Her Majesty the Queen Mary, Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen's Own Rifles
with Officers of the 1st Bn, Mandora Barracks, Aldershot, 10 September 1941.
This wonderful anecdotal story involving Queen Mary illustrates the close bond that the monarchy has maintained throughout history with Commonwealth regiments:
Queen Mary, widow of George V, was colonel-in-chief of the Queen's Own Rifles, and, immediately before the regiment's departure from England for the beaches of Normandy in June 1944, attended a dinner in their honour.
Steve Harris, chief historian at National Defence, remembers his father, Jack, an officer in the regiment at the time, telling him of the Queen's post-dinner cigarette.
"Queen Mary smoked," Harris says, "and there were the typical stamped metal 'Drink Moosehead Ale' ashtrays in the officers' mess.
"So there's this kind of tawdry blue-and-gold, metal ashtray," he continues. "It's after the dinner, they're going to have a cigarette, and that's the nearest ashtray. She begins to use it, and somebody — because they had one crystal ashtray — very quickly tried to replace the 'Drink Moosehead Ale' ashtray with the crystal one, and her answer was — and my father heard her say it:
'No ... if it's good enough for my soldiers, it's good enough for me.'"