Colonels-in-Chief

A Colonel-in-Chief does not serve in an operational role but instead takes an active interest in the Regiment and the well-being of its soldiers. Most people appointed colonels-in-chief of British regiments are members of a royal family but this does not have to be the case, although a key function of a colonel-in-chief is to provide a link between the British Royal Family and the Regiment concerned.

Among our Regiments, only The Royals Scots Greys and The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards have had, and continue to have, a colonel-in-chief and it is those that comprise the following list.

Her Majesty The Queen

Queen Elizabeth II is the Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys). Her Majesty adopted that role following the amalgamation of 3rd Carabiniers and The Royal Scots Greys in 1971. Prior to 1971 Her Majesty had been the colonel-in-chief of The Royal Scots Greys since her accession to the throne in 1952. The Queen has shown great affection for, and interest in, the Regiment in more than 60 years of being colonel-in-chief.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent

In 1995 The Duke of Kent, Her Majesty’s cousin, was appointed by Her Majesty The Queen to be the Regiment’s Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, a role which His Royal Highness exercises with great activity and interest. The Duke of Kent served as an officer in The Royal Scots Greys between 1955 and 1971.

His Majesty King George VI

HM King George VI became colonel-in-chief of The Royal Scots Greys in 1939 and served in this position until his death in 1952. King George VI had such an affinity for the Regiment that he granted the pipers of the The Royal Scots Greys the right to wear Dress Royal Stewart tartan, which the pipers of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards continue to wear today.

His Royal Highness Prince Arthur of Connaught

In 1921 HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught, a grandson of Queen Victoria, became colonel-in-chief of The Royal Scots Greys, having served as an officer in the regiment 1907 – 1919. Prince Arthur’s father, HRH The Duke of Connaught, Prince Arthur himself and his son Lord Macduff are believed to have shared the remarkable distinction of being the only father, son and grandson to be serving as British Army officers at the same time: between 1921 and 1938. During that period the Duke of Connaught was the senior Field Marshal of the British Army, his son HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught was colonel-in-chief of The Royal Scots Greys and his son, Lord Macduff, was a serving officer in the Greys.

HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught whilst colonel-in-chief of The Royal Scots Greys, granted the regiment the right to wear his personal tweed, an honour that has been passed on to The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

His Imperial Majesty Tsar Nicholas II

In 1894 Tsar Nicholas II, Emperor of Russia, was appointed the first colonel-in-chief of 2nd Dragoons (The Royal Scots Greys). This appointment occurred during the wedding celebrations of the Tsar to Alexandra Feodorovna, a granddaughter¬† of Queen Victoria. Tsar Nicholas was very impressed by The Royal Scots Greys and chose to wear his full dress uniform as colonel-in-chief at various events, including his and the Tsarina’s visit to Balmoral in 1896, on which occasion the Imperial escort was found by a contingent of Scots Greys.

Tsar Nicholas II remained Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Scots Greys until he and his family were murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918.