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British Dragoon Guards

1st King's Dragoon Guards charging at Waterloo.

There was essentially no difference between the British Dragoon Guards and Dragoons. The designation "Dragoon Guards" did not reflect any difference in role between the two cavalry arms. However, the Dragoon Guards may have had a sense of being an elite corps - thus fostering a greater sense of courage and devotion to duty.

There were 7 Regiments of Dragoon Guards. The 1st saw action only at Waterloo, while the 3rd, 4th and 5th only saw action in the Peninsula.

Uniforms of the Dragoon Guards were virtually identical to those of the Dragoons, i.e.

Until 1812:

- Black bicorne with white over red plume;

- Red jacket with facings on collar and cuffs - yellow or white lace on jacket front, collar and cuffs.

- White breeches with high black boots - or grey overalls.

1812 - 1815:

- Grecian helmet with horsehair mane;

- Red jacket with 2 yellow stripes running down the centre of the jacket, facings on collar and cuffs;

- White breeches with high black boots - or grey overalls.

Facing Colours:

1st King's Dragoon Guards - blue facings, gold lace (other ranks - yellow)

2nd Queen's Dragoon Guards - black facings, silver lace (other ranks - white)

3rd Prince of Wales' Dragoon Guards - white facings, gold lace (other ranks - yellow)

4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards - blue facings, silver lace (other ranks - white)

5th Princess Charlotte's Dragoon Guards - green facings, gold lace (other ranks - yellow)

6th Dragoon Guards - white facings, silver lace (other ranks - white)

7th Princess Royal's Dragoon Guards - black facings, gold lace (other ranks - yellow)

(Above) Dragoon Guard officer in pre-1812 uniform.

1st King's Dragoon Guards trooper in post-1812 uniform.

Reproduced with kind permission of Liliane and Fred Funcken - Historische Uniformen.

Sources:

- Liliane and Fred Funcken - Historische Uniformen

- Ian Fletcher - Wellington's Regiments

- Bryan Fosten - Wellington's Heavy Cavalry - Osprey Men-at-Arms

- Ugo Pericoli - 1815 The Armies at Waterloo

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