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.
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.