The Regimental Badge is a composition of the badges of the forebear regiments. The centrepiece is the Elizabethan Dragon, awarded to The Buffs, in recognition of their Tudor origin, by Queen Anne, probably in 1707.
Below the Tudor Dragon is the Hampshire Rose, as worn by the Trained Bands of Hampshire, who fought so gallantly for King Henry V at Agincourt in 1415.
The surrounding device inscribed with the motto ‘Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense’ (Shame on him who thinks ill of it), is a garter, as awarded to the Knights of The Order of The Garter, England’s oldest Order of Chivalry, founded by King Edward III in 1348. The garter is taken from the badge of The Royal Sussex Regiment granted to the Regiment when it was awarded its ‘Royal’ status in 1832 and the officers’ badge of The Royal Hampshire Regiment.
The feathers above the Tudor Dragon are the ostrich plumes, awarded to The Black Prince, but taken from the helmet of the slain King John of Bohemia at the Battle of Crecy in 1346. The 15th Prince of Wales considered the 77th (East Middlesex) Regiment to be deserving of the plumes for its exploits in India. The award was given the King’s approval in 1810 and was subsequently in the badge of The Middlesex Regiment. The crown holding the feathers is The Prince of Wales coronet.
The cap badges worn by the immediate Forebear Regiments are illustrated below.
The Collar Badge
The Horse is the badge of Kent, dating from the 6th century and ascribed to Horsa, the Saxon. It was the main badge of The Kent Militia, The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment and The Queen’s Own Buffs. The remaining star is from the Order of The Garter, as explained earlier, when describing the Cap Badge. Both the Star and the Roussillon Plume come from The Royal Sussex Regiment. The plume commemorates the defeat of the French Roussillon Regiment by the 35th of Foot at the Battle of Quebec in 1759.
The Paschal Lamb is the oldest of all regimental badges. It was worn by The Queen’s Royal Regiment before 1685 and may have been adopted as a Christian emblem in the fight against the Moors at Tangier. The remainder of the badge is inherited from The East Surrey Regiment and together with the Lamb formed the badge of The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment. The Star is again from the garter awarded to The 3rd Surrey Militia. The crown was the standard badge of a line regiment, as carried by the 31st and 70th of Foot.
The Sleeve Badge
The Royal Tiger badge, which is now worn on the uniform sleeve by all ranks was worn in the soldiers’ cap badge of The Royal Hampshire Regiment. The 67th (South Hampshire) Regiment was authorised to display the badge of the Tiger on their Colours and Appointments by King George IV in 1826 after the Regiment returned to England after twenty-one years’ service in India.
The Regimental Identification Patch (Blue/Yellow/Blue)
The Regimental identification patch of blue/yellow/blue is worn behind the cap badge on the khaki beret and on the right shoulder of the combat jacket. It is a unique distinction of the new Regiment, though other identification patches have been worn by forebear regiments in the past. The royal blue is the traditional facings colour of a royal regiment, whilst the yellow is the new facings colour of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.
The Bronze Badges and Buttons
All badges worn on Service Dress and Number 2 uniforms are bronzed. This tradition dates from the South African War of 1900- 1902, when badges were darkened in order to achieve greater camouflage. This perpetuates a tradition in that bronzed badges and buttons were previously worn by The Middlesex Regiment and The Royal Hampshire Regiment.
The Whistle on Sam Browne Crossbelt
Within the Regiment, the Sam Browne has the unique distinction of having a whistle on a short lanyard in a leather pouch on the cross-strap. This tradition is said to come from the days of Mounted Infantry, when a number of the forebear regiments served in different parts of the world at the beginning of the twentieth century, using horses for transport. The whistle was useful as a signalling device, which would not get lost and was close to the face. It was worn by The Royal Hampshire Regiment prior to the 1992 amalgamation.
The Royal Marine Lanyard
The Royal Marine Lanyard is worn by all ranks in Service Dress and Number 2 Dress uniform and barrack dress. This originates from the naval traditions of The East Surrey Regiment and one of its forebears, Villiers’ Marines. Prior to the 1992 amalgamation, the Royal Marine Lanyard was worn by the officers and WO1s of 1st Battalion The Queen’s Regiment.
Officers of the Regiment wear unique large Eversleigh Stars, as badges of rank. These were worn by The Queen’s Regiment and formerly by The Middlesex Regiment.
The Blue Backing to Chevrons
All senior NCOs within the Regiment wear a blue backing to their chevrons and badges of rank. This stems from the royal blue facings of The Queen’s Regiment.
The facings or colours of the cuffs and collar of uniforms were a means of identifying different regiments, particularly when scarlet jackets were worn. The facings of the Regiment are yellow, despite the granting of Royal status to the Queen’s in 1703, which would normally mean that the facings are royal blue. The distinctive yellow facings are worn with mess kit and some ceremonial uniforms and were worn by The Royal Hampshire Regiment as a distinction even after being granted the title ‘Royal’ in 1946. Similarly, The Buffs had retained buff facings and The Middlesex Regiment lemon yellow facings up until the 1960s amalgamations. The same distinctive colour is retained as the background to the Regimental Colour.