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A note from the field


Sep 6, 2013

Probably the most well-known branch of the British military (not to mention our most popular colourway) is that of the Household Division. Splashed across postcards of London, those tall bearskin hats and red uniforms are recognised across the globe. They are a quite the quintessential image of ‘Britishness’. However, the guards we see standing outside Buckingham Palace are officially known as the Scots Guards (Smart Turnout founder Philip Turner’s old contingent, no less!) are only one small band of the Household Division Regiment.

There are in fact multiple factions which are divided into two main groups. The Household Cavalry comprises the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals, and the Foot Guards are composed of the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards and Welsh Guards.

Here are our top five facts about this most prestigious of institutions:

  • If members of the public get in the way of Foot Guards, the guards will not march around them- rather, the usual phrase to make people move is ‘Make way for the Queen’s/Castle/Tower of London guard’.
  • Nicknames – The Life Guards are affectionately known as ‘Cheeses’, the Grenadier Guards as ‘The Coalheavers’ or ‘The Sandbags’ and the Scots Guards as ‘The Jocks’.
  • The bearskin hats worn by the Scots Guards are eighteen inches tall, weigh in at a hefty 1.5 lbs and are made from the pelts of Canadian black bears.
  • Princes William and Harry are part of the Blues and Royals division.

The correct name of the ceremony known as Changing of the Guard is actually Guard Mounting: in this process, a New Guard exchanges duty with the Old Guard, and both Guards are drawn from one of the regiments of Foot Guards

Now, seeing as it’s Friday and all, why not shop our entire Household Division collection and treat yourself to something smart in navy and red?

Household Division

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