Soldiers Mass Bands and Household Division Marching HM Queen Elizabeth London DNI

Why is it British Army and not Royal Army?

Soldiers Mass Bands and Household Division Marching HM Queen Elizabeth London DNI

If you want to join Britain’s armed forces you must swear an oath of allegiance to the Crown. 

It's at this stage that joining the military becomes serious business.

However, if British Army personnel swear allegiance to the Crown why is it not called the Royal Army?

We spoke to the people in the know to find out. British Army HQ...

Royal Navy, Royal Air Force But Not Royal Army. Why? 

The reason why the British Army isn’t known as “The Royal Army” is because of how it is composed. 

Unlike the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, the British Army consists of several clearly identifiable bodies, each of which has an individual and continuous existence and is separately recorded in the Corps Warrant.

The Corps Warrant is the formal document that legally establishes the various regiments and corps of the British Army for the purposes of the Armed Forces Act 2006.

This reflects the historical origins of these regiments or corps, which were raised on the authority of the Sovereign, usually by a named individual and by means of a royal warrant or commission granted for that purpose.

Soldiers C Company 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment Silhouette Afghanistan June 2014
2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment soldiers during operations in Afghanistan in June 2014

Why Do Some British Army Regiments Have Royal In Front Of Their Name?

Many individual regiments and corps do have a 'Royal' prefix, for example, Royal Corps of Signals and The Royal Anglian Regiment, an honour individually bestowed and often earned for long and exemplary service to the Crown.

Some, like the King’s Royal Hussars, while part of a Royal corps also have names that demonstrate their close association with the Sovereign or other Royals.

23 Engineer Regiment Soldier Detonating Explosives in Afghanistan 2011 Defence Imagery
An engineer blows a hole in a compound wall during an operation in Afghanistan in 2011

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