Today the Colours of the Princess Louise’s (13th London) Kensington Regiment were laid-up at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall. The historic occasion took place at the annual remembrance ceremony hosted by the Regiment and the Royal Borough. Presiding over the service was Father Jonathan MacNeany (Associate Priest of St Mary Abbots Church Kensington) who noted the significant time in the Regiment’s history as it enters a new phase of its life.
The Colours were delivered into the care of the Borough by the Squadron Colonel, Col. (Retd) Simon Hutchinson MBE and received on behalf of the Borough by the Mayor, Cllr. Marie-Therese Rossi who both agreed that there was no more fitting place for the Colours to be laid-up. In fact, this wasn’t the first time the Borough had taken custody of the Colours, during the First World War they were handed over to the Mayor of Kensington and held in the Town Hall for safe keeping.
The Colours, hand-stitched by the ladies of the Royal Borough under the supervision of HRH Princess Louise, were first presented to the Kensingtons by King Edward VII in 1909. The ceremony at Windsor Castle saw the King present 98 separate sets of colours to infantry battalions. It is believed that the Colours presented to the Kensingtons are the last remaining of the 98 presented on that day.
In 1947 the Kensingtons were converted to become a unit in the Royal Corps of Signals and in the 1990’s the Colours underwent repair when Captain (Retd) Mark Barraclough (who joined the regiment in 1955) led a campaign by the Regimental Association that raised £4000 to see them restored.
While the Colours of the Regiment have now been formally laid-up, strong numbers and a focus on the modern delivery of operational capabilities ensures an exciting future for the Squadron as part of the Royal Corps of Signals. In 2018, reservist soldiers from 71 Signal Regiment, of which the Kensingtons’ successors now form part, have deployed with their regular counterparts to locations including Gibraltar, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands.