Princess Royal becomes Colonel in Chief of the Intelligence Corps

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Photograph: Buckingham Palace. Crown copyright 2022

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has been named as the new Colonel in Chief of the British Army’s Intelligence Corps, it is announced today, as she met with members of the Corps at St James’s Palace.

The Princess welcomed Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Sir Jim Hockenhull KBE Colonel Commandant of the Intelligence Corps and Colonel Mike Peebles ADC The Intelligence Corps Colonel, to formally accept the honorary title, which has been bestowed upon her by Her Majesty The Queen.

The visit represents the first formal meeting of Her Royal Highness and members of the Corps, as she takes over the role previously held by her father The Duke of Edinburgh. During the audience they discussed the role of the Corps, its history, culture and ethos, and future plans.

Lt Gen Sir Jim Hockenhull said:

“The Corps Colonel and I are thrilled at the appointment of Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, as our new Colonel in Chief. The Duke of Edinburgh had a coveted relationship with the Intelligence Corps whereupon he provided leadership and inspiration to all Corps personnel.

“It is a huge honour that Her Royal Highness will be taking on this role and the Corps is looking forward to welcoming her into the strong Corps family and benefiting from her wisdom and guidance.”

Intelligence Corps personnel look forward to welcoming their new Colonel in Chief to the home of the Corps in Chicksands in the near future, where Her Royal Highness can see how it has developed and evolved. The Princess previously visited the Intelligence Corps in October 1979 when the HQ was based in Ashford.

The Duke of Edinburgh served as Colonel in Chief of the Intelligence Corps from June 1977 until his death last year at the age of 99. During his more than 40 years as Colonel in Chief, Prince Philip was keenly interested in the business of the Corps, and he was thoroughly engaged by its people. From the outset his relationship with the Corps was profoundly warm and personal.

The Intelligence Corps joins a list of British Army corps and regiments that have The Princess Royal as their Colonel in Chief, including the Royal Logistic CorpsRoyal Corps of SignalsThe Royal Army Veterinary Corps and the King’s Royal Hussars.

Her Majesty The Queen has also conferred honorary titles upon her daughter relating to armed forces within the realm of the Commonwealth. These include The Royal Newfoundland Regiment (Canada), Royal Australian Corps of Signals (Australia) and the Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corps (New Zealand), to name a few.

The Intelligence Corps was formally constituted on 19 July 1940. It is responsible for information gathering and intelligence analysis using small units and individual soldiers and officers embedded across Defence, providing critical support to decision makers. It provides Military Intelligence support to the Field Army, Defence, Intelligence Agencies and Allies. Constantly exploiting new technologies and techniques, the Intelligence Corps is dynamic, innovative and at the leading edge of the future Army in the information age.

The Corps delivers a range of specialist capabilities including Human Intelligence, Signals Intelligence analysis, Linguists, Counterintelligence, imagery analysis and covert surveillance. Its personnel work closely with UK Special Forces and the National Cyber Force with a significant number of its troops persistently deployed on global operations.

Source: British Army

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