The Queen will celebrate her 70th year as Monarch next year. To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee a number of events will take place from Thursday 2nd June 2022 until the 5th June. In 2022, Her Majesty The Queen, will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. The Queen took the throne on 6th February 1952 when her Majesty was 25 years old. An extended bank holiday, from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June, will take place across the country allowing communities throughout the United Kingdom to celebrate the historic milestone. There will be public events and national moments of reflection on The Queen’s 70 years of service. The Trooping the Colour will take place on Thursday 2nd June, instead of the second Saturday in June. The traditional parade will see more than 1400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians together. The Parade will begin at Buckingham Palace and move down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade. Members of the Royal Family will join on horseback and in carriages. An RAF fly past will close the Parade and will be watched by The Queen from the Buckingham Palace balcony. The Jubilee Medal will be awarded to public service workers, Armed Forces representatives and prison services, a tradition of which does back to the reign of Queen Victoria’s 50th anniversary on the throne. They will also receive a gift, which will be decided by MP’s and peers. Gifts for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee were a stain-glass window fitted in the Palace of Westminster and a sundial installed on the Parliamentary grounds. Further details on all aspects, including events and how to get involved will be released in the coming months. 2022 is set to be a significant year for Britain.
Every year we as a nation unite to remember those who have fallen fighting for our country. This year celebrations will be a little different due to Covid. The annual Remembrance Sunday March past at the Cenotaph, where up to 10,000 War Veterans take part in London did not take place this year. The ceremony was still broadcast live on BBC1 at 10:15am. The closed ceremony was attended by the likes of The Prime Minister and Members of The Royal Family. Attendees laid Poppy wreaths at the Cenotaph. Armistice Day 2020 will take place on Wednesday 11th November. On November 11th 1918 the armistice was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany. This stated an end to any conflict and an end to the war. This was signed at 11am, “on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” In many of the Allied nations, and France, this is a national holiday. All over the world people stop to observe a two minutes silence at 11am on the 11th of November. Poppies are worn as a symbol of respect and a tribute to those who fell during the Wars. Socially distanced ceremonies took place on Sunday on a much smaller scale due to Covid. The local councils advised much smaller outdoor ceremonies. We are advised to keep numbers down to those wishing to lay wreaths. Buglers are able to perform outdoors. Any communal singing must be outdoors and is limited to the national anthem and one additional song.
Coronavirus has disrupted many of the Armed Forces celebrations this year. Armed Forces Day, which was supposed to see celebrations across the country on the Saturday 27th June had to be cancelled. The Red Arrows performed a flypast in Scarborough however to commemorate the day. The Hawk jets flew over the town which has planned various events which had to be moved online or cancelled. The Queens Trooping the Colour, which celebrated the Queen’s Birthday, was also scaled back this year. It was confirmed that a mini trooping the colour would be held on the 13th June at Windsor Castle. The small parade of Welsh Guards which would see them troop their colour accompanied by a smaller group of the Bands of the Household Division. VE Day or Victory in Europe was celebrated during this year’s lockdown on Friday 8th May. Celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the day were planned across the country however due to coronavirus many celebrations were cancelled. The Queen addressed the nation via a televised broadcast at 9pm on the day, which was the same time her father, The King George VI gave the radio address 75 years ago. The Beating Retreat was also due to take place on June 3rd-4th this year however the decision was made to cancel this military event also due to Covid-19. Those who purchased tickets for the event are to be refunded for their tickets and the organisers hope this event will take place next year. During the coronavirus pandemic the Armed Forces have been on call helping out around the country with various tasks. The Forces have taken a lead role in the UK’s response to the pandemic. During the height of the pandemic there were 20,000 members of the Armed Forces at readiness with more than 4000 being deployed at any one time. One of their major tasks has been helping the NHS. Various Armed Forces personnel helped to set up the Nightingale Hospitals around the country. The vast majority of the mobile testing units were run by military personnel. Staff from HMS Prince of Wales and 1st Battalion Irish Guards were among the staff. 400 members of the Armed Forces were mobilised to help the COVID Support Force. Members from the British Army, RAF and Royal Navy have been supporting the NHS ambulance services and tri-service personnel have trained to drive oxygen tankers if required. Other duties included delivering PPE to NHS staff. The British Army teamed up with EBay to help healthcare workers find and order free personal protective equipment. They have also helped in the increase of medical provision. Two specialist RAF aircrafts, which are normally used to transport Government ministers were reconfigured to help in the fight against coronavirus by being adapted into medical evacuation planes for the critically ill COVID-19 patients.
The Blues and Royals regiment is made up of the Royal Horse Guards (RHG) and the 1st Dragoons. They are a cavalry regiment in the British Army and, along with The Life Guards, make up the Household Cavalry Regiment. The British Household Cavalry is classed as a corps in its own right. Together the two regiments which make up the Household Cavalry, act as the Queen’s personal bodyguard. In 1969 the merger of the Royal Horse Guards, which were then known as “The Blues”, and The Royal Dragoons, which was known as “The Royals”, formed The Blues and Royals. The regiment is the only regiment in the British Army to be known by their nickname. Their Colonel-in-Chief is Queen Elizabeth II and is the second most senior regiment in the British Army. Both Prince William and Prince Harry joined the regiment as cornets in 2006. Due to their role as the monarch’s official bodyguard, this historically meant that the soldiers and officers of the Household Cavalry were drawn from British aristocracy. Although this is no longer the case, many of the officers maintain a close connection to the Royal Family. Newly commissioned officers in the Blues are Royals are named cornets, rather than Second Lieutenants. In the Household Cavalry, the rank of sergeant does not exist. In most dress orders, the Waterloo Eagle is worn on the left arm as part of dress traditions. As the regiment is part of the Household Division, they do not use the Order of the Bath Star for its office rank pips but use the Order of the Garter Star instead. Their lineage can be traced back to the New Model Army. During ceremonial occasions, The Blues and Royals wear a blue tunic, a metal cuirass and a matching helmet with a red plume. The Blues and Royals wear their chin strap under their chin, as opposed to the Life Guards, who wear it below their lower lip. The Blues and Royals are based in Windsor and central London. Since 1992, the squadrons from The Blues and Royals have served with the HCav in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
This year marks the 75th Anniversary of VE, or Victory in Europe Day. On 8th May 1945, Winston Churchill made an announcement on the radio at 3pm after enemy forces had surrendered the previous day. He said, “My dear friends, this is your house.” This year on the 8th May 2020 it will be 75 years since the guns fell silent and marked the end of World War II. To commemorate the event, this year’s May Day Bank Holiday has been moved. Usually the May Day Bank Holiday is the first Monday of May, however this year the date has been moved to Friday 8th May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Events will take place around the country over weekend from the 8th May to the 10th May 2020 to mark the enormous sacrifice, courage and determination shown by those who served and the millions who lost their loved ones in the conflict. If you wish to find out more information on how you can take part in celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day click here. Ensure your uniform is ready to take part in the parades and remembrance duties. You can find all your uniform accessories on our website.
Mess dress uniform is not to be confused with full dress uniform. Mess dress is the semi-formal uniform worn by the military, police and other public uniformed services. The uniform is worn for certain ceremonies and celebrations on private occasions. Design may vary but they mainly consist of a mess jacket, trousers, white dress shirt and are worn with medals or other insignia. Mess dress is seen as an alternative to black tie for evening wear and is sometimes known as half dress. Mess dress is worn predominantly by commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers. It can however be worn by some senior enlisted personnel. The Royal Navy has two forms of evening dress. Mess dress (No. 2A) consists of a mess jacket, plain navy blue mess trousers, white waistcoat and black bow tie. The mess undress (No. 2B) consists of a mess jacket, plain navy blue mess trousers, blue waistcoat or black cummerbund and a black bow tie. Officers in the Royal Navy with the rank of Captain and above wear gold laced trousers and may wear the undress tailcoat with either mess dress of mess undress. The Royal Marines mess differs from the Royal Navy in that the jacket is scarlet. The Royal Marines also wear a scarlet cummerbund. The British Army mess uniform appeared in 1845, initially utilizing the short ‘shell jacket’. The original purpose was to provide a comfortable and inexpensive alternative to the full dress uniforms. After World War I, full dress uniforms mostly disappeared and mess dress became the most colourful and traditional uniform to be worn by most officers in the British Army. The most commonly worn mess dress in the British Army is the No. 10 Mess Dress. It can differ slightly depending on the regiment or corps but mostly this includes the short mess jacket. The colours of the mess jackets and trousers reflect the traditional full dress uniforms of the regiments. Usually the jackets are scarlet, dark blue or rifle green and are worn with embroidered waistcoats. The jackets are worn with high waisted, very tight, trousers called overalls. Ornamental spurs are often worn by cavalry regiments and traditionally mounted corps. Female officers and soldiers wear mess jackets over a dark coloured ankle length evening dress. The Royal Air Force mess dress is similar to the Royal Navy, except the jacket and trousers are mid blue. The No. 5 Mess Dress is also worn with a slate grey cummerbund. For women the same uniform is worn except they wear their high waisted jacket with an ankle length blue grey skirt. Unlike the men’s jacket, which has a pointed lapel, the ladies jacket features a shawl collar. Wyedean work along side military tailors by manufacturing and applying the braiding to the Mess Dress uniforms. Contact us today with your requirements.
The Life Guards (LG), along with The Blues & Royals, are the most senior regiments in the British Army. Together they form the Household Cavalry Regiment (HCav). The regiment was formed in 1660 by King Charles II. It consisted of 80 Royalists who accompanied the King and formed themselves into a military bodyguard to protect The Sovereign. The regiment has always remained the senior regiment of the British Army. The regiment was nicknamed the ‘Cheesemongers’ in the 1780’s. After originally, only recruiting gentlemen-troops, the regiment allowed members of the common merchant class to join. ‘Cheesemongers’ was a pejorative term for the people who worked in a trade. In 1815 the regiment were a part of the Household Brigade at the Battle of Waterloo. Under Major- General Lord Edward Somerset the regiment charged at the French heavy cavalry equivalents, along with the then, Royal Horse Guards. In 1922 the regiment became known as The Life Guards. In 1992 the Life Guards and The Blues & Royals formed a union but retained their separate identity. Since 1945 the regiment has served wherever the British Army has been in action. The Life Guards have been on tours to various places including; Cyprus, Northern Ireland, The Gulf, Palestine and Afghanistan. The regiment continues to be fully integrated as part of the modern British Army and are ready to deploy whenever they are needed. The Life Guards uniform if distinguishable by their red tunics with white horsehair plumes atop their helmets. They also wear a metal cuirass consisting of a front and back plate. Another distinguishing factor of The Life Guards uniform is that they wear their chin strap below their lower lip, unlike The Blues & Royals who wear theirs under their chin. On service dress the Life Guards Officers and Warrant Officers Class One wear a red lanyard and a Sam Browne belt. The Order of the Garter Star are used for Officer rank pips. Their motto is Honi soit qui mal y pense which is popularly translated to “Evil be to him who evil thinks.” View our Life Guards uniform accessories here.
The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) is not only the largest Corps in the British Army, it is also an incredibly diverse organisation. Its soldiers work on both peacekeeping and on operations. The RLC’s main function is to provide constant support to help the Army maintain its optimum operational capability. The RLC was formed in 1993 by a union of five units; the Royal Corps of Transport, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, Royal Pioneer Corps, Army Catering Corps and the Postal and Courier Service which were previously part of the Royal Engineers. Currently the RLC are deployed in Cyprus, Kenya, Canada and the Caribbean. Their current deployment to Cyprus is a 6 month peacekeeping mission as part of the UN peacekeeping agreement. Previously they have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers in the Royal Logistic Corps are infantry trained. They are also professionally trained in one of 12 trades. 40% of the RLC is detached and serves with other units. The RLC flag is dark blue with the Corps badge in the centre. The unit is the only Corps (Combat Service Support) of the British Army with battle honours. Their battle honours are: Peninsula, Battle of Waterloo, Lucknow, Taku Forts and Peking. Their motto, ‘We Sustain,’ was kept from the Army Catering Corps and their cap badge is an amalgamation of the cap badges from the original forming corps. The laurel and garter band are from the Royal Engineers, the star is from the Royal Corps of Transport, the shield is from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps and the crosses axes are from the Royal Pioneer Corps. The Colonel-in-Chief of the RLC is HRH The Princes Royal. The RLC have a Corps of Drums and a Marching Band. To view our range of RLC uniform accessories click here.
Classic military units differ in their specialization and size from country to country. Here are some Military Units you probably didn’t know existed. Lovat scouts (United Kingdom) Frederick Burnham, was the Commander of the Scottish Highland Regiment. He formed the Lovat Scouts in 1900 to fight in the Second Boer War. They became known as one of the first heavily camouflaged units during the First World War. Their suit, know are a Ghillie suit, was designed to resemble the background environment, such as sand or snow. Most of the regiment’s soldiers were gamekeepers from big Scottish estates and were known for their shooting skills so not surprisingly, in 1916 the military unit became the British Army’s first sniper unit. 61st Cavalry Regiment (India) Formed in 1953, the 61st Cavalry Regiment is the largest cavalry regiment in the World that isn’t ceremonial and is fully operational. The Regiment is made up of 270 men and is the only regiment that reserves a third of its places for Kaim Khani Muslim soldiers. The Regiment took part in combat in 2001, when it was involved in Operation Parakram, which was a stand-off along the Indian Pakistani border. ‘A’ Force (United Kingdom) The ‘A’ Force unit was set up by Dudley Wrangel Clarke during WWII and he was the only solder initially. He gave himself the task of deceiving the enemy by setting up fake regiments and operations. The unit was eventually given real mean to work behind the enemy lines. Filthy Thirteen (USA) The Filthy 13, or formally called, The Demolition Section, was made up of 18 paratroopers. These men were sent behind enemy lines to destroy and secure bridges following the Normandy landings in 1944. Most of their missions were seemingly suicidal. Many of them wore facepaint and were unwashed, hence the name. one of the soldiers said, “didn’t do everything we were supposed to do in some ways and did a whole lot more than they wanted us to do in other ways. We were always in trouble.” Fifteen of the eighteen men lived. The ‘Underground Army’ (United Kingdom) Churchill set up the Auxiliary Units, incase Germany’s Operation Sea Lion had been a success, to provide resistance and overthrow the enemy. Although these men hid under the veil of the Home Guard, they were fully trained in guerrilla warfare, assassination and sabotage. There were 3500 men in the regiment who were recruited to be self-sufficient, in their small teams, and entirely autonomous. They lived in especially dug-out underground shelters. Many of these men joined the SAS at the war’s end. Mormon Battalion (USA) The Mormon Battalion was the only religious regiment in the US. The battalion was made up of over 500 men, women, boys and girls. They never fought a single battle although marched 2000 miles across America, helping to play a part in the expansion of the US.
The King’s Royal Hussars are a regiment with cavalry traditions and an interesting history. The King’s Royal Hussars were established in 1992, however the four original cavalry regiments which make up the modern King’s Royal Hussars have a long history of service with their own customs and traditions. The origins of the regiment stretch right back to 1715 when the 10th, 11th and 14th Hussars were raised to serve in the two Jacobite Rebellions. In 1854 the 11th Hussars took part in the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimea campaign. The various regimens went through numerous changes over the years culminating in 1992 with the merging of the Royal Hussars and the 14th/20th Hussars into the Kings Royal Hussars we see today. The regiment is located at Aliwal Barracks in Tidworth, they are experts in operating a range of armored vehicles including the Challenger 2 battle tank which is used to support troops on close combat operations and the Scimitar reconnaissance vehicle which are used as scout vehicles ahead of the main troop. Overall their job is to form aggressive action against any enemy targets using their armoured vehicles. Their skills include; reconnaissance, conducting patrols, close combat, shock action and surveillance. We stock a variety of the Regiment's badges. Click here to view the range.