The Regiment was first raised in November 1688 by Colonel Francis Luttrell at Dunster Castle in Somerset, for service under William, Prince of Orange, following his landing at Torbay on [5 November] 1688.
In 1744, during the Wars of the Austrian Succession, the Regiment first became known as 'The Green Howards'. At that time, the Regimental Colonel was the Honourable Charles Howard, the second son of the 3rd Earl of Carlisle. Following the convention of the time, the Regiment was known as "Howard's Regiment", - after the name of the regiment's Colonel. However,in the campaign the Regiment was brigaded with another regiment whose Colonel was also called Howard. Thus, some distinction between the two regiments had to be made. As the Regiment wore green facings to its uniform, it was natural to be known as "The Green Howards". The other regiment wore buff facings, and became known as the "The Buff Howards"
The nickname "The Green Howards" stuck, and survived until 1920 when it became the official title of the Regiment.
The Regiment first became associated with, and affiliated to, the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1782 when it was granted the title of "The 19th (First Yorkshire North Riding Regiment) of Foot".
It wasn't until 1873, however, that Richmond in Yorkshire became the Regiment's home town.
In 1875 the late Queen Alexandra, then Princess of Wales and formerly a Princess of the Royal House of Denmark, presented the Regiment with new Colours to replace those which had been carried throughout the Crimean War. The Regiment was then graciously granted the title of "The Princess of Wales's Own".
In 1881, on the introduction of the territorial system, the name of the regiment was again altered to become "The Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment". Following the South African War, the word "Alexandra" was added.
Finally, in 1920 the title of the Regiment became "The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment)".