Field Marshal (Australia) - Duke of Edinburgh, 1954

Duke of Edinburgh, 1954

Currently, the only living Australian field marshal is HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who was promoted to the rank of field marshal in the Australian Army on 1 April 1954—over a year after he attained that rank in the British Army on 15 January 1953. However, as consort of Queen Elizabeth II, the duke's rank is purely ceremonial—he has no command or control role in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and is not part of the ADF's operational structure.

Prince Philip first paraded in Australia in field marshal's uniform, complete with baton, in Canberra on 17 February 1954 when he and the Queen attended a meeting of 4,000 Australian ex-servicemen in front of (Old) Parliament House.

At the base of the memorial statue of King George V, the Queen and Prince Philip were greeted by presidents of ex-service organisations, after which they talked to 100 disabled men and proceeded to slowly drive through the ranks. Later the same day, the prince wore the uniform when he attended the presentation of new colours ceremony at the Royal Military College Duntroon, conducted by Her Majesty the Queen. During the proceedings, described in contemporary accounts as "poignant" and "spectacular", the new colours replaced those presented to the Royal Military College on the same parade ground by her late father King George VI in 1927.

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