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.
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.
A bicorne, or cocked hat, is a two-cornered cocked hat which was worn during the 18th and 19th centuries and was adopted from the European and American military and naval officers. Today the bicorne is mostly associated with Napoleon Bonaparte and this style of hat was worn widely by most generals and staff officers until 1914. The bicorne descended from the tricorne. There was usually a cockade in the national colours at the front of the hat, but later on the hat became more triangular in shape and the two ends became more pointed. During the 1790s the hat was worn side-to-side. Some were even designed so they could be folded flat. This style was known as a chapeau-bras. During World War I the bicorne was worn as part of the full dress for officers. By the Second World War the hat had almost disappeared in this context. In the UK, cocked hats are worn during some ceremonial occasions: During the Trooping of the Colour the Major-General commanding the Household Division wears full dress uniform with a cocked hat and a swan-feather plume. When the Queen is represented in Parliament by Lords Commissioners, a plain black bicorne is worn. Senior officers holding certain royal appointments wear cocked hats.
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.’