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HMS Queen Elizabeth

Queen to formally commission HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Queen has formally commissioned the aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth. She was joined by Princess Annie, First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones and Prime Minister Theresa May. It was the first time the Queen had seen the new flagship since Rosyth in July 2014. A commissioning ceremony usually takes place once a ship has completed its sea trials. In this specific ceremony The Queen said a few words and then the commissioning warrant was read. The Blue Ensign has been replaced with the White Ensign. The Blue Ensign has been flying from the ship during trials. The replacement of the Blue Ensign to the White Ensign symbolises the acceptance of HMS Queen Elizabeth into Her Majesty’s fleet. This also makes it an Official Navy Warship. The only milestone left for HMS Queen Elizabeth is the flight trials, which will begin in 2018. The HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to be deployed, with jets on board, in 2021. Her sister ship, HMS [...]

Changing The Guard

Royal Navy Sailors to perform Changing the Guard

Royal Navy sailors are to perform the Changing the Guard, often also referred to as the Changing of the Guard, at Buckingham Palace for the first time in the ceremony’s 357 year history. The sailors will also perform Royal Duties at St James’s Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. There will be 86 sailors from 45 different Royal Navy ships performing the ceremony after months of preparation at their headquarters in Portsmouth. Lt Cdr Steve Elliott will be Captain of the Queen’s Guard. He is believed to be the first in the Royal Navy since Sir Walter Raleigh in 1587. The Changing the Guard ceremony is usually carried out by one of the Foot Guard Regiments in their red military tunics. 2018 is set to be marked as the ‘Year of the Navy’ which is why there’s a change. The Changing the Guard is the ceremony where one set of guards hands over the responsibility of protecting Buckingham Palace and [...]

Royal Marines

The Royal Marines

The Royal Marines are the amphibious troops of the Royal Navy and one of the world’s most elite commando forces. They are held at a very high readiness in order to be able to respond quickly to events around the world. The Royal Marines were formed in 1755 as the infantry troops for the Royal Navy, however, they do have roots right back to the formation of the English Army’s Duke of York and Albany’s maritime regiment of Foot in 1664. The adaptable light infantry force are trained for rapid deployment and are capable of dealing with threats worldwide. The Royal Marines are split into different units: 3 Commando Brigade 1 Assault Group Royal Marines 43 Commando Royal Marines (or previously the Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines) Special Forces Support Group The Corps receive training on various things: amphibious warfare, arctic warfare, mountain warfare, expeditionary warfare and its commitment to the UK’s Rapid Reaction Force. Their training is the longest and one of the most physically [...]

Royal Artillery

The Royal Artillery (RA)

The Royal Artillery (RA) provides firepower to the British Army and is more commonly known as the ‘Gunners’. Regular and reserve units make up the Royal Artillery and are located all around the UK and Germany. Originally formed in 1716, the RA found its regimental home in Woolwich for almost 300 years until it was recently relocated to Larkhill in Salisbury Plains. The Regiment has sub-units, or batteries, which can be deployed independently and move around regiments. It is able to perform many different roles within a single regiment. The Royal Artillery answers directly to the reigning sovereign, currently Queen Elizabeth II through the Master Gunner who is Her Majesty’s chief advisor on artillery matters. The modern battlefield means that new equipment is constantly developed so soldiers and officers in the Royal Artillery have to be flexible enough to cope with the demands of this. Before World War II, Royal Artillery recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 4 inches tall. There [...]

Kings Troop

The King’s Troop 70th Anniversary Parade

The King’s Troop 70th Anniversary Parade is due to take place on the 19th of October 2017 in Hyde Park, London. The event celebrates 70 years since the troop’s formation with a royal Review by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery has existed since 1946 and had its first royal visit on 24th October 1947 by King George VI to the Riding Troop. He famously scratched out the name Riding and replaced it with King’s, and from then on in they were The King’s Troop. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery form the Queen’s ceremonial Saluting Battery. The Troop is a mounted unit and is stationed at Woolwich, London. The troop’s duties include the firing of the Royal Salutes on royal anniversaries, and providing a gun carriage and team of block horses for state and military funerals. The troop also performs the duties of the Queen’s Life Guard at Horse Guard’s for one month each year. We [...]

Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Royal Regiment Of Scotland

The Royal Regiment of Scotland is the most senior and only Scottish line infantry regiment forming a core part of the British Army. The regiment consists of four regular battalions and two reserve battalions. As each battalion was formerly an individual regiment, they all maintain their former regimental pipes and drums to carry on the traditions of their antecedent regiments. The Royal Regiment of Scotland was formed in 2004 by the Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon, after a British Army restructuring. The regiment, along with the Rifles, is one of two line infantry regiments to maintain its own regular military band within the Corps of Army Music. This was formed through the amalgamation of the Highland Band and the Lowland Band of the Scottish Division. All battalions in the Royal Regiment of Scotland took the name of their former individual regiments. This was to preserve regional ties and former regimental identities. The order of battle is shown below: Regular battalions The [...]

Yarn

Sprang Weaving

Sprang is an ancient method of constructing fabric that gives it an appearance similar to netting so that it has natural elasticity. Sprang, unlike netting, however, is constructed from entirely warp threads. The sprang structure is close to a Leno weave but without the weft so that it is inherently flexible. Although examples of sprang can be seen back in the Bronze Age, there were no written records until the late nineteenth century. These days knitting has taken over sprang constructions, however, there are many examples in museums of product woven in a sprang construction which is often misidentified as knitted. Wyedean possesses a sprang fabric hand loom,similar to the one in the picture, which, to the best of our knowledge is one of only two in existence, the other we understand is in London owned by the Royal School of Needlework. Our loom hasn’t been used for many years and was last used in the 1980s to manufacture British Army Generals Guards Full [...]

The RAF Regiment

The Royal Air Force Regiment

The Royal Air Force Regiment (RAF) is the ground fighting force for the Royal Air Force and provides a range of force protection. The Royal Air Force Regiment functions as a specialist airfield defence corps and was founded by Royal Warrant in 1942. The regiment’s members are known within the RAF by a number of names: ‘The Regiment’, ‘Rock Apes’ and ‘Rocks’. The regiment trains in CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) defence. They are equipped with advanced vehicles and detection methods. Each member undertakes a 32-week gunner course and is trained to prevent a successful enemy attack in the first instance, minimise the damage caused by a successful attack, and ensure that air operations can continue without delay in the aftermath of an attack. The regiment was formed in 1942 and had 66,000 personnel drawn in from the former Defence Squadrons No.’s 701-850. The role of the new regiment was to seize, secure and defend airfields to enable air operations [...]

RFA Cardigan Leading Royal Navy Ships in the Middle East

Royal Fleet Auxiliary

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) is a civilian manned unit delivering operational and logistical support worldwide for tasks undertaken by the Royal Navy. Some of these include warfighting, counter-piracy, disaster relief and counter-narcotic operations. The RFA is a support force aiding the Royal Navy and allows them to conduct global maritime operations. As well as its primary role of supplying Royal Navy ships with fuel, ammunition and supplies, it also transports Army and Royal Marine personnel and supports training exercises. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary has aviation training ships and hospital ships in its fleet along with landing ships. RFA officers wear Merchant Navy rank insignia with naval uniforms but are under naval discipline when the vessel is engaged on any war-like operations. The RFA was established in 1905 originally to provide coaling ships for the Navy. It wasn’t until the Second World War when the Royal Fleet Auxiliary really came into its own. The Royal Navy really depended on it as often [...]

Foot Guards

Foot Guards

The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There are five active regiments of the Foot Guards and one reserve regiment: Grenadier Guards Coldstream Guards Scots Guards Irish Guards Welsh Guards Royal Guards Reserve Regiment A simple method to help distinguish between different Guards is by looking at the spacing of the buttons on their tunics. Grenadier Guards – evenly spaced tunic buttons. Coldstream Guards – paired tunic buttons. Scots Guards – tunic buttons in groups of three. Irish Guards – tunic buttons in groups of fours. Welsh Guards – tunic buttons in groups of fives. The ascending number of buttons also indicates the order in which the regiments were formed. Various other features on the uniform help distinguish between regiments such as the plumes, the collar badge and the shoulder badge. When the regiments all parade together they form up in the order of: Grenadier Guards on the right flank, then Scots Guards, Welsh Guards, Irish Guards and the Coldstream Guards on the left flank. [...]