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Camilla attends reception for Royal Lancers at Draper’s Hall in London

On Thursday, Camilla joined 200 veterans and serving officers from the 9th/12th Royal Lancers.

The regiment marked its last annual Officers’ Dinner before merging with The Queen’s Royal Lancers, to form The Royal Lancers, this coming May.

The pre-dinner reception was held at Draper’s Hall in London.

The Duchess met with guests at the pre-dinner reception and gave a short speech before departing.

The 9th/12th Royal Lancers are a formation reconnaissance regiment, presently attached to 7th Armoured Brigade, the famous Desert Rats.

They are the eyes and ears for the Brigade Commander of over 5,000 soldiers, working to collect information and intelligence on the enemy and environment in advance of the front line.

Formed from the consolidation of the two regiments, the 9th Queens Royal Lancers and the 12th Royal Lancers, on 11th September 1960.

Since then they have been deployed all around the world from Afghanistan to Northern Ireland and many points in between.

Since the formation in July 1715, in reaction to the Jacobite rebellion against King George I. The 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers and the 12th Royal Lancers has been connected.

Named after their founders, Major General Owen Wynne of the 9th and Brigadier Phineas Bowles of the 12th, they became the first dragoon and then light dragoon regiments.

Retitled as lancers following the Napoleonic Wars, the 12th became a Royal Regiment in 1817 and 9th became the 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers on orders from King William IV in 1830.

Having both served in Ireland, the regiments would meet again during the Peninsula War in 1811.

In 1815, the 12th fought at Salamanca before moving on to fight with the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

In 1857, both Regiments fought during the Indian Mutiny. It was during these battles; the 9th was awarded 12 Victoria Crosses and acquired their famous nickname The Delhi Spearmen.

They joined together again during 1899 – 1902 to fight in the South African War, taking part in the Relief of Kimberley and Diamond Hill, the final battle of the war.

The two regiments came together again in North Africa under the banner of the 8th Army in September 1941. The 9th guided the way at El Alamein while the 12th were the first British troops to connect with the American forces in Tunisia.

Both regiments were dispatched to Italy in 1944 where the 12th saw combat in the East of Cassino. The 9th were engaged in the battle for the Gothic Line. In April 1945 the 12th Lancers were the first Allied troops to arrive in Venice.

Since World War II, the Desert Rats have fought in most conflicts including first and second Gulf wars and Afghanistan.

Camilla has a personal connection to the Desert Rats. Her father, Major Bruce Shand, served with the Desert Rats in the Second World War before he was captured during the Battle of El Alamein. Major Shand was awarded two military crosses.

Featured photo credit: The Duchess of Cornwall via photopin (license)

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