British Army, The Royal Lancers, Queen Elizabeth II presents new guidon at Windsor Castle, 5 April 2017, by Rupert Frere (Crown Copyright)

Royal Lancers Become Queen Elizabeth’s Own

Queen Elizabeth II Presents Guidon to The Royal Lancers

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presented a guidon to The Royal Lancers at Windsor Castle, Wednesday, April 5.

The Queen is Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Lancers and to mark 70 years of her being in this role also bestowed an honorific suffix to the regiment’s name. The regiment will now be known as The Royal Lancers (The Queen Elizabeths’ Own).

Last of the Lancers

Based in Catterick, The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army. The regiment was formed by an amalgamation of The Queen’s Royal Lancers and 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s) on 2 May 2015. It serves as the Formation Reconnaissance Regiment of the 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade, 3rd (UK) Division. It is the last regiment in the British Army to retain the name of lancers.

Ceremony at Windsor Castle

The prestigious event took place inside the castle’s St George’s Hall. In a speech to members of The Royal Lancers and their special guests Her Majesty said:

The guidon symbolises sacred loyalty to your Sovereign, your country, and to all of the officers and men with whom you serve. Your loyalty and devotion to duty have been tested over more than three hundred years, and never found to be wanting. Acts of bravery and skill-at-arms run through your regimental history, and many of your most famous feats are recalled here, carried on this guidon. To mark my 70th anniversary as your Colonel-in-Chief I should like to grant you a further distinction – that of an honorific suffix to The Royal Lancers – Queen Elizabeths’ Own – in recognitionon of your loyal service to me and to my mother, Queen Elizabeth. I entrust this guidon to your care, confident that the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of The Royal Lancers will maintain the same high standards as your forebears. I pray that God’s blessing will go with you.

The Band of the Royal Armoured Corps played the National Anthem and the regimental quick march ‘Wellington’.

His Royal Highness The Duke of York,  is Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Lancers and was also in attendance. Following the ceremony, The Queen and The Duke of York met former colonels of the regiment and members of the regimental family in the Grand Reception Room.

Brigadier Andrew Hughes, Colonel of The Royal Lancers, said:

This is an important day because we have received our guidon and also a new name, which brings unity to our regiment, the Sovereign and the nation. It has been a stunning event in Windsor and an enormous privilege for everyone – it has been a unique experience.

Sgt David Veale, of the Royal Lancers, added:

Having the guidon and the name of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own) completes the amalgamation of two regiments, which means a lot. It has been a daunting, but very proud day.

A guidon is an heraldic banner carried by cavalry regiments in the same way that the colours are borne by regiments of line infantry. Until the First World War guidons and colours were taken into battle as the distinguishing symbols and rallying points for fighting units.

Sources: Minstry of Defence; British Army website.

Photo: Ministry of Defence (Crown Copyright, OGL).

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