The Race2Recovery team, comprised primarily of injured British service personnel, today confirmed it was honoured to welcome HRH the Duke of Kent as patron of the campaign. The team will be contesting the 2013 Dakar Rally to raise funds for Help for Heroes which will be restricted towards the Personnel Recovery and Assessment Centre (South) at Tedworth House.
Born in 1935, The Duke of Kent is the son of the late Prince George, fourth son of King George V, and the late Princess Marina, daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece. He is cousin to both The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. The present Duke of Kent inherited his title following the early death of his father in 1942.
The Duke of Kent graduated from Sandhurst in 1955 as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Scots Greys. He then served with his regiment at home and overseas in a military career that spanned 21 years.
Following a tour in Hong Kong in 1962-63, he attended the Army staff course in 1966 and then served on the staff in Eastern Command. In 1970 he commanded a squadron of his regiment serving in Cyprus as part of the United Nations force.
The Duke retired from the Army in 1976 with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was subsequently promoted to Field Marshal in June 1993.
The Duke retains close links to the Army. He holds a number of senior appointments, and visits his regiments on a regular basis, including travelling to Iraq in 2006 to meet members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and in 2008 to Afghanistan and Iraq to meet members of the Scots Guards.
The Duke is a Personal Aide-de-Camp to The Queen, Colonel of the Scots Guards, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Royal Colonel of 1st Battalion The Rifles, and Colonel-in-Chief of the Lorne Scots Regiment (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) - in Canada. He is also Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, in which he served in his youth.
In the Royal Air Force he is an Honorary Air Chief Marshal, and Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Station Leuchars in Fife, Scotland.
Commenting, Race2Recovery driver Captain Tony Harris of the Royal Fusiliers, which has the Duke as regimental Colonel-in-Chief, said; "I speak for the whole team when I say that we are honoured that His Royal Highness has chosen to endorse our campaign by becoming Patron. His support really underlines what we are trying to achieve, in supporting our injured and fallen comrades and their families, through the amazing Tedworth House facility.
"Injury or disability needn't stop you from realising your dreams. You just have to go about things in a slightly different way!"
The team's first competitive event of 2012 is the Tuareg Rally, which sees crews compete in the deserts of Morocco for eight days, beginning on 18 March.