Saturday, 3 June 2017

Princess Patricia of Connaught (1886 - 1974)

Did you know we had a Princess Patricia in the British Royal Family?  Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth was one of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters.  She was born on 17th March 1886 in London.  Her Mother was Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia and her Father was Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (no wonder the Royal Family changed their name during the First World War).

Princess Patricia was a bridesmaid at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York – the future King George V and Queen Mary.

Patricia travelled with her family to Canada in 1911 when her Father was appointed Governor General of Canada.   Her portrait was on the One Dollar note of the Dominion of Canada issued in March 1917.

When the War broke out, Canada answered the call immediately. Montreal millionaire  Andrew Hamilton Gault – who had served with the Royal Canadian Rifles in South Africa – decided to found a unit of elite troops who had already experienced action. He raised a regiment of light infantry and asked permission to use Princess Patricia’s name.  So Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry came into being and the princess was their Colonel-in-Chief until her death.  

She designed and embroidered a banner for the regiment to carry into battle  Princess Patricia also designed the cap badge and collar badges for the regiment – depicting a single daisy, in honour of Hamilton Gault’s wife, Marguerite.

The Regiment attended and the band played at Princess Patricia’s wedding in 1919 to commoner The Hon. Alexander Ramsay, after which she gave up her royal title and became Lady Patricia Ramsey.

The Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry Regiment still exists in Canada today, with their HQ in Edmonton – 
Photo:  Presenting the Colours

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