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Picture Credit: Troopers of the Blues and Royals at the Trooping the Colour parade, London, 2007. Fair Use claimed.
Attribution: Jon, CC BY 2.0<; via Wikimedia Commons. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
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The Blues & Royals is a cavalry regiment of the British Army, forming part of the Household Cavalry. The regiment was formed in 1969 when the Royal Horse Guards (Blues) and the Royal Dragoons were amalgamated. The Blues & Royals are responsible for the ceremonial duties of the British monarchy. The regiment is based at Combermere Barracks in Windsor.

Through its previous iterations, the Blues & Royals have a long and distinguished history dating back to the 17th century. It has served in numerous conflicts and campaigns, including the Napoleonic Wars, the First and Second World Wars, and more recent operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The regiment is trained in a variety of roles, including ceremonial duties, reconnaissance, and armoured warfare.

The Blues & Royals is one of two regiments of the Household Cavalry, the other being the Life Guards. The Life Guards is the most senior and oldest regiment in the British Army. The two regiments are closely associated and often work together, but they maintain their separate identities and traditions. The Blues & Royals are distinguished by its blue and red dress uniform and the plumed helmet worn by its members. The regiment’s motto is “Honi soit qui mal y pense,” which means “Shame on him who thinks evil of it” in Old French.

The Royal Horse Guards (Blues)[2]
The Royal Horse Guards (Blues) was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was one of the oldest and most senior regiments in the British Army and was responsible for ceremonial duties in London and Windsor. It was formed by King Charles II as the “Royal Regiment of Horse Guards” in 1660, shortly after the restoration of the monarchy in England.

Raised in August 1650 at Newcastle upon Tyne and County Durham by Sir Arthur Haselrigge on the orders of Oliver Cromwell as a Regiment of Horse, the regiment became the Earl of Oxford’s Regiment in 1660 upon King Charles II’s restoration. As, uniquely, the regiment’s coat was blue at the time, it was nicknamed “the Oxford Blues”, from which was derived the nickname the “Blues.” In 1750, the regiment became the Royal Horse Guards Blue and, in 1877, the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues). Initially, the regiment was responsible for protecting the king and his family and was also used for ceremonial purposes.

Throughout its history, the Royal Horse Guards (Blues) saw service in numerous conflicts and campaigns, including the Wars of the Three Kingdoms[3], the Jacobite Rising of 1745, the Napoleonic Wars, and both World Wars. The regiment was also involved in several colonial wars, including the Anglo-Mysore Wars and the Anglo-Afghan Wars.

Royal Dragoons (the Royals)[4]

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Picture Credit: Blues and Royals trooper
Attribution: Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia
Page URL:
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

The Royal Dragoons was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was formed in 1661 as the Tangier Horse and renamed the Royal Dragoons in 1673. The regiment saw service in various conflicts throughout its history, including the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, World War I and World War II. It was also involved in various colonial campaigns, including the Boer War, the Mahdist War[5] and the First and Second Gulf Wars.

In 1992, the Royal Dragoons merged with the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards to form the Royal Dragoon Guards. The regiment served as the personal bodyguard of the monarch and was responsible for guarding the royal palaces. It was later amalgamated with the Royal Horse Guards to form the Blues & Royals.

The Royal Dragoons was a prestigious and highly respected regiment known for its discipline and bravery. It was traditionally a mounted cavalry unit, but it also served in a variety of other roles, including reconnaissance and armoured warfare. The regiment was based at Combermere Barracks in Windsor.

The Household Cavalry[6]
The Household Cavalry comprises the Life Guards and the Blues & Royals regiments – the oldest and most senior regiments of the British Army. Both are part of the Household Division, a group of elite regiments responsible for providing ceremonial duties for the British monarchy.

The Household Cavalry Regiment and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment are guards corps and, along with the five Foot Guards regiments, form the Household Division. The Household Division consists of the Household Cavalry, the five Foot Guards regiments (the Grenadier Guards, the Coldstream Guards, the Scots Guards, the Irish Guards, and the Welsh Guards), and the Honourable Artillery Company. The Household Cavalry was formed in 1660 after the restoration of King Charles II to the throne following the English Civil War. The regiment was originally made up of two troops of Horse Guards, which were formed to protect the King. In 1661, the regiment was named the Life Guards, and in 1665, the Royal Horse Guards (later renamed the Blues & Royals) was formed. The Blues & Royals are known for their distinctive blue and red uniforms, which were adopted in 1750.

The Household Cavalry has a ceremonial role and provides ceremonial escort to the British monarch. It also has an operational role and is trained as a mounted cavalry unit, with soldiers serving in Afghanistan and other conflict areas – including the Falklands, Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq. The Household Cavalry is based at Combermere Barracks in Windsor and has a detachment at Hyde Park Barracks in London.

The Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) is equipped with armoured fighting vehicles and has an operational role. The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) is equipped with horses and has the unique privilege of carrying out mounted and some dismounted ceremonial duties on state and royal occasions. This includes the provision of a Sovereign’s Escort, which was most commonly seen at the monarch’s Birthday Parade in June each year. The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is also responsible for providing a Sovereign’s Escort for the British monarch during state visits by visiting heads of state and other occasions as required throughout the United Kingdom.

Snapshot: The Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons)[7]
The Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons) was a heavy cavalry regiment of the British Army. It served for three centuries and was in action during the First and Second World Wars. As previously mentioned, it was amalgamated with the Royal Horse Guards to form The Blues & Royals in 1969.

The regiment was first raised as a single troop of veterans of the Parliamentary Army in 1661. Shortly afterwards, it expanded to four troops as the Tangier Horse, taking the name from their service in the Garrison of Tangier.[8] For the next few years, the regiment defended Tangier, which had been acquired by the English Crown through the marriage of King Charles II to Catherine of Braganza in April 1662, from Moorish Cavalry.[9]

The regiment consisted of four troops, three of which were originally troops in the English Regiment of Light Horse in France attached to the French army of Louis XIV and under the command of Sir Henry Jones. They were constituted in 1672 – after Sir Henry Jones was killed during the siege of Maastricht in 1673 while serving with the Duke of Monmouth, the command was passed to the Duke. The regiment was ranked as the 1st Dragoons, the oldest cavalry regiment of the line, in 1674.

The regiment was recalled to England in 1678 (it was disbanded in France and reformed in England with most of the same officers) with the expectation of fighting in a war against France. In early 1679, it was disbanded and then reformed in June of that year as Gerard’s Regiment of Horse[10] (its Colonel being Charles Gerard), with most of the same officers and men, to police the Covenanters in Scotland. The regiment was disbanded in late 1679, and three of its captains, John Coy, Thomas Langston and Charles Nedby, together with their troopers, went out to Tangier in 1680 as reinforcements. When they returned in 1683, they joined what became a new permanent regiment of the Royal Dragoons.[11]

Snapshot: The Blues & Royals[12]
Operational Union
As a result of the Options for Change Review in 1991, the Blues & Royals formed a union for operational purposes with the Life Guards as the Household Cavalry Regiment. However, as previously mentioned, they maintain their regimental identity, with distinct uniforms and traditions, and their own Colonel. The Blues & 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.[13]

Picture Credit: Blues and Royals Honour Guard
Attribution: PO Phot Owen Cooban, OGL v1.0OGL v1.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Page: URL:

Regimental Traditions
Instead of being known as the Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons, the regiment is known as the Blues & Royals and is the only regiment in the British Army to be officially known by its nickname as opposed to its full name.[14]­­

Newly commissioned officers in the Blues & 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.[15]

The Blues & Royals is the only regiment in the British Army that allows troopers and non-commissioned officers, when not wearing a headdress, to salute an officer. The custom started after the Battle of Warburg in 1760 by the Marquess of Granby, who was in command of 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 his hat and 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. The regiment adopted this tradition when the Marquess of Granby became the Colonel of the Blues.[16]

When the Household Cavalry mounts an escort to the Monarch 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 an axe cut. 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 prevent its fraudulent replacement. Today, the axe remains a symbol of the Farrier’s duties.[17]

The Blues & 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 & Royals wear a blue lanyard on the left shoulder and 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.[18] The Blues & Royals do not use the Order of the Bath Star for its officer rank “pips” but rather the Order of the Garter Star.[19]

The modern mess dress worn by officers of the regiment reflects the traditions of the Royal Dragoons and includes a scarlet jacket with dark blue facings.[20]

Picture Credit: British Cavalry Museum” by Jason Short 2008 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Duties and roles of The Blues & Royals
Its primary role of the regiment is to provide mounted ceremonial and public duties and operational support to the British Army and other military forces. It is often seen on state occasions such as Trooping the Colour and Changing the Guard.

In addition to ceremonial duties, The Blues & Royals also have several other roles and responsibilities. These include:

  • Reconnaissance: The regiment is trained in reconnaissance, which involves gathering and relaying information about the enemy and the terrain to inform the planning of military operations.
  • Armoured warfare: The Blues & Royals is equipped with Challenger 2 tanks and other armoured vehicles and is trained in using these vehicles for combat operations.
  • Operational support: The regiment may be deployed to provide operational support to other military units, including logistics, medical, and engineering support.

Notable Events throughout its history.
Some notable events and achievements of the regiment include:

  • The Battle of Waterloo: The Royal Horse Guards (Blues) played a significant role in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
  • The Charge of the Light Brigade: The Royal Horse Guards (Blues) also took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War in 1854.
  • The First Gulf War: The Blues & Royals participated in the First Gulf War in 1991, providing reconnaissance and armoured support to the Allied forces.
  • The Second Gulf War: The Blues & Royals also served in the Second Gulf War in 2003, again providing reconnaissance and armoured support.

Overall, The Blues & Royals have a rich history of service to the British Army and has played a significant role in several important military campaigns and events throughout its history.

Snapshot: Mounted Troops[21]

Picture Credit: Battle of Waterloo 1815
Attribution: William Sadler, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL:

The British Army has a long tradition of using mounted troops, dating back to the Middle Ages, with the first recorded use of Cavalry by the English being in the 11th century. Throughout the Middle Ages, the Cavalry played a significant role in the English military and was used in various conflicts and campaigns.

Several cavalry regiments have served in the British Army, each with its unique history and traditions. Some of the best-known cavalry regiments include the Royal Horse Guards (also known as the Blues & Royals), the Royal Dragoons, the Life Guards, the Light Dragoons, and the Royal Lancers. These regiments have a proud history of service and have played a vital role in defence of the United Kingdom and its interests around the world. Some regiments have been disbanded or merged with other units over the years, while others continue to serve in the modern British Army. Perhaps the best-known cavalry regiments (with their founding dates) are:

  • Royal Horse Guards (1660)
  • Royal Dragoons (1661)
  • Life Guards (1660)
  • Light Dragoons (1992): This regiment was formed by the amalgamation of three regiments: the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary’s Own), the 15th/19th The King’s Royal Hussars, and the 16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers.
  • Royal Lancers (2015): This regiment was formed by the amalgamation of two regiments: the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’) and the Queen’s Royal Lancers.

During the early modern period, the Cavalry continued to be an important part of the British Army and played a significant role in various conflicts and wars, including the English Civil War, the Napoleonic Wars, and the First and Second World Wars.

There are currently nine regular cavalry regiments in the British Army, two of which serve as armoured regiments, three as armoured cavalry regiments, three as light Cavalry, and one as a mounted ceremonial regiment. There are also four yeomanry regiments of the Army Reserve, three of which serve as light Cavalry and one as an armoured regiment. The nine regular cavalry regiments of the British Army are:

  • The Household Cavalry (mounted ceremonial unit)
  • The Royal Armoured Corps (armoured regiments) comprising:
    >  The Royal Tank Regiment
    >  The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeth’s Own)
  • The Royal Armoured Corps (armoured cavalry regiments) comprising:
    >  The Royal Dragoon Guards
    >  The Queen’s Royal Hussars
    >  The King’s Royal Hussars
  • The Royal Armoured Corps (light cavalry regiments) comprising:
    >  The Light Dragoons
    >  The Royal Yeomanry
    >  The Queen’s Own Yeomanry

The four yeomanry regiments of the Army Reserve are:
>  The Royal Yeomanry (light Cavalry)
>  The Queen’s Own Yeomanry (light Cavalry)
>  The Royal Wessex Yeomanry (light Cavalry)
>  The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry (armoured regiment)

Each of these regiments has a unique cap badge, regimental traditions, and histories and has played important roles around the world.

Snapshot: The Life Guards of the British Army[22]
The Life Guards are a cavalry regiment and the senior regiment of the British Army’s Household Cavalry, along with the Blues & Royals. The Household Cavalry is a ceremonial and operational unit that serves as the mounted escort for the British monarch.

The Life Guards have a long and distinguished history dating back to 1660, when they were formed as the King’s Life Guard. The regiment has served in various roles over the centuries, including ceremonial duties, patrols, and combat operations. The Life Guards are currently based at Combermere Barracks in Windsor, England. They are equipped with a variety of modern weapons and equipment and are trained in a range of skills, including mounted and dismounted drill, ceremonial duties, and combat operations.

The Life Guards grew from the four troops of Horse Guards (exclusively formed of gentlemen-troopers until the transformation of the last two remaining troops into Regiments of Life Guards in 1788)[23] raised by Charles II around the time of his restoration, plus two troops of Horse Grenadier Guards (rank and file composed of commoners),[24] raised some years later.[25]

­These units first saw action during the Third Anglo-Dutch War in 1672 and then at the Battle of Sedgemoor during the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685.[26]

The 3rd and 4th troops were disbanded in 1746.[27] In 1788, the remaining 1st and 2nd troops, along with the two troops of Horse Grenadier Guards, were reorganised into two regiments, the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Life Guards (from 1877, simply 1st Life Guards and 2nd Life Guards).[28] From then on (1788), rank and file were mostly formed of commoners (pejorative nickname: “cheesemongers”),[29] and most of the gentlemen-troopers were pensioned off.[30]

In 1815 they were part of The Household Brigade at the Battle of Waterloo under Major-General Lord Edward Somerset.[31]

In 1821, the Life Guards under the command of Captain Oakes fired upon mourners trying to redirect the funeral procession of Queen Caroline through the streets in the city of London. Two civilians were killed, but although charges of manslaughter and murder were brought, no guardsmen were prosecuted.[32]

In late 1918, after much service in the First World War, the two regiments gave up their horses and were re-roled as machine gun battalions, becoming the 1st and 2nd Battalions, Guards Machine Gun Regiment. They reverted to their previous names and roles after the end of the war. In 1922, the two regiments were merged into one regiment, The Life Guards (1st and 2nd). In 1928, it was re-designated The Life Guards.[33]

During the Second World War, the Life Guards took part in the Normandy landings and the advance through France to liberate Brussels.[34]

In 1992, as part of the Options for Change defence review, The Life Guards were merged with the Blues & Royals in a ‘Union’, not an amalgamation, forming the Household Cavalry Regiment (armoured reconnaissance) and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (ceremonial duties). They have their own distinct uniforms and traditions and their own Colonel.[35] In common with the Blues & Royals, they have a peculiar non-commissioned rank structure: In brief, they lack sergeants, replacing them with multiple grades of corporal.[36]

Snapshot: Cavalry Regiments of the British Army[37]
The British Army, in the modern sense of the standing army under the Crown, was formed following the Restoration of King Charles II in 1661 when he returned from exile in continental Europe. The preceding period of the Protectorate and the civil wars ( known as the Interregnum) lasted from 1649 to 1660. At this point, the small standing forces included the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Troops of Horse Guards and the Royal Regiment of Horse – some of these had been raised in the King’s exile and some as part of the New Model Army. The horsemen of the period were equipped as cuirassiers[38], with armour on the head and the body.

The regulations of Charles II, in 1663, provided for the horsemen to be armed with “a sword and a case of pistols … each Trooper of our Guards to have a carbine besides”.[39]

By the start of the 18th century, the cavalry establishment had been divided into household and line units. The household establishment consisted of four troops of Horse Guards and two of Horse Grenadier Guards, while the regular establishment was composed of nine regiments of Horse and eight of Dragoons. The “horse” regiments would, in theory, fight mounted as Cavalry, while dragoons were originally mounted infantry – they would fight dismounted but were provided with horses for swift movement. By the middle of the century, the term had come simply to mean Light Cavalry.

Regiments were, at this time, known by semi-permanent nicknames or by the names of their colonels; in 1751, in an attempt to reduce obfuscation, regiments were assigned numbers in order of their seniority. The cavalry regiments of the line were numbered in three separate sequences; 1st through 4th Horse, then 1st through 3rd Dragoon Guards, then 1st through 14th Dragoons. “Dragoon Guards” was a new title and did not denote a Guards’ role; it was adopted by the three senior horse regiments in 1746 when King George II reduced them to the status of dragoons to save money.

The first “light horse” regiment was raised in 1745 for service in the Second Jacobite rising[40], and proved so successful that light troops were added to most cavalry regiments in 1755. In 1759, five complete regiments (the 15th to 19th of Light Dragoons were formed, and the distinction was made between the light Cavalry (Light Dragoon regiments) and the heavy Cavalry (Dragoon and Dragoon Guard regiments). Afterwards, all newly raised regiments of Cavalry would be denoted Light Dragoons.[41] By 1783, the 7th to 14th Dragoons had become the 7th to 14th Light Dragoons, changing from heavy to light roles.

In 1788, the various troops of Horse Guards and Horse Grenadier Guards were regimented, forming the 1st Regiment of Life Guards and 2nd Regiment of Life Guards; together with the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, they formed the Household Cavalry. The same year, the remaining four Horse regiments were retitled as the 4th through 7th Dragoon Guards.

The Role of Anne, the Princess Royal
Anne, the Princess Royal[42], is the Colonel of the Royal Dragoon Guards, which is the regiment that was formed by the merger of the Royal Dragoons and the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards in 1992. She has held this position since 1992.

As the Colonel, Princess Anne serves as a ceremonial figurehead for the regiment and attends events and functions to show her support for the troops. The role of the Colonel is largely ceremonial, and the day-to-day administration and command of the regiment are duties carried out by the commanding officer and other senior officers.

As Colonel of the Blues & Royals, Princess Anne rides annually in the Trooping the Colour ceremony every June. She received the appointment in 1998.

Recent Activity
Since its formation in 1969, 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.[43]

William, the Prince of Wales, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, joined the regiment as cornets[44] in 2006.[45]

Picture Credit: The Bands of the Household Division lead the procession of the Royal Family’s return from Trooping the Colour in 2018.
Attribution: Cpl Stephen Harvey, OGL v1.0OGL v1.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL:
This file is licensed under the Open Government Licence version 1.0 (OGL v1.0).

­­­­­­Random Trivia

Why do the Blues and Royals have red plumes?
It is based on helmets worn by Cavalry in the Prussian Army. Members of the Life Guards wear white plumes, while the Blues and Royals wear red. When the helmets were first introduced in the Household Cavalry, the Royal Horse Guards wore a red plume and the 1st (Royal) Regiment of Dragoons black.[46]

How do they keep so neat and tidy?
The Blues and Royals and the Life Guards are inspected on 54 different points on their ceremonial uniforms in summer and 44 in winter. The cleaning and maintenance of the uniform and a horse’s black kit can take up to 10 hours, more than four hours for what the soldier or officer would wear, and five hours for the items worn by the horse.[47]

How many horseshoes are used each year?
Each year, the horses which make up the mounted regiment get through 12,000 horseshoes, which are changed every four to six weeks due to riding on London’s roads.[48]

How long does it take to polish the Cavalry’s jackboots?
The jackboots worn by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment take seven hours per boot to polish up to their patent shine and 18 hours when new out of the box.[49]

From where do all those lovely black horses come?
The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment has a long tradition with Irish horses, especially the Calvary blacks. When Queen Elizabeth II was alive, 98% of the beautiful black horses in the Queen’s Household Cavalry were sourced in Ireland and were of Irish Draught stock.[50]

How many regiments are in the British Household Cavalry?
Two: The British Household Cavalry is made of two regiments: The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals. They are the senior regular regiments in the British Army, with traditions dating from 1660.[51]

How can you tell the difference between Life Guards and Blues & Royals?
The Life Guards have red tunics, white plumes in the helmets and white sheepskins over the saddles. The Blues & Royals have blue tunics, red plumes and black sheepskins.[52]

Why do the Guardsmen wear red tunics?
The bright red tunics of the guardsmen are very recognisable and make the guards look extremely smart. But the reason for choosing the colour red is more practical – it was one of the cheapest dyes to make. Red is the most difficult colour to see – at a distance, the tunics would merge into one bright block of colour meaning the enemy could not count the numbers of British troops they were about to fight.[53]

What do the guards do at Windsor Castle?
Detachments of guards are stationed at Windsor Castle and at the Tower of London as it is a Royal Palace and where they also guard the Crown Jewels. Take care if they are marching to their posts as they take precedence over you – you will know if you are in the way as you will hear an almighty shout of “Make way for the King’s Guard!”[54]

Can women join the Household Cavalry?
Nina Crocker, a former Sainsbury’s checkout worker, became the first woman to join the Household Cavalry – the elite group of soldiers who guard the Monarch. For 359 years, the Regiment has only allowed men to join, but the 29-year-old joined in early 2019. She had never even sat on a horse before joining The Life Guards, one of the most senior regiments in the British Army.[55] However, Lieutenant Charlotte Lord-Sallenave, commissioned into the Household Cavalry in 2018, became the first female officer in the Regiment’s history.[56]

What’s so unique about the Household Cavalry?
The Household Cavalry has a unique role in the British Army, with members of both regiments holding the rank of “Trooper” rather than “Private”, which reflects the ceremonial role of the Regiment and the fact that all members are required to be proficient in horsemanship. The Household Cavalry is the only regiment in the British Army with a mounted band, made up of brass and percussion players who perform on horseback.[57]

Sources and Further Reading


Books and Music

YouTube Videos

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End Notes and Explanations

  1. Source: Acknowledgement to various Wikipedia websites and also Machine-based artificial intelligence at: and other references as shown.
  2. Ibid
  3. Explanation: The Wars of the Three Kingdoms were a series of civil wars that took place in the British Isles from 1639 to 1651. The conflict involved three main parties: the English Royalists, who supported King Charles I; the English Parliamentarians, who opposed the king; and the Scottish Covenanters, who supported the English Parliamentarians. Ultimately, the Parliamentarians emerged victorious, and King Charles I was executed in 1649. This marked the end of the monarchy in England and the beginning of the Commonwealth, a period of direct rule by Parliament that continued until Charles II returned from exile in continental Europe on 20 May 1660, after the English Parliament invited him to take the throne and restore the monarchy following the collapse of the Commonwealth and the execution of his father, Charles I, in 1649. The wars had a lasting impact on the political landscape of the British Isles, and are still studied and remembered today.
  4. Ibid, as at 1. above.
  5. Explanation: The Mahdist War was a war between the Mahdist Sudanese of the religious leader Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah, who had proclaimed himself the “Mahdi” of Islam, and the forces of the Khedivate of Egypt, initially, and later the forces of Britain. Source:
  6. Ibid
  7. Source:
  8. Source: Mills, T.F. (2007), The Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons),
  9. Source: Brief Regimental History of the 1st The Royal Dragoons. Household Cavalry.
  10. See information at:
  11. Source: Childs, John (2013) [2006], Army of Charles II, Routledge, pp. 34–35, ISBN 9781134528592
  12. Source:
  13. Source:, cited at:
  14. Source: “BBC One – The Queen’s Cavalry”. 20 December 2005. cited at:
  15. Source: White-Spunner, Barney (2006). Horse Guards. p xiv. Macmillan. ISBN 1-4050-5574-X
  16. Source: Interpretive sign at the Household Cavalry Museum in London.
  17. Source: “The Household Cavalry – Pageantry Personified” (PDF).
  18. Source: “Household Cavalry – Uniforms And Components”.
  19. Source: “Ranks and Insignia for Infantry Officers throughout the Victorian Era”. Victorian Strollers.
  20. Source: “The Blues & Royals | Badges & Buttons”. 20 June 2014
  21. Source: Machine-based artificial intelligence at:
  22. Sources: and Machine-based artificial intelligence at: and other references as shown.
  23. Sources: (1) Magnæ Britanniæ Notitia (1716) p. 115f.: Of the Troops of the Household, and (2) Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. 8 (1797), p. 171: Horse Guards. Cited at
  24. Source: Tincey, John; Embleton, Gerry (1994). The British Army 1660-1704. Great Britain: Osprey Publishing. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-85532-381-0. Cited at
  25. Source: White-Spunner, Barney (2006). Horse Guards. p xii. Macmillan. ISBN 978-1405055741. Cited at
  26. Source: “The Life Guards”. Ministry of Defence. Cited at
  27. Source: White-Spunner, Barney (2006). Horse Guards. p xii. Macmillan. ISBN 978-1405055741
  28. Source: White-Spunner, Barney (2006). Horse Guards. p xii. Macmillan. ISBN 978-1405055741, Cited at
  29. Source: Slang Dictionaries (2014), edited by John Camden Hotten, Francis Grose, Ambrose Bierce.
  30. Source: The statutes at large from the Magna Charta, to the end of the eleventh Parliament of Great Britain, anno 1761 [continued to 1806]. By Danby Pickering (1762); Vol. 36 (London, 1788), p. 362
  31. Source: “The Life Guards”. Ministry of Defence. Cited at
  32. Source: “From the archive, 18 August 1821: Two killed in Queen’s funeral procession”. The Guardian. 18 August 2011. Cited at Cited at
  33. Sources: (1) White-Spunner, Barney (2006). Horse Guards. p xii. Macmillan. ISBN 978-1405055741, and (2) “The Life Guards”. Ministry of Defence. Cited at
  34. Source: “The Life Guards”. Ministry of Defence. Cited at
  35. Ibid
  36. Source: White-Spunner, Barney (2006). Horse Guards. p xiv. Macmillan. ISBN 978-1405055741. Cited at
  37. Source:
  38. Explanation: Cuirassiers were cavalry equipped with a cuirass (a piece of armour that covers the torso, formed of one or more pieces of metal or other rigid material), swords and pistols. Cuirassiers first appeared in mid-to-late 16th century Europe as a result of armoured cavalries, such as men-at-arms and demi-lancers, discarding their lances and adopting the use of pistols as their primary weapon. Source:
  39. Source: Cannon (1847), p. xi. Cited at:
  40. Explanation: The Jacobite rising of 1745, also known as the Forty-five Rebellion or simply the ’45, (lit. ’The Year of Charles’), was an attempt by Charles Edward Stuart to regain the British throne for his father, James Francis Edward Stuart. It took place during the War of the Austrian Succession, when the bulk of the British Army was fighting in mainland Europe, and proved to be the last in a series of revolts that began in 1689, with major outbreaks in 1708, 1715 and 1719. Source:
  41. Source: Cannon (1847), p. xxiv. Cited at:
  42. Explanation: Princess Royal is a style customarily (but not automatically) awarded by a British monarch to their eldest daughter. Although purely honorary, it is the highest honour that may be given to a female member of the royal family. Princess Anne became Princess Royal in 1987. The style Princess Royal came into existence when Queen Henrietta Maria (1609–1669), daughter of Henry IV, King of France, and wife of King Charles I (1600–1649), wanted to imitate the way the eldest daughter of the King of France was styled “Madame Royale“. Thus Princess Mary (born 1631), the daughter of Henrietta Maria and Charles, became the first Princess Royal in 1642. It has become established that the style belongs to no one by right, but is given entirely at the sovereign’s discretion. The title is held for life, even if the holder outlives her parent, the monarch. On the death of a Princess Royal, the style is not inherited by any of her daughters; instead, if the monarch parent of the late Princess Royal has also died, the new monarch may bestow it upon his or her own eldest daughter. Source:
  43. Source: “The Blues and Royals”. British Army.
  44. Explanation: Cornet was originally the lowest grade of commissioned officer in a British cavalry troop, the modern equivalent being a second lieutenant. The rank was abolished by the 1871 Cardwell Reforms, which replaced it with sub-lieutenant. Although obsolete, the term is still used when referring to a newly commissioned officer (the equivalent of a second lieutenant) within the British Army regiment of the Blues and Royals. The cornet rank was also used by other nations, such as the Imperial Russian Army and the Prussians. Winston Spencer Churchill served as a cornet in the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars (1895). Churchill’s formal rank was that of a second lieutenant. Source:
  45. Source: Press Release at Wayback machine, at:
  46. Source:
  47. Source: (originally from the Press Association – Irish Examiner)
  48. Source:
  49. Ibid
  50. Source:
  51. Source:
  52. Source:
  53. Source:
  54. Ibid
  55. Source:
  56. Source:
  57. Source: Machine-based artificial intelligence at:

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