The divisions of the regular army of the British Army have an order of precedence which dictates the order in which these divisions parade, from right to left. The unit on the extreme right, usually the Household Cavalry, is generally the highest ranking unit. Army Reserve units and Militia take precedence over regular units but this does not include the Honourable Artillery Company and The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers. • Household Cavalry • Royal Horse Artillery • Royal Armoured Corps • Corps of Royal Engineers • Royal Regiment of Artillery • Royal Corps of Signals • Infantry • Foot Guards • Line Infantry • The Rifles • Special Air Service • Army Air Corps • Special Reconnaissance Regiment • Royal Army Chaplains Department • Royal Logistic Corps • Royal Army Medical Corps • Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers • Adjutant General's Corps • Royal Army Veterinary Corps • Small Arms School Corps • Royal Army Dental Corps • Intelligence Corps • Royal Army Physical Training Corps • General Service Corps • Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps • Corps of Army Music • Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) (Army Reserve) • Honourable Artillery Company (Although Army Reserve Regiments, they are included in the order of arms Regular Army) • Remainder of the Army Reserve • Royal Gibraltar Regiment • The Royal Bermuda Regiment The order of precedence for the Household Cavalry and Royal Armoured Corps dates back to when the regiments had numbers rather than names. The Household Division regiments are always listed first, as they are the most senior. Today, as many regiments have been formed through amalgamations of other regiments, the order of precedence is given to those with the more senior amalgamated units. An example of this is that the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, which is one of the youngest in the army, is ranked second in the line infantry order as it is a direct descendant of the 2nd Regiment of Foot.
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. This is due to their motto being ‘Nulli Secundus’ (Second to None) The role of the Foot Guards is to act as the primary garrison for the capital and for ceremonial duties. Two battalions are appointed for public duties. They provide the Queen’s Guard, the Tower of London Guards and sometimes the Windsor Castle Guard. On Public Dates, the Guards Battalions are located in barracks close to Buckingham Palace. In the future the Foot Guards will serve in a ceremonial role and the Reaction and Adaptable Forces. There are many other Foot Guards in armies over the world. The term ‘Guards’ is considered an honorific term to distinguish elite soldiers. Most monarchies have at least one regiment of guards and their duties to guard the Royal Family. We stock Foot Guards Military Uniform Accoutrement and Accessories on our webshop. Click here to see the items.
The soldiers chosen to Troop the Colour, on June 17th at Horse Guards Parade, have this year been examined to check they are up to the job. The 1st Battalion The Irish Guards were inspected in their red tunics by General Officer Commanding London District and Major General Commanding the Household Division, Ben Bathurst. The Irish Guards wear a blue plume on the right side of their bearskins, and given that this is The Queen’s Blue Sapphire Jubilee, this seems very appropriate. The mantle and sash of the Order of St. Patrick, is also blue. Everything from the tailoring of the uniform to the regiment’s ability to march to time was under scrutiny by The Major General at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow. Dohmall, the regiment’s famous wolfhound mascot was also on parade. Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, became Colonel of The Irish Guards in 2011 and this year will be the first time since 2009 that their soldiers have trooped the Colour. Major General Bathurst said: ‘A huge amount of work goes in to making sure that the tailoring is right and I was extremely impressed with what I saw on the parade square.’ As a Foot Guards Regiment, as well as operational duties, the Irish Guards have also been involved in state ceremonial and public duties at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James’s Palace and The Tower of London. The soldiers preparing for the Queen’s Birthday Parade will ‘troop the colour’ in front of Her Majesty The Queen, 8500 guests and a massive global TV audience. Garrison Sergeant Major WO1 Andrew Stokes said, ‘We already know that they are excellent in the field but here we are looking for attention to detail and professionalism. I am pleased to say that both were there in abundance.’