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This is a brief history of the long and glorious service of the forebear regiments of The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. The Regiment formed in 1992, from the amalgamation of The Queen's Regiment and the Royal Hampshire Regiment is the proud inheritor of a history extending back to the very earliest beginnings of the British Aridly.

The examples of valour, adherence to duty, and fortitude, continue to inspire the current officers and soldiers of the modern Regiment, who are proud to belong to the oldest and most senior English Regiment of the Line.

The brief history is complicated by the diverse nature of" the Regiment’s forebears. These are the great line regiments of Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Middlesex and Hampshire, which have expanded and contracted in an ever-changing political climate. The names of these Regiment have changed over the centuries and have included The Queen's Royal Regiment (2nd Foot),The Buffs (3rd Foot), The East Surrey Regiment (31st and 70th Foot), The Royal Sussex Regiment (35th and 107th Foot), The Royal Hampshire Regiment (37th and 67th Foot),The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment (50th and 97th Foot) and The Middlesex Regiment (57th and 77th Foot).This chapter seeks to link the strands of their history in order to intrigue both the military expert and the layman reader. The narrative concentrates on regular army service, although the contribution of the Militia, Volunteers and Territorials must not be underestimated, both as individual reinforcements and formed units, particularly in the two world wars. The contribution to all ranks by past cadets is also acknowledged.

The Regiment has been represented in virtually every campaign of the British Army and provided a significant contribution to many famous battles. This has included Blenheim, Quebec, Minden, Albuhera, Sobraon, Sevastopol, Gallipoli, Ypres, Kohima, Salerno and many more. In more recent years, the Regiment has helped bring the Cold War to a successful conclusion and was represented in the campaigns in Korea, Malaya, Kenya, Borneo, Cyprus, Kosovo, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, lraq and Afghanistan.The inherited traditions of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, which include the reputation for courage, endurance, determination, loyalty and good humour are second to none. The origin of the Regiment can be traced to the 1st May 1572, when 3,000 men of the Trained Bands of London paraded before Queen Elizabeth I at Greenwich.

Three hundred of them volunteered to go to the aid of the Dutch in their revolt against Spain, as a formed company under the command of Captain Thomas Morgan. The force expanded to four English Regiments and in 1665, half of them returned to England, rather than swear allegiance to the then liberated Dutch and formed Our Holland Regiment. Despite their Tudor origin, they were numbered the 4th Foot, raised to the 3rd Foot in 1689. By 1751, they were known as the Buffs, due to their buff uniform facings. Two centuries before, in 1415, the origin of one of the Regiment's badges, the Hampshire rose, was established. Henry V awarded this badge to the Trained Bands of Hampshire following their feats during the Battle of Agincourt.

The 2nd or Tangier Regiment of Foot had its first muster on Putney Heath on the 14th October 1661. It was raised in order to garrison the Port of Tangier, which King Charles II had acquired as part of the dowry, when he married Catherine of Braganza, the Infanta of Portugal. The Queen's, named after Queen Catherine, remained in Tangier for twenty-three years until the port was evacuated. The Regiment's first battle honour, 'Tangier 1662-1680' is the oldest in the British Army and is displayed on the Regimental Colour together with Catherine's cypher.

In 1685, The Queen's took part in the last battle fought on English soil, at Sedgemoor, against the protestant Duke of Monmouth's rebel force.There they gained the nickname of Kirke's Lambs' after their cap badge and the manner in which their Colonel put down the rebellion. Four years later, having fought for King James II at Sedgemoor, The Queen's fought against him at The Battle of The Boyne in Ireland and 'helped to relieve the Siege of Londonderry.

Both The Queen's and The Buffs continued to fight for King William in Flanders in 'King William’s War' of 1689-1697 against His most Catholic Majesty Louis XIV of France and fought side-by-side at the battle of Landen in 1693.

Associated Publications

A Selection of related books, journals and other literature to do with all things PWRR

Regimental Badge