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The Blues and Royals
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The Blues and RoyalsIn 1969 The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) were amalgamated with the Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons) to form a new Regiment in the Household Cavalry, known as The Blues and Royals.

The Royal Horse Guards (the Blues) were directly descended from the Regiment of Horse raised by Cromwell in 1650. With the Restoration, King Charles II took the Regi¬ment for his own, styling it 'The Royal Regiment of Horse'. Although forced to hand in its Standards in December 1660 by Par¬liamentary agitation for the disbandment of the army, the further threat to the monarchy changed the situation and Charles signed the birth certicate of the modern British Army in 1661. The new Regiment was to be com¬manded by Aubrey de Verre, Earl of Oxford.

The colour blue was associated with the Regiment from early days, but it was also the colour of the livery of the Earl of Oxford and the new Regiment wore blue coats from their inception in 1661. About 1690 they were nicknamed 'The Oxford Blues' to distinguish them from William III's Dutch Horse Guards. This name became stylized in 1750 as The Royal Horse Guards Blue, which was their title until 1819 when they became The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues).

In 1820, as a compliment to their Colonel, the Duke of Wellington, and in consideration of their distinguished service at Waterloo in 1815, The Blues were granted the full status of Household Cavalry, until then only enjoyed by The Life Guards. Because of their status, the active service career of The Blues closely paralleled that of The Life Guards, with whom they fought side by side.

The Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons) were, until the amalgamation, the oldest Cavalry Regiment of the Line, with their own Royal connections. Raised in 1661 as 'The Tangier Horse', the new Regiment spent twenty-two years fighting the Moors, and when it return¬ed in 1684 it received the title 'His Majesty's Own Royal Regiment of Dragoons'.

After fighting in the War of the Spanish Succession, the War of the Austrian Succes¬sion and the Seven Years' War, the Royal Dragoons won further fame in 1794 against the French at Beaumont and Willems, followed by service in the Peninsula and Waterloo. The Regiment took part in the Charge of the Heavy Brigade at Balaclava in 1854; fought in Egypt and South Africa; served dismounted in the trenches during the First World War; and, then mechanized, fought in the Western Desert and in North-West Eu¬rope during the Second World War. In 1982 two troops of The Blues and Royals fought with distinction in the Falkland Islands.

On 1 October 1992 a union of the House¬hold Cavalry took place and the House¬hold Cavalry Regiment was formed, based in Windsor. Equipped with armoured vehicles, it consists of two squadrons of Life Guards and two squadrons of Blues and Royals.

The mounted element of the Household Cavalry consists of one squadron of both Life Guards and Blues and Royals and is based at Knightsbridge. It carries out the duties of The Queen's Life Guard at Whitehall daily.

The Uniforms
The Blues and Royals, like The Life Guards, wear full dress uniform when providing the Sovereign's Life Guard and on State occasions. The Blues and Royals wear blue tunics, red helmet plumes and white leather breeches. White crossbelts are worn over the left shoulder and the cuirasses and jackboots are identical to those of The Life Guards.


The Blues and Royals The Blues and Royals

Departure of The Royal Horse Guards Squadron for Egypt, 1882. Watercolour by R. Simkin.


The Blues and Royals

Trooper in Mounted Review Dress. The horse's saddle is covered with black sheepskin, and the metal links were a precautionary measure against a possible sword cut releasing the bridle. The Blues and Royals Officer is in mounted khaki Service Dress.


The Blues and Royals

The jackboots worn by both The Blues and Royals and The Life Guards are of a pattern introduced by the Prince Regent in 1812.


The Blues and Royals

The crest of The Blues prior to amalgamation with the Royal Dragoons.

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