The Brigade of Gurkhas and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The Brigade of Gurkhas and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip’s connections to the Brigade of Gurkhas are perhaps most famously exampled by the retitling of the 7th Gurkha Rifles to the ‘7th Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Gurkha Rifles’ which was given to the Regiment on January 1st 1959 (on the same day as the 6th Gurkha Rifles also got their own Royal Title, aptly the ‘Queen Elizabeth’s Own’) 

Prince Phillip first visited ‘his’ Regiment shortly afterwards in February 1959, and would pay multiple visits and inspections to 7GR over his lifetime (he can be seen here being led into the Battalion Headquarters of 1/7GR whilst visiting the Battalion in Sarawak in 1965)Two years after the name change of the 7th Gurkha Rifles, in 1961, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II paid their first visit to Nepal where a number of Gurkha veterans, including Victoria Cross recipient Lalbahadur Thapa, were present to welcome the Queen. 

The Duke also visited other Gurkha units during his tenure, as seen here inspecting the 6th Queen Elizabeth’s Own Gurkha Rifles in Hong Kong in 1986, and awarding the Military Cross to Lt. (QGO) Nandaraj Gurung of the 2nd Battalion 2nd King Edward VII’s Own Gurkha Rifles in 1965. 

Prince Phillip’s other charitable activities have also continued to impact the Gurkha Museum in more recent years. The museum has previously engaged with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, allowing young people to engage with our historical archives and collections in pursuit of completing their awards.  

© The Gurkha Museum Trust Winchester - Registered Charity Number 1169920 (formerly 272426)