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HRH The Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood

Colonel-in-Chief, The Royal Scots

In 1918 King George V announced that his 21 year old daughter, the Princess Mary, would be appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Scots. 

The Colonel-in-Chief is the regiment’s patron, usually a member of the Royal Family, and is a purely ceremonial appointment. They are kept informed of the regiment’s activities, visit units and deployed troops, attend dinners and ceremonial events and send messages of support. The Colonel-in-Chief provides the regiment with a direct link to the Royal Family.

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Scots was only one of Princess Mary’s many patronages. She held over 50, including Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Signals and Commandant-in-Chief of the British Red Cross Detachments. The Princess had trained and worked as a paediatric nurse at Great Ormond Street hospital, building the foundations for her work later in life where she upheld an interest in nursing in hospitals and understood the need to rehabilitate wounded and disabled veterans. Her work with servicemen was recognised in 1956, when she was made an honorary General in the British Army.

Born in 1897, the Princess Mary lived through two World Wars and the reign of six Monarchs: Queen Victoria (her great-grandmother); King Edward VII (her grandfather); King George V (her father); Edward VIII and King George VI (her brothers) and Queen Elizabeth II (her niece).

She died on 28th March 1965, at the age of 67.


1918 - 1965

Did you know?

In 1914, Princess Mary launched an appeal to raise funds for her Christmas gifts for servicemen. In hardly any time at all she had raised £162,000 - the equivalent today of £15 million!