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In the various Commonwealth armies, the Colonel-in-Chief of a regiment is its (usually royal) patron. This position is distinct from that of Colonel of the Regiment. They do not have an operational role. They are however kept informed of all important activities of the regiment, and pay occasional visits to its operational units. Their chief purpose is to maintain a direct link between the regiment and the Royal Family.

Currently in the British Army, two foreign monarchs hold the position of Colonel-in-Chief of British regiments:

While it is traditional for a royal personage to hold the position,[1] it is at the discretion of the regiment or corps whom they invite to be their Colonel-in-Chief. This can be seen by the fact that the Duke of Wellington was Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment that bore his name, and through the invitation to Governor General of Canada Adrienne Clarkson to be Colonel-in-Chief of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry,[2] while the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps decided to ask the Governor-General of Australia to serve as its Colonel-in-Chief.[3] These exceptions, however, do not change the raison d'être of the post, which is to serve as a personal link between regiment and Monarch. The role of Colonel in Chief is not to be confused with that of Honorary Colonel.




  • The Bermuda Regiment - The Duchess of Gloucester




Personnel branches[edit]

Further information: List of Canadian organizations with Royal Patronage: Military


Malaysian Army[edit]

Combat Support[edit]
Service Support[edit]

Royal Malaysian Air Force[edit]

New Zealand[edit]


Papua New Guinea[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]



  • Coldstream Guards - The Queen
  • The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border) - The Queen
  • Grenadier Guards - The Queen
  • Irish Guards - The Queen
  • The Mercian Regiment - The Prince of Wales
  • The Parachute Regiment - The Prince of Wales
  • The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires) - The Queen of Denmark
  • The Rifles - The Duke of Edinburgh
  • The Royal Anglian Regiment - The Duke of Gloucester
  • The Royal Gibraltar Regiment - HE The Governor of Gibraltar
  • The Royal Gurkha Rifles - The Prince of Wales
  • The Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and The Ulster Defence Regiment) - The Duke of York
  • The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers - The Duke of Kent
  • The Royal Regiment of Scotland - The Queen
  • The Royal Welsh - The Queen
  • Scots Guards - The Queen
  • Welsh Guards - The Queen
  • The Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot) - The Duke of York

Combat Support[edit]

  • Army Air Corps - The Prince of Wales
  • Corps of Royal Engineers - The Queen
  • Intelligence Corps - The Duke of Edinburgh
  • Royal Corps of Signals - The Princess Royal
  • Royal Regiment of Artillery - The Queen (Captain-General)

Combat Service Support[edit]

  • Adjutant General's Corps - The Queen
  • Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers - The Duke of Edinburgh
  • Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps - The Countess of Wessex
  • Royal Army Dental Corps - The Duchess of Gloucester
  • Royal Army Medical Corps - The Duke of Gloucester
  • Royal Army Veterinary Corps - The Princess Royal
  • Royal Logistic Corps - The Princess Royal
  • Small Arms School Corps - The Duke of York


  1. ^ See this list of Colonel-in-Chief appointments held by The Prince of Wales.
  2. ^ Clarkson to be given military honour Edmonton Journal 04/02/07
  3. ^ GG’s new role Department of Defence, 31/05/07
  4. ^ "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II accepts Royal Appointment as Colonel-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces’ Legal Branch". Department of National Defence. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 

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