badge, headdress, British, Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment)
The Star of the Order of the Thistle, in the centre St. Andrew and saltire Cross above a scroll inscribed 'The Royal Scots', all in w/m. Centre not voided. Pair of lugs to reverse.
The Royal Scots had their origins in a number of independent companies raised in Scotland in 1633 by authority of Charles I and the Scottish Privy Council, thus establishing the Scottish connection that was to stay with the successor regiment and establishing their claim as the senior Regiment of the Line. The companies were raised by John Hepburn to serve the French monarchy and in 1637 they were amalgamated to become "Le Regiment d' Hebron", later "de Douglas".
In 1661 this Regiment became part of the British establishment, although continuing to serve mainly overseas under French command, with two short periods in Britain in 1662 and 1667. The Regiment finally returned to British service in 1678.
In 1684 it became "The Royal Regiment of Foot", also known by a succession of colonels' names until 1747 when it was ranked as the 1st Regiment of Foot. In 1751 it was formally named the "1st (Royal) Regiment of Foot". In 1812 it was re-designated as the "1st Regiment of Foot (The Royal Scots)", and in 1821 was again re-named, losing the recent Scots element of its name but regaining its Royal association, becoming "1st (or the Royal) Regiment of Foot." In 1871 it was again re-named, with both the Royal and Scots elements of its title together for the first time, as "1st (The Royal Scots) Regiment of Foot."
It was at this point that the Regiment first acquired the badge comprising the Star of the Order of the Thistle with St. Andrew and the saltire in an oval frame at the centre, below which was a scroll inscribed THE ROYAL SCOTS. This remained the badge until 1881 when for a couple of months it was re-named "The Lothian Regiment (Royal Scots)", with the previous badge as the centre of the helmet plate, but with a crown superimposed over the top point of the Star. The helmet plate circlet was inscribed LOTHIANS. In July 1881 the name changed again, now to "The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)", with a similar helmet plate, now with THE ROYAL SCOTS inscribed on the circlet.
In 1921 the Regiment was again re-named, now "The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment)", re-claiming its pre-1881 badge with the Thistle Star and St. Andrew with the cross. In 1958 the Regiment became part of the Lowland Brigade, which disbanded in 1969, the Regiment regaining its independence and badge.
In 2006 the Royal Scots amalgamated with The King's Own Scottish Borderers to form "The Royal Scots Borderers", becoming the 1st Battalion of the newly formed The Royal Regiment of Scotland, wearing the latter's cap badge with a black hackle.
At various times, and certainly during the Second World War, the 1st and Territorial Battalions wore a red insert behind the voided centre of the Thistle Star version of the badge and 2nd Battalion wore a green insert. The badge as a whole was backed by a 3-inch square of Hunting Stuart tartan.