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.
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.
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.
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