Army

Once A Tiger, Always A Tiger

Celebrating 25 years of The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment...

Where did the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment come from?

The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (PWRR) has a long and complex history passed down through generations of regiments from South East England.

Its forebears include the Middlesex Regiment, the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) and the Royal Sussex Regiment.

It was formed on 9th September 1992 by the amalgamation of the Queen's Regiment and the Royal Hampshire Regiment.

At the time Diana, Princess of Wales, was the Colonel-in-Chief. She had previously held the same title of the Royal Hampshire Regiment. 

Extensive ancestry inherited from its forebears gives PWRR a rich history. Its origins can, in fact, be traced all the way back to the 1st May 1572, when some 3,000 men of the Trained Bands of London paraded in Greenwich for Queen Elizabeth I.

Amazingly the unit has been awarded 57 Victoria Crosses, making it the regiment with the most VCs for conspicuous gallantry.

One was won in Iraq by Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry, who now serves with the Household Division.

1759 Quebec James Wolfe
The Battle of Minden

Tiger traditions

Over 200 years ago the Tigers earned their stripes.

After 21 years of active service in India, from 1805-1826, King George IV authorised the Royal Bengal Tiger and the word 'India' to be borne on the 67th (South Hampshire) regiment's colours (which later became part of the Royal Hampshire Regiment).

This name has stuck through amalgamations and now dictates the character required of PWRR; fierce and loyal. 

However, the regiment's forebears also racked up a number of nicknames including 'The Nutcrackers', after the way they 'smashed French heads' in the Peninsular War, the 'Die Hards' after the Battle of Albuera and the 'Stonewallers', after never losing a trench to the Germans in the First World War.

    Many traditions have been passed down over time and absorbed by PWRR, giving them a unique character within the forces.

    Unlike others, the unit maintains a close association with another royal family as well as the Windsors.

    Their Colonel in Chief is Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

    Another interesting quirk of PWRR is the 'Flying Tigers', an internationally renowned parachute display team, often found jumping at military shows around the country and the world.

    It's not just names and actions that have been passed down through the regiment though. The Tigers are traditionally known for strong character.

    Renowned for courage and endurance, they're defined by their notable determination and loyalty and of course, a good sense of humour.

    PWRR with Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
    Pictures: PWRR

    Operational involvement

    The regiment has been represented in nearly every campaign undertaken by the British Army.

    Battles in which it provided considerable contributions include Gallipoli, Ypres, Sevastopol, Quebec and Blenheim.

    In more recent times, it has been operating on military campaigns in Korea, Malaya, Kenya, Borneo, Cyprus, Kosovo, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, lraq and Afghanistan.

    The regiment even played a significant role in bringing the Cold War to a conclusion. 2nd Battalion, The Queen's Royal Regiment was in the Berlin Garrison and every forebear served in Germany at that time.

    2 PWRR in Cyprus 

    Battalions

    1 PWRR, or the Armoured Tigers, have been described as the 'tip of the spear for many years to come'.

    They work with Warrior fighting vehicles, that pack a punch with a 30mm Rarden cannon and a 7.62 mm chain gun.

    Recent operational tours include Iraq and Afghanistan.

    2 PWRR returned to the UK from Cyprus in August 2017 and are now based in Cottesmore. Whilst in Dhekelia they were on Very High Readiness (VHR) for potential deployments in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Specialists in dismounted close combat, they are in top physical form, having to constantly train, adapt and remain ready for anything.

    PWRR TIGERS
    Pictures: PWRR

    3 PWRR is the Army Reserve battalion currently paired with 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment.

    Based in Woolwich as part of the restructured Army under Army 2020 concept, they are pioneering the latest kit available.

    Recent achievements include supporting regulars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as in Cyprus.

    4 PWRR is the newest battalion, formed at the beginning of September.

    It will expand the regiment within London and Hampshire, as well as the traditional Tiger home counties in South East England. 

    On the 25th anniversary of the formation of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, 4 PWRR made their first public appearance while new colours were presented to the regiment's other battalions.

    Three regimental days highlight the troop's calendar, which bring with them customs Tigers must observe. 

    • Albuera Day: to remember the exceptional bravery of the 3rd, 31st and 57th Regiments of Foot from the Battle of Albuera in 1811On this day all officers and senior NCOs toast the 'Silent Toast' to the immortal memory of the forebear regiments and those who've died in operations. The toast is drunk, as the name suggests, in silence from a silver 'loving cup'.
    • Minden Day: for outstanding performance of the 37th Foot at the Battle of Minden in 1759. August 1st, or Minden Day, is when a rose is worn in the headdress of all because 37th Foot picked roses around Minden on the fateful day of battle. 
    • Sobraon Day: commemorating Sergeant Bernard McCabe at the battle of Sobraon in 1846. February 10th is the only day when one of the colours are not carried by an officer but by an appointed Sobraon sergeant. Each battalion picks one honoured Sobraon sergeant. 
    4 PWRR
    The newest battalion, 4 PWRR // Picture: 4PWRR