Princess Patricia was the daughter of the Duke of Connaught, and a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria. The Princess visited Canada several times before the First World War and often acted as hostess in Ottawa during her father's illness. She is said to have endeared herself to Canadians by her simple, natural manners, lack of stiff etiquette, and love of Canadian games and outdoor sports.
In 1914, Princess Patricia gave her name to Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, and became its Colonel in Chief in 1918 – a position she held until her death in 1974. The Regiment distinguished itself many times during the Great War and particularly during the Battle of Passchendaele on 30 October 1917 when two VC's were awarded - to Lieutenant Hugh McKenzie and Sergeant George Harry Mullin.