The Queen's Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army formed in 1966 through the amalgamation of the four regiments of the Home Counties Division. In turn, the regiment became part of Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment in a further amalgamation in 1992.
The regiment was formed as a 'large regiment' on 31 December 1966 by the amalgamation of the four remaining regiments of the Home Counties Brigade as a consequence of the Defence Review of 1957.
The four regiments formed four battalions, retaining their previous names in the titles.
1st Battalion (Queen's Surreys)
-- formerly The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment (2nd, 31st & 70th Regiments of Foot).
2nd Battalion (Queen's Own Buffs)
-- formerly The Queen's Own Buffs, The Royal Kent Regiment (3rd, 50th & 97th Regiments of Foot).
3rd Battalion (Royal Sussex)
-- formerly the Royal Sussex Regiment (35th & 107th Regiments of Foot).
4th Battalion (Middlesex)
-- formerly the Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) (57th & 77th Regiments of Foot).
In 1967 the 5th (Volunteer) Battalion, a TAVR II (Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve) unit, was formed to be employed for use with NATO forces in West Germany during tense times in the Cold War. The following year, on 1 July, the battalions discarded their previous regimental identification when the subtitles were omitted.
In 1971 the 6th (Volunteer) and 7th (Volunteer) Battalions were formed with headquarters at Wandsworth and Horsham respectively.
On 1 April 1975 these two battalions combined to form the 6th/7th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Queen's Regiment.
On 16 May 1988 the 8th (Volunteer) Battalion The Queen's Fusiliers (City of London) were formed as a composite battalion composed of the Queen's Regiment and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. A & B Companies were badged as Queen's Regiment, C Company as RRF, and HQ Company was a mixture. Shoulder titles for all companies read Queen's Fusiliers.
In 1992, the London Scottish and London Irish Rifles were removed from 1st Battalion, 51st Highland Regiment and 4th Battalion, Royal Irish Rangers and became companies of 8QF.
In 1993 8QF was re-titled the London Regiment with the disbandment of the existing A (Middlesex) Company.
During its existence, the deployments of the regiment's battalions were primarily to Northern Ireland (NI), especially during the more turbulent times of the 1970s and 1980s, attempting to keep the peace between the opposing Catholic and Protestant factions, and taking part in anti-terrorist operations against the numerous paramilitary organisations: the regiment lost nine men during its many tours of NI; however, its battalions did deploy to many overseas postings during the regiment's existence, including many deployments to West Germany as part of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR).
In 1970 the 1st Battalion joined the Berlin Brigade in West Berlin, a small enclave in Communist-controlled East Germany, leaving in 1972.
In October 1972 the 3rd Battalion arrived in Cyprus as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNIFICYP), a force intended to prevent conflict from breaking out between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The battalion returned to the UK in May 1973.
The 4th Battalion was disbanded that year, as with every other 'junior' battalion of the new large regiments. Also that year, the 3rd Battalion arrived in Gibraltar where it remained with the garrison for almost two years.
In 1977 the 2nd Battalion arrived in Gibraltar and the 3rd Battalion arrived in Belize, then a British territory, as part of the garrison there to protect it from the perceived threat of war with Guatemala, a neighbour of Belize, which was making claims that it believed Belize to be an integral part of Guatemala.
By 1975 the 1st Battalion had arrived in Werl, Germany from where they did operational tours to Derry in 1976 and West Belfast in 1978. The 1st Battalion moved to Canterbury (the regiment's home base) in 1980 . From there it undertook a six month tour of Belize before deploying in November 1982 to Omagh in Co Tyrone (the first infantry battalion in that station).
It served there until January 1985 with south east Fermanagh as its primary focus. During this period all three battalions served in Ireland - 2 Queen's in Londonderry, also on a two year tour, and 3 Queen's in Belfast on a six month tour. A freedom parade was held in Belfast in 1984 at which all three battalions' Regimental Colours were paraded.
In 1985 the battalion moved to Gibraltar for two years before returning to the UK (Tidworth) in 1987 where it was to remain until 1990. During this period it undertook two 6 month tours of Northern Ireland - South Armagh in 1987 and Belfast in 1989/90.
In 1990 the battalion moved to Minden in Germany. Whilst there the decision to amalgamate with the Royal Hampshire Regiment was announced. During the subsequent disbandment parade the CO directed that the Colonel's Colour was to be publicly paraded in defiance of instructions that it was never to be shown outside the Officers' Mess (the only previous occasion was in 1928 in Hong Kong - an act that earned the displeasure of the War Office).
In late 1981 the 2nd Battalion deployed to Cyprus on a 6-month tour-of-duty with UN forces.
In 1985 the 1st Battalion arrived in Gibraltar on a 2-year posting and the following year the 3rd Battalion was deployed to Belize on a 6-month tour-of-duty.
In 1990 the 3rd Battalion arrived in Cyprus its last deployment abroad and returned to the UK in 1992.
The 2nd Battalion's last deployment was to Northern Ireland in 1992 before heading to Canterbury, England, while the 1st Battalion had returned to the UK after only a year in Germany.
All three battalions were now in the UK, ready to be amalgamated with the Royal Hampshire Regiment, as a consequence of the Options for Change defence cuts, to form two battalions of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires). Today, the name of the Queen's Regiment is maintained by B (Queen's Regiment) Company, The London Regiment (although this is cap badged as PWRR).