Guardia Real de Caballeria

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army (Bourbon) >> Guardia Real de Caballeria

Origin and History

After the Treaty of Ryswick, signed on 20 September 1697, the Spanish Army underwent a major reform. On 27 December of the same year, King Charles II ordered to form a regiment of guard cavalry consisting of 22 companies of 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, 1 second-lieutenant and 30 men under the command of the Landgrave zu Hesse-Darmstadt.

At the death of King Charles II in 1700, the Landgrave zu Hesse-Darmstadt chose to support the claims of Archduke Charles to the throne of Spain. In February 1701, he was released from this function and immediately left for Vienna.

On 17 September 1702, a royal decree transformed the regiment into a line cavalry regiment: the Reina Cavalry. Thus, on 11 January 1703, the regiment was officially transferred from the Household to the line cavalry, its 22 companies being all integrated into the new regiment. On 24 April 1703, by order of King Philip V, this new regiment was itself subdivided into two regiments of 11 companies each: Reina Cavalry and Real Asturias Cavalry.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive colonels of the regiment were:

  • from 27 December 1697: Georg, Landgrave zu Hesse-Darmstadt (a cousin of Queen Ana Maria of Neuburg; later promoted to viceroy of Catalonia)
  • from around February 1701: probably the Duke de Veraguas (future colonel of the Reina Cavalry

Service during the War

On 24 November 1700, the “Guardia Reale de Caballeria”” was present at the Monastery of San Gerónimo del Prado when Philip V was declared king of Spain.

In 1702, the guard was quartered in Getafe.

On 11 January 1703, before the beginning of the war in the Iberian peninsula, the regiment was transformed into the Reina Cavalry and Real Asturias Cavalry.

Uniform

Since this regiment was transformed into the Reina Cavalry before the beginning of the war in the Iberian peninsula and received a new uniform, we only depict its uniform textually based on an illustration by José Marie Bueno.

Privates

Uniform Details
Headgear morion
Neck stock white
Coat yellow with very short sleeves
Collar none
Shoulder straps no information found
Lapels red bordered with two rows of red and white square arranged in a checker-board pattern
Pockets no information found
Cuffs red slit cuffs bordered with two rows of red and white square arranged in a checker-board pattern
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat no information found
Breeches no information found
Leather Equipment
Bandolier natural leather
Waistbelt no information found
Cartridge Box no information found
Scabbard no information found
Footgear natural leather boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth probably red
Housings red
Blanket roll no information found


Troopers were armed with a sword and two pistols.

Officers

no information found yet

Musicians

no information found yet

Standards

no information found yet

References

This article is mostly 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. 5-14

Other sources

Dragonas Magazine

Bueno, José Marie: an illustration depicting a trooper of the regiment

Acknowledgement

Jean-Pierre Loriot for the initial version of this article.