Royal Army? A question from a SPAM

#1
On another forum a US member has asked this question:

I was wondering, the British have the Royal Air Force, and the Royal Navy, why not the Royal Army?

I could really think of a sensible historical answer.... Can you?
 
#2
It's all about the civil war.

Nobody was too keen on the monarch having their own army after that Charles chap went and killed a bunch of his own subjects with his cavaliers. After the restoration things went back to normal for a while until the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion. James the II and VII raised an army to put down the rebellion and decided he'd keep it as a standing army due to his Catholicism pissing off quite a lot of people. Standing armies were pretty much unheard of and Parliament and others thought James was going to have a go just like his granddad did. Enter stage right William of Orange who was pretty much told that he wasn't allowed to have an army of his own (even though all forces ultimately answer to him anyway). The whole constitutional monarchy thing ensured that the monarch never had their "own" or "Royal" army.

The Royal Navy came about during the reign of Henry VIII as it wasn't very efficient drafting merchant ships and sticking cannon on them when the spicks came sailing into view. At the time monarchy was very much "absolute" and it wouldn't have made sense for it to be anything but royal.

By the time the RAF came about nobody was too worried about the King getting wide. That, and it would be a bit insulting to drop the "Royal" from Royal Flying Corps.

(The Guards were just that, they didn't count as an army and the crown was entitled to a bodyguard. I forget the dates, but up until a certain point all land forces were referred to as "our Guards and Garrisons" rather that "the army")
 
#4
Also, the granting of "Royal" in the title of a Regiment or Corps signified a Royal connection in that the Sovereign is/was the Colonel-in-Chief or as a pat on the back for a job well done - i.e. the Army Service Corps being granted "Royal" after WW1.
 
#6
At it's heart the army of 1660 was a PRIVATE undertaking. A Colonel was comissioned by the King and a small amount of money paid over to raise a regiment. Said Colonel then paid out of his own pocket to raise the regiment and arm and cloth it. That cost was deducated from the wages of the soldier. To take a commision in a regiment you approached the Colonel and paid a number of fees to the Colonel, the King and a few other people. Everything was done at Regimental level with some rules from above being imposed
 
#7
It's all about the civil war.

Standing armies were pretty much unheard of and Parliament and others thought James was going to have a go just like his granddad did.
Dad. James II ( James VII in Scotland) was the second son of Charles I and the brother of Charles II. I admit to having had to look at Wikipedia because i wasn't quite sure either.

Some of the regiments that formed part of the army after the restoration had served on the Parliamentarian side during the ciivil war; I forget which ones (ps e.g., Coldstream Guards, who are second in order of precedence to the Grenadier Guards despite being older, because the CG served in the parlaimentarian army). I suspect that they wouldn't have been too pleased to become a part of a Royal army or a Royal Regiment.
 
#8
In contrast to the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force, the British Army does not include Royal in its title. This is because, historically, many regiments of the British Army were raised by individual Colonels, frequently on an ad hoc basis, rather than directly by the Crown. Furthermore, the Bill of Rights of 1689 established the requirement of Parliamentary consent for the maintenance of a standing army in peacetime. Nevertheless, many of its constituent Regiments and Corps have been granted the "Royal" prefix and have members of the Royal Family occupying senior positions within some regiments.
****! Bill of rights? Where's IVV?
 
#9
Dad. James II ( James VII in Scotland) was the second son of Charles I and the brother of Charles II. I admit to having had to look at Wikipedia because i wasn't quite sure either.

Some of the regiments that formed part of the army after the restoration had served on the Parliamentarian side during the ciivil war; I forget which ones (ps e.g., Coldstream Guards, who are second in order of precedence to the Grenadier Guards despite being older, because the CG served in the parlaimentarian army). I suspect that they wouldn't have been too pleased to become a part of a Royal army or a Royal Regiment.
Right you are. Must have been even more worrying him being Charles' son. I can imagine a situation similar to the collective groan from the middle east when Bush junior was "elected".

I'm sure the Coldstreamers were invited to disband and reform as the second regiment of foot guards by Charles II weren't they? I think the opening chapter of "Generals" by Mark Urban describes it quite succinctly. I would check but it's sitting on someone else's bookshelf at the moment.

edited to add: It's actually the chapter on General Monck, unsurprisingly.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#10
I think the opening chapter of "Generals" by Mark Urban describes it quite succinctly. I would check but it's sitting on someone else's bookshelf at the moment.
The opening chapter of Mallinson's "Making of the British Army" does. It's on the bookcase at the top of the stairs but I cannot be arrsed.
 
#12
The Royal Army died when Parliament chopped off Charles I head.
Since then it's been Parliaments Army.
However the Army knows where it's Loyalty lies.

joh
 
#13
Please note, English Civil War, not that redneck punch up less than 200 years ago
At least we did it up big. Experts estimated that between 618,000 to 700,000 people on both sides died during the war.

 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#14
That reminds me, during the "First" Civil War (English) the American Colonies divided along similar lines to those in the "Fourth" Civil War (American), though throughout the conflict the Colonies were largely left alone by England; nevertheless the Nrthern Colonies tended to favour the Parliamentarians, whilst the Southern tended to favour the Royalists:

“hundreds of men from Massachusetts and Connecticut … sailed back to England in the 1640s to fight on the Puritan side against Charles I.” On the other hand, royalist Virginia, where the Episcopalians were strong, “welcomed Cavalier émigrés and expelled its Puritans.” Fighting even broke out within the colonies themselves—in 1655 a battle took place near Annapolis in Maryland between Puritans and Anglican-Catholic forces saw the Puritans win (Phillips 2005, 134). Phillips also points out how the same sides opposed each other during the American Civil War, when many Southern Episcopalians supported slavery and most Northern Congregationalists opposed it; the South tended to see society as hierarchical and the North in more egalitarian terms.
 
#15
At least we did it up big. Experts estimated that between 618,000 to 700,000 people on both sides died during the war.

The "English" civl war saw approximately 800000 dead in england, Ireland and Scotland...did it up big? Get your knees brown first!
 

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top