Reales Guardias Valonas

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army (Bourbon) >> Reales Guardias Valonas

Origin and History

The regiment was created by a decree dated 17 October 1702 with 1,300 men taken in the various Walloon and Flemish regiments operating in the Spanish Netherlands. It was organised in 26 companies of 50 men each. These companies formed 2 battalions, each including a grenadier company.

The Spanish Household units were modelled along French lines. The Reales Guardias Valonas assumed a similar role as the French Garde Françaises.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was under the command of:

  • from1702: Colonel Count de Bergeyck

The lieutenants of the Reales Guardias Valonas also ranked as lieutenant-colonel of the Spanish army. Similarly, its colonel was a captain-general or a lieutenant-general of the Spanish army and Grandes de España.

Service during the War

In 1703, the newly formed regiment took part in the Campaign in the Low Countries where, on 30 June, a detachment of the regiment fought in the Battle of Ekeren. In December, the regiment was transferred to Spain.

In 1704, the regiment took part in the campaign of Portugal.


The Spanish Household units were uniformed along French lines. The Reales Guardias Valonas had a uniform similar to those of the French Garde Françaises to the exception of the cockade which was red.

Fusilier, officer, grenadier and drummer of the Guardias Valonas (same uniform as Guardias Españolas) between 1702 and 1716 - Source: Conde de Clonard, Álbum de la Infantería española


Uniform in 1703 – Copyright Richard Couture
Uniform Details in 1703 as per Dragonas
Headgear black felt tricorne laced white with a black cockade
Neck stock white cravate
Coat turquin blue with red lining; white buttons; red ribbons at both shoulders; 12 white buttons and 12 buttonholes laced with wide white braids arranged 3-3-3
Collar none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets each with 4 white buttons and 8 buttonholes laced with wide white braids
Cuffs red, each with 3 white buttons and 3 buttonholes laced with wide white braids
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat scarlet; silver buttons and buttonholes laced with a wide white braids
Breeches turquin blue
Stockings red
Leather Equipment
Cross-belt natural leather
Waist-belt natural leather
Cartridge Pouch natural leather
Scabbard black leather with a white metal tip
Footgear black leather shoes with a buckle

Troopers were armed with a sword, a bayonet and a musket


NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of privates but with the following differences:

  • all braids in silver instead of white


Officers wore uniforms similar to those of privates but of a better quality. Furthermore, they were distinguished by the following differences:

  • black cockade and white plumetis at the tricorne
  • all braids in silver instead of white
  • no ribbon at the shoulder
  • 24 silver buttons and 24 buttonholes laced with wide silver braids on the front of the coat
  • red cuffs edged silver, each with 4 silver buttons and 4 buttonholes laced with wide silver braids


no information found yet


The coronela (colonel colour) was carried by the first company of the first battalion. All other companies of the regiment, to the exception of the grenadier companies, each carried a sencilla.

From 1704, the first battalion carried the coronela while each other battalion carried a sencilla.

Colours as per the ordenanza of 10 April 1702:

  • Coronela (colonel colour): white field; centre device consisting of the Royal Coat of arms of Philip V flanked by two golden lions; a red cross of Burgundy in the backgroud with each branch terminated with a golden royal crown
  • Sencillas (ordonnance colours): blue field; with a red Burgundian cross. In the middle: the crowned arms of Philip V surrounded by the necklace of the order of the Toison de Oro (Golden Fleece) and flanked by two golden lions.


Abeilhé, Juan Álvarez.: La Bandera de España'. El origen militar de los símbolos de España, Revista de historia militar, Madrid, 2010, p. 40

Dragonas Magazine, No 3, Sept. 1993

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

Ministerio de Defensa – El Ejército de Fernando VI, 1993, pp. 24-26, 40-41


Jean-Pierre Loriot for the initial version of this article