The Gordons

HRH Charles, Prince of Wales

Prince Charles was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Gordon Highlanders in 1977. The last person to hold this position was his great uncle HRH Henry, Duke of Gloucester who died in 1974. When the Gordons became a battalion of The Highlanders in 1994, Charles was relegated to Deputy Colonel-in-Chief since his mother was Colonel-in-Chief of all the battalions. He remained in that post until the further amalgamation of all the Scottish regiments in 2006.

The photo is taken from the Sunday Times, June 1994 at a veteran's parade in Seaton Park, Aberdeen. Prince Charles and General Sir Peter Graham, the last Colonel of the Gordon Highlanders look cheerful enough, but the regiment was facing its last few months of existence as an independent regiment before Formation Day on 17th Sept 1994. Both men are wearing regimental khaki service dress with colonel's rank badges on their shoulder straps. Charles, strangely, has Sphinx collar badges which are not part of the uniform.

An article in the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research no 257 (Spring 1986) by R G Harris lists the regiments patronised by Royal personages. He begins the piece by referring to an illustrated article in the Telegraph Sunday Magazine of 13th Nov 1983 which discusses Prince Charles's uniforms. At that time he had nearly 100 for the three services. 'Accompanying the article were photos of the Prince in a variety of these uniforms, 19 of which he wore during a morning session at Kensington Palace, posing and changing continually for a collection of official photographs, an operation that took 4 hours. Included in the Prince's wardrobe are 8 uniforms of the Royal Navy, 8 of a Colonel of the Welsh Guards, and he is also Colonel-in-Chief of 9 regiments; four various orders of dress are required for each regiment, as well as those for the RAF at home and overseas.'

Regimental details | Colonels in Chief


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by Stephen Luscombe