Royal Regiment of Scotland
|The Royal Regiment of Scotland|
Cap Badge of The Royal Regiment of Scotland
|Active||28 March 2006–|
|Part of||Scottish Division|
|Motto||"Nemo Me Impune Lacessit"
"No One Provokes Me With Impunity"
|March||Quick: Scotland the Brave
Slow: Royal Regiment of Scotland Slow March
|Mascot||LCpl Cruachan IV (Shetland Pony)|
|Colonel in Chief||HM The Queen|
|Lieutenant General A.J.N. Graham CB CBE|
|Tactical Recognition Flash|
From the Royal Scots and King's Own Scottish Borderers
The Royal Regiment of Scotland is the senior and only Scottish line infantry regiment of the British Army Infantry. It consists of four regular and two reserve battalions, plus an incremental company, each formerly an individual regiment (with the exception of the first battalion, which is an amalgamation of two regiments). However, each battalion maintains its former regimental Pipes & Drums to carry on the traditions of their antecedent regiments.
As part of restructuring in the British Army, the Royal Regiment of Scotland's creation was announced by the Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon in the House of Commons on 16 December 2004, after the merger of several regiments and the reduction in total regular infantry battalions from 40 to 36 was outlined in the defence white paper, Delivering Security in a Changing World, several months earlier.
The regiment consists of a total of seven battalions: one of these was formed by the amalgamation of the Royal Scots and King's Own Scottish Borderers, while the others are each formed from one of the remaining single-battalion regiments of the Scottish Division. Along with The Rifles, it is currently the largest infantry regiment in the British Army. Of all of the new regiments formed following the announcement of 16 December 2004, the Royal Regiment of Scotland is the only one where the former regimental titles have been prominently retained with the new numbered battalion designations as subtitles. There is however a common regimental cap badge, TRF, tartan, stable belt and Glengarry headdress but distinctively coloured hackles are also worn by each separate battalion on the Tam o' Shanter headdress to maintain their individual identity and the pipes and drums of each battalion continue to wear the ceremonial uniforms and tartans of their former regiments.
Along with The Rifles, The Royal Regiment of Scotland is also one of only two line infantry regiments to maintain its own regular military band within the Corps of Army Music, which was formed through the amalgamation of the Highland band and Lowland band of the Scottish Division. In addition, there are two Territorial bands, The Highland Band and The Lowland Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, which are administered by the regiment's two Territorial battalions. The regiment also has its own Parachute Display Team, the Golden Lions and shinty team, The Scots Shinty Club.
In 1948, every regiment of line infantry was reduced to a single battalion. The subsequent process of reducing the overall number of infantry regiments in the Army through disbandment or amalgamation of the traditional county regiments that were formalised in the Childers Reforms of 1881 to form larger multi-battalion regiments, has continued to affect most of the British Army Infantry since the 1957 Defence White Paper outlined the first mergers. The creation of the Royal Regiment of Scotland encountered considerable opposition amongst former soldiers, conservatives and nationalist groups. It has been argued that the establishment of large regiments in the British Army during the 1960s, such as the Royal Green Jackets, The Light Infantry, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and Royal Anglian Regiment, quickly led to a loss of separate identity amongst the constituent battalions as personnel were posted back and forward.
The new regiment is also primarily a kilted one and there are concerns that the much older Lowland units, which traditionally wore trews, will be effectively absorbed into a Highland tradition. However, the Ministry of Defence's case that change was necessary to enhance operational efficiency through economies of scale, improve and create more flexible conditions of service and to resolve chronic recruiting and retention problems amongst the eight single-battalion Scottish regiments appears to have been accepted by the majority of serving personnel, and indeed was recommended by the then Chief of the General Staff, Sir Mike Jackson. Jackson delegated the decision on how the reduction of battalions would be achieved to the Council of Scottish Colonels. It is understood that at the meeting the Colonels were invited to speak in turn on how the reduction should be achieved. The Royal Scots Colonel speaking first on behalf of the senior regiment suggested that his regiment should be amalgamated with The King's Own Scottish Borderers, this suggestion was accepted by the remaining regiments less the The King's Own Scottish Borderers whose Colonel petitioned Jackson directly but to no avail. It is thought that the Colonel of The Royal Scots feared that his regiment would be disbanded due to its long term poor recruiting record and high reliance on Commonwealth recruits. The insistence in some quarters that the Scottish regiments must be treated as a special case, similar to the Guards Division, has not won wide support amongst the army at large.
The amalgamation remains an emotive one however because of the symbolic loss of historical continuity through the individual regimental status of each battalion. An organisation called Save the Scottish Regiments was created to campaign against the plan, and the influential newspaper The Scotsman also opposed it.
The status of the Black Watch was particularly controversial. When the plan to amalgamate the regiments was announced, the Black Watch was deployed at Camp Dogwood in a relatively dangerous region of Iraq. Hoon was accused by the SNP of "stabbing the soldiers in the back" and being motivated purely by political and administrative concerns, with little regard to the effect on morale. This controversy was further exacerbated by the revelation that a former Colonel of the Black Watch, Lieutenant-General Alistair Irwin, had originally drafted the Army Board proposals to amalgamate the Scottish Division.
The regiment was initially formed of six regular battalions on 28 March 2006. On 1 August 2006, the Royal Scots Battalion and King's Own Scottish Borderers Battalion were amalgamated into the 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Borderers, leaving the final regular roll of five battalions. The Regimental Headquarters is located at Edinburgh Castle, although each regular battalion continues to maintain their own former regimental headquarters and museums within their respective recruiting areas.
In 2012, as part of the Army 2020 reform package, it was announced that the 5th Battalion, while not losing its name and history as the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, would be reduced to the status of an incremental company, similar to the three companies in the Guards Division, and be transferred to become a permanent public duties unit in Scotland.
All battalions in the Royal Regiment of Scotland, to preserve regional ties and former regimental identities, took the name of their former individual regiments.
- Regular battalions
- The Royal Scots Borderers1, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
- The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
- The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
- The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
- Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders)
- Reserve battalions
Under the restructuring and the end of the arms plot, each regular battalion will be given a specific operational role:
- The Royal Scots Borderers—Light Role (19 Light Brigade): Dreghorn Barracks, Edinburgh
- The Royal Highland Fusiliers—Light Role (52 Infantry Brigade): Glencorse Barracks, Penicuik
- The Black Watch—Light Role (19 Light Brigade): Fort George, Inverness
- The Highlanders—Armoured infantry (7 Armoured Brigade): St. Barbara Barracks, Fallingbostel, Germany
- The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders—Air assault (16 Air Assault Brigade): Howe Barracks, Canterbury
Due to their relatively flexible nature, the three light role battalions will rotate periodically, with either the Royal Scots Borderers or Royal Highland Fusiliers having responsibility for public duties in Edinburgh depending upon which one is under the command of 52nd Infantry Brigade at the time. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders will rotate the air assault role with two other line infantry/rifles battalions in 16th Air Assault Brigade; when it is not in this role, it will serve as a light role battalion in 52 Infantry Brigade. As an armoured unit, The Highlanders will remain in its fixed location as part of 7th Armoured Brigade in Germany. The two Army Reserve battalions come under the command of 51st (Scottish) Brigade, the Regional Brigade administering the Army Reserve in Scotland.
All this will change under Army 2020.
- 1st Battalion: HRH The Princess Royal2
- 2nd Battalion: HRH The Duke of York
- 3rd Battalion: HRH The Duke of Rothesay3
- 4th Battalion: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
- 5th Battalion: HM The Queen
- 6th Battalion: HRH The Princess Royal
- 7th Battalion: HRH The Duke of Rothesay
^2 The King's Own Scottish Borderers, now amalgamated with the Royal Scots to form the 1st Battalion, have not had a Colonel-in-Chief since the death of Princess Alice in 2004.
^3 Duke of Rothesay takes the title of Prince of Wales whilst outside Scotland.
Uniform and dress
Cap badge and motto
In August 2005, the new regimental cap badge was unveiled at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The design was the result of a collaborative effort, led by Brigadier Andrew Mackay, along with other serving and retired officers and Regimental Sergeant Majors, with advice from the Lord Lyon King of Arms. The new cap badge incorporates the Saltire of St Andrew and the Lion Rampant of the Royal Standard of Scotland, which are two prominent national symbols. The cap badge is surmounted by a crown, in this case the Crown of Scotland. The regiment's motto is Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (No One Assails Me With Impunity)—which is the motto of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland's highest order of chivalry, and was also the motto of four of the pre-existing Scottish regiments.
- All battalions wear the Lowland pattern Glengarry, this pattern was in fact also common to the Seaforth Highlanders and Gordon Highlanders, as well as the Lowland Royal Highland Fusiliers, Royal Scots and King's Own Scottish Borderers regiments.
- In No. 1 and No. 2 pattern dress, all battalions wear Blackcock tail feathers attached to the Glengarry in a tradition taken from the Royal Scots and King's Own Scottish Borderers.
- The regimental motto of the Highlanders, Cuidich 'n Righ (Aid the King), has been incorporated into the Royal Scots Thistle pattern collar dogs worn on the No.1 and No.2 pattern doublet or Service Dress jacket.
- The tartan adopted by the new regiment is Government 1A (sometimes known as Sutherland), a version of the Government (Black Watch) tartan worn by the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
- The Kilt is sewn in a box pleat style, as worn by the 2nd Battalion Black Watch, Seaforth Highlanders, Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. The Sporran is in the horsehair style worn by the Seaforth Highlanders and Gordon Highlanders, with a brass Black Watch cantle.
- The Black and Red diced Hose and scarlet Garter flashes are in a style worn by the Black Watch. The Spats with black buttons, worn over the Brogues, are in a style worn by the Gordon Highlanders, with a point to the rear, as worn by the Black Watch.
- The Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland wears the Feather bonnet with a red over white hackle and scarlet Doublet in Full Dress Uniform.
- 1st Battalion: Black
- 2nd Battalion: White
- 3rd Battalion: Red
- 4th Battalion: Blue
- 5th Battalion: Green
- 6th Battalion: Grey
- 7th Battalion: Purple
The official mascot is a Shetland pony named Cruachan. He was originally the regimental mascot of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders prior to the amalgamation. The first pony mascot was presented to the Argylls in 1929 by HRH Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll and named after Ben Cruachan, a mountain in the Argylls' namesake lieutenancy, and the war cry of Clan Campbell, of whom the Duke of Argyll was chief. The current mascot is Cruachan IV and was presented in late 2012.
The status of previous alliances is unclear at this time, and it is believed that previous regimental alliances will not automatically be carried over to The Royal Regiment of Scotland. It is also unclear if alliances will be perpetuated by single battalions of the Royal Regiment, or to the regiment as a whole. Until the issue is decided, individual battalions will maintain the alliances of their antecedent regiments.
The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's) reaffirmed their alliance with The Royal Regiment of Scotland at a commemorative dinner in London in April 2015.
- The Royal Scots Borderers
- Canada: The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's)
- Canada: Royal Newfoundland Regiment
- Canada: 1st Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (Carleton and York)
- Australia: 25th/49th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment
- Malaysia: 5th Battalion, The Royal Malay Regiment
- South Africa: The Witwatersrand Rifles
- Royal Navy: HMS Edinburgh
- The Royal Highland Fusiliers
- Canada: The Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada
- New Zealand: The Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Pakistan: 11th Battalion, The Baloch Regiment
- South Africa: Prince Alfred's Guard
- The Black Watch
- Canada: The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada
- Canada: 42nd Field Artillery Regiment (Lanark and Renfrew Scottish), RCA
- Canada: The Prince Edward Island Regiment (RCAC)
- Australia: The Royal Queensland Regiment
- Australia: The Royal New South Wales Regiment
- South Africa: The Transvaal Scottish
- New Zealand: The New Zealand Scottish
- Royal Navy: HMS Montrose
- The Highlanders
- Canada: The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (Duke of Edinburgh's Own)
- Canada: The 48th Highlanders of Canada
- Canada: The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada
- Canada: The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada
- Canada: The Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's Own)
- Australia: 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
- Australia: 5th/6th Battalion, Royal Victoria Regiment (formerly 5th Battalion, The Victorian Scottish Regiment)
- Australia: The Royal South Australia Regiment
- Australia: The Royal Western Australia Regiment
- New Zealand: The Otago and Southland Regiment
- New Zealand: The Wellington (City of Wellington's Own) and Hawke's Bay Regiment
- South Africa: The Cape Town Highlanders
- Royal Navy: HMS Sutherland
- Royal Navy: HMS Victorious
- The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
- Canada: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise's)
- Canada: The Calgary Highlanders
- Australia: The Royal Queensland Regiment
- Australia: The Royal New South Wales Regiment
- Pakistan: 1st Battalion (Scinde), The Frontier Force Regiment
- Royal Navy: HMS Argyll
- Structure of the British Army and its 2004 restructuring
- Scots Guards
- Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
- Golden Lions (parachute display team)
- "The Golden Lions". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- "Save the Scottish Regiments". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- "Why the Royal Scots can no longer hold the line". The Telegraph. 10 October 2004. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- "Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders downgraded in MoD cuts plan". BBC News. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- Details about the new Cap Badge design
- Royal Regiment of Scotland – Dress Regulations
- Scottish Military Articles – The Royal Regiment of Scotland and its antecedents
- Royal Regiment of Scotland.org
- British Army – Dress Regulations of the Royal Regiment of Scotland
- Ministry of Defence Dress Standards – Cloths, Tartans, Wool (Pg 11)
- Cruachan I. The Argylls Association
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Royal Regiment of Scotland.|
- The Royal Regiment of Scotland- on British Army official website
- Amalgamation opposition site – R.O.A.R.
- Defence News: Royal Regiment of Scotland officially formed
- Defence News: Uniforma of the Royal Regiment of Scotland
- The Royal Regiment of Scotland and its Predecessors
- The Royal Regiment of Scotland in the Scottish Military Heritage Centre
|Infantry Order of Precedence||Succeeded by
Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment