Blues and Royals
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|The Blues and Royals
(Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons)
Troopers of the Blues and Royals at the Trooping the Colour parade, London, 2007
|Active||23 March 1969-Present|
|Size||One regiment of three squadrons|
|Part of||Household Cavalry|
|Garrison/HQ||RHQ - London
Regiment - Windsor/London
|Nickname||The Tin Bellies|
|Motto||Honi soit qui mal y pense
(Evil be to him who evil thinks)
|March||Quick - Quick March of the Blues and Royals
Slow - Slow March of the Blues and Royals
Trot Past - Keel Row
|Colonel-in-Chief||Queen Elizabeth II|
|Anne, Princess Royal|
|Tactical Recognition Flash|
|Arm Badge||Waterloo Eagle
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.
Since then, the new regiment has served in Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus and Afghanistan. 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 1994/1995.
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.
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.
The rank of sergeant does not exist in the Household Cavalry. The equivalent is Corporal of Horse, which also applies to any other ranks with the word sergeant in it, such as Regimental Sergeant Major, which is replaced by Regimental Corporal Major. King Edward VII also declared the rank of Private should be replaced by the rank of Trooper in the cavalry.
The Blues and Royals are the only regiment in the British Army that allows troopers and non-commissioned officers to salute an officer when they are not wearing headdress. The custom had 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 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 put to death, its rider had to bring back a hoof, cut off with the axe, to prove to the Quartermaster that the animal was in fact dead, thereby preventing fraudulent replacement. Today, the axe remains as a symbol of the Farrier’s duties.
The Blues and Royals wear the Home Service helmet with a red plume worn unbound, the exception to this is the regiment's farriers who wear a black plume. In addition, the Blues and Royals wear their chin strap under their chin as opposed to the Life Guards, who wear it below their lower lip. The Blues and Royal wear a blue lanyard on the left shoulder, a whistle on their Sam Browne belt and Waterloo Eagle on the left arm as part of dress traditions. Officer rank insignia worn on shirts has a blue backing behind it. The thread colour on rank slides is white, with the addition of red detailing for those Officer rank insignia that have stars ('pips'). The Household Cavalry, as part of the Household Division, does not wear the Order of the Bath Star but rather the Order of the Garter Star.
Prince Harry wore the uniform at the wedding of his brother, Prince William, to Catherine Middleton.
- 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
- World War I: Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914, Messines 1914, Armentieres 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 1914-1918
- 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 1941-1943, Sicily 1943, Arezzo, Advance to Florence, Gothic Line, Italy 1943-1944
*Awarded jointly with the Life Guards for services of the Household Cavalry Regiment
Order of precedence
The Life Guards
|Cavalry Order of Precedence||Succeeded by
1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards
- "The Blues and Royals". British Army. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "Revealed: The outfit for the royal wedding", The Daily Mail, 29 April 2011
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 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