Leibgarde (also life-guard, or household troops) has been, since the 15th century, the designation for the military security guards who protected Fürsten (royals and nobles) — usually members of the highest nobility who ruled over states of the Holy Roman Empire and later its former territory — from danger. The Leibgarde should not be mixed up with bodyguard (Leibwächter), which may refer also to a single private individual.
In the Kingdom of France, the Garde du Corps was established (with reference to the sargeants d'arms) in 1440. It was abolished after the French Revolution, re-established in 1815, and finally dissolved in 1830. In addition, Napoleon III set up the Cent-gardes for his own protection.
Lifeguard elite units
- Denmark: Royal Life Guards – part of the Danish Army
- Germany: Royal Bavarian Infantry Lifeguards Regiment – part of the Bavarian Army
- Russia: Imperial Guard (Leib Guard) – regiments of lifeguards that evolved into many elite combat units in the Imperial Army
- Sweden: Life Guards – part of the Swedish Army
- UK: Life Guards – part of the British Army
- US: Commander-in-Chief's Guard (Washington's Life Guard), a short-lived Continental Army infantry and cavalry unit (1776–1783)
- Langenscheidt's Encyclopaedic Dictionary of the English and German language: "Der Große Muret-Sander", Part I German-English, First Volume A–K, 9th edition 2002, p. 1006 – «de: Leibgarde / en: mil. especially – lifeguard, Br. life-guard»
- Dictionary to the German Military History, 1st edition (Liz.5, P189/84, LSV:0547, B-Nr. 746 635 0), military publishing house of the GDR (VEB) – Berlin, 1985, Volume 1, page 223, definition: Garde, Leibgarde.