So its back to the grind after a wonderful 4 day weekend where we showed the world how we throw a British Party. No-one can do pomp and pageantry like us, with our rich history, beautiful streets, cities and party planning skills, we are a forced to be reckoned with. The thing that I loved the most about the weekend was seeing all the different sorts of uniforms we have, from the Beefeater’s to the Thin blue line and back to the place guards, I was in ore of them and wanted to find out a bit more about them so here we go.
The Tower of London is guarded by a group of uniformed people officially called Yeomen Warders, but more popularly known by the nickname Beefeater’s.
Henry VIII formed a special body of King’s Yeomen and given a unique uniform that included the royal livery. Nearly half a millennium later they still exist in the form of 38 Yeomen Warders (36 normal Warders, the Chief Yeoman Warder and a Yeoman Gaoler) whose everyday blue uniform was created in 1858, but derived from Henry’s original.
Like the other Guards regiments, the “Home Service Dress” of the Irish Guards is a scarlet tunic and bearskin. Buttons are worn in two rows of four, reflecting the regiment’s position as the fourth most senior Guards regiment, and the collar is adorned with a shamrock on either side. They also sport a St. Patrick’s blue plume on the right side of the bearskin. The colours of the tactical recognition flash, blue, red and blue, stand for “The water we crossed, the blood we shed, the sky we fought under. These are the guys that famously stand outside Buckingham Palace, an don’t even blink when you pull funny faces at them.
The second unit is the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) equipped with horses. It is their unique privilege to meet the requirement to carry out mounted and some dismounted ceremonial duties on State and Royal occasions which include the provision of a Sovereign’s Escort most commonly seen at The Queen’s Birthday Parade in June each year and at this years Diamond Jubilee. Other occasions include Sovereign’s Escorts for Her Majesty The Queen during State Visits by visiting Heads of State, and as required by Her Majesty anywhere in the Kingdom. They maintain a world-famous tradition dating back to 1660. A unique job calls for special soldiers: young men who can adapt themselves to the added responsibility and variety that a career in the Household Cavalry offers.
Pike Men were seen to be the biggest and strongest soldiers. They considered themselves the elite because guns were still relatively new as a reliable weapon, but the pike was an ancient weapon. In our period, though, the pike was becoming old-fashioned, and it would soon be consigned to ceremonials and history. It was, however, the best defence against cavalry for soldiers in the open.
The most recognisable Naval uniform has to be that of Prince Philip, who had a glistening Naval career which started in 1940. To celebrate his 90th birthday, the Queen appointed him Lord High Admiral of the Royal Navy (the highest rank in the organisation anyone other than the sovereign can hold) He held this position all over the common wealth. Prince Phillip is one of the last living descendants of Queen Victoria! and is in succession to the Throne in 16 countries in Europe.
Following his marriage to Princess Elizabeth until 1949, Prince Philip’s arms featured a different version of the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, derived from his ancestor Princess Alice.
Unlike the arms used by other members of the Royal Family, the Duke’s arms no longer features the royal arms of the United Kingdom, as men are not entitled to bear the arms of their wives. However they do feature elements representing Greece and Denmark, from which he is descended in the male line; the Mountbatten family arms, from which he is descended in the female line; and the City of Edinburgh.
Rear Admiral- Prince Charles
Royal Naval Commander
Rear Admiral Princess Anne
Welsh Guards Uniform
Royals have donned military dress at state occasions since the 19th century. Princess Anne’s military trousers were a departure from the norm, however. Though the queen mum’s funeral marked the second time Princess Anne has made the feminist gesture, she reportedly is the first royal woman to wear military attire in public since Queen Elizabeth I—in 1588. For that occasion, in which the queen rallied British troops at Tilbury to battle the Spanish, she wore a suit of armor.
Frequently, the royals earn their uniforms the hard way. Both Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, for example, had long careers in the military. Prince Andrew retired from active service in 2001 after serving as an officer in the royal navy for over 20 years, earning the title of commander in the process. Prince Charles served as an air vice marshal in the royal air force and rear admiral in the navy, retiring in 1976 after seven years of active service.
Other times, royals collect military ranks and uniforms as honorifics. Princess Anne didn’t serve in the military, but she can wear military trousers because she is an honorary rear admiral. In addition to his earned military ranks, Prince Charles is the honorary colonel in chief of 17 regiments of the armed services.