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British Army - whats in a name?

#1
I have always loved history and my favourite period is the English Civil War, a time when some of the oldest regiments claim their foundation. I was talking to an American the other week and I had to correct him several times when he kept referring to the "Royal Army", I told him individual Regiments and Corps may be Royal but the Army en-masse is always the British Army and comes from the time it was formally founded.

I can't remember where I saw it but I sure how the Army is referred to came about not long after the restoration and was not called Royal because old wounds from the civil war were still healing.

Anybody able to confirm or deny?
 
#2
I have always loved history and my favourite period is the English Civil War, a time when some of the oldest regiments claim their foundation. I was talking to an American the other week and I had to correct him several times when he kept referring to the "Royal Army", I told him individual Regiments and Corps may be Royal but the Army en-masse is always the British Army and comes from the time it was formally founded.

I can't remember where I saw it but I sure how the Army is referred to came about not long after the restoration and was not called Royal because old wounds from the civil war were still healing.

Anybody able to confirm or deny?
Please, not the Civil War, I'm just not ready to talk about it yet.
 
#5
I was recently introduced to some USMC Recon guys as a "Royal Army Soldier". The dude who introduced us looked like a scary buzz lightyear so I said nothing and cracked on.
 
#6
The Civil War is the reason the Army doesn't have a Union Flag ensign, unlike the other two services. The Army not being Royal is due to the Regimental system.
 
#7
seems someone has done this before: http://www.arrse.co.uk/intelligence-cell/346-why-british-army-not-royal-army.html

different answer to what I was expecting
As a rule of thumb, the further north a regiment was raised, the less likely it is to be styled "Royal". Such formations were much more likely to have fought on the Parliamentary side in the Civil Wars. Monarchs traditionally disliked standing armies, and preferred to raise mass forces as required for specific wars, by patronage of particular trusted nobles. These private armies - officered by trusted knights and men-at-arms - could be granted the title "Royal" for meritorious service and loyalty to the Crown, although this was by no means a hard-and-fast rule.

Cheers,
Cliff
 
#8
The Civil War is the reason the Army doesn't have a Union Flag ensign, unlike the other two services. The Army not being Royal is due to the Regimental system.
Remind me on what side the RAF were on during the Civil War, I have drunk a fair bit of wine tonight, and my memory is shot to buggery.
 
#10
We get the same here in Aus, "Royal Australian Army" is heard now and again, I guess mostly by non-Australians but not always.

With our British Army lineage, we have have a mixture of Royal and non-royal Corps and Regiments also.

But of course most of you knew that anyway!
 
#12
I thought it was because King Charles the Second was put on his throne by the army, which came down from Scotland under Gen Monck (sp?). That is, Parliament's Army - the one that duffed up his dad's Army, cut off his head and loyally supported Cromwell thereafter put him on his throne.

You can see that making it a "Royal" Army might have been a step too far for both sides.
 
#14
Don't be so silly.

Everyone knows that 5 star hotels hadn't been invented in the 1600's...

:)

Rodney2q
Which is why a load of manor Houses in East Anglia had been set aside by the Roundheads; but a 50 strong RAF 2 Star Rapid Response Catering Inspection C'tte detemined, over the course of a 2 year study, that ".....the food was rankly medieval".

Kicked off big time in The Times letter pages it did.
 
#15
Remind me on what side the RAF were on during the Civil War, I have drunk a fair bit of wine tonight, and my memory is shot to buggery.
Or indeed why regiments used to carry both Regimental and King's (or Queen's) Colours into battle.

Another factor is that, unlike the RN and RAF, a standing army is illegal in the UK without the express permission of Parliament (which must be renewed every year) under the 1689 Bill of Rights, which ensures that - although HMQ is the commander in chief - the army remains under the control of the House.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#17
Read Chapter 1 of Mallinson's Making of the British Army. It will answer your question. Then you might as well read the rest of it.
 
#18
Interesting thread.

I recall reading that until the late 18th century the British Army was officially referred to as His Majesty's Guards and Garrisons, as according to the 1689 Bill of Rights:

"no standing army may be maintained during a time of peace without the consent of parliament"

The annual renewal of the Army Act (1955) by Parliament offsets this.
 
#19
Remind me on what side the RAF were on during the Civil War, I have drunk a fair bit of wine tonight, and my memory is shot to buggery.
Then perhaps you should cut down a little as I don't believe I mentioned anything about any service participating in the Civil War.
Due to the Civil War(s), a standing army requires Parliamentary consent, therefore, it doesn't display the King's/Queen's Colours on an ensign, although individual Regiments/Corps may do so.
At the formation of the RAF, the Admiralty, being the authority on flags in British territory, insisted that the RAF Ensign used the Union Flag. Both the Admiralty and King George V approved of the current design. The three naval, and the RAF Ensign were all adopted with an Order-in-Council exercising Royal Prerogative. No monarch has ever approved an ensign, or any other flag, for the Army.
 
#20
Interesting thread.

I recall reading that until the late 18th century the British Army was officially referred to as His Majesty's Guards and Garrisons, as according to the 1689 Bill of Rights:

"no standing army may be maintained during a time of peace without the consent of parliament"

The annual renewal of the Army Act (1955) by Parliament offsets this.
The old forget and I am getting old. Edward Hyde....Clarendon goes on about it. No doubt many others do to. The Army is composed of the New Model Army, the Scots Forces that came down with Monck and those "troops" that guarded Charles. I imagine that for a few years raising a toast at a mess do was a bit tense.

Anyway I'm off for a Currywurst with a sideways scuttling chum to ask about his glorious service in the Restoration.
 

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