La Reine Cavalerie

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> La Reine Cavalerie

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on 4 July 1643, after the death of Louis XIII, under the name of “Reine Mère” by the Regent Anne d'Autriche. Its 12 original companies came from Maugiron, Fruges, Saillant, Bailleul, Saint-Hérem, Vic, Lénoncourt, Vancellas, Baradat, Maugiron fils, Saint-Martin, Polignac, and Boury.

In 1643, during the Thirty Years' War (1618-48), the newly raised regiment took part in the capture of Thionville; it was then transferred to Germany where it was at the capture of Rottweil and at the Battle of Duttlingen. In 1644, eight companies remained in Germany and four were sent to Flanders, where they took part in the sieges of Gravelines, Menin and Béthune, while the companies left in Germany participated in the battles of Marienthal and Nordlingen, and in the sieges of Heilbronn and Trier before being sent back to France. On 27 February 1646, the eight companies stationed in France were disbanded for bad behaviour. The four remaining companies campaigned in Italy, where they took part in the capture of Orbitello and Piombino. In 1647, the regiment was at the capture of Cremona, and in 1649, at the Battle of Cremona.

In 1649, during the Fronde (1648-53), the regiment was recalled to Guyenne to quench troubles in this province. In 1650, its six companies took part in the Battle of Rethel. On 15 February 1651, the regiment was disbanded, but soon re-established (6 companies) on 18 October of the same year, participating in the blockade of Montrond. In 1652, it took part in the Battle of the Saint-Antoine suburb at Paris.

In 1654, the regiment garrisoned Casale in Piedmont. In 1655, it served in Flanders and took part in the capture of Landrecies. In 1656, it was sent back to Piedmont and took part in the siege of Valencia. In 1657, it campaigned in Italy; and in 1658, in Flanders, where it took part in the Battle of the Dunes.

On 18 April 1661, when several French cavalry regiments were disbanded, on the colonel company continued to exist.

On 7 December 1665, M. de Nantouillet was instructed to re-establish the regiment. On 20 January 1666, the regiment was renamed “La Reine” and increased to nine companies. The new regiment took part in the conquest of Flanders and Franche-Comté.

In 1668, the regiment was reduced to a single company. In 1672, it was definitively re-established at six companies.

In 1672, at the outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment was sent to Holland. In 1674, it took part in the Battle of Seneffe; and in 1677, in the combats near Cambrai and Cassel.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment joined the Army of Roussillon. In 1689, it was at the capture of Campredon. In 1691, it campaigned in Flanders and fought i the Combat of Leuze. In 1692, it took part in the Battle of Steenkerque; and in 1693, in the Battle of Landen. In 1696 and 1697, it served on the Meuse.

At the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted 3 squadrons.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the queen was the nominal Mestre de Camp of the regiment but the successive Mestres de Camp Lieutenants commanding the regiment were:

  • from 1 November 1693: N. de Poujols, Comte de Thézan
  • from 1706: N. de Baschi, Marquis du Cayla
  • from 22 September 1706 to 20 February 1734: François de Baschi de Saussan, Marquis du Cayla

Service during the War

In 1701, the regiment campaigned on the Rhine. In July, it was instructed to march to Italy. By mid-August, it was at the camp of Vaprio. On 1 September, it took part in the Battle of Chiari, where it was deployed at the extreme right wing of the second line of cavalry.

By the end of March 1702, the regiment was quartered in Pavia. At the beginning of May, it was attached to the field army. In mid-July, it formed part of the Franco-Spanish in Northern Italy under Prince Charles de Vaudémont. On 15 August, it took part in the Battle of Luzzara.

By mid-May 1703, the regiment was at the camp of Fossolo in Italy. At the end of October, the regiment was at the camp of M. de Goesbriant. It then numbered 133 men mounted, and 100 dismounted, in three squadrons.

By mid-April 1704, the regiment was part of the Franco-Spanish armies under the Grand-Prieur de Vendôme , which was operating in Lombardy on the left bank of the Po.

On 19 April 1706, the regiment fought in the Battle of Calcinato, where it was deployed in the first line of the cavalry right wing. On 8 September, it took part in the Battle of Castiglione, where its mestre de camp, the Marquis du Cayla. was killed. The regiment was then given to his brother, François de Baschi de Saussan, Marquis du Cayla.

In 1707, the regiment was initially stationed in Dauphin/, before being transferred to Flanders.

In 1708, the regiment campaigned in Spain.

In 1709, the regiment campaigned in Flanders. On 11 September, it was present at the Battle of Malplaquet.

By May 1712, the regiment was attached to the French army campaigning in the Low Countries. On 24 July, the regiment was present at the Battle of Denain.

In 1713, the regiment campaigned in Germany.


To do


Regimental standards (4 silken standards): red field fringed in gold and silver; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”; sown with golden fleur de lys; 4 queen Marie's crowned monogram embroidered in gold and silver (1 on each side of the centre device)

Tentative Reconstruction
La Reine Cavalerie Regimental Standard – Copyright: Kronoskaf


This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Susane, Louis: Histoire de la cavalerie française, Vol. 2, J. Hetzel et Cie, Paris, 1874, pp. 152-164
  • Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, pp. 341-342

Other sources

Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle