When I joined the British Army a year ago as a young Ensign I had high hopes of being given command of a fine Regiment after my training. I was given the 33rd Regiment of Foot (1st West Yorkshires) and was proud. My training paid off and my boys didn’t let me down on the field. My early successes were noticed by The Horse Guards and I had the honour of being offered a Commission in the Guards which were being re-formed. I now have the great pleasure of announcing my appointment as Honourary Commander of the 7th Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal’s).
In 1688 Lord Devonshire raised six Troops of Horse to mark his support of the new Protestant King. They were known as Devonshire’s Horse and later became the 7th (Princess Royal’s) Dragoon Guards. A few years later they, along with the 5th Dragoon Guards embarked on campaign in Holland with the Duke of Marlborough earning battle honours at Blenheim, Malplaquet, Ramillies, and Oudenarde. They took part in a celebrated cavalry action at Elixem in 1705, where the 5th Dragoon Guards captured four standards from the Bavarian Horse Grenadiers.
In 1720 King George I appointed Colonel John Ligonier as commander and during his twenty-nine year tenure the Regiment was to reach a peak of discipline and training. During this time they acquired the nickname "The Black Horse" due to their collars and facings on their uniforms. Together with the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, they took part in the 1742 campaign in the War of the Austrian Succession, gaining further honours at Dettingen and Fontenoy. At Dettingen in 1743, Cornet Richardson of the 7th received thirty-seven wounds while defending the Regimental Standard. A little more than ten years later, both the 6th and 7th found themselves side by side at the battle of Warburg where they both took part in a famous cavalry charge that won the day over the French.
I only hope that I can live up to this glorious past as their Commander in this latest struggle against France.
Return to Index