The Colours and the Emblazoned Battle Honours


The Colours

Each Battalion holds two Colours - The Queen's Colour and the Regimental Colour. The Colours of The 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment are as illustrated below. The other Battalion’s Colours are identical, apart from the numeral. The Queen’s Colour, the senior Colour, displays forty-two battle honours from the First and Second World Wars. The Regimental Colour displays forty other battle honours, which include ‘Tangier 1662-80’, the oldest battle honour in the British Army, and ‘Korea 1950-51’, which is the Regiment’s most recent battle honour. The Regiment’s forebears won many more battle honours, which are still recognized, but are not displayed on the Colours. .

The Regimental Colour is particularly distinctive. The Colour is yellow and there is a unique combination of five badges displayed; the cap badge, the Naval Crown, the Tiger, the Sphinx and the cypher of Catherine of Braganza. In outline, they trace their links to the following Regimental history:

The Cap Badge
A combination of the badges of the forebear regiments.

The Cypher
This is the cypher of Queen Catherine of Braganza, wife of King Charles II, who by bringing the Port of Tangier as part of her dowry caused the raising of the Tangier Regiment in 1661.

The Naval Crown
Awarded to The Queen’s after The Glorious First of June 1794 when the French were soundly defeated off Ushant.

The Sphinx
Awarded for service in Egypt in 1801 to both The Queen's and the 50th (West Kent) following their successful landing at Aboukir Bay, near Alexandra and the subsequent defeat of Napoleon's Army of the East.

The Tiger
Awarded in 1826 to the 67th (South Hampshire) Regiment following 21 years of active service in India.

The Third Colour
The 1st Battalion of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment has the unique Army distinction of still retaining a Third or ‘Colonel’s’ Colour. This distinction, dating from the late 17th Century, was inherited from The Queen’s Royal Regiment.

At one stage, there were a large number of Colours within a battalion used as rallying points for each grouping on the battlefield. This number eventually fell to a total of three; one for pikemen and two for the two wings of musketeers. In about 1700, the bayonet was brought into service, pikemen were removed from battalions’ establishments and there was no longer the requirement for a third colour. However, The Queen’s who were serving abroad, chose to ignore the order to remove the Third Colour and retained it. Eventually it was laid up in Dublin in 1750, but recovered in 1825 and carried on parade with royal approval. The approval was rescinded in 1835 and The Queens were told that the Third Colour could be retained, but never taken on parade.

At the time of the formation of The Queen's Regiment, the Colour in service was thirty-six years old and much worn. A new Colour was brought into service during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year, 1977 and carried on parade by Major (QM) LMB Wilson MBE. The order not to parade the Colour has been ignored three times, once in 1927 on the occasion of The King’s Birthday Parade in Hong Kong, secondly at the dedication of the new Colour brought into service during HM Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee and finally in 1992 on disbandment of The 1st Battalion The Queen’s Regiment in Minden, Germany on the Glorious First of June.

The Third Colour is green, the colour of the House of Braganza, and displays the cypher of Queen Catherine.

The Queen's Colour Battle Honours
World War I
Retreat from Mons
Aisne 1914
Ypres 1914, 15, 17, 18
Hill 60
Somme 1916, 18
Albert 1916, 18
Arras 1917, 18
Cambrai 1917, 18
Hindenberg Line
Italy 1917, 18
Doiran 1917, 18
Landing at Helles
Palestine 1917, 18
Kut al Mara 1915, 17
Mesopotamia 1915-18
North West Frontier India 1915, 1916-17

World War II
Dunkirk 1940
Normandy Landing
North West Europe 1940, 1944-45
Abyssinia 1941
El Alamein
Teboura Gap
Hunt's Gap
Longstop Hill 1943
North Africa 1940-43
Sicily 1943
Gothic Line
Italy 1943-45
Malta 1940-42
Malaya 1941-42
Hong Kong
Defence of Kohima
Burma 1943-45

The Regimental Colour Battle Honours
Tangier 1662-80
Namur 1695
Gibralter 1704-5
Guadaloupe 1759
Quebec 1759
Martinique 1762
Afghanistan 1879-80
Taku Forts
Pekin 1860
New Zealand
Nile 1884-85
Burma 1885-87
Relief of Ladysmith
South Africa 1899-1902
Korea 1950-51