Flamboyant hussar uniforms belonging to Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, demonstrate the close dynastic links between European monarchies and the tradition of foreign royals serving as honorary heads of military units.
The Army plays a key role in major state occasions, not least the coronation of a new monarch. For centuries, commemorative medals have been issued to soldiers involved in these celebrations, both in Britain and across the Empire.
In 1660, the monarchy was restored when Parliament invited King Charles II to take the throne. Although the military played a crucial role in his return, the King soon established a new force - the British Army.
Chance plays a significant part in deciding a soldier’s fate on the battlefield. Here we look at examples of close shaves and extraordinary escapes, and examine some of the superstitions soldiers draw on for comfort and protection.
Fought between 1642 and 1651, these wars were primarily disputes between Crown and Parliament about how the British Isles should be governed. But they also had religious and social dimensions, and witnessed the creation of the first national standing army.
Between 1689 and 1697, British soldiers joined a European alliance against French expansionism. At the same time, extensive fighting took place in Scotland and Ireland between the supporters of King William III and the deposed James II.
The Army played an important role in the downfall of King James II and his replacement by William of Orange in 1688. This ‘Glorious Revolution’ restricted royal power and had a profound impact on the long-term future of the British Army.
Formed in 1969, this unit is now part of the Household Cavalry. It is the second most senior regiment in the British Army and operates as both an armoured reconnaissance unit and a ceremonial guard of the monarch.
This British Army corps operates as an armoured reconnaissance unit and a ceremonial guard of the monarch. Formed in 1992, it has served on several deployments, including the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.