The Chapel of The Queen's Royal Regiment
In the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Guildford
A church has existed on the present site since the 14th Century but the present church dates from 1763. In 1927, when the Diocese of Guildford was created, Holy Trinity became the pro-Cathedral, and remained so until the new Cathedral was consecrated in 1961. It then returned to its previous status of Parish and Civic Church. The Queen’s Royal Regiment had its home and Depot in Guildford, generations of soldiers from The Queen’s and their families have worshipped here and it has been the scene of many Regimental celebratory and commemorative occasions.
In the north east corner of the church is the Regimental Chapel, for many years accepted as such although, as far as is known, never formally officially so dedicated. It came into prominence after the South African War (1899-1902) but its military connection would seem to go further back into history than that, for under the floor of the Chapel lie the mortal remains of many officers and men of the 2nd Royal Surrey Militia who later became the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, The Queen’s.
It is known that when Trinity Church was enlarged in 1888-89 work was carried out on the chancel, the Queen’s Chapel, and the organ chamber. A short history in Guildford Public Library records that an old Colour “was laid up in the Queen’s Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Guildford on St Michael’s Day 1894”.
The Queen’s Royal Regiment: The Regiment was raised in 1661 for the specific purpose of garrisoning Tangier, which was part of the dowry brought by the Portuguese Princess, Catherine of Braganza on her marriage to King Charles II. The Queen’s Royal Regiment’s first title was The Tangiers Regiment and it paraded on Putney Heath on the 14th October 1661 under Henry, Earl of Peterborough, who became its first Colonel. He was also appointed Chief Governor of Tangier where the Regiment served from 1661-1684. Its first Battle Honour ‘Tangier 1662- 1680’ is the oldest in the British Army. During its history it had several titles, becoming The Queen’s (Second) Royal Regiment of Foot, on 1st July 1751. On the 1st July 1881 it became The Queen’s Royal (West Surrey) Regiment, its first real link with the County of Surrey. Its Depot was at Stoughton Barracks, Guildford, from 1876-1959. During this period it was the County Infantry Regiment of West Surrey.
The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment:
The Regiment was formed on 14th October 1959 from the amalgamation of The Queen’s Royal Regiment and The East Surrey Regiment.
The Queen’s Regiment and The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment: As a result of further reductions in the Army, The Queen’s Regiment was formed on the 31st December 1966 from the amalgamation of The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment, The Queen’s Own Buffs, (Royal Kent Regiment) The Royal Sussex and The Middlesex Regiment (DCO). The Regiment suffered further amalgamation in 1992. It formed with The Royal Hampshire Regiment, a new Infantry Regiment, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (Queen’s and Royal Hampshires).