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The Foot Guard Uniform

From a distance the full dress uniforms worn by the men of the five Regiments of Foot Guards look identical. On this page we will show you how to spot the differences!

All the Officers and Guardsmen wear

  • the black bearskin cap
  • the scarlet tunic has a dark blue collar, shoulder strips pipped in white, and cuffs of dark blue and white
  • the dark blue trousers have a red stripe down the seam of each leg
  • a white leather buff belt
  • gold buttons that bear The Queen's insignia.

bearskin (a busby)The Bearskins

The 18-inch-tall (45.7cm) bearskins worn by the Foot Guards are made of real bearskin from Canadian brown bears and weigh 1.5lbs. The bearskins were first worn by British soldiers in 1815, following the defeat of Napoleon's French Imperial Guards at the battle of Waterloo. The French grenadiers wore bearskins to appear taller and more intimidating, and Britain adopted the towering hats for soldiers in ceremonial duties and guarding royal residencies as a symbol of its victory.

For many years the Ministry of Defence and the British Army have tried to find a synthetic alternative to the fur. As yet, no acceptable alternative to the fur has been found.

How to spot the different regiments

There are various other methods of telling apart the five different regiments. Look closely at the colour of the plume and what side it is worn on the bearskin (hat), the collar badge and the shoulder badge.

Grenadier GuardColdstreamColdstream

Regiment Plume Plume colour Button spacing Collar badge Shoulder badge
Grenadier Guards

Left
White
Singly
Grenade

Royal Cypher
Coldstream Guards

Right
Scarlet
Pairs
Garter Star
Rose
Scots Guards

None
N/A
Threes
Thistle Star

Thistle
Irish Guards

Right
Blue
Fours
Shamrock
St Patrick Star
Welsh Guards

Left
White-Green-White
Fives
Leek

Leek

Where to now?

Find out about the Queens Guards on Horseback

 

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Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website.
The two websites projectbritain.com and primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources
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Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant.
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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