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.
There have so far been eight ships named HMS Pickle in the Royal Navy. The most recent being an Algerine-class minesweeper which was launched in 1943. The original HMS Pickle was launched in the 1800s and was a 10-gun topsail schooner. The ship was present at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, under John Richards’ Lapenotiere, but was unfortunately wrecked in 1808. During the Battle of Trafalgar, HMS Pickle was too small to fight but was given the honour of being the first ship to bring the news of Nelson’s victory to Great Britain. In 1995, five replica Baltic packet schooners were constructed. In 2005 one was renamed ‘Schooner Pickle’ and although not a replica of HMS Pickle, this ship took part in the 200 year Trafalgar celebration. Currently the ship is at Hull Marina on the Humber and is kept as a representation of the original Pickle. The anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar is on the 21st October. If you wish to purchase your HMS Pickle cap tally click here.
The British Armed Forces recognise outstanding personal achievements by giving individuals from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British Army various awards and decorations. Medals, ribbons and emblems awarded by HM The Queen are only permitted to be worn by the recipient. Whether friend or family, wearing someone else’s awards is classed as fraud. Ribbons can be worn without the medals themselves, apart from The Orders of the Garter and Thistle. Ribbons are to be worn over the left breast pocket button in the centre of the pocket. The ribbons are worn in rows with the most senior medal worn nearest the jacket lapel or front buttons, and in the top row if multiple rows are worn. The number of ribbons worn in a row depends on the width of the breast pocket, however, if the uniform has no breast pocket then the number of ribbons worn must be no more than five. If there is an incomplete row of ribbons, and there are already two or more rows worn, then the top row must be left incomplete and must be worn centrally. Each row of ribbons should be approximately 3 mm apart. Ribbons worn are to be stitched to the garment instead of mounted. Orders, decorations and medals are to be worn using an unseen brooch and on the left breast. If wearing a Full Dress tunic then they are usually placed in the middle, between the first and second buttons from the collar. Medals should be worn to show the Sovereign’s head. Orders, Decorations and Medals are to be worn at the following occasions: - State Occasions - Royal Occasions - Guards in London - Military Funerals - Guards on Royal residences - Guards of honour - Guards in Edinburgh - Ceremonial and Sovereign’s parades - Parades incorporating a religious service Orders, Decorations and Medals are worn on Full Dress, Frockcoat and No 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10 and 11 Dress. They are not to be worn on greatcoats and No 8 Combat Dress. Orders, Decorations and Medals are also not to be worn on operational or protective clothing. To view our range of medals and medal ribbons click here.
During the 1990s the Royal Navy had two classes of off-shore patrol vessels: Island-class and Castle-class. In 1997, however, these were replaced by River-class which featured much larger vessels. The largest patrol vessel is HMS Protector which is a dedicated Antarctic patrol ship. There are also mine counter-measure vessels currently in service, including: the Sandown-class mine-hunters and the Hunt-class vessels. Hunt-class vessels have mechanical devices known as ‘sweeps’ used for disabling mines, while modern ships are soundproofed to reduce the chances of detonating the mines. Minesweeper vessels differ considerably to minehunter vessels. While minehunter vessels detect and neutralise mines, minesweepers clear open waters containing large numbers of mines. Both vessels are formally referred to as mine counter-measure vessels (MCMV). There are various Royal Navy bases for the Mine Counter-Measures Squadron. HM Naval Base Clyde and Faslane are two of them. The First mine Counter-Measures Squadron (MCM1) recently received the Surface Flotilla Efficiency Trophy for keeping sea lanes safe from mines. When operating overseas, the UK’s Mine Counter-Measures forces are supported by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Usually ships spend three years on deployment and the crew changes every six months. At the end of the three year period the ships swap and another vessel takes over.
They are to be worn by RAF and PMRAFNS Officers with a No 1A and 6A service dress, whether or not a sword is being worn, and with No 1 and 6 service dress when a sword is worn. White gloves are to be worn by airmen and women with No 1 and service dress when participating in: State Occasions, Royal Occasions, Guards of Honour, Service Funerals, Sovereign’s Birthday Parades and Guards at Royal residences. White gloves and white webbing may be worn at other ceremonial events but this is usually authorised by personnel before the event. The gloves are made from 100% cotton and have stitching on the cuff with a button. We stock the white parade gloves on our website. Click here to view them.
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 Prince of Wales has also been formally named and is structurally complete. Both of the new aircraft carriers are being delivered by Aircraft Carrier Alliance. We stock the HMS Queen Elizabeth ship crest and cap tally on our website. View the items here.
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 St James’s Palace to the New Guard. The Old Guard march at 11am from Buckingham Palace accompanied by their regimental band, and the New Guard then marches from Wellington Barracks to take over. They also march with their regimental band. The ceremony can be traced back to the time of King Henry VII which was when the role of a royal bodyguard was first created, however, the ceremony itself has been taken place since the restoration of King Charles II in 1660.
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 demanding training regimes in the world. There is a 32 week training program for Marines and 60 weeks for Officers. Recruits must be aged between 16 and 32 and from the end of 2018, women will be permitted to apply. Their training ends with commando courses which are a set of physical and mental endurance tests that highlight their military professionalism. The rank structure within the Royal Marines is similar to that of the Army. Officers and other ranks are recruited and are initially trained separately from other naval personnel. On average there are 1,200 recruits and 2,000 potential recruits every year. It wasn’t until 2017 that women have been able to service in all Royal Marines roles. The modern Royal Marines uniform includes a green ‘Lovat’ service dress worn with a green beret. The scarlet and blue mess dress is worn by officers and senior non-commissioned officers and a white uniform is worn by the Royal Marines Band Service. The Royal Marines’ motto is the Latin ‘Per Mare Per Terram’ which translates to ‘By Sea By Land’ and describes the regiment’s ability to fight on land and aboard Royal Navy ships. We have a wide variety of Royal Marines uniform accessories and ceremonial accoutrement on our website. View our range here.
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 their ships were staying at sea for longer periods of time and at greater distances. In 2008 the RFA was presented with a Queen’s Colour which is unheard of for a civilian organisation. Currently there are 9 ships in the RFA fleet and most of the vessels are replenishment ships. Wave Class tankers such as RFA Wave Knight and RFA Wave Ruler are a part of this class. RFA Argus is a unique support ship in that she has been converted to a roll-on/roll-off container ship and is enrolled in helping on peacetime aviation training and support. Fort Victoria is also a replenishment ship, capable of refuelling whilst on the go. We stock various uniform accessories and military gifts for the RFA. Click here to view our range.
As Britain’s largest ever warship, it’s been an anxious and exciting wait for the launch of HMS Queen Elizabeth as it finally left its dockyard in Rosyth to head out for sea trials. The 65,000 ton aircraft carrier squeezed through an exit with only 14 inch clearance on either side. After nearly a decade-long build, this marks the latest milestone for the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, which have cost more than £6 billion pounds, the other being HMS Prince of Wales. One of the Royal Navy’s warships will be escorting HMS Queen Elizabeth while its commanders try out the North Sea and Moray Firth. Shore-based helicopters will also be on the lookout for any submarines trying to sneak a peek at Britain’s new warship. 1,000 sailors and contractors will be aboard testing the vessel for the next six weeks. 650 doors and hatches on the vessel have been checked for fire safety and to check they are water tight. Multiple crew members have spent hours carrying out training for fires, flooding and overboard personnel. The Royal Navy had not had an aircraft carrier since 2010 when HMS Ark Royal was scrapped. HMS Queen Elizabeth will not be sent on operations until 2021. The ship will move to its new home in Portsmouth after the summer where trials for planes and helicopters will take place the following summer. The flight deck on the aircraft carrier can carry up to 36 F-35B stealth jump jets. We stock the HMS Queen Elizabeth Ship Crests and Cap Tallies on our website. To view them click here.