On joining, all members of the British Army swear an oath of allegiance to the ruling Sovereign, as by tradition the loyalty of the Army is to the Monarch and not the State. It is also traditional to have a member of the Royal Family as the honorary head, or Colonel-in-Chief, of the Regiment.
Since 21st April 2006 HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO has continued a long family association with the Regiment and its forebears in that capacity. His first message to the Regiment is reproduced below:
"When I was a small boy I was well aware that my father wore this enormous bearskin with his Guards uniform, but I was also aware that there were other soldiers who were not so flamboyant and that they fought in county regiments and that those who were in the Northamptonshire Regiment treated my mother (HRH Princess Alice) with great respect because she was their Colonel-in-Chief. This seemed to me much more important than the bearskin, which was just something that made it difficult to get through doors!"
"I am therefore very proud to think that half a century later I should be asked to take over the role my mother played so conscientiously, as Regiments merged, and the Royal Anglians came into being."