Origin and History
The regiment originated from the “Guardia” created in 1697 for King Charles II and commanded by the Prince of Hesse-Darmstadt. It initially counted 15 companies. On January 11 1703, Philip V, the new king of Spain, disbanded this regiment, incorporating its 15 companies into the newly raised “La Reina” cavalry regiment. On April 24 of the same year, “La Reina” was itself split into two distinct regiments: “La Reina” and “Real des Asturias”, each counting 8 companies. These two regiments obtained precedence over all other line cavalry regiments.
On May 22 1703, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1713), the new “Real des Asturias” regiment was reviewed for the first time. In November, it went to Extremadura and took up cantonments on the frontier with Portugal. In 1704, it took part in the sieges of Salvatierra and Castelho Branco and in the capture of various villages; in 1705, in the capture of Alcañiza, in operations in the Kingdom of Valencia and in the unsuccessful siege of San Mateo; in 1706, in the siege and capture of Villareal and Burjasot, in the defence of the Pass of Alcira, in the unsuccessful siege of Játiva, in the relief of Montesa and in the capture of the Castle of Elche; in 1707, in the Battle of Almansa, in the occupation of San Mateo and in the siege and capture of Lérida. The same year, it incorporated the disbanded “Trivulzio Cavalry”. In 1708, the regiment participated in the siege and capture of Tortosa; in 1709, in the combat of the Noguera River; in 1710, in the Battle of Almenar, in the combat of Peñalva, in the Battle of Saragossa and in the decisive Combat of Villaviciosa. In 1711, the regiment operated against Prats del Rey and Calaf. In mid-October, it attacked and captured a convoy near Termens. In 1712, it fought against the rebels in the cantons of Pina and Bujaraloz. In 1713 and 1714, it took part in the blockade, siege and assault of Barcelona.
On 10 February 1718, the regiment was renamed “Principe”.
In 1719, the regiment took part in the campaign against the French in Navarra. In 1720, it took part in the recapture of Prullans, Berllvert, Puigcerdá and Castell Ciutat. In November, it was sent to relieve the place of Ceuta on the coast of North Africa.
In 1732, the regiment took part in the expedition against Oran.
In 1735, the regiment was attached to the Army of Observation, operating in Extremadura.
In 1741, at the beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment rejoined the Franco-Spanish army assembling in Provence for the planned invasion of Savoy. In 1742, it campaigned in Northern Italy. In 1744, it took part in the attack on the lines near Villefranche and in the Battle of Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo; in 1745, in the Battle of Bassignano, in the siege of Valencia, in the occupation of Casale and in the blockade of the Citadel of Milan; in 1746, in the Battle of Piacenza and in the Battle of Rottofreddo. In 1747, the regiment marched back to Spain.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
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In December 1823, the regiment was disbanded.
Service during the War
In 1762, the regiment was allocated to the Army of Extremadura while the Army of Castile proceeded to the invasion of Portugal. The regiment was initially destined to the sieges of Elvas and Campo Maior but plans were changed. By October 24, the regiment was at Herrera. On November 14, it took up cantonments in Valencia de Alcántara.
|Headgear||black tricorne laced silver with a red cockade|
|Coat||dark blue with silver buttons down to the pocket on the right side, 1 silver button on each side in the small of the back and small silver buttons on each side to fasten the basques
|Waistcoat||red with silver buttons, horizontal pockets with silver buttons|
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Musicians probably wore a uniform with reversed colours: red coat with blue facings.
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This article is partly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Clonard, Conde de, Historia Orgánica de las Armas de Infantería y Caballería, vol. XV, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 65-80
Album de Taccoli, 1759