The Colonel of the Regiment is an honorary ceremonial position and is an appointment rather than a rank. It is an honour conferred upon a senior officer (active or retired) who has, usually but not necessarily, served with the Regiment in the past, and it requires the approval of the Sovereign and its Colonel-in-Chief. The Colonel is kept informed of all happenings within the Regiment to which he has been appointed and, if so requested by one or more of the battalion commanders, will give advice on matters concerning the overall welfare of the regiment and its institutions. He accompanies the Colonel-in-Chief on every visit which he or she may make to the Regiment. He also makes regular visits of his own, not only to the Regular battalions but also to their affiliated volunteer units.
The appointment ensures a continuing strand in the regiment’s esprit de corps, and it provides a channel of communication (formal and informal) with other elements of the army and with higher command. The term is usually for five years, but this can be extended. The Colonel of the Regiment works closely with Regimental Headquarters and the Regimental Association. Irrespective of current rank he is addressed as "Colonel".
Colonels of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment:
Lieutenant-General Sir Anthony Denison-Smith KBE, 1992-1999
Brigadier E R Holmes CBE TD JP, 1999-2007
Lieutenant-General P R Newton CBE, 2007-2010
Brigadier R W Dennis OBE, 2010-2016
Major-General D Chalmers DSO OBE 2016