Prince Harry & Martin Smith

Prince Harry is reportedly set to succeed his grandfather Prince Philip as head of the Royal Marines.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 95, who has been the ceremonial head of the elite fighting force since 1953, will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year. 

And according to a number of national newspapers, he'll be succeeded as Captain General of the Corps by his 32-year-old grandson.

A senior Royal Marine officer is reported to have said Prince Philip is a "hard act to follow", but that:

"The invite if acceptable is for Prince Harry to step into uniform and support his grandfather and eventually take over as Captain General."

The Queen would have the final decision on the offer of the role, which is said to have been approved by the office of Major General Rob Magowan, the Royal Marines' professional head.

It's previously involved regular visits to the marines on exercise in Norway and at the headquarters of 3 Commando Brigade in Plymouth.

In 2013 Prince Harry stepped in for his grandfather at the opening ceremony of a new amphibious centre for the Royal Marines in Plymouth.

Senior Royal Marine Generals, including the head of the Special Boat Service (SBS), saluted him on that occasion, despite him wearing his Army Air Corps Captain uniform at the time.

The role would see a senior officer informing the Prince about all events and producing reports on the amphibious fighting force.

Prince Harry is said to have a good relationship with the Royal Marines, having fought alongside them in Afghanistan during his time as an Apache helicopter pilot.

The only current member of the Royal family who does not hold an honorary position in the Armed Forces, he left the Army two years ago.

His grandfather Prince Philip became head of the Royal Marines in 1953 after the death of King George VI.

He was mentored for several years by his uncle Lord Mountbatten, who was an honorary General in the Corps as head of the Royal Navy.