The 72nd Regiment of Foot was raised in 1778 by Kenneth Mackenzie, Earl of Seaforth, as the 78th Highland Regiment (Lord Seaforth's Highlanders). In 1786 it was renumbered 72nd Highland Regiment.
In 1809 the regiment ceased to be a Highland Regiment, but regained its Highland dress and status in 1823 when its title changed to The 72nd, The Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders. Frederick Augustus, Duke of York and Albany, was younger brother to King George IV and Commander-in-Chief of the British Army.
In March 1836, the regiment was granted permission to bear on its Colours the words Cape of Good Hope to commemorate the capture of the Dutch Cape Colony on 8 January 1806.
On 1 July 1881, the 72nd united with the 78th (Highlanders) Regiment (The Ross-shire Buffs) to become the First Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, The Duke of Albany's). Both battalions having been raised by Earls Seaforth, the 1st in 1778 and the 2nd in 1793.
On 7 February 1961, The Seaforth Highlanders amalgamated with the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders to form the Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons).