Some information on this website may be out-of-date following the death of Queen Elizabeth.

The Duke of Edinburgh and the Commonwealth

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in front of Commonwealth flagsThe Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in front of Commonwealth flagsThe Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in front of Commonwealth flags

The Duke of Edinburgh and the Commonwealth

Over 67 years, between 1949 and 2016, The Duke of Edinburgh made 229 visits to 67 Commonwealth countries on solo visits without The Queen.

This is in addition to the visits he made to Commonwealth countries accompanying Her Majesty. These numbers do not include countries visited in Royal Navy ships without any Royal duties being carried out by Prince Philip or private engagements such as weddings and funerals.

His Royal Highness had a number of Commonwealth appointments and military affiliations in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago. See list below. His Royal Highness held Patronage appointments in 12 different Commonwealth countries.

In May 1953 Prince Philip visited Commonwealth troops in camp who had come to London to take part in the Coronation procession on the 2nd June. He travelled to two locations by helicopter and this was the first occasion when the garden of Buckingham Palace was used as a take-off and landing site.

In 1956 His Royal Highness founded The Duke of Edinburgh's Commonwealth Study Conferences, which continue in much the same format to the present day. The first Conference, based in Oxford and held over three weeks, was entitled: "The Duke of Edinburgh's Study Conference on the Human Problems of Industrial Communities within the Commonwealth and Empire".

Prince Philip's interest in the subject had been aroused during a visit in 1954 to a number of company towns in the new and developing industries in the north of Canada where they were trying to find a democratic system to manage the differences between industrial enterprise and community development.

In 1974 The Duke of Edinburgh succeeded his uncle, Lord Mountbatten, as Grand President of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League, and held this position until 2015 when The Duke of York succeeded his father. The aim of the charity is to help ex-Service men and women who need financial and other support. 

Commonwealth Military Appointments


- Colonel-in-Chief, Australian Army Cadet Corps
- Field Marshal, Australian Military Forces
- Marshal, Royal Australian Air Force
- Admiral of the Fleet, Royal Australian Navy
- Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Australian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers


- Admiral, Royal Canadian Navy
- Admiral, Royal Canadian Sea Cadets
- General, Royal Canadian Army
- Colonel-in-Chief, Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa
- Colonel-in-Chief, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada
- Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Canadian Army Cadets
- Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Canadian Regiment
- Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Hamilton Light Infantry
- Colonel-in-Chief, Seaforth Highlanders of Canada
- General, Royal Canadian Air Force
- Air Commodore in Chief, Royal Canadian Air Cadets


- Field Marshal, New Zealand Army
- Marshal, Royal New Zealand Air Force
- Admiral of the Fleet, Royal New Zealand Navy


- Honorary Colonel, Trinidad & Tobago Regiment