|The Blues and Royals|
(Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons)
Badge of the Blues & Royals
|Active||29 March 1969–present|
|Part of||Household Cavalry|
RHQ – London|
Regiment – Windsor/London
|Nickname(s)||The Tin Bellies|
Honi soit qui mal y pense|
(Evil be to him who evil thinks)
Quick – "Quick March of the Blues and Royals"|
Slow – "Slow March of the Blues and Royals"
Trot Past – "Keel Row"
|The Princess Royal KG KT GCVO GCStJ QSO|
|Tactical Recognition Flash|
from Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons)
The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) (RHG/D) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army, part of the Household Cavalry. The Colonel-in-Chief is Queen Elizabeth II and the Colonel of the Regiment is Anne, Princess Royal. It is the second-most senior regiment in the British Army.
History[edit | edit source]
Formation[edit | edit source]
Since then, the new regiment has served in Northern Ireland, Germany, and Cyprus. During the Falklands War of 1982, the regiment provided the two armoured reconnaissance troops. The regiment also had a squadron on operational duty with the United Nations in Bosnia in 1994–95. Most recently, the regiment saw action in the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan.
Operational union[edit | edit source]
As a result of the Options for Change Review in 1991, the Blues and Royals formed a union for operational purposes with the Life Guards as the Household Cavalry Regiment. However, they each maintain their regimental identity, with distinct uniforms and traditions, and their own colonel. The Blues and Royals currently has two reconnaissance squadrons in Windsor, which are part of the Household Cavalry Regiment, and a mounted squadron in London as part of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
Regimental traditions[edit | edit source]
Instead of being known as the Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons, the regiment is known as the Blues and Royals and is therefore the only regiment in the British Army to be officially known by their nickname as opposed to their full name.
Newly commissioned officers in the Blues and Royals have the rank of cornet, rather than second lieutenant as is the standard in the rest of the British Army. There is no sergeant rank in the Household Cavalry; the equivalent of a sergeant in another unit is Corporal of Horse; the equivalent of Regimental Sergeant Major is Regimental Corporal Major, etc. King Edward VII established that the rank of private should be replaced by the rank of trooper in the cavalry.
The Blues and Royals is the only regiment in the British Army that allows troopers and non-commissioned officers, when not wearing headdress, to salute an officer. The custom started after the Battle of Warburg in 1760 by the Marquess of Granby, who commanded both the Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Dragoons, which were separate units at the time. During the battle, the Marquess had driven the French forces from the field, losing both his hat and his wig during the charge. When reporting to his commander, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, in the heat of the moment he is said to have saluted without wearing his headdress, having lost it earlier. When the Marquess of Granby became the Colonel of the Blues, the regiment adopted this tradition.
When the Household Cavalry mounts an escort to the Sovereign on State occasions, a ceremonial axe with a spike is carried by a Farrier Corporal of Horse. The historical reason behind this is that when a horse was wounded or injured so seriously that it could not be treated, its suffering was ended by killing it with the spike. The axe is also a reminder of the days when the Sovereign's escorts accompanied royal coaches and when English roads were very bad. Horses often fell, becoming entangled in their harnesses and had to be freed with the cut of an axe. It is also said that in those times, if a horse had to be killed, its rider had to bring back a hoof, cut off with the axe, to prove to the Quartermaster that the animal was dead and hence preventing fraudulent replacement. Today, the axe remains as a symbol of the Farrier's duties.
Uniform[edit | edit source]
The Blues and Royals wear their chin strap under their chin, as opposed to the Life Guards, who wear it below their lower lip. On service dress, the Blues and Royals wear a blue lanyard on the left shoulder, as well as a Sam Browne belt containing a whistle. In most dress orders, the Waterloo Eagle is worn on the left arm as part of dress traditions. The Blues and Royals, as part of the Household Division, does not use the Order of the Bath Star for its officer rank "pips", but rather the Order of the Garter Star.
Prince Harry wore the uniform at the wedding of his brother, Prince William, to Catherine Middleton. Both Prince Harry and Prince William also received permission from the Queen to wear the frock coat version of the uniform to Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle.
Colonels-in-Chief[edit | edit source]
The regiment's Colonels-in-Chief were as follows:
- 1969–present Queen Elizabeth II
Regimental colonels[edit | edit source]
The regiment's colonels were as follows:
- 1979–1998: General Sir Desmond Fitzpatrick
- 1998–present: Anne, Princess Royal
Battle honours[edit | edit source]
The battle honours are:
- Tangier 1662–1680, Dettingen, Warburg, Beaumont, Willems, Fuentes d'Onor, Peninsula, Waterloo, Balaclava, Sevastopol, Tel el Kebir, Egypt 1882, Relief of Ladysmith, South Africa 1899–1902
- The Great War: Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914, Messines 1914, Armentières 1914, Ypres 1914, Langemarck 1914, Gheluvelt, Nonne Bosschen, St Julien, Ypres 1915, Frezenberg, Loos, Arras 1917, Scarpe 1917, Ypres 1917, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Somme 1918, St Quentin, Avre, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Beaurevoir, Cambrai 1918, Sambre, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders 1914–18
- The Second World War: Mont Pincon, Souleuvre, Noireau Crossing, Amiens 1944, Brussels, Neerpelt, Nederrijn, Lingen, Veghel, Nijmegen, Rhine, Bentheim, North-West Europe 1944–1945, Baghdad 1941, Iraq 1941, Palmyra, Syria 1941, Msus, Gazala, Knightbridge, Defence of Alamein Line, El Alamein, El Agheila, Advance on Tripoli, North Africa 1941–43, Sicily 1943, Arezzo, Advance to Florence, Gothic Line, Italy 1943–44
- Falkland Islands 1982
- Iraq 2003*
*Awarded jointly with the Life Guards for services of the Household Cavalry Regiment
References[edit | edit source]
- "The Blues and Royals". British Army. http://www.army.mod.uk/28089.aspx. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "Prince William joins the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals)". Prince of Wales. 21 September 2006. http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/media/press-releases/prince-william-joins-the-household-cavalry-blues-and-royals. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment". Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140203050333/http://www.householdcavalry.info/mounted.html. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "BBC One - The Queen's Cavalry". Bbc.co.uk. 2005-12-20. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00tm6qf. Retrieved 2014-05-03.
- White-Spunner, p. xiv
- Interpretive sign at the Household Cavalry Museum in London.
- "The Household Cavalry – Pageantry Personified". http://beta.asoundstrategy.com/sitemaster/userUploads/site259/chouseholdcavalry.pdf. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "Household Cavalry - Uniforms And Components". Householdcavalry.info. http://householdcavalry.info/uniforms.html. Retrieved 2014-05-03.
- "Ranks and Insignia for Infantry Officers through out the Victorian Era". Victorian Strollers. http://www.victorianstrollers.co.uk/stevesuniforms/ranks.html. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
- Harding, Thomas (29 April 2011). "Royal wedding: Prince William wears RAF wings on Irish Guards tunic". The Daily Telegraph. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/royal-wedding/prince-william/8483015/Royal-wedding-Prince-William-wears-RAF-wings-on-Irish-Guards-tunic.html. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- "Meghan's wedding dress, Prince Harry's military uniform and what the guests wore | CBC News". Cbc.ca. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/meghan-and-harry-royal-wedding-fashion-1.4670809. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
- "The Blues & Royals | Badges & Buttons". Goldings.co.uk. 2014-06-20. https://goldings.co.uk/product-category/regiments/the-blues-royals/. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
- "The Blues and Royals". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on 26 December 2005. https://web.archive.org/web/20051226132409/http://regiments.org/regiments/uk/guards/c-BR.htm. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- "The Household Cavalry: Standards". Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140203054031/http://www.householdcavalry.info/standrds.html. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Alexander, Michael (1957). The True Blue: The Life and Adventures of Colonel Fred Burnaby. Fred Burnaby.
- Emerson, William (1951). Monmouth's Rebellion. Yale.
- Goulburn, Edward (1805). The Blueviad. J Maynard.
- Horsley, John (1805). The Case of John Horsley Esq.. National Army Museum: privately in London.
- Redgrave KBE MC, Major General Sir Roy (2000). Balkan Blue. Leo Cooper Pen and Sword Books.
- Warner, Philip (1984). The British Cavalry. Dent and Sons.
- Watson, J N P (1993). The Story of the Blues and Royals. Leo Cooper Pen and Sword Books.
- White-Spunner, Barney (2006). Horse Guards. Macmillan. ISBN 1-4050-5574-X.
[edit | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Category:Blues and Royals.|
- Household Cavalry Museum Website
- Official site
- Band of the Blues and Royals
- British Army Locations from 1945 British Army Locations from 1945
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