The Blues and Royals
The Blues and Royals were formed in 1969 from an amalgamation of the Royal Horse Guards (Blues) and The Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons).
The Royal Horse Guards
The Royal Horse Guards trace their origins back to a force raised by Oliver Cromwell prior to the second invasion of Scotland, but the parliamentary officers were replaced by royalists in 1660.
The Regiment then saw almost continuous service from The Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685, to Flanders, the Boyne, the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War, during which the Marquis of Granby (famous in regimental folklore) commanded the Regiment.
The Regiment was especially favoured by King George III and, with the appointment of the Duke of Wellington as its Colonel, was elevated to the status of Household Cavalry in 1813.
The Regiment went on to see service during the Peninsular War, fighting at the decisive battle of Vitoria in 1813 and as part of The Household Brigade at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons)
The Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons) trace their origins back to a troop of horse raised by King Charles II in 1661 to form part of the garrison at Tangier, which was part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza. They became Dragoons on their return to England in 1683.
The term dragoon derived from the 'dragon', a musket suitable for mounted infantry. They received the battle honour Tangier, the oldest battle honour carried on standards, guidons and colours in the British Army.
The Royals, as they were known, then served in The War of the Spanish Succession, The War of the Austrian Succession and in the Spanish Peninsula before distinguishing itself at the Battle of Waterloo where they captured the French 105th Infantry Regiment's Colours. The eagle that topped the Colour, with the number 105, still forms part of the Regiment's crest today and is worn on our uniforms.
The latter half of the nineteenth century saw them in action in the Crimea, The Boer War and in India before deploying to Flanders in 1914. The regiment fought at Ypres, Loos, Hohenzollern and against the Hindenburg line in 1917.
The inter-war years saw The Royal Dragoons stationed in Egypt, India and Palestine before they were deployed to the Western Desert in 1941 seeing distinguished service at El Alamein. Operation Overlord in 1944 saw the regiment in Normandy from where they went on to liberate Copenhagen in 1945.
The Royals spent the post war years in Egypt, Germany and the Trucial States before amalgamation in 1969. Meanwhile, the Royal Horse Guards were serving with Household Cavalry regiments in Egypt in 1882, the Sudan and South Africa.
Like The Life Guards, The Blues saw action in the majority of major actions in Flanders, suffering heavy losses at Zandvoorde, and as the 3rd Guards Machine Gun Battalion (Blues) in 1918.
Likewise the Second World War saw the Regiment divided between 1st and 2nd Household Cavalry Regiments in Palestine, Syria and Normandy before entering the German naval base of Cuxhaven in 1945.
The years afterwards were spent in Germany, Cyprus and Windsor before the regiment amalgamated with The Royal Dragoons in March 1969.
Since 1969 the new regiment has served in Windsor, Northern Ireland, Germany and Cyprus and most notably provided the only armoured reconnaissance in the shape of two troops during the Falklands War in 1982.
Since the Defence Review in 1991, the Regiment has, like The Life Guards, two reconnaissance squadrons in Windsor and a mounted ceremonial squadron in London.
The regiment has also recently had squadrons on operational duty with the United Nations and NATO in Bosnia and Kosovo, and most recently served in Iraq and Afghanistan.