possible indication of the hurt that has been caused."

While Charles himself held the position when he was the Prince of Wales, it was widely believed that Harry would inherit the role once the King ascended to the throne, given Harry's service in the Army Air Corps. Despite Prince William never having served in the military, the 41 year old did have a stint as a search and rescue pilot and air ambulance pilot.

Harry made a brief visit to the UK on Wednesday for an Invictus Games 10th anniversary service at St Paul's Cathedral in London. There was much speculation that the 39-year-old would meet with the King during his stay, following a 45-minute conversation they had in February after the King's cancer diagnosis.

The King's visit on Monday is one of his first few public engagements since resuming his duties post-cancer treatment. During the visit, he also interacted with current service workers at the airbase and their families.

He was welcomed by a Guard of Honour and Lt Gen Sir Nicholas Borton, the regiment's current Colonel Commandant, who accompanied him to the Army Flying Museum where they engaged in conversation with people. The role was then officially transferred at the Middle Wallop control tower in front of an Apache.

Get the latest celebrity gossip and telly news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily Showbiz newsletter here.