Spanish Royal Guard

Last updated
Royal Guard
Guardia Real
Emblem of the Spanish Royal Guard.svg
CountryFlag of Spain.svg  Spain
Allegiance King and Fatherland
Branch FAS-ESP.svg Spanish Armed Forces
Type Infantry, cavalry and horse artillery
Role Executive protection
Foot Guards
Honor guard
Size1900 troops (1 regiment)
Garrison/HQ Royal Palaces
Motto(s)Al servicio de la Corona
("At the service of the Crown")
MarchHimno de la Guardia Real
("Hymn of the Royal Guards")
AnniversariesOctober 12
General Prim
General Castaños

The Royal Guard (Spanish : Guardia Real) is an independent regiment of the Spanish Armed Forces that is dedicated to the protection of the King of Spain and members of the Spanish Royal Family. It currently has a strength of 1900 troops. While the guard does participate in parades and other ceremonial events, it is a fully functional combat unit. Its members are recruited from the ranks of all three branches of the Spanish Armed Forces and receive the same combat training as regular soldiers.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian, is a Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in Spain and the Americas. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Regiment Military unit

A regiment is a military unit. Their role and size varies markedly, depending on the country and the arm of service.

Spanish Armed Forces Combined military forces of the Kingdom of Spain

The Spanish Armed Forces are in charge of guaranteeing the sovereignty and independence of Spain, defender of its territorial integrity and the constitutional order, according to the functions entrusted in the Constitution of 1978. These are formations by: the Army, the Air Force, the Spanish Armada, the Royal Guard and the Military Emergency Unit, as well as the so-called Common Corps.


The guard contains a diverse mix of units: a Royal Marines company from the Navy, a paratroop company from the Air Force and an infantry company from the Army, among others. Some units served in recent times in Afghanistan and Bosnia.

Spanish Marine Infantry Elite unit of the Armed Forces of Spain

The Spanish Marine Infantry is the marine corps of the Spanish Navy responsible for conducting amphibious warfare by utilizing naval platforms and resources. The Marine Corps is fully integrated into the Armada's structure.


The history of the Royal Guard dates back to medieval times. The senior unit and one of the oldest body guards in the world is the Corps of Gentlemen of the Chamber, the Monteros de Espinosa , dating to 1006 and created by Sancho Garcia of the House of Castile.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Monteros de Espinosa oldest Bodyguard unit of Royal Guards in Europe. Founded by the Counts of Castile around the year 1006 and kept in service by the Castilian Sovereigns

The Monteros de Espinosa are the oldest Bodyguard unit of Royal Guards in Europe. Founded by the Counts of Castile around the year 1006 and kept in service by the Castilian Sovereigns and posterior Dynasties that inherited their Kingdoms and united with. It is still part of the Spanish Guardia Real.

Sancho García, called of the Good Laws, was the count of Castile and Álava from 995 to his death.

Even before the time of the first monarch of Spain, the Catholic Monarchs formed the group called the Old Guards of Castile (Guardias Viejas de Castilla). Later on, the first monarch of Spain, Charles V ordered that a company of those guards to guard & reside in his palace, denominating it The Hundred Contines (Los Cien Continos)

Catholic Monarchs Title for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon

The Catholic Monarchs is the joint title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; on marriage they were given a papal dispensation to deal with consanguinity by Sixtus IV. They married on October 19, 1469, in the city of Valladolid; Isabella was eighteen years old and Ferdinand a year younger. It is generally accepted by most scholars that the unification of Spain can essentially be traced back to the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella. Some newer historical opinions propose that under their rule, what later became Spain was still a union of two crowns rather than a unitary state, as to a large degree Castile and Aragon remained separate kingdoms, with most of their own separate institutions, for decades to come. The court of Ferdinand and Isabella was constantly on the move, in order to bolster local support for the crown from local feudal lords.

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor 16th-century Holy Roman Emperor

Charles V was Holy Roman Emperor from 1519, King of Spain from 1516, and ruling prince of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1506. Head of the rising House of Habsburg during the first half of the 16th century, his dominions in Europe included the Holy Roman Empire extending from Germany to northern Italy with direct rule over Austria and the Low Countries, and a unified Spain with its southern Italian kingdoms of Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia. Furthermore, his reign encompassed both the long-lasting Spanish and short-lived German colonizations of the Americas. The personal union of the European and American territories of Charles V was the first collection of realms labelled "the empire on which the sun never sets".

Official formation

Later on, Charles V's father, Philip the Handsome arrived in Spain in 1502 brought with him his "Archers of Burgundy" aka "of the Blade". These group of Royal Guards with their Burgundian style will remain in service until the reorganization of the "Troops of Royal House" (Tropas de Casa Real) by Felipe V.

Philip I of Castile first member of the house of Habsburg to be King of Castile

Philip of Habsburg, called the Handsome or the Fair, was Duke of Burgundy from 1482 to 1506 and the first member of the house of Habsburg to be King of Castile as Philip I.

Burgundy Region of France

Burgundy is a historical territory and a former administrative region of east-central France. It takes its name from the Burgundians, an East Germanic people who moved westwards beyond the Rhine during the late Roman period.

Philip V of Spain 18th-century King of Spain

Philip V was King of Spain from 1 November 1700 to his abdication in favour of his son Louis on 14 January 1724, and from his reaccession of the throne upon his son's death, 6 September 1724 to his own death on 9 July 1746.

Civil War

The guards were disbanded in 1931 as a result of the formation of the 2nd Republic & was replaced by the cavalry unit, the "Presidential Escort Squadron" (Escuadrón de Escolta Presidencial). By 1936, it included the "Presidential Guard Battalion” (batallón de Guardia Presidencial), which remained loyal to the Republic during the civil war.

Second Spanish Republic the regime that existed in Spain, 1931 to 1939

The Spanish Republic, commonly known as the Second Spanish Republic, was the democratic government that existed in Spain from 1931 to 1939. The Republic was proclaimed on 14 April 1931, after the deposition of Alfonso XIII, and it lost the Spanish Civil War on 1 April 1939 to the rebel faction, that would establish a military dictatorship under the rule of Francisco Franco.

Spanish Civil War War between the Republicans and the Nationalists in Spain from 1936 to 1939

The Spanish Civil War took place from 1936 to 1939. Republicans loyal to the elected, left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, in alliance with the Anarchists and Communists, fought against a revolt by the Nationalists, an alliance of Falangists, Monarchists, Carlists, conservatives and Catholics, led by a military group among whom General Francisco Franco soon achieved a preponderant role. Due to the international political climate at the time, the war had many facets, and different views saw it as class struggle, a war of religion, a struggle between dictatorship and republican democracy, between revolution and counterrevolution, between fascism and communism. It has been frequently called the "dress rehearsal" for World War II.


Under Francisco Franco, By Decree of February 4, 1949, the Military House of the Generalissimo was reorganized & formed “the Regiment of the Guard of His Excellency the Head of State” (Regimiento de la Guardia de Su Excelencia el Jefe del Estado), later on the "Guards Regiment of HE the Generalissimo" (Regimiento de la Guardia de S.E. el Generalísimo), which included a mounted squadron (the Guardia Mora ) which was first raised from surplus personnel of the Regulares. After several reorganizations, the unit would last until Franco's death as a combined arms guard regiment.

Upon Franco’s death & the ascension of King Juan Carlos as the head of state, the guard regiment was integrated into the new army under the king & formed the basis of the "Regiment of the Royal Guard" (Regimiento de la Guardia Real); the modern day Guardia Real. [1]


In addition to protecting members of Spanish Royal Family, the present functions of the unit include the protection of foreign heads of state visiting Spain, and of royal palaces such as the Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real), the Palace of El Pardo and the Palace of Zarzuela.

They are also an active combat unit and have been deployed to Bosnia and Afghanistan.


Royal Guards at the main entrance of the Palacio Real. Guardia-Real-Madrid.jpg
Royal Guards at the main entrance of the Palacio Real .
Guard change at the Palacio Real. Guardias reales en 2001.jpg
Guard change at the Palacio Real.
King Juan Carlos I inspects the Royal Guard during the 2009 Pascua Militar. El rey Juan Carlos I en la Pascua Militar de 2009.jpg
King Juan Carlos I inspects the Royal Guard during the 2009 Pascua Militar .
King Ferdinand of Aragon escorted by Castile's Royal Guard during the swearing of the Fueros in Guernica in 1476 as Lord of Biscay. Foruak.jpg
King Ferdinand of Aragon escorted by Castile's Royal Guard during the swearing of the Fueros in Guernica in 1476 as Lord of Biscay.
Colours of the Marine company of the Royal Guard. Flag emblem for the Marine company of the Spanish Royal Guard.jpg
Colours of the Marine company of the Royal Guard.

See also

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