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Nice photograph of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as Colonel-in-Chief of 'The Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians)'. Formed in 1881 by the amalgamation of the '100th (Prince of Wales's Royal Canadian) Regiment of Foot' and the '109th Regiment of Foot (Bombay Infantry)', the Regimental District comprised the counties of Longford, Meath, Westmeath, King's County and Queen's County, in the historic Irish province of Leinster. The battalions of the regiment fought in the Second Boer War, and on the Western Front and in the Middle East during World War One. From 1921 to 1922 the 2 nd Battalion undertook occupation duties in Upper Silesia, based at Oppeln. In 1922, along with the four other infantry regiments and one Special Reserve cavalry regiment which recruited in southern Ireland, the Leinster Regiment was disbanded, a casualty of the formation of the Irish Free State under a nationalist government. The Prince of Wales was Colonel-in-Chief from 1919 until disbandment. We see here the regimental cap-badge and officers' collar insignia, which comprised the heraldic badge of the Prince of Wales (plume of ostrich feathers, coronet, and the motto 'Ich Dien').

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  • 4 months later...

Hi Andrew !! Great to see the UK and Ireland having its own sub-section !!

 

We see here His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales wearing the Royal Navy's officers' Number 5 Dress, or 'Undress', (which was the everyday' Service Dress' of officers of the Royal Navy), with the single row of gold oak- leaf embroidery on the peaked cap worn by officers of the rank of Commander, Captain or Commodore, (2 nd Class). The Prince of Wales was promoted to Captain, RN, on the 8 th July, 1919, a rank which he held until his promotion to Admiral on the 1 st January, 1935. Here are some photographs chronicling the career of His Royal Highness naval Prince Edward of Wales, later The Prince of Wales, later, and briefly, His Imperial Majesty The King-Emperor. Relevant dates are:

 

  • 1907: His Royal Highness Prince Edward of Wales joins the 'Royal Naval College, Osborne' (the junior training establishment for naval cadets), aged 13.
  • 1909: joins the 'Royal Naval Naval College, Dartmouth' (the senior training establishment for naval cadets), aged 15.
  • 6 th May, 1910: death of His Majesty King Edward VII. Accession of HM King George VHRH Prince Edward of Wales becomes heir-apparent and assumes the title of HRH The Duke of Cornwall.
  • 23 rd June, 1910: HRH The Duke of Cornwall created HRH The Prince of Wales by HM King George V.
  • 22 nd June, 1911: passes out of the 'Royal Naval Naval College, Dartmouth', and rated as a Midshipman.
  • 17 th March, 1913: promoted Lieutenant (under 8 years' seniority), RN
  • 8 th July, 1919: promoted Captain, RN
  • 1 st January, 1935: promoted Admiral.
  • 20 th January, 1936: death of HM King George V. Accedes to the throne as' His Majesty, Edward the Eighth, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India '.
  • 21 st January, 1936: assumes the rank of Admiral of the Fleet.

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Preparation for a life in uniform . . . the three eldest children of His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall and York (later H.M. King George V); circa 1901.

 

Left: His Royal Highness Prince Albert of Cornwall and York (later H.M. King George VI) (1895-1952).

 

Centre: Her Royal Highness Princess Mary of Cornwall and York (later H.R.H. Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood) (1897-1965).

 

Right: His Royal Highness Prince Edward of Cornwall and York (later H.M. King Edward VIII) (1894-1972).

 

The royal princes are wearing child-sized versions of the Royal Navy’s ‘Class II Dress, No. 3’ for seamen, which was the standard working-rig, and in which order of dress the white lanyard was attached to a clasp-knife, carried in a pocket on the left breast (though probably not on this occasion!).

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H.R.H. Prince Edward of Wales, Cadet, R.N., in the 1901 pattern ‘Round Jacket’; circa 1907.

 

In 1907, H.R.H. Prince Edward of Wales (his title between 1901 and 1910) joined the ‘Royal Naval College, Osborne’, located on the Isle of Wight, and which was the junior training establishment for the cadets of the Royal Navy.

 

Prior to World War One, the uniforms of all ranks above Warrant Officer the Royal Navy were those prescribed by the ‘Uniform Regulations for Officers of the Fleet’ of 1891, although certain elements had been altered in subsequent years by Admiralty Orders; the updated regulations appeared each year in the January edition of the ‘Navy List’. The main pattern change since 1891 had been for those insignia, buttons and accoutrements which bore the Royal Crown, and by extension those items of uniforms which displayed such insignia and buttons: all these items became newly christened ‘1901 pattern’ in that year, the change necessitated by the death of Queen Victoria, and the wish by her son King Edward VII to replace the unregulated designs of the Crown used during his mother’s reign with a new, definite, heraldic representation, known as the ‘Tudor Crown’. Despite this change in nomenclature, and the obvious addition of the new crown, the 1901 pattern items were otherwise no different to the 1891 patterns hitherto in use: plus, those articles of Dress which had not displayed the Royal Crown continued to be referred to as ‘1891 pattern’. Within the Military Branch of the Royal Navy, the ‘Uniform Regulations for Officers of the Fleet’ determined the Dress of (i) Flag Officers (Admirals of the Fleet, Admirals, Vice Admirals, and Rear Admirals), (ii) Commodores (‘Commodore’ was a temporary title and rank, held by senior Captains, and divided into 1st and 2nd Class), (iii) Commissioned Officers (all commissioned ranks from rank Captain down to Sub-Lieutenant), (iv) Mates (a rank existing between 1912 and 1931 for those Warrant Officers and Petty Officers, under the age of 25, who were deemed suitable for promotion to commissioned rank, and who wore the uniform of a Sub-Lieutenant), (v) Subordinate Officers (i.e. Midshipmen and Naval Cadets), (vi) Commissioned Warrant Officers, and (vii) Warrant Officers.

 

In this photograph, dating to around 1907, Prince Edward wears the 1901 pattern ‘Round Jacket’, which in the Royal Navy’s Military Branch was the regulation wear for Midshipmen and Naval Cadets on those occasions when other officers were prescribed Number 1 Dress ‘Full Dress’, Number 2 Dress ‘Ball Dress’, Number 3 Dress ‘Frock Coat with Epaulettes Dress’, Number 4 Dress ‘Frock Coat Dress’, Number 6 Dress ‘Mess Dress’, or Number 7 Dress ‘Mess Undress’. The ‘Round Jacket’ comprised a short, seven-button single-breasted blue cloth coat with stand collar; the front was always worn unfastened, revealing the six-button 1901 pattern ‘Morning Waistcoat’ worn underneath. For Balls, Midshipmen and Naval Cadets wore the four-button 1901 pattern ‘Evening Waistcoat (White)’, and, for Mess events, the 1901 pattern ‘Evening Waistcoat (Blue)’. Each of the straight cuffs on the ‘Round Jacket’ bore three buttons arranged horizontally, each button sitting atop a notched hole of vertical black twist. In the Royal Navy, Naval Cadets were distinguished on the collar by a button and notched hole of white twist, while Midshipmen wore the same but on a white collar patch, known as a ‘turn-back’ (in the Royal Naval Reserve [R.N.R.] the twist and turn-backs were blue, and in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve [R.N.V.R.] they were maroon). The type of shirt collar worn with the black necktie was, at this date, usually a matter of personal taste; either a wing collar, as seen here, or a stand collar, or, and increasingly popular, a stiff stand-and-fall type. The white cap cover, made from ribbed marcella cloth, was always worn with white trousers or tropical clothing; in the United Kingdom, and in British home waters, it was worn, as seen here, with navy-blue trousers from 1st May to 30th September inclusive; when in navy-blue uniform abroad, it was worn at the discretion of the Senior Naval Officer present. The ‘Round Jacket’ was abolished for Naval Cadets in 1919, athough it continued to be worn by Midshipmen.

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H.R.H. Prince Edward of Wales, Cadet, R.N., in the 1901 pattern ‘Round Jacket’; Spithead, 3rd August, 1907.

 

This photograph was probably taken at the Review of the Home Fleet undertaken by King Edward VII on 3rd August, 1907, at Spithead, on the Solent. Prince Edward is seen here with Sir Charles Leopold Cust, 3rd Baronet, Commander, R.N., C.M.G., M.V.O. (1864–1931), who from 1901 to 1912 was Equerry to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (H.M. King George V from 1910).

 

Prince Edward wears the 1901 pattern ‘Round Jacket’, while Sir Charles wears the Commissioned Officers’ Number 1 Dress ‘Full Dress’.

 

The oil portrait is of Sir Charles Leopold Cust, 3rd Baronet, G.C.V.O., C.B., C.M.G., painted in 1929, by which date he had advanced to Captain, R.N. He is shown wearing the Officers’ Number 2 Dress ‘Ball Dress’; before 1919 this order of Dress was worn only by Flag Officers, Commodores (1st and 2nd Class), Commissioned Officers, Mates and Subordinate Officers. For Flag Officers, Commodores (1st and 2nd Class), Commissioned Officers and Mates, this consisted of the 1901 pattern ‘Undress Tail Coat’, 1901 pattern ‘Epaulettes’, 1891 pattern ‘Laced Trowsers’, 1901 pattern ‘Evening Waistcoat (White)’, white gloves, together with the full panoply of Orders, Decorations, and Medals (although for ‘Ball Dress’ miniature medals were worn). Subordinate Officers, i.e. Midshipmen and Naval Cadets, wore the ‘Round Jacket’ in Number 2 Dress. After 1919, Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers were entitled to wear ‘Ball Dress’, and at the same ‘Undress Tail Coat’ was abolished, except for Flag Officers, Commodores (both 1st & 2nd Class), and Captains, who retained it as an optional item of wear; its replacement was the 1901 pattern ‘Jacket’, i.e. the short, hip-length mess jacket, which was worn by all Officers, from Flag to Warrant rank.

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H.R.H. Prince Edward of Wales, Cadet, R.N., in the Officers’ Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’; circa 1907.

 

As depicted on a cigarette card, Prince Edward is wearing the Officers’ Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’, which was the everyday ‘Service Dress’ of Officers of the Royal Navy. Prince Edward wears a stiff stand-and-fall shirt collar worn as an alternative to the wing collar.

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H.R.H. Prince Edward of Wales, Cadet, R.N., in the Officers’ Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’; Osborne House, Isle of Wight, 2nd August to 6th August, 1909.

 

H.R.H. Prince Edward of Wales, Cadet, R.N., is seen here with, amongst others, his grandfather (H.M. King Edward VII), his father (H.R.H. The Prince of Wales), and his first cousin, once removed, i.e. H.I.M. Czar Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, with the latter’s family. The two royal families were closely related and on friendly terms. Nicholas was a nephew of King Edward VII’s consort, Queen Alexandra, and the Czarina was a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria. King Edward VII had been one of the Czarina’s godfathers, and treated her very affectionately. The event was the visit of the Russian Imperial Family to the Isle of Wight between the 2nd and 6th August, 1909, during the week of the Cowes Regatta. During the visit, the Czar reviewed the Royal Navy at Spithead, dressed in the uniform of an Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal Navy, having been granted that rank honorarily in 1908. Prince Edward, seen here as a Naval Cadet in Officers’ Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’, subsequently showed his ‘Uncle Nicky’ round the ‘Royal Naval College, Osborne’, which was located on the Isle of Wight within the grounds of Osborne House, a former favourite royal residence of Queen Victoria.

 

The second photograph shows H.M. King Edward VII in the Full Dress of an Admiral of the Imperial Russian Navy, and H.I.M. Czar Nicholas II wearing the regulation Number 1 Dress ‘Full Dress’ for Flag Officers of the Military Branch of the Royal Navy, with the rank insignia of an Admiral of the Fleet. ‘Full Dress’ was the prescribed uniform for:

  • State occasions, at home and abroad.
  • when receiving the Sovereign or other Crowned heads, at ports at home and abroad.
  • at ceremonies or entertainments when the Senior Officer present considered it desirable to do special honour to the occasion.

In 1913, within the Military Branch, the Flag Officers’ Number 1 Dress ‘Full Dress’ was worn by:

  • Flag Officers.
  • Commodores (1st Class). This was a temporary title and rank, held by senior Captains, who when holding this appointment ranked and commanded after Rear Admirals.

and comprised:

  • 1904 pattern Flag Officers’ ‘Full Dress Coat’, i.e. a navy-blue, double-breasted coatee, the skirt lined with white kerseymere; two rows of eight buttons down the front of the coat, a horizontal row of three buttons on each hip below the flap, and two buttons on the back waist seam (each of these back waist buttons being encircled by 1-inch (25.4 mm) lace, forming a point above each button); white stand collar, 2 inches (50.8 mm) high, fully embroidered with gold oak leaves and acorns, trimmed with gold lace along top and front edges; navy-blue skirt-flaps, three-pointed and scalloped, edged all around in 1¾-inch (44.4 mm) gold lace; and navy-blue cuffs, each bearing rows (rings) of gold rank distinction lace (indicating individual rank), plus a scalloped white ‘slash’ (three-pointed, three-buttoned), fully embroidered with gold oak leaves and acorns.
  • 1901 pattern ‘Epaulettes’: for Admirals, Vice-Admirals, Rear-Admirals, and Commodores (1st Class), these comprised a buttoned, plain gold lace strap, with pearl crescent and edging of gold; for Admirals of the Fleet, the same, but with a gold lace strap embroidered with gold oak leaves and acorns. The ‘Epaulettes’ of Flag Officers were fringed with a 3-inch (76.2 mm) deep double row of loose dead and bright bullions, while Commodores (1st Class), had the same but made up of bright bullions only. Insignia, in silver, denoting the individual rank of the Officer was also displayed on each epaulette.
  • 1898 pattern ‘Dress Aiguillette’, of gold wire basket cord (worn by Admirals of the Fleet only).
  • 1891 pattern ‘Laced Trowsers’, i.e. navy-blue trousers with a gold lace stripe down the outside seam. For Flag Officers and Commodores (1st Class), the gold stripe was 1¾-inch (44.4 mm) wide.
  • 1901 pattern ‘Cocked Hat’, i.e. a black bicorne (worn fore-and-aft), comprising blue and gold bullion tassels at front and rear points, and a black silk cockade on the right side, upon which fastened a button. For Flag Officers, and Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class), the side flaps were bound all round with gold lace (1-inch showing on each side), and on the cockade were three loops of dead and bright bullion, 1⅝ inches (41.3 mm) in circumference, the centre loop twisted and looped round the button.
  • 1827/1846 pattern ‘Royal Navy Officers’ Sword’, with 1891 pattern sword-knot (blue & gold cord with barrel-shaped mould covered with blue and gold gimp, with blue bullion at end).
  • 1856 pattern ‘Sword Scabbard’, of black leather, with gilt lockets and chape. For Flag Officers, and Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class), the lockets were ornamented with oak leaves, acorns and volutes, and the chape with oak leaves, acorns, honeysuckle and volutes.
  • 1901 pattern ‘Full Dress Sword Belt’, comprising a gilt, circular, clasp-buckle, a black silk webbing girdle (1½-inch wide) with gold wire embroidery, and two suspension slings (each 1-inch wide). For Flag Officers and Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class), the clasp-buckle had embossed laurel edges, encompassing a laurel wreath, within which was a crowned foul anchor, while the embroidery took the form of gold oak leaves and acorns down the middle of girdle and slings, this being margined with a straight gold line near each edge.
  • plain white gloves.

As mentioned above, rank insignia was worn on cuffs and ‘Epaulettes’, as follows – Admirals of the Fleet: a band of 1¾-inch (44.4 mm) rank distinction lace around each cuff, with four rows (rings) of -inch (15.9 mm) lace above, the upper row forming a curl 2 inches (50.8 mm) in diameter in the middle of the sleeve; on the ‘Epaulettes’, an open laurel wreath, enclosing crossed batons, within the crescent, surmounted by a crown. Admirals: a band of 1¾-inch (44.4 mm) rank distinction lace around each cuff, with three rows of ⅝-inch (15.9 mm) lace above, the upper row forming a curl 2 inches (50.8 mm) in diameter in the middle of the sleeve; on the ‘Epaulettes’, three small eight-pointed stars within the crescent, above them crossed sword and baton surmounted by a crown. Vice-Admirals: a band of 1¾-inch (44.4 mm) rank distinction lace around each cuff, with two rows of ⅝-inch (15.9 mm) lace above, the upper row forming a curl 2 inches (50.8 mm) in diameter in the middle of the sleeve; on the ‘Epaulettes’, two small eight-pointed stars within the crescent, above them crossed sword and baton surmounted by a crown. Rear-Admirals: a band of 1¾-inch (44.4 mm) rank distinction lace around each cuff, with one row of ⅝-inch (15.9 mm) lace above, forming a curl 2 inches (50.8 mm) in diameter in the middle of the sleeve; on the ‘Epaulettes’, one large eight-pointed star within the crescent, above it crossed sword and baton surmounted by a crown. Commodores (1st Class): on the cuffs, the same as Rear-Admirals; on the ‘Epaulettes’, a foul anchor within the crescent, above it two small eight-pointed stars surmounted by a crown (this insignia on the ‘Epaulettes’ was also worn by Commodores [2nd Class], and Captains over 3 years’ seniority).

 

As an Admiral of the Fleet, H.I.M. The Emperor of Russia wears a gold cord ‘Dress Aiguillette’ on his right shoulder, the only Flag Officer to do so merely by virtue of his rank; all other Officers who wore this aiguillette did so as a distinction of appointment, whether as retired Flag Officers holding senior positions (and with it historic naval titles) within the Royal Household; as Honorary Physicians, Honorary Surgeons, Naval Aides-de-Camp or Equerries, all to H.M. the King; or as Naval Equerries to Members of the Royal Family. As demonstrated by The Czar to good effect in the third photograph, the full regalia of Orders, Decorations, and Medals, was always worn with ‘Full Dress’. Prominent amongst those seen here is the insignia of a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter (K.G.), both the Breast Star (a silver eight-pointed star with a gold and enamel centre, depicting the cross of St George encircled by the Garter), and the Riband, i.e. a sky-blue (properly ‘kingfisher-blue’) sash, from which is suspended over the right hip the oval, gold, pierced Badge of the Order, also known as the ‘The Lesser George’. The Emperor had received the Order of the Garter from H.M. Queen Victoria while he was still Cesarevitch, on 1st July, 1893. Czar Nicholas also wears the Badge of the Royal Victorian Chain around his collar, suspended from a gold chain; this award had been conferred upon him by H.M. King Edward VII on 6th September, 1904.

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H.R.H. Prince Edward of Wales, Cadet, R.N., in the 1901 pattern ‘Round Jacket’; circa 1909.

 

Prince Edward wears the 1901 pattern ‘Officers’ Cap’, of navy-blue cloth, with black mohair band, black leather chinstrap, and plain black leather peak. This plain black leather peak was worn by Commissioned Officers below the rank of Commander, and by all Subordinate Officers, Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers: for those officers of Commander rank and above, who were entitled to gold oak leaf embroidery (for the Civil Branches, plain gold embroidery), peaks were covered in navy-blue cloth and bound in black leather. The 1901 pattern ‘Officers’ Cap’ was essentially identical to that of the 1891 regulations, except for the alteration of the Officers’ 'Cap Badge' to now depict the ‘Tudor Crown’ (for Officers of the Military Branch, the crown was embroidered in gold and silver, and surmounted a wreath of gold laurel leaves surrounding a silver foul anchor, all embroidered on a navy-blue cloth ground; for the Civil Branches, the crown, wreath, and foul anchor were all in gold). Prince Edward wears the white lanyard that was usually only worn by Naval Cadets with Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’, the free end being tucked into the breast pocket.

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, Cadet, R.N., in the 1901 pattern ‘Round Jacket’; circa 1910.

 

In 1909, H.R.H. Prince Edward of Wales joined the ‘Royal Naval College, Dartmouth’, located in Devon, and which was the senior training establishment for the Cadets of the Royal Navy. On 6th May, 1910, H.M. King Edward VII died, with his son, H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, succeeding him as King George V. Prince Edward was now heir to the throne. Between 6th May and 23rd June, 1910, Prince Edward was known as H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall. On 23rd June, 1910, King George V created his son H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, the customary title for the heir-apparent to the British, throne, as indicated by this German postcard.

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, Cadet, R.N., in the 1901 pattern ‘Round Jacket’; 1910-1911.

 

That we see Prince Edward still wearing the uniform of a Naval Cadet indicates that this photograph was taken between his creation as Prince of Wales, on 23rd June, 1910, and his qualification for the rank of Midshipman, which occurred on 22nd June, 1911. This photograph shows clearly the buttons, and notched holes of vertical black twist, worn as cuff embellishments by Midshipmen and Naval Cadets on the ‘Round Jacket’. We see here the new style of ‘Officer’s Cap’ that began to gradually replace the 1901 pattern during the years before World War One, being higher and wider, with a lower cap band. The badge, chinstrap and peak remained the same, however. Despite this new fashion, some officers retained the 1901 pattern throughout World War One, as the dimensions of the new style cap were only officially increased in 1919. The use of the white cap cover narrows the date of this photograph down even further, to June-September, 1910, or May-June, 1911.

 

The colour postcard, with a painting based on this photograph of Prince Edward, shows one of the three Bellerophon-class ‘Dreadnought’ battleships launched in 1907, and commissioned into service with the Royal Navy in 1909.

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H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall/H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, Cadet, R.N., in the Officers’ Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’; 7th May to 30th September, 1910.

 

A fine study of the Officers’ ‘Undress’ uniform as worn by Naval Cadets. The ‘Undress’ uniform was the everyday ‘Service Dress’ of Officers of the Royal Navy, prescribed for:

 

(with or without sword and sword belt, as the situation demanded)

  • drills, exercises and occasions of duty afloat other than those for which another Order of Dress was prescribed.
  • patrol, dockyard duties and landing parties.

(without the sword and sword belt)

  • Officers at home ports going to or from their place of residence.
  • all other ordinary day-to-day occasions ashore or afloat, or in His Majesty's dockyards.

In 1913, within the Military Branch, the Officers' Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’ was worn by:

  • Flag Officers.
  • Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class)
  • Commissioned Officers.
  • Mates.
  • Subordinate Officers.
  • Commissioned Warrant Officers.
  • Warrant Officers.

and comprised:

  • 1901 pattern ‘Undress Coat’ (commonly known as a ‘Reefer Jacket’, or ‘Monkey Jacket’), i.e. double-breasted, navy-blue coat of sufficient length to cover the hips, with: two rows of four buttons; padded turn-down collar; and round cuffs. Rank insignia was indicated as follows: (i) Flag Officers, Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class), Commissioned Officers and Mates: on the cuffs, rows (rings) of gold rank distinction lace according to rank, the same as for ‘Full Dress’ but without the cuff-slash; (ii) Subordinate Officers: on the collar, for Midshipmen, button and notched hole of white twist on white collar patches (‘turn-backs’); for Naval Cadets, button and notched hole of white twist only, with no collar patches; (iii) Commissioned Warrant Officers: on the cuffs, a ½-inch (12.7 mm) ring of gold lace above three buttons, each button atop a notched hole of vertical blue twist; (iv) Warrant Officers: on the cuffs, three buttons, each button atop a notched hole of vertical blue twist; Warrant Officers over 10 years’ seniority wore, in addition, a ¼-inch (12.7 mm) row of gold lace above the buttons, while Warrant Officers under 10 years’ seniority wore no rank distinction lace at all.
  • white shirt and black silk or satin necktie.
  • 1901 pattern ‘Morning Waistcoat’, i.e. navy-blue, single breasted, with six buttons.
  • 1891 pattern ‘Plain Trowsers’: plain navy-blue; or, 1891 pattern ‘White Trowsers’: plain white.
  • 1901 pattern ‘Officers’ Cap’: navy-blue, with black mohair band, black leather chinstrap, and for the Military Branch either: (i) Flag Officers, and Commodores (1st Class): peak covered in navy-blue cloth, bound in black leather, and ¾-inch (19.1 mm) gold oak leaf embroidery around all edges; (ii) Commodores (2nd Class), Captains, and Commanders: peak covered in navy-blue cloth, bound in black leather, and ¾-inch (19.1 mm) gold oak leaf embroidery on front edge; or (iii) Commissioned Officers under the rank of Commander, Mates, Commissioned Warrant Officers, and Warrant Officers: plain black leather peak.
  • 1891 pattern ‘Gaiters’: black leather, 10 inches (254 mm) high. Worn for landing parties, and, when ordered, in muddy, or wet weather.
  • 1827/1846 pattern ‘Royal Navy Officers' Sword’, with 1891 pattern Officers’ sword-knot, worn by Flag and Commissioned Officers, plus Mates; or, 1901 pattern ‘Dirk’, with 1891 pattern dirk-knot, worn only by Midshipmen and Naval Cadets; or, 1827/1846 pattern ‘Royal Navy Warrant Officers’ Sword’, with 1891 pattern Officers’ sword-knot, worn only by Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers.
  • 1856 pattern ‘Sword Scabbard’, of black leather; gilt lockets and chapes variously ornamented with oak leaves, acorns, honeysuckle and volutes (for Flag Officers, and Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class), or, lines, fluted threads, and volutes (for all other Commissioned Officers, Mates, Commissioned Warrant Officers, and Warrant Officers); or, 1879 pattern ‘Dirk Scabbard’, of black leather; gilt locket, with two rings, and at bottom a gilt pointed shoe.
  • 1901 pattern ‘Undress Sword Belt’; or 1901 pattern ‘Undress Dirk Belt’. The ‘Undress Sword Belt’ had a gilt, circular, clasp-buckle, with embossed laurel edges, crown, and foul anchor in the centre. Flag Officers and Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class), had the same, but with an extra laurel wreath surrounding crown and anchor. The girdle was of plain black Morocco leather, 1½-inch (38.1 mm) wide; and two suspension slings, ¾-inch (19.1 mm) wide. The ‘Undress Dirk Belt’ was exactly the same as the ‘Undress Sword Belt’, but with shorter slings; it was worn by Subordinate Officers only.
  • plain brown dogskin or buckskin gloves.

With this uniform, only the ribbons of Orders, Decorations and Medals were worn. The ‘Undress Sword Belt’ was always worn under the ‘Undress Coat’. Instead of the sword, Midshipmen and Naval Cadets carried the 1901 pattern ‘Dirk’, utilising the ‘Undress Dirk Belt’, also worn under the coat. Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers carried a simpler version of the 1827/1846 pattern sword, which had first been prescribed for use by Warrant Officers in 1832; however, in 1918 they adopted the more ornate Officers’ design. Insignia worn on Number 5 Dress by Midshipmen and Naval Cadets followed that worn on the ‘Round Jacket’ in terms of the collar distinctions, although the cuffs were without the buttons or notched hole and twist embellishments.

 

In ‘Undress’, Naval Cadets would normally wear a white lanyard around the neck of the ‘Undress Coat’ (colloquially known as the ‘Reefer Jacket’, or ‘Monkey Jacket’), with the free end tucked into the left breast pocket. We can date this photograph to the months of May to September, 1910, due to (i) the mourning band worn on his left arm, and (ii) the white cap cover on his peaked cap. By command of H.M. King George V, the officers of the Royal Navy were to wear mourning for the late King Edward VII in the form of a black crape mourning band on the left arm, as per naval regulations, and to do so for a period of six months, from 7th May to 6th November, 1910. The white cap cover, with navy-blue trousers, was regulation wear for officers of the Royal Navy between 1st May and 30th September inclusive, when in the United Kingdom, British home waters, or on foreign station. Between the death of H.M. King Edward VII, on the 6th May, 1910, and the 23rd June, 1910, Prince Edward was known as H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall; on the 23rd June, 1910, he was created, and known thereafter as, H.R.H. The Prince of Wales.

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., Midshipman, R.N., in the 1901 pattern ‘Round Jacket’; H.M.S. Hindustan, 1911.

 

On the 22nd June, 1911, Prince Edward passed out of the ‘Royal Naval Naval College, Dartmouth’ and was rated as Midshipman. We see here the Midshipman’s collar insignia of white ‘turn-back’, with button and notched hole of white twist. The cuff embellishments, i.e. buttons and notched holes of black twist, were the same as those worn by Naval Cadets. During hot weather in the United Kingdom and its waters, or in warmer climates that nonetheless fell short of requiring the wearing of Number 8 Dress ‘White Undress’, Officers of a particular vessel or shore establishment could, at the discretion of the Senior Officer present, be ordered to wear plain white trousers with Number 3 Dress ‘Frock Coat with Epaulettes’, Number 4 Dress ‘Frock Coat’, and Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’. Unofficially, navy-blue uniforms worn with white trousers were known as ‘semi-tropical’. Because Subordinate Officers wore the ‘Round Jacket’ in lieu of the ‘Frock Coat’, when other Officers were ordered to wear white trousers in Number 3 and Number 4 Dress, Midshipmen and Naval Cadets would simply wear white trousers with the ‘Round Jacket’. The white cap cover was always donned when white trousers were ordered to be worn.

 

Prince Edward carries here the 1901 pattern ‘Dirk’. After decades of unregulated designs, the 1856 Officers’ Dress Regulations introduced a definite pattern of dirk for Midshipmen and Naval Cadets. This design was replaced by a newer, longer, pattern in 1879, which formed the basis of the pattern prescribed by the ‘Uniform Regulations for Officers of the Fleet’ of 1891: the 1901 pattern changed the crowned foul anchor in the langet on the cross-piece to the new ‘Tudor Crown’ design, and was slightly longer overall, having a 17¾ inches (45.1 cm), etched, blade. The grip was white fish-skin, the pommel in the form of a lion’s head, and the dirk-knot was a miniature form of the regulation blue and gold cord sword-knot; the black leather scabbard (with gilt locket and shoe) was suspended from the ‘Undress Dirk Belt’, worn under the waistcoat when wearing the ‘Round Jacket’, or under the ‘Reefer Jacket’ in Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’.

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HRH The Prince of Wales, KG, Midshipman, RN, in the Officers' Number 5 Dress' Undress'; HMS Hindustan, 1911.

 

We see Prince Edward here wearing the 'semi-tropical' version of the officer's 'Undress' uniform, ie the navy-blue 'Undress Coat' worn together with plain white trousers, and white, ribbed, marcella cap cover. He wears the distinctive Midshipman's collar insignia ie white 'turn-back', with button and notched hole of white twist. This photograph clearly shows the main features of the 'Reefer', ie double-breasted, with two rows of four buttons, padded turn-down collar, flapless slashed side pockets, and a flapless slash pocket on the left breast. As prescribed by 'King's Regulations & Admiralty Instructions', each Midshipman had to provide himself with a sextant and telescope, with their condition regularly inspected. The carrying, under the arm, of the telescope on deck by an officer indicated his status as 'Officer of the Watch'; he was assisted in this rôle by the 'Midshipman of the Watch', also wielding a telescope, as seen here. Edward became Prince, automatically, a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter (KG), the most senior and the oldest British Order of Chivalry, when he was created Prince of Wales The on the 23 rd June, 1910; he received the Insignia of the Order at his installation ceremony on 10 th June, 1911.

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., Midshipman, R.N., in the Officers’ Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’, H.M.S. Hindustan, October 1911.

 

The preparation for the coronation of H.M. King George V, in June, 1911, had prevented Prince Edward from undertaking the customary training cruise which usually preceded a Naval Cadet’s qualification as Midshipman. To compensate, and despite the new duties which Prince Edward now had to undertake as The Prince of Wales (and which had ended his plans to serve some years as a full-time naval officer), once the coronation was over it was decided that he would spend three months on active sea-duty with the Fleet, as a junior Midshipman. Therefore, from 1st August to October 26th, 1911, Prince Edward served aboard H.M.S. Hindustan, a King Edward VII-class ‘pre-Dreadnought’ battleship, of the 2nd Battle Squadron, 2nd Division, Home Fleet.

 

Pictured here with The Prince is Captain Henry Hervey Campbell, M.V.O., A.D.C., R.N. (1865-1933), Commanding Officer of H.M.S. Hindustan. Campbell was an old friend of H.M. King George V from their early days in the Royal Navy together, and had been appointed a Naval Aide-de-Camp to the King in March, 1911. He was known as a disciplinarian, and the King appointed him Governor to Prince Edward during the latter’s time aboard ship. Already a Member, he was advanced to be a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (C.V.O.) in October, 1911, at the end of Prince Edward’s service on the Hindustan. He was promoted Rear-Admiral in 1912, and retired in 1917. At his death he was an Admiral on the Retired List. Here Campbell also wears the officers’ ‘Undress’ uniform; the lack of white cap covers indicates the photograph was taken between the 1st and 26th of October, 1911.

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., Midshipman, R.N., in the Officers’ Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’; H.M.S. Hindustan, October 1911.

 

Prince Edward is seen here in the regulation pose of a ‘Midshipman of the Watch’, telescope tucked under the arm. Midshipmen in the Royal Navy were traditionally and disparagingly nicknamed ‘Snotties’, or ‘Warts’, by Commissioned Officers, and were kept under close supervision by the Sub-Lieutenants. Prince Edward was kept very busy on board the Hindustan, undertaking the full share of work assigned to Midshipmen: this included having responsibility for one of the ship’s guns, which he had to ensure was kept clean and in perfect order (the armament of H.M.S. Hindustan comprised: four 4-inch guns in pairs, four 9.2-inch guns in singles, ten 6-inch guns in pairs, fourteen 12 pounder quick-firing guns, fourteen 3 pounder quick-firing guns, two Maxims, and five torpedo tubes), plus the study of seamanship, mechanics, applied science, marine engineering, gunnery, and navigation. Clearly seen behind Prince Edward is the distinctive tampion adopted by H.M.S. Hindustan; in keeping with a ship named after the Indian Empire, it features the tusked head of an Indian elephant, cast in solid brass. The terrier was the ship’s mascot!

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., Lieutenant (under 8 years’ seniority), R.N., in the Commissioned Officers’ Number 1 Dress ‘Full Dress’; Buckingham Palace, 1913.

 

In 1912, as part of the broader education demanded of the heir-apparent, Prince Edward left full-time service with the Royal Navy to become, after some months spent in France, an undergraduate at Magdelen College, Oxford. Despite this, the naval career of The Prince of Wales progressed: on 13th March, 1913, he finally became a Commissioned Officer, although for Prince Edward this was a direct promotion to the rank of Lieutenant (under 8 years seniority), bypassing that of Sub-Lieutenant. In this photograph, one of a series taken at Buckingham Palace in 1913 of him in naval uniform, Prince Edward wears the regulation ‘Full Dress’ specified for a Lieutenant (under 8 years’ seniority) of the Military Branch of the Royal Navy (until 1918, Officers of the Civil Branches had different rank titles, did not wear the ‘Executive Curl’ on the upper row of cuff rank distinction lace, and differed in the designs of cap badge, peak embroidery, epaulettes, shoulder rank insignia, and loops on the ‘Cocked Hat’). ‘Full Dress’ was the prescribed uniform for:

  • State occasions, at home and abroad.
  • when receiving the Sovereign or other Crowned heads, at ports at home and abroad.
  • at ceremonies or entertainments when the Senior Officer present considered it desirable to do special honour to the occasion.

In 1913, within the Military Branch, the Commissioned Officers’ Number 1 Dress ‘Full Dress’ was worn by:

  • Commodores (2nd Class).
  • Commissioned Officers.
  • Mates.

and comprised:

  • 1901 pattern Commissioned Officers’ ‘Full Dress Coat’, i.e. a navy-blue, double-breasted coatee, the skirt lined with white kerseymere; two rows of eight buttons down the front of the coat, a horizontal row of three buttons on each hip below the flap, and two on the back waist seam; white stand collar (edged in gold lace according to rank group); navy-blue skirt-flaps (three-pointed and scalloped, edged in gold lace according to rank group); and navy-blue cuffs, each bearing rows (rings) of gold rank distinction lace (indicating individual rank), plus a three-pointed, three-buttoned, scalloped white ‘slash’ (edged in gold lace according to rank group).
  • 1901 pattern ‘Epaulettes’ (plain gold lace strap, with pearl crescent and edging of gold; double row of bright bullion fringe, depth dependent on rank); or, 1901 pattern ‘Shoulder Scales’ (plain gold lace strap, with pearl crescent and edging of gold; unfringed), both bearing individual rank insignia (‘Shoulder Scales’ were worn by Sub-Lieutenants and Mates only).
  • 1891 pattern ‘Laced Trowsers’, i.e. navy-blue trousers with a gold lace stripe down the outside seam (width of stripe being dependent on rank group); or, for Sub-Lieutenants and Mates only, the 1891 pattern ‘Plain Trowsers’, i.e. plain navy-blue trousers.
  • 1901 pattern ‘Cocked Hat’, i.e. a black bicorne (worn fore-and-aft), comprising: blue and gold bullion tassels at front and rear points; side flaps bound all round with black silk embroidered with oak leaves and acorns; and a black silk cockade on the right side, upon which fastened a button and loops of gold bullion (number and design of loops being dependant on rank group. Commodores (2nd Class), had the flaps bound with gold lace, as worn by Flag Officers and Commodores (1st Class), and wore the same bullion loops as Flag Officers and Commodores (1st Class).
  • 1827/1846 pattern ‘Royal Navy Officers’ Sword’, with 1891 pattern sword-knot (blue & gold cord with barrel-shaped mould covered with blue and gold gimp, with blue bullion at end).
  • 1856 pattern ‘Sword Scabbard’, of black leather, with gilt lockets and chape. The lockets were ornamented with lines, fluted threads, and volutes. Commodores (2nd Class), carried the scabbard prescribed for Flag Officers and Commodores (1st Class), i.e. lockets ornamented with oak leaves, acorns and volutes, and the chape with oak leaves, acorns, honeysuckle and volutes.
  • 1901 pattern ‘Full Dress Sword Belt’, comprising: a gilt, circular, clasp-buckle, of a design common to all Commissioned Officer rank groups, except for Commodores (2nd Class); a girdle (1½-inch (38.1 mm)wide); and two suspension slings (each 1-inch wide). The girdle and slings were all of black silk webbing, with gold wire embroidery, the specific design being dependent on rank group, except for Commodores (2nd Class).
  • plain white gloves.

In addition, when in this uniform, the full regalia of Orders, Decorations, and Medals, was always worn. As we see from the above, the basic ‘Full Dress’ worn by Commissioned Officers was differenced not only by the insignia of individual rank worn on cuffs and shoulder, but also more broadly by those distinctions of detail and embellishment that distinguished rank group, as follows:

 

(i) Commodores (2nd Class), Captains and Commanders

Coat

Collar
: 1¼-inch (31.8 mm) wide lace on top and front edges, ½-inch (12.7 mm) on lower edge.
Cuff-slash
: ¾-inch (19.1 mm) lace on top, lower, and scalloped edges.
Skirt-flaps
: 1½-inch (38.1 mm) lace all round. In addition, Commodores (2
nd
Class), and Captains also wore 1-inch (25.4 mm) lace encircling each of the two buttons on the back waist, forming a point above each button.

Epaulettes

Commodores (2
nd
Class) and Captains
: 3-inch (76.2 mm) deep fringe.
Commanders
: 2¾-inch (69.9 mm) deep fringe.

Trousers

1½-inch (38.1 mm) wide lace stripe down the outside seam.

Cocked Hat

Commodores (2
nd
Class)
: As for Flag Officers and Commodores (1
st
Class), i.e. side flaps bound all round with gold lace (1-inch showing on each side), and on the cockade three loops of dead and bright bullion, 1
⅝-inch
(41.4 mm) in circumference, the centre loop twisted and looped round the button.
Captains and Commanders
: side flaps bound all round with black silk of oak-leaf and acorn design (1-inch showing on each side); two loops of bright bullion, 1½-inch (38.1 mm) in circumference, the inner loop twisted round the button.

Scabbard

Commodores (2
nd
Class)
: As for Flag Officers and Commodores (1
st
Class), i.e. ornamented with oak leaves, acorns, honeysuckle and volutes.
Captains and Commanders
: ornamented with lines, fluted threads, and volutes.

Sword Belt

Commodores (2
nd
Class)
: As for Flag Officers and Commodores (1
st
Class), i.e. clasp-buckle with embossed laurel edges, crown, foul anchor, and laurel wreath in the centre; embroidery of gold oak leaves and acorns down the middle of girdle and slings, and margined with a straight gold line near each edge.
Captains and Commanders
: clasp-buckle with embossed laurel edges, crown, and foul anchor in the centre; three straight lines of gold embroidery, one down the middle, and one at each margin near the edge of both girdle and slings.

Rank Insignia

Commodores (2
nd
Class)
: a band of 1¾-inch (44.4 mm) rank distinction lace around each cuff, and a circle l¾ inches (44.4 mm) in diameter above it, formed of ½-inch (12.7 mm) distinction lace; on the ‘Epaulettes’, a crown above two small eight-pointed stars, above an anchor with chain cable.
Captains
: four rows of ½-inch (12.7 mm) lace around each cuff, the upper row forming a curl 1¾ inches (44.4 mm) in diameter in the middle of the sleeve; if a
Captain over 3 years’ seniority
, a crown above two small eight-pointed stars, above an anchor with chain cable, if a
Captain under 3 years’ seniority
, a crown above one small eight-pointed star, above an anchor with chain cable.
Commanders
: three rows of ½-inch (12.7 mm) lace around each cuff, the upper row forming a curl 1¾ inches (44.4 mm) in diameter in the middle of the sleeve; a crown above an anchor with chain cable.

 

(ii) Lieutenants over 8 years’ seniority (known as Lieutenant-Commanders from 1914), Lieutenants under 8 years’ seniority (known as Lieutenants from 1914), Sub-Lieutenants and Mates

Coat

Collar
: 1-inch (25.4 mm) wide lace on top and front edges, ½-inch (12.7 mm) on lower edge.
Cuff-slash
: ½-inch (12.7 mm) lace on top, lower, and scalloped edges.
Skirt-flaps
: 1-inch (25.4 mm) lace all round.

Epaulettes and Shoulder Scales

Lieutenants over 8 years’ seniority (Lieutenant-Commanders) and Lieutenants under 8 years’ seniority (Lieutenants)
: 2¾-inch (69.9 mm) deep fringe.
Sub-Lieutenants and Mates
: Shoulder Scales (unfringed).

Trousers

Lieutenants over 8 years’ seniority (Lieutenant-Commanders) and Lieutenants under 8 years’ seniority (Lieutenants)
: 1¼-inch (31.8 mm) wide lace stripe down the outside seam.
Sub-Lieutenants and Mates
: no lace stripe (i.e. ‘Plain Trowsers’).

Cocked Hat

Side flaps bound all round with black silk of oak-leaf and acorn design (1-inch showing on each side); one loop of bright bullion, 1½ inches (38.1 mm) in circumference, twisted round the button.

Scabbard

Ornamented with lines, fluted threads, and volutes.

Sword Belt

Clasp-buckle with embossed laurel edges, crown, and foul anchor in the centre; two straight lines of gold embroidery, one at each margin near the edge of both girdle and slings.

Rank Insignia

Lieutenants over 8 years’ seniority (Lieutenant-Commanders)
: two rows of ½
-inch (12.7 mm) rank
distinction lace around each cuff, with a row of ¼-inch (6.3 mm) lace between them, the upper row forming a curl 1¾-inch (44.4 mm)in diameter in the middle of the sleeve; on the epaulettes, a small eight-pointed star above an anchor with chain cable.
Lieutenants under 8 years’ seniority (Lieutenants)
: two rows of ½
-inch (12.7 mm) rank
distinction lace around each cuff, the upper row forming a curl 1¾ inches (44.4 mm)in diameter in the middle of the sleeve; on the epaulettes, an anchor with chain cable.
Sub-Lieutenants and Mates
: one row of ½
-inch (12.7 mm) rank
distinction lace around each cuff, forming a curl 1¾ inches (44.4 mm) in diameter in the middle of the sleeve; on the shoulder scales, an anchor with chain cable

 

Flag Officers and Commodores (1st Class) wore the Flag Officers’ Number 1 Dress ‘Full Dress’. Subordinate Officers of the Military Branch wore the ‘Round Jacket’ in lieu of ‘Full Dress’. Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers also wore Number 1 Dress ‘Full Dress’, but their 1901 pattern uniform was of a different design; however, in 1918 they adopted the Commissioned Officers’ ‘Full Dress’, with appropriate rank insignia. In 1919, Commodores (2nd Class) ceased to wear the Flag Officers’ ‘Cocked Hat’, ‘Full Dress Sword Belt’, and ‘Sword Scabbard’, instead adopting those worn and carried by Captains.

 

As we have discussed, the full regalia of Orders, Decorations, and Medals, was always worn with ‘Full Dress’, and thus we see Prince Edward wearing the insignia of a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter (K.G.), both the Breast Star (a silver eight-pointed star with a gold and enamel centre, depicting the cross of St George encircled by the Garter), and the Riband, i.e. a sky-blue (properly ‘kingfisher-blue’) sash, from which is suspended, over the right hip, the oval, gold, pierced Badge of the Order, also known as the ‘The Lesser George’. The medals worn are, from left to right: the Queen Victoria Jubilee Medal, 1897 [in gold for members of the Royal Family]; the King Edward VII Coronation Medal, 1902; and the King George V Coronation Medal, 1911. On ‘Collar Days’ of the Order of the Garter, as with all Orders of Chivalry and Knighthood, the Riband would be replaced in ‘Full Dress’ by the Collar of the Order.

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., Lieutenant (under 8 years’ seniority), R.N., in the Officers’ Number 3 Dress ‘Frock Coat with Epaulettes Dress’; Buckingham Palace, 1913.

 

‘Frock Coat with Epaulettes Dress’ was prescribed for:

  • When receiving their Royal Highnesses, the Prince and Princess of Wales; Heirs to Thrones, or other Members of the British and of Foreign Royal Families; at Ports at home and abroad (all masthead flags being hoisted).
  • Courts-Martial.
  • Funerals.
  • Boarding foreign ships-of-war.
  • Exchanging visits of ceremony with Foreign Officers, or other Foreign Functionaries.
  • Occasions of duty and ceremony when the ‘Frock Coat Dress’ was not sufficient.

In 1913, within the Military Branch, the Officers’ Number 3 Dress ‘Frock Coat with Epaulettes Dress’ was worn by:

  • Flag Officers.
  • Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class).
  • Commissioned Officers.
  • Mates.
  • Subordinate Officers.
  • Commissioned Warrant Officers.
  • Warrant Officers.

and comprised:

  • 1901 pattern ‘Frock Coat’, i.e. navy-blue knee-length coat, lined with black silk; double-breasted, with two rows of five buttons down the front of the coat, but only four buttoning; two buttons at the back of the waist seam, each one at the top of a side edge extending half-way down the pleat of the skirt, with a button at the bottom of each side edge; hook to support the Sword Belt fitted at the left waist; shoulders fitted for ‘Epaulettes’/‘Shoulder Scales’, the fittings covered with navy-blue cloth (‘Frock Coats’ for Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers were plain, as these ranks wore neither ‘Epaulettes’ nor ‘Shoulder Scales’); and round cuffs with the following insignia: (i) Flag Officers, Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class), Commissioned Officers, and Mates: rows (rings) of gold rank distinction lace according to rank, the same as for ‘Full Dress’ but without the cuff-slash; (ii) Commissioned Warrant Officers: a ½-inch (12.7 mm) ring of gold lace above three buttons, each button atop a notched hole of vertical blue twist; (iii) Warrant Officers: three buttons, each button atop a notched hole of vertical blue twist; Warrant Officers over 10 years’ seniority wore, in addition, a ¼-inch (6.3 mm) ring of gold lace above the buttons, while Warrant Officers under 10 years’ seniority wore no rank distinction lace at all.
  • 1901 pattern ‘Epaulettes’, or 1901 pattern ‘Shoulder Scales’, exactly as prescribed for ‘Full Dress’ (‘Shoulder Scales’ being worn by Sub-Lieutenants and Mates only; Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers wore neither ‘Epaulettes’ nor ‘Shoulder Scales’).
  • white shirt and black silk or satin necktie.
  • 1901 pattern ‘Morning Waistcoat’.
  • 1891 pattern ‘Plain Trowsers’, or 1891 pattern ‘White Trowsers’.
  • 1901 pattern ‘Cocked Hat’, exactly as prescribed for ‘Full Dress’. Commissioned Warrant Officers: the same as for Lieutenants, Sub-Lieutenants and Mates. Warrant Officers: the same as for Lieutenants, Sub-Lieutenants and Mates, but with neither bullion loop nor button.
  • 1827/1846 pattern ‘Royal Navy Officers' Sword’, with 1891 pattern sword-knot; or, 1827/1846 pattern ‘Royal Navy Warrant Officers’ Sword’, with 1891 pattern Officers’ sword-knot, worn only by Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers.
  • 1856 pattern ‘Sword Scabbard’, of black leather, with gilt lockets and chapes. The lockets were ornamented with lines, fluted threads, and volutes. Flag Officers and Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class) had lockets ornamented with oak leaves, acorns and volutes, and the chape with oak leaves, acorns, honeysuckle and volutes.
  • 1901 pattern ‘Full Dress Sword Belt’ or, for Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers only, the 1901 pattern ‘Undress Sword Belt’. Commodores (2nd Class) wore the oak-leaf and acorn design prescribed for Flag Officers and Commodores (1st Class). Before 1912, the ‘Undress Sword Belt’ had been worn with ‘Frock Coat with Epaulettes Dress’ by Flag Officers, Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class), and Commissioned Officers (see illustration of the Sub-Lieutenant, below), but after this date it was worn with this uniform by Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers only.
  • plain white gloves.

According to regulations, ‘Frock Coat with Epaulettes Dress’ was to be worn displaying the ribbons of Decorations and Medals only, although, as seen here, this instruction was often ignored. In addition, for those Orders of Chivalry and Knighthood whose insignia in ‘Full Dress’ consisted of both the Badge suspended from a Riband worn across the shoulder, and the Breast Star, in ‘Frock Coat with Epaulettes Dress’ the Breast Star alone was worn (as here). For those Orders whose insignia in ‘Full Dress’ comprised the Badge suspended from a ribbon around the neck, plus the Breast Star, in ‘Frock Coat with Epaulettes Dress’ both were still worn, albeit with a black bow tie in lieu of the normal sailor knot. Subordinate Officers of the Military Branch wore the ‘Round Jacket’ in lieu of ‘Frock Coat with Epaulettes Dress’.

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., Lieutenant (under 8 years’ seniority), R.N., in the Officers’ Number 4 Dress ‘Frock Coat Dress’; Buckingham Palace, 1913.

 

‘Frock Coat Dress’ was prescribed for:

 

(with sword and sword belt)

  • When receiving their Royal Highnesses, the Prince and Princess of Wales; Heirs to Thrones, or other Members of the British and of Foreign Royal Families; at Ports at home and abroad (all masthead flags being hoisted).
  • ‘Divisions’ (i.e. parade and inspection) on Sunday.
  • Inspections by Commander-in-Chief or Senior Officer.
  • Visit to Commander-in-Chief or Senior Officer.
  • Attending examinations.
  • Surveys at hospital.
  • When Officer of the Guard (except when boarding foreign ships-of-war, when ‘Frock Coat with Epaulettes Dress’ worn).
  • Ordinary occasions of duty and ceremony on shore.
  • Sunday in harbour after ‘divisions’.

(without sword and sword belt)

  • Officers wearing uniform on leave in daytime.
  • Dances or entertainments, afloat or ashore, in the daytime.
  • Receptions in the daytime (the Senior Officer present could direct that swords be worn).

(with sword belt only)

  • Officer of the Watch, in harbour.

In 1913, within the Military Branch, the Officers’ Number 4 Dress ‘Frock Coat Dress’ was worn by:

  • Flag Officers.
  • Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class).
  • Commissioned Officers.
  • Mates.
  • Subordinate Officers.
  • Commissioned Warrant Officers.
  • Warrant Officers.

and comprised exactly the same elements as ‘Frock Coat with Epaulettes Dress’ with the following exceptions:

  • ‘Epaulettes’ or ‘Shoulder Scales’ were not worn.
  • the ‘Officers’ Cap’ was worn in lieu of the ‘Cocked Hat’.
  • the ‘Undress Sword Belt’ was worn by Flag Officers, Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class), Commissioned Officers and Mates, in lieu of the ‘Full Dress Sword Belt’.

Subordinate Officers of the Military Branch wore the ‘Round Jacket’ in lieu of ‘Frock Coat Dress’. Prince Edward is following regulations here, and only wearing the ribbons of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Medal, 1897, King Edward VII Coronation Medal, 1902, and the King George V Coronation Medal, 1911. Although in ‘Frock Coat Dress’ the Breast Star alone of the insignia of Orders of Chivalry and Knighthood could be worn, it was optional, and at the discretion of the Officer concerned.

 

The Prince of Wales is shown carrying the regulation sword for Flag Officers, Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class), Commissioned Officers, and Mates of the Royal Navy. Although at this date the sword had most recently been described in the 1891 ‘Uniform Regulations for Officers of the Fleet’, and had been manufactured since 1901 with the ‘Tudor Crown’, these pattern dates were not used as part of the weapon’s nomenclature: instead, because of their longevity in service, to a basic design still in use today, Officers’ swords are commonly described as being of the 1827/1846 pattern; 1827 being the year the Royal Navy introduced the Gothic-style, solid hilt, half-basket guard, design into service, and 1846 being the date of introduction of the flat-backed blade, to replace the unsatisfactory pipe-backed blade previously used. The sword has a solid cast brass hilt, gilt-mounted, comprised of the following: a triple-bar, half basket guard, with an embossed, crowned, foul anchor in a cartouche; a lion-head pommel (the lion’s mane flowing down to form the back-piece); and a white fish-skin grip, bound with three gilt wires. The sword-knot is the 1891 pattern (blue & gold cord with barrel-shaped mould covered with blue and gold gimp, with blue bullion at end); and the ‘Sword Scabbard’ is the 1856 pattern, of black leather, in this case of the type ornamented with lines, fluted threads, and volutes, as carried by Commissioned Officers, Mates, Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers.

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., Lieutenant, R.N., in the Officers’ Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’; Buckingham Palace, 1913.

 

Another photograph from the series made in 1913 depicting The Prince of Wales in the various Orders of Dress he would wear as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy.

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., Lieutenant (under 8 years’ seniority), R.N., in the 1901 pattern Officers’ ‘Great Coat’; 1913.

 

Prince Edward is seen here at sea, sometime after 17th March, 1913, on which date he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (under 8 years’ seniority). He wears the 1901 pattern Officers’ ‘Great Coat’, which in the Military Branch of the Royal Navy was worn over all Orders of Dress, as and when required, by Flag Officers, Commodores (both 1st and 2nd Class), Commissioned Officers, Mates, Subordinate Officers, Commissioned Warrant Officers, and Warrant Officers. ‘Epaulettes’ or ‘Shoulder Scales’ were not to be worn on the ‘Great Coat’.

 

The greatcoat was of navy-blue cloth, double-breasted, with two rows of six buttons, and had a stand-and-fall collar. The back of the greatcoat had a full-length box pleat, and at centre of the back at waist level was a cloth strap forming a half-belt, fastened with two buttons. The skirt of the greatcoat extended down to 14 inches (35.6 cm) above the ground, and on each hip was a slash side pocket, with flap. The sword, when worn with the ‘Great Coat’, was to be hooked up, with only the hilt protruding through a slit located above the left side pocket.

 

1901 pattern ‘Shoulder Straps for Commissioned and Warrant Officers’ were, in the Military Branch, worn with the ‘Great Coat’ by Flag Officers, Commodores (1st and 2nd Class), Commissioned Officers, Mates, Commissioned Warrant Officers, and Warrant Officers. These shoulder straps, which were of navy-blue cloth, 5¼ inches (133.4 mm) long, 2¼ inches (57.2 mm) wide, pointed at the top, and with a button, were of the same pattern as worn by these ranks with Number 8 Dress ‘White Undress’, Number 9 Dress ‘White Mess Dress’ and Number 10 Dress ‘White Mess Undress’. In 1913, the ‘Shoulder Straps for Commissioned and Warrant Officers’ displayed rank insignia as follows: (i) Flag Officers, and Commodores (1st Class): the top of the strap covered with 2-inch (50.8 mm) wide gold lace, showing a margin of ⅛-inch (3.2 mm) navy-blue cloth; the same rank devices worn as on the epaulettes, but with the large star l¾-inch (44.4 mm), and the small stars 1-inch (25.4 mm), in diameter; (ii) Commodores (2nd Class), Commissioned Officers, Mates, Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers: rows of distinction lace, the same as worn on the sleeves of the 'Frock Coat' and 'Undress Coat'; Warrant Officers under 10 years’ seniority, who wore no rank distinction lace on the cuffs, were distinguished by plain, unadorned straps, bearing nothing but the button.

 

Subordinate Officers did not wear shoulder straps with the ‘Great Coat’, and were therefore distinguished as such by this very lack of rank insignia. The distinctive collar insignia and cuff embellishments, indicative of Midshipmen and Naval Cadets, were not worn on the ‘Great Coat’.

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., G.M.M.G., G.M.B.E., M.C., K.St.J., A.D.C., Captain, R.N., in the Officers’ Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’; H.M.S. Renown, August 1919.

 

Upon the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Prince Edward was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, subsequently serving as an Officer on the General Staff. He was decorated with the Military Cross (M.C.) on 3rd June, 1916; appointed a Knight of Justice of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in England (K.St.J.) on 2nd June, 1917, appointed Grand Master of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (G.M.B.E.) on 4th June, 1917; and appointed Grand Master of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (G.M.M.G.) on 24th October, 1917. Advancing through the ranks of the Army, Prince Edward was promoted to Colonel on 15th April, 1919. On 3rd June, 1919, H.M. King George V appointed him as a Personal Aide-de-Camp (A.D.C.). Still a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, he was promoted directly to Captain on 8th July, 1919, jumping two ranks in the process.

 

Between the beginning of August and the end of November, 1919, Prince Edward conducted an extended official tour of Canada, Newfoundland, and the United States of America. We see here the usual ‘Undress’ of an Officer of the Royal Navy, worn for everyday duties, with the four rows (rings) of ½-inch (12.7 mm) distinction lace around each cuff which indicated the rank of Captain. Before 1915, the curl on the upper ring (known as the ‘Executive Curl’) was worn by Officers of the Military Branch only, but in that year this feature was extended to Engineer Officers. In 1918, all Officers of the Royal Navy were granted permission to display the curl, as in that year all distinctions of uniform and title of rank was abolished between Officers of the Military and the various Civil Branches. However, the Officers of each of the Civil Branches still retained the coloured branch distinction cloth, known as ‘lights’, worn between the rings of rank lace, as well as a ranch-specific prefix to their rank title, e.g. ‘Paymaster Lieutenant-Commander’. Also in 1918, the rank insignia worn by Commissioned Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers on the ‘Reefer Jacket’ of the Officers’ Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’ (and on the ‘Frock Coat’), was revised: the three buttons, worn on each cuff with corresponding notched holes of vertical blue twist, were abolished, and all Warrant Officers, irrespective of seniority, now wore the single ¼-inch (6.3 mm) row of rank distinction lace. Commissioned Warrant Officers retained the single ½-inch (12.7 mm) ring of rank distinction lace (making them now indistinguishable, in ‘Undress’, from Sub-Lieutenants and Mates).

 

Although Prince Edward was a Personal A.D.C. to H.M. The King, the ‘Dress Aiguillette’, which distinguished this appointment, was not worn in ‘Undress’. We see clearly here the regulation ‘Officers’ Cap’ as worn by Commodores (2nd Class), Captains, and Commanders, identified by the ¾-inch (19.1 mm) gold oak leaf embroidery on front edge of the navy-blue, cloth covered, peak. The white cap cover, made of ribbed marcella cloth, is being worn here, dating this photograph to the outward journey to Canada, during August 1919. The Prince of Wales travelled to, and from Canada, on board the battlecruiser H.M.S. Renown. Launched in 1916, she was at the time of The Prince of Wales’s tour in 1919 assigned to the Battlecruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet.

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., G.M.M.G., G.M.B.E., M.C., K.St.J., A.D.C., Captain, R.N. in the Officers’ Number 5 Dress ‘Undress’; Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 18th August, 1919.

 

This was, reputedly, Wallis Simpson’s favourite photograph of her husband. Prince Edward’s broad grin was in response to one of the spectators in the crowd, who, as The Prince of Wales signed a visitors’ book, shouted out ‘Watch out, Prince, you’re signing the pledge!’ (i.e. the commitment to abstain from alcohol for life).

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