London Public Duties 1963 - The Royal Sussex Regiment


Painting by Terrence Cuneo, 1963

Painted in oils on canvas the piece depicts the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and hangs in the public rooms of the Officers’ Mess of 2nd Battalion the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.

Formed in 1881, as part of the Childers reforms, by the amalgamation of the 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment of Foot and the 107th Regiment of Foot (Bengal Light Infantry), The Royal Sussex Regiment saw action in Egypt (1882), South Africa (1900-02), Afghanistan (1919) and was variously employed throughout the First and Second World Wars. On 31 December 1966 the Regiment was amalgamated with The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment, The Queen's Own Buffs, The Royal Kent Regiment and The Middlesex Regiment to form The Queen's Regiment.

For such a battle hardened organisation, mounting the Queen’s Guard was something of a change of pace. Divided into detachments operating at Buckingham Palace and St James’ Palace, Queen’s Guards are usually the preserve of the Household Division and particularly the Foot Guards. Only rarely does the task fall to the line infantry but The Royal Sussex Regiment excelled; a tradition continued by the 2nd Battalion when it took up London Public Duties from 2011 to 2013.

Terrence Cuneo studied at Sutton Valence School, Chelsea Polytechnic and the Slade School of Art. During World War II he served as a Sapper but also worked for the War Artists' Advisory Committee, providing illustrations of aircraft factories and wartime events. Cuneo was appointed official artist for the Coronation of Elizabeth II in 1952, which brought his name and work before a global audience. Later he was awarded the OBE and Commander of the Victorian Order (CVO) and is immortalised in the form of a larger than life-size statue on the main concourse at Waterloo Station.