Grenadier Guards

Grenadier Guards

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Grenadier Guards

caption= Cap Badge of the Grenadier Guards
dates= 1656-present
country= United Kingdom
branch= Army
type= Foot Guards
size= One battalion
One company
garrison= RHQ - London
1st Battalion - London
Nijmegen Company - London
role= 1st Battalion - Light Role/Public Duties
Nijmegen Company - Public Duties
command_structure= Guards Division
ceremonial_chief= HM The Queen
ceremonial_chief_label=Colonel in Chief
colonel_of_the_regiment= HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT, GBE
motto="Honi soit qui mal y pense" (Evil Be To Him Who Evil Thinks) (French)
identification_symbol_label=Tactical Recognition Flash
Left side of Bearskin cap
identification_symbol_4=GREN GDS
nickname= "The Bill Browns"
battles= Waterloo
march= Quick: "The British Grenadiers"
Slow: "Scipio"
The Grenadier Guards (GREN GDS) is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division of the British Army, and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards. The Coldstream Guards was formed before the Grenadier Guards, but that regiment is ranked after the Grenadiers in seniority as it was a regiment of the New Model Army.

The grouping of buttons on the tunic is a common way to distinguish between the regiments of Foot Guards. Grenadier Guards' buttons are equally spaced and embossed with the Royal Cypher reversed and interlaced surrounded by the Royal Garter bearing "Honi soit qui mal y pense" (Evil be to him who evil thinks ). Their “Buff Belt” brass clasped also carry the Royal Cypher, Modern Grenadier Guardsmen wear a cap badge of a "grenade fired proper" with 17 flames. This cap badge is to be cleaned twice a day once in the morning and once in the afternoon, as it is made from brass and a tarnished grenade is frowned upon by all in the regiment.


The Grenadier Guards celebrated its 350th anniversary in 2006.

In 1656, Lord Wentworth's Regiment was formed in Bruges, in the Spanish Netherlands, currently Belgium, forming a portion of exiled King Charles II's bodyguard. A few years later, a similar regiment known as John Russell's Regiment of Guards was formed. In 1665, these two regiments were combined to form the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards. As a result of their heroic actions in defeating the French Imperial Grenadiers at Waterloo, the 1st Guards were renamed by Royal Proclamation as the 1st or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards, thus becoming the only regiment in the British Army to win its name in battle. The nickname for the 2nd Battalion is the 'Models' and for the third battalion the 'Ribbs'.

The Grenadier Guards have served 10 Kings and 3 Queens, including currently Queen Elizabeth II.


The Grenadier Guards serves as a light infantry battalion - following the reforms of 2004, this will be fixed. The regiment will alternate with the Welsh Guards in the public duties role. In recent years the 1st Battalion has deployed as part of Operation TELIC in Iraq, and Op Herrick in Afghanistan.

Battle honours

The 1st Foot Guards have received 79 battle honours, including:
* various actions near the Strait of Gibraltar
* the War of the Spanish Succession, including Oudenarde
* the War of the Austrian Succession
* the Peninsular War
* the Napoleonic Wars, including Waterloo
* the Crimean War
* the Urabi Revolt
* the Opium Wars
* the Sudan Campaign
* the Boer Wars
* World War I and World War II (North Africa, Italy, Northwest Europe)
* the Persian Gulf War

In 1994, under the "Options for Change" reforms, the Grenadier Guards was reduced to a single battalion. The 2nd Battalion was put into 'suspended animation', and its colours passed for safekeeping to a newly formed independent Company, which was named "The Nijmegen Company". (The Inkerman Company, one of the three rifle companies that form the 1st Battalion, maintains the customs and traditions of the 3rd Battalion that went into 'suspended animation' back in 1962).


Recruits to the Grenadier Guards go through a 28-week training course at the Infantry Training Centre. This is 2 weeks more than the training for regular line regiments of the British Army; the extra training, carried out throughout the course, is devoted to drill and ceremonies.

Following graduation from the ITC, guardsmen are assigned to Nijmegen Company for additional training and orientation before being posted to the 1st Battalion.


The Grenadier Guards' various colonels-in-chief have generally been the British monarchs, including Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI, and currently Elizabeth II.

Many prestigious military officers have been colonels of this regiment, including:
*the Duke of Marlborough
*the Duke of Cumberland
*the Lord Ligonier
*the Duke of Wellington
*the Prince Consort
*the Duke of Cambridge
*the Duke of Edinburgh

The Colonel-in-Chief is always the reigning Sovereign. This applies to all regiments of the Household Division. Other Sovereigns have served in the regiment. Mutesa II of Buganda was commissioned as a captain in the Grenadier Guards.


The Regimental Slow March is the march "Scipio", from the opera of the same name by George Frideric Handel, inspired by the exploits of the Roman General Scipio Africanus. The first performance of "Scipio" was in 1726. Handel actually composed the eponymous slow march for the First Guards, presenting it to the regiment before he added it to the score of the opera. [cite book
last = Hanning
first = Henry
year = 2006
title = The British Grenadiers: Three Hundred & Fifty Years of the First Regiment of Foot Guards 1656-2006
publisher = Pen and Sword Books Ltd, London
location = page 80
id = ISBN 1-84415-385-1
] The Quick March is "The British Grenadiers".


Both the 2nd Grenadier Guards F.C. and the 3rd Grenadier Guards F.C. enjoyed considerable success in the London League, playing against the likes of West Ham United.

Order of Precedence

Cadet Force

The 78th Unit Grenadier Guards Cadet Force meets every Monday and Thursday at the Lorship Lane Cadet Centre near the Horniman Museum.


*CAN - The Canadian Grenadier Guards
*AUS - 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
*RN - HMS "Illustrious"



*cite book
last = Hanning
first = Henry
year = 2006
title = The British Grenadiers: Three Hundred & Fifty Years of the First Regiment of Foot Guards 1656-2006
publisher = Pen and Sword Books Ltd, London
id = ISBN 1-84415-385-1

ee also

*George Higginson
*Grenadier Guards Band
*Military history of the United Kingdom
*British Army
*Canadian Grenadier Guards

External links

* [ The Guards Museum] Containing the history of the five regiments of Foot Guards, Wellington Barracks, London.
* [ British Army: Grenadier Guards]
* [ The Grenadier Guards]
* [ Grenadier Guards Association (East Kent Branch)]
* [ Grenadier Guards Association (Nottinghamshire Branch)]
* [ Melody and words of "The British Grenadiers" (the Regimental Quick March)]
* [ The official site of the Grenadier Guards Band.] Navbox
name = British Army Infantry Regiments
title = British Army Infantry Regiments

list1 =

The GuardsRoyal Regiment of ScotlandPrincess of Wales's Royal RegimentDuke of Lancaster's RegimentRoyal Regiment of FusiliersRoyal Anglian RegimentYorkshire RegimentRoyal WelshMercian RegimentRoyal Irish RegimentParachute RegimentRoyal Gurkha RiflesThe RiflesRoyal Gibraltar RegimentLondon Regiment

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grenadier Guards — marschieren vom Buckingham Palace zum St. James s Palace Die Grenadier Guards, auch bekannt als 1st Foot Guards, sind das zweitälteste Regiment der Gardedivision (Guards Division) der britischen Armee nach den Coldstream Guards. Sie gehören zu… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Grenadier Guards — Les Grenadier Guards constituent un régiment d infanterie de l armée britannique, faisant partie de la Guards Division. Les régiments de cavalerie de la Garde étant constitués des Horse Guards. C’est le premier régiment de l infanterie de la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Grenadier Guards — one of the oldest and best known regiments in the British army. It was the first regiment of Foot Guards. * * * …   Universalium

  • Grenadier Guards Band — Infobox musical artist Name = Grenadier Guards Band Img size = 250 Background = Military Band Alias = Band of the Grenadier Guards Origin = flagicon|UK London, England, United Kingdom URL = [ band/454.aspx Home… …   Wikipedia

  • The Canadian Grenadier Guards — Infobox Military Unit unit name=Canadian Grenadier Guards caption=Cap badge of the Canadian Grenadier Guards dates=1764 country=Canada branch=Militia type=Foot Guards role=Light Role size= One battalion command structure= Royal Canadian Infantry… …   Wikipedia

  • Horse Grenadier Guards — The Horse Grenadier Guards were a series of cavalry troops in the British Household Cavalry between 1687 and 1788, who used grenades and other explosives in battle. Originally attached to the Horse Guards, they became independent for a century… …   Wikipedia

  • 2nd Grenadier Guards F.C. — 2nd Grenadier Guards F.C. were an English football team that played in the London League Division One during the 1897 98 season, finishing ninth of nine. In that season champions Thames Ironworks F.C. recorded their equal biggest win of the… …   Wikipedia

  • 3rd Grenadier Guards F.C. — 3rd Grenadier Guards F.C. were an English football team that played in the London League from as early as 1896 until 1898. During the 1896 97 season they were champions and during the 1897 98 season they finished 4th. In the 1909 10 season they… …   Wikipedia

  • (the) Grenadier Guards — the Grenadier Guards [the Grenadier Guards] one of the oldest and best known ↑regiments in the British army. It was the first ↑regiment of ↑Foot Guards …   Useful english dictionary

  • 245th (Canadian Grenadier Guards) Battalion, CEF — The 245th (Canadian Grenadier Guards) Battalion, CEF was a unit in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. Based in Montreal, Quebec, the unit began recruiting in the spring of 1916 in that city. After sailing to England in… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.