The Queen's Regiment
England's Senior Regiment of The Line
Allied Colonel in Chief
HRH Princess Juliana of the Netherlands
HM Queen Margrethe II Queen of Denmark
The Queen's Regiment traces its history back to 1661 and is the direct descendant of the 2nd Regiment of foot, later the Queens Royal Regiment of the line. The Regiment also has the honour of holding the oldest Battle Honour in the British Army, that of Tangier 1662-1680.
The Queen's Regiment took its present form and title on 31st December,1966. The Regiment is "The Infantry Regiment" of South East England, including most of London, and stems directly from the the following county Regiments of Surrey, Kent, Sussex and Middlesex, shown here with the nicknames by which they were affectionately known: The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) 2nd foot ("The Mutton Lancers") The East Surrey Regiment 31st and 70th foot ("The Young Buffs") The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) 3rd foot ("The Buffs") The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment 50th and 97th foot ("The dirty half Hundred" and the "Celestials") The Royal Sussex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 57th and 77th foot ("The Diehards").
The fighting record of the Queens Regiment is impressive. Battles and campaigns include Tangier 1662-80, the oldest battle honour on any Regimental Colour ; Sedgemoor 1685 ; the Continental War 1689-97 ; The War of the Spanish Succession 1702-12 ; The War of the Austrian Succession 1742-48 ; The Seven Years War 1756-63 ; The War of American Independence 1776-83 ; The French War 1793-1801 ; The Napoleonic Wars 1803-15 ; The Crimean War 1854-56 ; The South African War 1899-1902 ; the two World Wars and finally Korea 1950-51.
46 Victoria Crosses have been won by forebears of the Regiment, an outstanding record.
Albuhera Day, the 16th May, commemorates the famous action at Albuhera in the Spanish Peninsula War when, on that day in 1811, three of the Regiments forebears, the 3rd of foot, the 31st of foot and the 57th of foot played a heroic part in this extremely bloody contest. It is therefore particularly fitting that the Queens Regiment has selected Albuhera Day as its Regimental Day, and it is celebrated in each Battalion.
The regimental quick march is "Soldiers of the Queen". Although this has always been a popular tune it had never been adopted as a regimental march before the formation of the Queens Regiment. The Regimental marches of our former regiments are nevertheless still played with enthusiasm, which befits great marches.
UNCONQUERED I SERVE is of joint derivation from ancient mottos, stemming from founder members of The Queen's Regiment UNCONQUERED is a translation of INVICTA, the motto that goes with the White Horse of Kent. It was carried by the Kent Militia, passed on to The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment on its formation in 1881, and likewise to The Queen's Own Buffs in 1961. It is of specious origin, stemming from the fact that William the Conqueror allowed Kent alone to retain her ancient customs and liberties perhaps because the people fell in submission before him when he entered the county after defeating Harold at Hastings. However, Kent has defied all attempts at conquest ever since, thanks in no small measure to the sacrifices made by all the ancestors of The Queen's Regiment whether militiamen or regular, conscript or volunteer, and being an inheritance from the Militia. The word serves as a reminder of the immense range of fabrics that have gone into the building of the regiment's traditions.
I SERVE is a translation of ICH DIEN, the motto granted to the 77th with the Prince of Wales's feathers and subsequently adopted by The Middlesex Regiment (DCO). The Black Prince gained it because its former owner, the brave King John of Bohemia, served his cause unto death just as ancestors of The Queen's Regiment have done in their tens of thousands more recently. I SERVE is an essential complement to UNCONQUERED, emphesising that there can be no freedom from servitude without service.