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 Western Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. 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 have served in recent times in Afghanistan and Bosnia.

Spanish Marine Infantry

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.

Afghanistan A landlocked south-central Asian country

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South and Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and in the far northeast, China. Its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi) and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences very cold winters. The north consists of fertile plains, whilst the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get very hot in summers. Kabul serves as the capital and its largest city.

Bosnia and Herzegovina republic in Southeast Europe

Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina, and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe, located within the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city.


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 through the 15th centuries

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 kings 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)

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor Holy Roman Emperor

Charles V was ruler of both the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and the Spanish Empire from 1516, as well as of the lands of the former Duchy of Burgundy from 1506. He stepped down from these and other positions by a series of abdications between 1554 and 1556. Through inheritance, he brought together under his rule extensive territories in western, central, and southern Europe, and the Spanish viceroyalties in the Americas and Asia. As a result, his domains spanned nearly 4 million square kilometres, and were the first to be described as "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 in France

Burgundy is a historical territory and a former administrative region of 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 on 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 left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, in alliance with the Anarchists and Communists, fought against the Nationalists, a Falangist, Carlist, Catholic, and largely aristocratic group led by General Francisco Franco. The war was known as a struggle between democracy and fascism, particularly due to the international political climate. The Nationalists won the war in early 1939 and ruled Spain until Franco's death in November 1975.


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 mouted squadron which was first raised from surplus personnel of the Regulares. After several reorganizations, the unit would last until Franco's death.

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

Related Research Articles

Dragoon mounted infantry soldiers

Dragoons originally were a class of mounted infantry, who used horses for mobility, but dismounted to fight on foot. From the early 18th century onward, dragoons were increasingly employed as conventional light or medium cavalry, or in the British army also heavy cavalry, trained for combat with swords from horseback.

Republican Guard (France) security branch of Frances Gendarmerie responsible for Paris-area security and honor guards

The Republican Guard is part of the French Gendarmerie. It is responsible for providing guards of honor for the State and security in the Paris area.

Royal guard group of military bodyguards for protection of royal person

A royal guard describes any group of military bodyguards, soldiers or armed retainers responsible for the protection of a royal person, such as the emperor or empress, king or queen, or prince or princess. They often are an elite unit of the regular armed forces, or are designated as such, and may maintain special rights or privileges.

Government Palace (Peru) seat of the executive branch of the Peruvian Government, and the official residence of the President of Peru

The Government Palace, also known as the House of Pizarro, is the seat of the executive branch of the Peruvian Government, and the official residence of the President of Peru. The palace is a stately government building, occupying the northern side of the Plaza Mayor in Peru's capital city, Lima. Set on the Rímac River, the palace occupies the site of a very large huaca that incorporated a shrine to Taulichusco, the last kuraka of Lima.

Guard of honour guard, usually military in nature, appointed to receive or guard a head of state or other dignitary, the fallen in war, or to attend at state ceremonials, especially funerals.

A guard of honour (en-GB), guard of honor (en-US), also honour guard (en-GB), honor guard (en-US), also ceremonial guard, is a guard, usually military in nature, appointed to receive or guard a head of state or other dignitary, the fallen in war, or to attend at state ceremonials, especially funerals. In military weddings, especially those of commissioned officers, a guard, composed usually of service members of the same branch, form the Saber arch. In principle any military unit could act as a guard of honour. However, in some countries certain units are specially designated for guard of honour duty.

Kremlin Regiment

The Kremlin Regiment, also called the Presidential Regiment, is a unique military regiment and part of the Russian Federal Protective Service with the status of a special unit. The regiment ensures the security of the Kremlin, its treasures, and state officials. In accordance with the federal law of December 8, 1997 "On Immortalizing the Soviet People’s Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945", the regiment also maintains a guard of honor at the eternal flame of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The regiment is housed in the historic Kremlin Arsenal.


The Fuerzas Regulares Indígenas, known simply as the Regulares (Regulars), are volunteer infantry units of the Spanish Army, largely recruited in the cities of Ceuta and Melilla. Originally consisting of indigenous infantry and cavalry recruited in Spanish Morocco, forming part of the Army of Africa and officered by Spaniards, these troops played a significant role in the Spanish Civil War (1936–39).

This is the Operation Herrick ground order of battle, which lists any British ground forces that have taken part in the duration of Operation Herrick between 2002 and 2014.

Ukrainian Naval Infantry

The Ukrainian Naval Infantry is part of coastal defense troops of the Ukrainian Navy. It is used as a component part of amphibious, airborne and amphibious-airborne operations, alone or in accordance with formations and units of the Army in order to capture parts of the seashore, islands, ports, fleet bases, coast airfields and other coast objects of the enemy. It can also be used to defend naval bases, vital areas of the shore, separate islands and coast objects, and security of hostile areas.

Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers

The Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers is the name of two Argentine Army regiments of two different time periods: a historic regiment that operated from 1812 to 1826, and a modern cavalry unit that was organized in 1903. The first Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers, formed in 1812, fought in the Argentine War of Independence under José de San Martín, and the Cisplatine War, subsequently becoming the Presidential bodyguard in 1825. Refusing to replenish its membership with soldiers who had not fought in the Argentine War of Independence, the regiment disbanded in 1826.

1st Kings Immemorial Infantry Regiment

The King's Own Immemorial 1st Infantry Regiment of the Spanish Army is claimed to be the oldest continuously operating military unit in the world. King Ferdinand III of Castille, in 1248, during the conquest of Seville, with some of his men-at-arms, assaulted and took a tower. Seemingly, with such boldness and bravery they gained the admiration of the King. The campaign finished and with the consequent disbandment of troops, King Ferdinand decided to permanently keep that force on the rolls, making one of the first standing armies in Europe since the Roman Empire.

This is an Order of Battle of the Chilean Army.

This is the order of battle of Allied and German forces during Operation Dragoon in 1944.

San Marco Marine Brigade

The "San Marco" Marine Brigade is an amphibious formation of the Italian Navy established on 1 March 2013, reorganizing the Navy Landing Force. It has its command in Brindisi. They are the marines of the Italian Navy.

295th Infantry Regiment

The 295th Infantry Regiment was a light infantry regiment of the Puerto Rico Army National Guard consisting mostly of Puerto Rican enlisted soldiers and officers. The regiment was the first regiment of any kind assigned to the Puerto Rico National Guard back when it was known locally as the 1st Infantry Regiment.

Presidential Life Guard Dragoons Regiment

For more than a century the Presidential Escort Life Guard Dragoons Regiment "Field Marshal Domingo Nieto" has been the official Household Cavalry and Dragoon Guards regiment of the Peruvian Army, with its primary responsibility to provide the ceremonial protection to the President of Peru and as well as public duties on the Government Palace in Lima. It is one of Latin America's foremost guard regiments, and one of 2 active Household Cavalry regiments of the Peruvian Armed Forces, the other being the 1st Light Cavalry Regiment "Junin Hussars".

37th Infantry Presidential Guard Battalion

The 37th Infantry Presidential Guard Battalion is the President of Colombia's honour guard service regiment under the National Army of Colombia. It is composed of five companies, a historical company and one artillery battery plus a military band, a fanfare trumpet section and a Corps of Drums. It is stationed at the Casa de Nariño in Bogotá and carries the traditions of Simon Bolivar's infantry guards company raised in the midst of the Spanish American wars of independence in 1815.

Granaderos de Tarqui President of Ecuadors honour guard

The Presidential Escort Group "Granaderos de Tarqui is the President of Ecuador's honour guard service regiment, which protects the Carondelet Palace in Quito. Granaderos de Tarqui, means Grenadiers of Tarqui in Spanish.

Musical Unit of the Spanish Royal Guard Musical service in the Spanish Armed Forces

The Musical Unit of the Spanish Royal Guard is the official music service of the Spanish Royal Guard of the Spanish Armed Forces that is dedicated to providing ceremonial honours and music to the King of Spain, the Spanish Royal Family, and public officials. The musical unit is one of many battalion sized units in the regiment, with over 100 professional musicians in its ranks who are chosen from the non-commissioned officers of the Military Music Corps. It is one of the more senior and representative bands in the Spanish Armed Forces, with its repertoire covering a wide range of Army, Navy and Air Force music. The entire unit is currently under the baton of the conductor of the Military Band of the Royal Guard, Colonel Musician Enrique Damián Blasco Cebolla.