Real España Caballeria

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

Origin and History

In September 1702, the King Philip V of Spain, who was taking part in the campaign in Northern Italy, was informed that an Anglo-Dutch amphibious force had undertaken the Siege of Cádiz. He then decided to return to Spain. On October 2, he left the army at Luzzara, accompanied by the Prince de Vaudémont, and went to Casalmaggiore. On October 6, the king arrived in Milan. On 17 October, while sojourning in Milan, Philip V signed an ordonnance creating the "Regimiento de caballeria de la guardia real del Rey nuestro senor", more commonly called "Regimiento Real de España". This new regiment comprised 8 companies for a total of 400 men. Its role was to protect the queen in her palace in Madrid. Francisco de Agurto y Salcedo, Marquis de Gastanaga, was charged to raise the regiment in Spain.

All Spanish Household units of the new Bourbon dynasty were modelled along French lines. Therefore, the regiment followed the organisation and regulations of the units of the Household troops of Louis XIV.

In December 1702, the Marquis de Gastanaga died at Zaragoza. On 30 January 1703, he was replaced by the Cardinal Portocarrero, Cardinal Primate of Spain, at the head of the regiment. Portocarrero was seconded by Lieutenant-General Joseph de Salazar as lieutenant-colonel; and by Juan de Idiaquez as sergeant-major (he would be promoted to lieutenant-general on 28 August 1703).

On 22 May 1703, the regiment was reviewed for the first time at the Palace of Buon Retiro in Madrid. On this occasion, a contemporary described "a uniform of fine turquin blue clothes richly decorated with silver braids."

On 21 June 1704, the regiment was disbanded and incorporated into the newly created Reales Guardias de Corps, its troopers forming the two first (Spanish) companies of the new regiment.

The unit was under the command of:

  • From October to December 1702: Colonel Francisco de Agurto y Salcedo
  • from 30 January 1703 to June 1704: Colonel Cardinal Portocarrero

Service during the War

The regiment assumed guard duty at the Royal Palace in Madrid and did not take part in any campaign.

At the beginning of 1704, the regiment took part in the campaign in Portugal. On 21 June, it was disbanded.


The regiment wore the same uniforms as the Household troops of Louis XIV with the exception of the cockade which was red.


Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced silver, with a red cockade fastened with a silver clip and a silver button
Neck stock white
Coat turquin blue edged silver with 6 silver buttons on the right side and 6 large silver laced buttonholes on both sides arranged 1-2-3
Collar none
Shoulder straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal double pockets, each single pocket with 3 large silver buttonholes and 3 silver buttons
Cuffs crimson, each with 3 silver buttons and 3 large silver laced buttonholes
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat crimson edged silver with white lining; silver buttons with silver laced buttonholes; horizontal pockets edged silver
Breeches royal blue
Leather Equipment
Bandolier red and silver squares laced silver
Waistbelt same colour and pattern as the bandolier
Cartridge Box n/a
Scabbard black leather with a white metal tip
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth turquin blue edged with a wide silver braid
Housings turquin blue edged with a wide silver braid
Blanket roll turquin blue and red

Troopers were armed with a sword, a pistol and a carbine.


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Dragonas Magazine

Memorias para la historia de las troas de la Casa Real de Espana 1818


Jean-Pierre Loriot for the initial version of this article