Queen Camilla appointed as patron of British Army organisation which includes Jewish members

The new role comes as King Charles reshuffled military appointments for working members of the royal family


ST IVES, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Queen Camilla is seen taking a tour of Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden during an official visit to Cornwall on July 13, 2023 in St Ives, England. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Queen Camilla has been appointed patron of an army organisation which cares for the spiritual needs of the British Army.

Camilla is now patron of the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department which provides pastoral care and moral guidance to all members.

The department, formed in 1796, has a large number of Jewish chaplains in a tradition dating back as far as 1892 when the first was appointed to the department.

Uniquely within the Army, the department has different cap badges for its Jewish officers, with the Star of David replacing the Maltese Cross.

The Queen will follow in the footsteps of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who previously served as patron. 

Queen Elizabeth II paid a special tribute to the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department in 2019 when she attended a ceremony marking 100 years since her grandfather, King George V, bestowed the name ‘royal’.

The department was given the title on February 22 1919 in recognition of their "outstanding service and sacrifice" during the First World War.

Reflecting on this sacrifice, the Queen wrote: "They have remained quietly dedicated and steadfast in their calling, providing spiritual support, moral guidance and pastoral care to all soldiers, wherever they serve."

The department expanded rapidly during the Crimean War where 26,000 troops were originally deployed with just one chaplain.

Initially, only members of the Church of England could be members of the department.

All members are ordained clergy or an authorised and qualified religious leader from the Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh or Muslim communities.

All wear uniforms and can lead and manage troops but they do not have executive authority. 

Camilla’s new role as part of a wider reshuffling of military appointments for working members of the royal family as the anniversary of the late Queen's death approaches, with three extra roles each for the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Charles has taken over eight of his mother's former honorary posts himself, including sponsor of the Royal Navy's warship HMS Queen Elizabeth, and has shared some of his own affiliations now he is King.

His post-accession housekeeping also includes handing over two of the disgraced Duke of York's previous roles to Kate and the Duchess of Edinburgh.

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