Many Canadian Regiments are honoured by having members of British Royalty as their Colonel-in Chief, and The Queen's Own is no exception. Until 1959, almost 100 years after its founding, The Queen's Own had only one Colonel-in-Chief, Her Majesty Queen Mary served from 1928 until her death in 1953. A popular and highly intelligent individual, Queen Mary was known for setting the tone of the Royal Family at a remarkably high level. In 1959 Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra, graciously consented to assume the role of the Regiment's second Colonel-in-Chief and continued to be a valuable asset to The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada until 2010. Upon relinquishing the Colonelcy in 2010 HRH Duchess of Cornwall kindly agreed to become our current Colonel-in-Chief.
In the British and other Commonwealth armies, the Colonel-in-Chief of a regiment is its patron and is generally a member of the British Royal Family. While they do not have operational roles, they are however kept informed of all important activities of the regiment, and pay occasional visits to its operational units.
Our First Colonel-in-Chief:
In 1928 Her Majesty Queen Mary (wife of George V) consented to become the first Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen’s Own, the only Regiment in Canada to be so honoured. Throughout the 25 years that Queen Mary was C-in-C not a year passed without some act of remembrance or message indicative of her genuine interest in the well-being of her Regiment.
In 1893 at the age of 26, Mary, granddaughter of King George III, married George, later to be crowned King George V, she would be Queen Consort until his death in 1936. Two of her sons became kings of Great Britain as Edward VIII and George VI. During the Second World War Queen Mary won international acclaim for her work for charities and hospitals. She died on 24 March, 1953.
Our Past Colonel-in-Chief:
Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada since 1959 is Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, the grand-daughter of HM Queen Mary. Born on Christmas Day 1936, she is the second child and only daughter of the late Duke and Duchess of Kent (her brothers are the present Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent). Her father was killed in a wartime flying accident in 1942 when she was five years old.
Married to Sir Angus Ogilvy, who served in the Scots Guards, they had two children, James, born in 1964, and Marina, born in 1966. Sir Angus died on 26 December 2004.
Our New Colonel-in-Chief:
Paul F. Hughes, CD, Honorary Colonel of The Queen’ Own Rifles of Canada said today that he is “delighted” that the successor to HRH Princess Alexandra, KG, GCVO as Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada will be Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall effective 1 January 2011.
"In Pace Paratus - In Peace Prepared"