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P.D. GRIFFIN
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MODERN BRITISH ARMY REGIMENTS

On the khaki service dress cap a similar badge is worn, which first appeared in 1914: the cypher within a circle is inscribed with the title of the regiment, customarily bright in the Life Guards and bronzed in The Blues and Royals.

The Household Cavalry Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment

Rank chevrons, uniquely made of gold wire for HC No. 1 dress, are worn with a crown above. This custom dates from 1815, when the Prince Regent sent a box of small silver crowns to the Horse Guards to show his appreciation of their part in the great victory at Waterloo.

Troopers of the Life Guards, 1997

Troopers of the Life Guards, 1997

The HC Mounted Regiment and bands are issued with traditional HC full dress. The 1842 white metal helmet is fitted with a white plume for the Life Guards, a black plume for farriers of the Life Guards, and a red plume for trumpeters of the Life Guards and all members of The Blues and Royals. The 1856 pattern tunic is scarlet with blue facings for the Life Guards and blue with scarlet facings for The Blues and Royals, and farriers of the Life Guards. Farriers historically wear a contrasting uniform to the rest of their regiment. A buff white cartouche belt is worn over the shoulder with its red flask cord, a relic of the eighteenth century when powder had to be carried for the musket. Farriers wear an axe belt in lieu of the cartouche belt and carry a polished axe on parade to symbolise their historic role in dispatching horses wounded in battle. Commissioned and noncommissioned officers have a system of gold aiguillettes, which are worn from the shoulder of the full dress tunic to indicate rank, a HC custom from the reign of George IV. The blue overalls are regimen tally marked - a wide scarlet stripe in The Blues and Royals, a double scarlet stripe with a central welt of the same colour in the Life Guards (ex-2LG from 1832).

In Mounted Review Order, HC dress is shown in all its unique glory: white leather gauntlets and buckskin breeches with tall jackboots, all dating from 1812, and a polished silver nickel cuirass (from 1821) worn over the tunic. This heavy weight on large black horses inspired the nicknames 'Bangers' and 'Lumpers'. Musicians and trumpeters are privileged to wear the crimson and gold state coat in the presence of royalty, and the crimson state cloak in bad weather.

MUSIC

The Life Guards' quick march is a combination of Milanollo and Men Of Harlech. The latter (from the 2 LG) is also played in slow time with a march attributed to the pen of the Duchess of Kent and presented to the 1st Life Guards in 1820.

The Blues and Royals' quick march combines the Grand March from Verdi's Aida with The Royals. The march Aida was adopted by The Blues around 1874 but is often associated - through its Egyptian theme - with the moonlight charge of the Household Cavalry at Kassassin in 1882. The regimental slow march is an arrangement of those used in the Royal Horse Guards and the 1st Dragoons.

TRADITIONS

A standard-bearer of the Life Guards flanked by an escort

A standard-bearer of the Life Guards flanked by an escort and a trumpeter in the crimson and gold state coat. Trumpeters traditionally ride greys, in contrast to the regiments' blacks

Waterloo Day (18 June) celebrates the stunning charges delivered by the Life Guards, The Blues and the Royal Dragoons in the battle. The Royals made off with the regimental eagle of the French 105th, and in 1898 a representation of it was cast as a collar badge for the regiment. In the 1914-18 war troopers made their own eagle badge to wear on the cap, but an imperial eagle standing on a tablet marked 105 did not officially become the cap badge of the Royal Dragoons until after the Second World War. Today the eagle badge is worn on the upper left sleeve of Blues and Royals' uniforms to represent the 1st Dragoons. Before 1914 it was the practice of the Kaiser Wilhelm, as Colonel-in-Chief of the 1st Royal Dragoons, to send a wreath for the regimental guidon at the Waterloo Day parade.

Blues and Royals in Mounted Review Order at Hyde Park Barracks

Blues and Royals in Mounted Review Order at Hyde Park Barracks, with 'Green Goddess' fire engines visible. The man at left wears a corporal's aiguillette

Colonels of the Household Cavalry fill the ancient appointments of Goldstick, and his deputy, Silverstick, the personal bodyguards to the sovereign. Lieutenant-colonels are addressed by their rank and warrant officers as 'Mister'. The junior subaltern in The Blues and Royals traditionally holds the old rank of cornet, which was officially dropped by other cavalry regiments in 1871.

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