Royal Welsh

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For the agricultural show, see Royal Welsh Show.
The Royal Welsh
Royal Welsh cap badge.png
Cap badge of the Royal Welsh
Active 1 March 2006–
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Line Infantry
Role 1st Battalion – Armoured Infantry
3rd Battalion – Army Reserve
Size Two battalions
Part of Prince of Wales' Division
Garrison/HQ RHQ – Cardiff
1st Battalion – Tidworth
3rd Battalion – Cardiff
Motto "Ich Dien" (German)
"I Serve"
March Quick – Men of Harlech
Slow – Forth to the Battle
Mascot Persian Goat (Shenkin III)
Anniversaries St David's Day – 1 March
Colonel in Chief Elizabeth II
Colonel of
the Regiment
Major General Roderick John Murray Porter MBE
Tactical Recognition Flash R WELSH TRF.PNG
Hackle White (ORs only)
From Royal Welch Fusiliers
Abbreviation R WELSH

The Royal Welsh (R WELSH) (Welsh: Y Cymry Brenhinol) is one of the new large infantry regiments of the British Army. Its formation was announced on 16 December 2004 by Geoff Hoon and General Sir Mike Jackson as part of the restructuring of the infantry and it was actually formed on St David's Day, 1 March 2006. The 2nd Battalion, The Royal Welsh (Royal Regiment of Wales), is to be scrapped as part of the Army 2020 defence review.[1] A more recent news report stated that "it will in fact be the 1st Battalion which will disappear, being dissolved into the 2nd Battalion with the latter then being renamed as the 1st.".[2] After the restructuring and reorganisation of the army in 2006, the Royal Welsh is one of three regiments to trace its lineage and draw its recruits primarily from Wales.


The Royal Welsh consists of just one Regular Army battalion, plus an Army Reserve battalion, and was created through the merger of two single battalion regiments. The former regiments formed part of the battalion title (in brackets):

  • 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh (Royal Welch Fusiliers) (ex 1st Battalion, the Royal Welch Fusiliers (23rd Foot)) – a Regular Army light infantry battalion based since August 2008 at Dale Barracks, Chester. This follows a two-year tour in Cyprus. Under Army 2020, this will be the only Royal Welsh battalion in the regular army and its new role will be as an armoured infantry battalion, under 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade.[3][4]
  • 2nd Battalion, The Royal Welsh (Royal Regiment of Wales) (ex 1st Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st Foot)) – a Regular Army armoured infantry battalion based at Lucknow barracks, Tidworth. This battalion merged with 1 R WELSH on 2 April 2014 to form just the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh.[5]

The regiment's cap badge is a representation of the Prince of Wales's feathers (formerly the cap badge of the Royal Regiment of Wales), while the hackle of the Royal Welch Fusiliers is worn by all NCOs and Other Ranks. HM The Queen is the new regiment's Colonel-in-Chief.

The regiment includes a goat, presented by the monarch; this is not a mascot but a ranking soldier. Lance Corporal William Windsor retired on 20 May 2009; a replacement, Fusilier William Windsor, was appointed on 15 June 2009.[6][7]

The 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh (3 R WELSH) is the regiment's reserve battalion. Paired with 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, they will deploy on future operations with them. The battalion's HQ is at Maindy Barracks in Cardiff, with company locations in Swansea, Pontypridd, Aberystwyth and Colwyn Bay.[8]

Regimental Band and Corps of Drums of The Royal Welsh[edit]

The Regimental Band of The Royal Welsh is an all-brass band within the British Army. Formed of 30 soldiers who are all members of the Army Reserve (United Kingdom), it is renowned for its versatility, and can provide:

  • Marching Band
  • Concert Band
  • Fanfare Team

They are perhaps most well-recognised for their performances in the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, performing pre-match entertainment and the National Anthems before Wales International Rugby games. They have travelled abroad extensively, including countries such as Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Canada and Australia.

On many engagements, the Band is enhanced by the presence of "The Corps of Drums of The Royal Welsh" who with their own inimitable style and expertise add the final polish to any engagement.

In October 2009, due to £54m of Ministry of Defence budget cuts affecting front line services including the war in Afghanistan, all bookings from end of October 2009 until April 2010 were cancelled. This covered the Autumn Rugby Union Internationals and Remembrance Day. Band members agreed to honour all charity appearances during this period, but without pay.[9] These budget cuts have since been reversed and the band continues to perform.


Soldiers from the Mobility Reconnaissance Force of 1 Royal Welsh take up a defensive position north of Patrol Base Wahid, Nad-E' Ali, Helmand during a patrol.

Order of precedence[edit]

Preceded by
Mercian Regiment
Infantry Order of Precedence Succeeded by
The Royal Irish Regiment


The Royal Welsh The Royal Welch Fusiliers
The Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st Foot) The South Wales Borderers
The Welch Regiment The 41st (Welsh) Regiment of Foot
69th (South Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot


  1. ^ Kiley, Sam. "Army Loses 17 Major Units In Defence Cuts". Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  2. ^ Malone, Sam (2013-09-30). "Wales' infantry looks forward to a smaller future post Iraq and Afghanistan". Wales Online. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  3. ^ "Army basing announcement" (PDF). Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Army 2010 Report, page 7" (PDF). Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Two Royal Welsh battalions become one - British Army Website". 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  6. ^ "Retiring army goat's new zoo home". BBC News. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Soldiers choose regimental goat". BBC News. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "3 Royal Welsh". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Army cutbacks hit regimental band". BBC Wales. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009. 

External links[edit]