The Queen's Body Guard
of the Yeomen of the Guar

Royal Company of Archers
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This website is not an official Royal Household Site but
created and maintained by Yeoman William Norton





Royal Company of Archers contact details:

The Queen's Body Guard for Scotland
Royal Company of Archers
Archers' Hall
Edinburgh, EH8 9LR

(0044) 1316 677860

The Queen's Body Guard for Scotland, The Royal Company of Archers, is the Sovereign's personal Body in Scotland. Founded in 1676, it received its first Royal Charter in 1704. The privilege of recognition as the Monarch's Scottish Body Guard dates from 1822. It was originally formed as an Archery Club and the longbow is still the Royal Company's principal weapon. Shooting remains an important and integral activity with twenty-two major prizes shot for annually, including The Queen's Prize which Her Majesty graciously presents to the winner before the Royal Garden Party at Holyrood Palace. The Royal Company is under command of the Captain-General and Gold Stick for Scotland. Other officers include four Captains, four Lieutenants, four Ensigns and thirteen Brigadiers. Administration of the Royal Company is in the hands of the Council which is made up of seven officers and the President, who is also Silver Stick for Scotland.

The Royal Company has four hundred active members and a non-active retired list. The duties carried out by the Royal Company tend to centre on the annual Royal Visit to Scotland, the Royal Garden Party at Holyrood Palace, and such recurring events as the Installation of new Knights of the Thistle and Investitures. The Royal Company has paraded on more occasions for The Queen than any other Sovereign, including major State events such as the Coronation, two State Visits, the Silver Jubilee Celebrations, the Return of the Stone of Destiny, the Opening of the Scottish Parliament, and the Opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Other duties have included the presentation of Colours, Standards and Guidons to Her Majesty's Scottish Regiments.


Uniforms of the Royal Company of Archers

COURT DRESS  -  Gentlemen of the Body Guard

COATEE - Green Cloth, double-breasted, nine buttons in front in each row at equal distances apart. Collar of green velvet embroidered in gold. Cuffs of green velvet with green cloth slashes, the cuffs and slashes embroidered in Gold, three small buttons on each slash. Skirt slashes of green cloth embroidered in gold, three large buttons on each slash. Skirts edged with green velvet forming turn backs, gold embroidered thistle on green velvet at bottom of each skirt, two buttons at hip. Coat lined with green silk. All embroidered according to sealed patterns.

BUTTONS - Gilt mounted. The St Andrew’s Cross and Star of the Thistle, with the crown in the centre, within a circle inscribed "Queen’s Body Guard, RCA"

TROUSERS - Green cloth with stripes of gold thistle lace 1¾ wide. Straps of patent leather to button under the boot.

EPAULETTES - Gold bullion, with straps of green velvet embroidered in gold with corps badge on each epaulette head. This badge is a thistle embroidered in gold on a silver ground, round the thistle the words, "Queen’s Body Guard RCA" embroidered in gold on silver ground.

HAT - Black Silk cocked, with gold embroidered loop according to special pattern, on right side, gold tassels at ends.

PLUME - Cocktail feathers, green.

SASH - Crimson silk waist sash, fastening on left hip with catch, and with two tassels to hang on the left hip, behind the sword.

SWORD - Gilt mounted, with silver wire grip, silver thistle on gilt shell, black leather scabbard with gilt and chased mountings.

SWORD BELT - White silk web shoulder belt, worn under the coat, with green velvet frog.

SWORD KNOT - Gold and crimson, with gold embroidered ER II in front and gold thistle at back, both on green velvet.

BOOTS - Wellingtons, patent leather.

GLOVES - White kid.

COURT DRESS  -  Officers of the Body Guard

Same uniform as before described, but with the following additions and difference:-

AIGUILLETTE - Gold cord of special pattern, worn on the right shoulder, the ends fastened to the top button on the right side of the coat.

STICKS - The Gold Stick to be carried by the Captain General - Ebony, with gold mounting and tassel. The Silver Sticks to be carried by the two next Senior Officers on duty – Ebony, with silver mounting and tassels.

SPURS - Gilt swan-necked, chased.

SASH - Gold lace, with three stripes of crimson silk, fastening on left hip with catch, and with gold and crimson tassels.

FIELD DRESS (Worn when on Duty as a Royal Body Guard) Gentlemen of the Body Guard

TUNIC - Green cloth, with gauntlet cuffs and shoulder wings, trimmed with black braid and crimson velvet, and braided across breast with four bars of black braid showing a light of crimson velvet. Black braid and crimson velvet also on collar. Crimson silk shoulder cords.

TROUSERS - Green cloth, with black braid and crimson velvet stripes, straps of plain leather to button under boot.

BOW CASE - Green cloth, trimmed with black braid and crimson velvet, lined with leather, gilt metal badge in centre of breast. St Andrew’s star at right side.

BELT - Black dull leather, with frog and gilt Royal crest plate. The circle inscribed "Queen’s Body Guard for Scotland."

SWORD - Short roman, with gilt hilt and mountings, and black leather scabbard.

TASSEL - Black and red, worn on left side of belt, in front of sword.

BONNET - Green, trimmed with black braid. Crimson tuft. White and green silk cockade, with gilt ornament, and one eagle’s feather. Ribbons at the back.

GLOVES - White dog-skin.

BOOTS - Plain Wellington.

CAPE - Green cloth with collar. Bands inside to fasten cape down. Cape lined at shoulders with green Italian cloth. Gilt clasp and chain of special pattern at neck. Four large buttons down front.

CAPE SLING. - Green web. Gilt mountings and leather straps to hold cape.


Mounted Officers of the Body Guard wear a Green web waist belt under the sash with gold embroidered slings of special pattern.

The Special Badges of the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Judges will be worn on the collar of the Tunic.

Officers and Gentlemen of the Body Guard belonging to British Orders of Chivalry, and those who have received permission to accept any Foreign Order, as well as those entitled to wear medals, are to appear with the proper insignia of the same on all occasions when in the Court Dress of the Royal Company.

FIELD DRESS (Worn when on Duty as a Royal Body Guard) Officers of the Body Guard

TUNIC - Same as described for the Gentlemen of the Body Guard, with the addition of gold braid on cuffs and gold shoulder cords.

TROUSERS - Same as for the Gentlemen of the Body Guard, but substituting gold lace for crimson velvet in the stripes.

BOW CASE - Same as for the Gentlemen of the Body Guard, with the addition of gold braid round the edge of braid and velvet, and adding gold fringe to black and crimson.

BELT - Same as for the Gentlemen of the Body Guard, substituting slings with gilt buckles for the frog.

SWORD - Claymore blade, with gilt cross hilt of special pattern. Black leather scabbard with gilt mountings.

TASSEL - Gold and crimson

BONNET - Same as for the Gentlemen of the Body Guard, with the addition of two rows of gold braid round band and substituting gold button for crimson tuft. Two eagle feathers; three for the Captain-General.


The Gold Stick should be carried by the Captain-General when in Field Dress, whether mounted or on foot. In like manner, the two Silver Sticks are to be carried, in Field Dress, by the next Senior Officers on duty.

Order, Decorations and Medals are to be worn at Reviews and Ceremonies in accordance with the "Dress Regulations for the Army."

Mounted Officers of the Body Guard wear patent leather jack boots, with brass hunting spurs and chains. The horse furniture is of special pattern. The throat plume is of green horsehair, and the Star of the Order of the Thistle is embroidered on the rear corner of the saddle cloth.

MESS DRESS  -  Officers and Gentlemen of the Body Guard

EVENING DRESS COAT - Of green cloth, with green velvet collar (the collar cut with notched ends). Green silk linings. Three buttons on each front, two at the waist behind, and two at the bottom of the skirts; also two small buttons on a 3 inch cuff and one above.

WAISTCOAT - Single-breasted, of white marcella, roll collar, with three small buttons.

TROUSERS - Plain black (Evening Dress material)

SHOES - Patent leather Oxford shoes with silk ties

NECKTIE - White Evening Dress bow, with square ends.

GLOVES - White

*CAP - (Military shape) Green cloth with a peak of green cloth, black thistle mohair band, 1¾ inches wide, with a welt of green cloth at the top and bottom and also in the crown seam. A small button on each side, and the Corps badge on band in front.

CAPE - As worn in Field Dress.


*The Cap, in the case of Officers of the Body Guard, has a row of gold thistle embroidery on the peak (two rows for the Captain-General) and a small gold-braided figure on the top.

Plain Gold or Pearl studs should be in the shirt-front, and watch chains should not be worn. The black silk fob with seals, if worn, should hang from fob pocket on the right side.

Below is a Roll of Honour of the appointment Captain-General from 1676 (work in progress)

John Murray - 1st Marquis of Atholl (first office holder)
?  missing appointments being researched  ?
William Montagu-Douglas-Scott - 6th Duke of Buccleuch (? - 1914)
John Montagu-Douglas-Scott - 7th Duke of Buccleuch (1914-1935)
Sidney Buller-Fullerton-Elphinstone - 16th Lord Elphinstone KT (1935-1953)
Lt Col John Dalrymple - 12th Earl of Stair KT DSC (1953-1961)
Col Walter Montagu-Douglas-Scott - 8th Duke of Buccleuch KT GCVO TD PC (1961-1973)
Col John Aymer Dalrymple - 13th Earl of Stair CVO MBE (1973-1988)
Col Ronald John Bilsland-Colville - 2nd Baron Clydemuir KT CB MBE TD (1988-1996)
Maj Sir Hew Hamilton-Dalrymple Bt GCVO (1996-2004)
David Ogilvy - 13th Earl of Airlie KT GCVO (2004-     )


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Last modified: Tuesday, 19 August 2014 18:23