Duke of Kent steps down as president of Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Duke of Kent has stepped down as the president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), passing the baton to the Princess Royal.

The CWGC cares for war graves of Commonwealth men and women who died in the First and Second World Wars.

It ensures that more than 1.7 million deceased are honoured at 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries and territories.

The Duke of Kent held the position of president for more than 50 years.

Princess Royal birthday
Anne paid tribute to the duke’s half century of service (Jane Barlow/PA)

In a statement, he said it has been a “privilege and an honour” to work with the CWGC.

“I look forward to watching on as Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal champions this remarkable organisation which ensures future generations continue to commemorate the sacrifice of the men and women of the Commonwealth,” he added.

Anne paid tribute to the duke’s half century of service.

“In recording and maintaining the graves of the men and women from across the Commonwealth who died during both world wars, the CWGC plays a significant role in commemorating those who sacrificed so much for our future,” she said.

“Their cemeteries, large or small, always have an impact.

“I am honoured to become president of this organisation and know that I have a challenge in continuing the dedicated work of His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent for over 50 years. Preserving the legacy of those from across the Commonwealth who gave their future in order to preserve ours is a privilege. We will remember them.”

As well as Anne becoming president, the King has become the first ever patron of the CWGC.