This unit were first raised in Quebec in December 1883 as the Cavalry School Corps and consisted of one troop of Permanent Cavalry which, while performing its own regular duties as an independent troop, would also act as a Military school of instruction to the cavalry. They also supplied drill instructors to any corps of the militia that might wish to make use of their services during the period of annual drill.
The first officers were;
Commandant: Lieutenant-Colonel Turnbull
Adjutant: Lieutenant Heward
Quartermaster: Lieutenant Lessard
The first NCOs draughted from the British Army, were;
Sergeant-Major Baxter (from 4th Dragoon Guards)
Sergeant-Instructor Dingley (from 15th Hussars)
Sergeant-Instructor Charlwood (from 7th Dragoon Guards)
They served in the North West campaign in 1885 but were not required to fight.
By General Order dated 24th May 1892 they were designated Canadian Dragoons and increased to Squadron strength. As well as this they were to raise another squadron ('B') to be based at Winnipeg.
Another General Order dated 11th August 1893 informed them that Her Majesty Queen Victoria had conferred the 'Royal' title on them and that they were permitted to wear the Imperial VRI cypher. 'A' Squadron remained stationed at Quebec and 'B' Squadron at Winnipeg.
In 1895 Lt-Col Lessard was succceeded by Major Lessard as Commanding Officer. Lessard was also Inspector of Cavalry for the Dominion. Serving under him were;
Veterinary Major Hall
The regiment served with great distinction in the South African War, with three Victoria Crosses won by men of the regiment. They also won many battle honours in World War 1 where they fought in the 1st Cabadian Division and the Canadian Cavalry Brigade. In the Second World War they became 1st Armoured Car Regiment and fought in Scicily and Italy in 1st Canadian Corps and in late 1944 became a recconaisance Regiment of 1st Canadian Infantry Division. By January 1945 they were in Northwest Europe and in April they liberated Leeuwarden in Holland.
Since the War, they became a tank regiment and have served in Germany, Cyprus, Korea and Egypt.
They are now permanently based at Worthington Barracks, CFB Petawawa.