A Short History of the Cap Badges of the Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment:

1855 – 1863- 1st Volunteer Militia Company of Kingston
The formation of the first of seven volunteer Militia companies in the City of Kingston occurred on the 14th of November 1855. It was on this date that the Militia General Order authorised the formation of the “1st Volunteer Militia Company of Kingston”. Two more companies were organised in 1856 and a further four companies were organised in 1862 at the time of the Trent Affair. The cap badge of these volunteer militia companies is believed to be as shown.
16 January 1863- The 14th Battalion, Volunteer Militia Rifles, Canada
The Regiment was officially formed on 16 January 1863, when the seven independent rifle companies in Kingston were formed into a battalion. The battalion was designated S “The 14th Battalion, Volunteer Militia Rifles, Canada.”
1869- Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles
The initial permission granted to the unit to be known as the “Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles” (10 March 1869) was not official. Until official permission was received, the unit wore a Maltese Cross with the Battalion number 14, in centre. This rests on a banner containing the first use of the Regiment Motto, “NUNQUAM CEDE”. Surrounding the Battalion number, is the name of the unit shown as “PRINCESS OF WALES’ OWN RIFLES – CANADA”. The cross is surmounted by three white ostrich plumes, in the coronet of a Princess, and the Welsh Royal Motto “ICH DIEN”. This is the first use of the motto in connection with the Regiment.
1878- 14th Battalion, The Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles
On 12 June 1878 the unit was given the official title “14th Battalion, The Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles”. The new badge contained the Canadian beaver (still on our badge today), the Union Jack, the flag of Denmark (The Princess of Wales, Princess Alexandra, was a Dane). Centered above the flags is a powder horn, signifying we were a Rifle Regiment. Encircling these, the name “THE 14TH OR PRINCESS OF WALES’ OWN RIFLES, CANADA”. The whole is surrounded by Canadian Maple Leaves, and is again surmounted by the Welsh plumes, in the coronet of a Princess, and the Welsh Royal Motto “ICH DIEN”. The entirety rests on the Regimental Motto “NUNQUAM CEDE”. This was the last badge worn with Pith Helmets. This badge was quite versatile, as it was made in white metal (silver), black enamel and plain brass. In addition to it use as a helmet plate, it was also used as a crossbelt plate, and a sabretache badge. The helmet plates was too large for use with the Glengarry, when it was adopted as an undress form of headgear, so this badge was also made in a smaller size, for that use.
1907- 14th Regiment, Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles
On 8 May 1907, the unit was renamed “14th Regiment, Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles”, and this badge was worn on the new forage cap. This badge was a variation of the collar badge, already in use. It is very similar to our modern badge. The dress regulations of 1907 contain a detailed description of the badge, as follows: “The Prince of Wales’ Plume enfiled in a coronet of a Princess, resting on a waving ribbon which bears the motto ‘Ich Dien’. Surmounting the coronet and shaded by the tips of the drooping plume a circling belt with the Regimental Motto in relief ‘Nunquam Cede’. Above the circle a beaver rampant, within the Arabic Numerals ’14’.”
1922- The Kingston Regiment (The Princess of Wales’ Own)& The Princess Of Wales’ Own Regiment
At the conclusion of the First World War, the role of the unit changed from Rifle to Infantry of the Line. This was partly due to the fact that a Rifle Regiment cannot carry Colours and the Colours of the 21st Battalion CEF had passed into the hands of the Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles for safe keeping. The post-war reorganisation of the militia saw the abolishment of the designation of Regiments by number. On 15 March 1920 the Regiment was renamed “The Kingston Regiment (The Princess of Wales’ Own)”. The name was changed again on 1 April 1921 to “The Princess Of Wales’ Own Regiment”; the cap badge was also changed, with “14” being replaced by the letters “PWOR”. This badge was available to the Officers in silver or bronze. The NCOs wore it in brass.
NCM 1930 – 1989
In 1930, the Commanding Officer, LCol JC D’Esterre VD, decided that the NCMs should have a different badge than the Officers. Being a prominent local jeweller he had little difficulty arranging for the new “oval” cap badge made. This badge can be found in two variations – about 1970, the badge was made flatter, and the detail was no longer in high relief. During the 1980s, the badge was produced in anodised brass that did not require polishing. Until then, it was issued with a silver coloured coating that recruits would industriously polish away
In the late 1980s it was noted that the oval shape was in contradiction to the armorial description of the badge, which specifically calls for “a circling belt” and a beaver “above the circle”. The badge was corrected in time for the visit of Her Royal Highness, Diana, Princess of Wales, Colonel In Chief of the Regiment. This was a reversion to the 1922 pattern, in an anodised finish. This badge, available through the kitshop remains the choice of the Regiment.
VIA the CF Supply System
Subsequently, there has been another variation of the Regimental badge, which is the pattern issued though the CF Supply System. It is not popular with the soldiers, most of whom choose to purchase the other badge, at their own expense.
The Princess of Wale’s plumes enfield in a coronet of a Princess, resting on a waving ribbon which bears the motto “Ich Dien”, surmounting the coronet, and shaded by the tips of the drooping plume, a circling belt, with the regimental motto “Nunquam Cede” above the circle, a beaver rampant, and within, the letters PWOR.