Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
- Full Name: Life Guards, part of the Household Cavalry (other regiments are the Blues and the Reds), the only standing army in England. The Life Guard is the common name for the entire Royal Horse Guard, even though it is but part of it.
- Current Officer in charge: Christopher Monck (Duke of Albemarle)
- Former officer: Colonel Trentmont (retired)
- Uniform: a round hat with a very broad brim and a profusion of white feathers drooping over the back; scarlet coats trimmed with gold lace, the sleeves being wide and slashed, with lace upon them; very broad white collars covered the neck and parts of the shoulders, a scarlet silk sash went round the waist and was tied at the back; large ruffles of lace at the wrist; and the men wore their hair in long ringlets as became gallant Cavaliers. Boots of /jacked leather (jack-boots) came up to the middle of the thighs; cuirasses of iron covered the back and chest and an iron head piece called a "pott" was worn on the head, presumably underneath the hat. The weapons comprised a short carbine, two pistols and a long straight sword. The horses were as gaily adorned as their riders and had their tails and manes tied up with ribbons. The officers' dresses were the same as the men's but much more gorgeous.
- Motto: Honi soit qui mal y pense (Same as the Knights of the Garter)
- Duty: to mount guard at whichever of his Palaces His Majesty was residing and to attend him whenever he went out of doors. Their Commander was a member of the Royal Household and his special duty was "to wait upon the King's Person at all times of war or peace with a considerable number of horsemen, well armed and prepared against all dangers whatsoever."
The Life Guard is there to ensure the security of the palace, and not as the personal bodyguards of the nobility.
Units & Officers in charge:
- First Troop - His Majesty's Own, founded in exile from 80 royalist gentlemen, now 200 men. Current officer: Christopher Monck
- Second Troop - founded in 1659 as Monck's Own, part of which was later to be come the Coldstream Foot Guards, now 200 men and known as the Queens Own, Current officer: Major Charles Whitehurst, Viscount of Langdon
- Other known troopers: Lieutenant William Hale, Burrows, Nielson, Thompson, Akerman
- Third Troop - The Duke of York's Troop, founded in exile. Now 200 men. Current officer: Captain Douglas FitzJames
- Other known troopers: Hooks, Jones, Lieutenant Henry Howard Jr, Lord Arundel
- Fourth Troop - raised in 1661 in Scotland. Now 200 men. Current officer:
- The Bangers
- The Cheesemongers
- The Fly-slicers
- The Piccadilly Butchers
- The Roast and Boiled
- The Ticky Tins
- The Tin Bellies
- The Patent Safeties
The first, second and third Troop are in London.
The Life Guards are the senior regiment of the British Army. Just before the Restoration of King Charles II, a Royal Mounted Bodyguard was formed in Holland from eighty Royalists who had gone into exile with The King after the Battle of Worcester in 1652. In March 1660, The King appointed Officers to three Troops of Horse Guards. These Troops were formed on The King's return to England in May and were originally commanded by Lord Gerard of Brandon, Sir Charles Berkeley and Sir Philip Howard. A fourth (Scots) troop was raised in Edinburgh on 2 April 1661 commanded by James, Earl of Newburgh.
The regiment has not yet seen action, though individual soldiers may have been part of earlier wars, or hired themselves out to France, Spain etc. The regiment is the first standing army in England. Persons of low degree were excluded, the corps being a school were young gentlemen of quality qualified for commissions in other branches of the service.