Royal Infanterie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Royal Infanterie

Origin and History

The “Altesse” regiment was created on December 20 1644 by Gaston de France, duc d'Orléans, the brother of Louis XIII. The “Royal” regiment was created later, on June 20 1656, by the Duc d'Arpajon. In 1660, the “Altesse” regiment was incorporated into Royal Infanterie who took the rank of the older regiment.

The regiment counted two battalions until the end of 1762 and had prévôté (provostship). On December 21 1762, it was increased to four battalions by incorporating the disbanded regiment of Cambis Infanterie.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment initially served on the Rhine. It was then sent to Italy in 1735. Two years later, it was back in France where it was stationed at Valence.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment first served in eastern France. In 1743, it was among the French units who took part to the expedition in Bohemia. In 1744, it was back on the Flanders theatre of operation where, in the following years, it took part to the battles of Fontenoy and Raucoux.

The King was the colonel of the regiment. However, the colonel-lieutenant was the real commander. During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 13th and the colonel-lieutenants of the regiment were:

  • October 29 1746: Louis Félicien de Boffin-Argenson, Marquis de Pusignieu (Maréchal de camp in March 1759)
  • February 10 1759: Charles Claude François, Marquis du Tillet

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was among the French regiments who took part to the expedition against the island of Minorca. It left Toulon on April 9 and landed at Minorca on April 18. From May 8, it participated to the siege of the British fortress of San Felipe de Mahon. On May 27, when the French army assaulted the fortifications, the Royal brigade was placed on the right wing and attacked Fort Saint-Charles and the redoubt known as "Marlborough". The fortress capitulated the following day.

From 1757 to 1763, the regiment was part of the French force occupying the island of Minorca.



Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758
and Etats militaires 1761
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers

Neckstock black
Coat grey-white
Collar blue (none before 1759)
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets double vertical pockets (3 tin buttons on each single pocket)
Cuffs blue with 3 tin buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat blue
Breeches white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a

Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.




The drummers of the regiment wore the Royal Livery: blue coat lined red; red cuffs, waistcoat and breeches; laced with the braid of the small Royal Livery.

Drummer wearing the Royal Livery - Source: Jocelyne Chevanelle


French Royal Livery - Source: reconstruction based on a sample from Jean-Louis Vial's collection


The colonel flag was white with a white cross. The ordonnance flags had a white cross with golden fleurs de lys, 1st and 4th quarters were violet and 2nd and 3rd feuille morte (reddish brown). The ordonnance flags remained unchanged from 1663 to 1791.

Colonel Colour - Source: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Colour - Source: Kronoskaf


Evrard P.; Praetiriti Fides

Funcken, Liliane and Fred, Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Menguy, Patrice; Les Sujets du Bien Aimé

Mouillard, Lucien; Les Régiments sous Louis XV, Paris 1882

Pajol, Charles P. V., Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891

Rogge, Christian; The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Vial J. L.; Nec Pluribus Impar