The Queen is announced as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Lancers
Published 08 June 2023
To mark the appointment, Her Majesty hosted a reception at Clarence House.
The Queen’s father, the late Major Bruce Shand, served with the 12th Lancers during World War II, winning the Military Cross during the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940 and again at El Alamein in 1942, shortly after which he was seriously wounded and taken prisoner in an action in which his crew was killed.
At Clarence House, Her Majesty met the current Colonel of the Regiment, Colonel Richard Charrington and the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Will Richmond.
The Royal Lancers are an armoured cavalry regiment. Its famous skull and crossbones cap badge, referred to as The Motto, is one of the most recognisable in the British Army and represents its motto: ‘Death or Glory’.
Her Majesty also awarded World War II Veteran, Lieutenant Michael de Burgh with the Buchan Medal and citation.
The Buchan Medal has been initiated following the bequest from the Buchan family in memory of Lieutenant Patrick (Paddy) Buchan, killed in action whilst serving in Italy with the 9th Lancers on 10th September 1944: he was an exact contemporary of Michael de Burgh, also a 9th Lancer.
It can be awarded to any serving or retired officer or soldier or other supporter of the Royal Lancers or its antecedents who has contributed in some conspicuous manner to the efficiency or military honour of the Regiment over a prolonged period.
There was also a chance to celebrate Lieutenant Michael de Burgh’s 100th birthday!
Mr de Burgh served with the 9th Lancers during World War II, which then amalgamated with the 12th Lancers in 1960. Michael was wounded just 14 days before victory in Europe was declared and his gunner was the last 9th Lancer fatality of the war.
Her Majesty’s appointment follows a long Royal history with the Regiment. Queen Elizabeth II was appointed Colonel in Chief of the 16th/5th Lancers by her father on her 21st birthday, 21st April 1947. Her Majesty retained that appointment through the subsequent Queen’s Royal Lancers and Royal Lancers amalgamations until her death.
Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother became Colonel of the 9th/12th Lancers upon its formation in 1960, having been Colonel of 9L since 1953. Her Majesty held that appointment until her death in 2002.
Accordingly, Her late Majesty bestowed the unusual suffix ‘Queen Elizabeths’ Own’ upon The Royal Lancers when awarding the amalgamated Regiment a new Guidon in 2017, the 70th year of her Colonelcy, reflecting the long-standing involvement of both her and her mother with its two parent regiments.
Queen Camilla has had an informal relationship with the Regiment over many years given her father’s connection. Her Majesty (as The Duchess of Cornwall) last met with the Regiment in October 2020 via video link, on the Lancers’ ‘Tank Tea’ series.
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