British Army order of precedence

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The regular army of the British Army is listed according to an order of precedence for the purposes of parading. This is the order in which the various corps of the army parade, from right to left, with the unit at the extreme right being highest. Under ordinary circumstances, the Household Cavalry parades at the extreme right of the line. Militia and Army Reserve units take precedence after Regular units with the exception of The Honourable Artillery Company and The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers.[1]

Usual order of precedence[edit]

The usual order of precedence is:

Cavalry and infantry orders of precedence[edit]

Cavalry and infantry regiments of the British Army are listed in their own orders of precedence, which dates back to when regiments had numbers rather than names. The order comes from the start of the regiment's service under the Crown, up to 1881 and the "Cardwell Reforms", when the use of numbers was abolished in favour of linking with and using county names. The regiments of the Household Division are always listed first, as they are the most senior, followed by the line regiments. In today's army, which has many regiments formed through amalgamations of other regiments, the rank in the order of precedence is that of the more senior of the amalgamated units. It is for this reason that the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, one of the youngest in the army, is ranked second in the line infantry order – it is the direct descendent of the 2nd Regiment of Foot.

Cavalry order of precedence[edit]

Modern regiment Formation Antecedent regiments
Household Cavalry1
The Life Guards 1922 1st Life Guards, 2nd Life Guards
The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) 1969 Royal Horse Guards, 1st Dragoons
Cavalry of the Line2
Dragoon Guards
1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards 1959 1st Dragoon Guards, 2nd Dragoon Guards
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) 1971 3rd Dragoon Guards, 6th Dragoon Guards, 2nd Dragoons
The Royal Dragoon Guards 1992 4th Dragoon Guards, 5th Dragoon Guards, 7th Dragoon Guards, 6th Dragoons
Light cavalry
The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish) 1993 3rd Hussars, 4th Hussars, 7th Hussars, 8th Hussars
9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's) 1960 9th Lancers, 12th Lancers
The Light Dragoons 1992 13th Hussars, 15th Hussars, 18th Hussars, 19th Hussars
The King's Royal Hussars 1992 10th Hussars, 11th Hussars, 14th Hussars, 20th Hussars
The Queen's Royal Lancers3 1993 16th Lancers, 17th Lancers, 5th Lancers, 21st Lancers
Royal Tank Regiment4
Royal Tank Regiment 2014 1st Royal Tank Regiment, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, 4th Royal Tank Regiment, 6th Royal Tank Regiment, 7th Royal Tank Regiment

Cavalry – notes[edit]

^1 The 1st Life Guards, 2nd Life Guards and the Royal Horse Guards, were originally termed Horse Guards and given precedence over the Cavalry regiments of the Line. The 1st Royal Dragoons was a line regiment.
^2 In the sequence for Cavalry of the Line, Cavalry, consisting of Dragoon Guards, come first in the order of precedence with their own numbering sequence. Light Cavalry, consisting of Dragoons, Hussars and Lancers, have their own (single) sequence, hence 1st Dragoons, 3rd Hussars, 5th Lancers, 6th Dragoons, 8th Hussars, 9th Lancers, etc.
^3 Although one of the antecedent regiments of the Queen's Royal Lancers was the 5th Lancers, this regiment was formed in the 1850s, resurrecting the number of an old regiment and thus ranked in precedence after the 17th Lancers.
^4 The RTR (which was formed during the First World War) takes final place in the cavalry/RAC order as it was formed specifically as an armoured unit rather than a cavalry unit.

Infantry order of precedence[edit]

The infantry is ranked in the order of Foot Guards, Line infantry5, Rifles:

Modern regiment Formation Antecedent regiments
The Royal Marines6 1664 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th Regts of Marines (44th–53rd Foot)
Foot Guards
Grenadier Guards 1656 Royal Regt of Guards, King's Royal Regt of Guards
Coldstream Guards 1650
Scots Guards 1642 Marquis of Argyll's Royal Regiment
Irish Guards 1900
Welsh Guards 1915
Line Infantry7
The Royal Regiment of Scotland 2006 1st, 21st, 25th, 42nd, 71st, 72nd, 73rd, 74th, 75th, 78th, 79th, 91st, 92nd, 93rd Regts of Foot
The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires) 1992 2nd, 3rd, 31st, 35th, 37th, 50th, 57th, 67th, 70th, 77th, 97th, 107th Regts of Foot
The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border) 2006 4th, 8th, 30th, 34th, 40th, 47th, 55th, 59th, 63rd, 81st, 82nd, 96th Regts of Foot
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 1968 5th, 6th, 7th, 20th Regts of Foot
The Royal Anglian Regiment 1964 9th, 10th, 12th, 16th, 17th, 44th, 48th, 56th, 58th Regts of Foot
The Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot) 2006 14th, 15th, 19th, 33rd, 76th Regts of Foot
The Mercian Regiment 2007 22nd, 29th, 36th, 38th, 45th, 64th, 80th, 95th, 98th Regts of Foot
The Royal Welsh 2006 23rd, 24th, 41st, 69th Regts of Foot
The Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment) 1992 27th, 83rd, 86th, 87th, 89th, 108th Regts of Foot, Ulster Defence Regiment
The Parachute Regiment 1942 Army Commandos
Rifles8
The Royal Gurkha Rifles 1994 2nd, 6th, 7th, 10th Gurkha Rifles
The Rifles 2007 11th, 13th, 28th, 32nd, 39th, 43rd, 46th, 49th, 51st, 52nd, 53rd, 54th, 60th, 61st, 62nd, 66th, 68th, 85th, 99th, 105th, 106th Regts of Foot, The Rifle Brigade

Infantry – notes[edit]

^5 The infantry order of precedence has several missing numbers, due to infantry regiments being disbanded:

^6 The Royal Marines, as the descendent of the old Army marine regiments of the 17th and 18th centuries, were included in the Order of Precedence after the descendent of the 49th Foot (the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry), which was the last regiment formed prior to the formation of the Royal Marines, when not on parade with the Royal Navy. On the completion of the infantry reorganisation in 2007, the RGBWLI became part of The Rifles, and moved last in the Order of Precedence. As of April 2008 the Royal Marines are considered to no longer be a separate arm of the Royal Navy, but rather an integral part of it. Therefore they no longer have a place amongst the (Army) infantry regiments and now take their place as part of the Royal Navy and parade on the right of the line. Even if there is no other Naval contingent present they are the senior formation on ceremonial occasions. If other contingents of the Royal Navy are on parade, the Royal Marines take their place after them, but before all army regiments and corps. ("The Royal Marines are no longer in the Army order of precedence, but now assume precedence within the Royal Navy at all times.")[1]
^7 Up to 2006, five line infantry regiments had never been amalgamated in their entire history. In 2006 and 2007, these were amalgamated into large regiments under the planned reorganisation of the infantry:

^8 Although The Rifles is descended from many numbered regiments, it is last in the order of precedence because the unnumbered regiment The Rifle Brigade has served longest as a rifle regiment. The Royal Gurkha Rifles comes before The Rifles because one of its predecessors (the 2nd Gurkha Rifles) entered service before the Rifle Brigade ceased using its old number (95th). As both the Royal Gurkha Rifles and The Rifles are rifle regiments they come last in the order of precedence. This is why the Parachute Regiment, which is classed as a line infantry regiment, comes above both.

Precedence within the Army Reserve[edit]

  1. The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia)[3]
  2. The Honourable Artillery Company[4]
  3. Royal Armoured Corps
  4. Royal Regiment of Artillery
  5. Corps of Royal Engineers
  6. Royal Corps of Signals
  7. Infantry
  8. Special Air Service
  9. Army Air Corps
  10. The Royal Logistic Corps
  11. Royal Army Medical Corps
  12. Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
  13. Adjutant General's Corps
  14. Intelligence Corps

Precedence within the Colonial Forces[edit]

Not all imperial units had been considered part of the British Army and placed on the order of precedence. The Hong Kong-Singapore Royal Artillery had numbered 10th and the Royal Malta Artillery had numbered 11th. Originally, the part-time reserve units in Bermuda, the Channel Islands and Malta had numbered collectively as 28th in order of precedence, but were ordered within that according to the order of their parent corps in the regular army. This meant, by example, that the Bermuda Militia Artillery (BMA), raised in 1895, as part of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, preceded the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC), raised in 1894). Today, the Bermuda Regiment, an amalgam of the BMA and BVRC, is ordered 28th. [5]

  1. (27th) The Royal Gibraltar Regiment (As a Colonial Force The Royal Gibraltar Regiment comes after the Army Reserve)
  2. (28th) The Bermuda Regiment

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c MoDPS12(A) (1 September 2007). "The Precedence of Regiments and Corps in the Army and within the Infantry". 2007DIN09-027. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Queen's Regulations for the Army 1975 Amdt 30, Paragraph 8.001, Ser 11, Publisher HMSO
  3. ^ Queen's Regulations for the Army 1975 Amdt 30, Paragraph 8.001, Ser 25, Publisher HMSO
  4. ^ Queen's Regulations for the Army 1975 Amdt 30, Paragraph 8.001, Ser 26, Publisher HMSO
  5. ^ The Quaterly Army List, DECEMBER, 1946. Corrected generally to 8th October, 1946. Volume 1. Page 14. ORDER OF PRECEDENCE OF REGIMENTS, ETC., IN THE ARMY. His Majesty's Stationery Office, London.