The Regimental Cap Badge

"The Kensingtons"

Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment

Regimental History


The Regimental Cipher

Raised in 1860 by Lord Truro, the 4th Middlesex Rifle Volunteer Corps became established in Kensington in 1885 in Adam and Eve Mews, Iverna Gardens, off High Street, Kensington.  The original sub-title, "West London Rifles", was altered in 1905 to, "The Kensington Rifles", when the Regiment was adopted by the Royal Borough of Kensington and granted permission for the cap badge to be made up of the Coat of Arms of the Royal Borough, mounted centrally upon an eight-pointed star.  

On the formation of the Territorials in 1908, the 4th Middlesex VRC and the 2nd (South) Middlesex VRC were amalgamated to form the 13th (Kensington) Battalion, the London Regiment, Territorial Force Association.  

On the formation of the Territorials in 1908, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll (sixth child of Queen Victoria), presided over a committee of ladies for the working of the Colours for the new Regiment.  The COLOURS were duly consecrated and presented to the Regiment by King Edward VII at Windsor on 19th June 1909. In 1913, Princess Louise consented to give her name to the Regiment.  In 1928, she granted permission for the cipher, the two intertwined L's of Louise, to be used as a new collar badge to be worn by all ranks.  Princess Louise lived in Kensington Palace, not half a mile from Regimental Headquarters and until her death in 1939, she regularly attended regimental functions and took a close interest in her Regiment.

"13th London Regiment" was the convenient short titIe after the formation of the Territorials in 1908.  And from October 1914, the title was "13th Princess Louise's Kensington Battalion, the London Regiment"  But, dating back to 1905 and throughout the two World Wars, the regiment was best known as "the Kensingtons". 

However, the titIe, "Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment", survived three Regular Army parent regiments - the Kings Royal Rifle Corps from 1908, the Middlesex Regiment from 1937, the Royal Corps of Signals from 1947 and umpteen TA reorganisations until 1967, when the regiment lost its separate identity and was amalgamated with the Middlesex Yeomanry to form the 31st (Greater London) Signal Regiment(V). That regiment's "41st Princess Louise's Kensington Squadron" still wear Princess Louise's collar badges and buttons and they are the custodians of the Colours and the Drums of Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment

The Regiment's war memorial, bearing the names of the 1,324 officers and men who were killed in the First and Second World Wars is located in the library of the Kensington Town Hall.

BYRNE FOXWELL

Home page