Original British Grenadier Guards Bearskin Helmet & Home Service Dress Tunic - Recent Issue

Item Description

Original Items: Only one set available. The Grenadier Guards (GREN GDS) is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to The Life Guards. Although The Coldstream Guards were formed before The Grenadier Guards, the regiment is ranked after the Grenadiers in seniority as, having been a regiment of the New Model Army, the Coldstream served the Crown for four fewer years than the Grenadiers (the Grenadiers having formed as a Royalist regiment in exile in 1656 and the Coldstream having sworn allegiance to the Crown upon the Restoration in 1660).

The sight of guards posted outside Royal Palaces in and around London, dressed in their scarlet tunics and bearskin hats, is famous the world over, but do you know how to distinguish which of the Household Divisions five foot regiments of Foot Guards is providing The Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace?

The five Regiments of Foot Guards are the Grenadier Guards, the Coldstream Guards, the Scots Guards, the Irish Guards and the Welsh Guards.

The Guards have two roles in the British Army; first and foremost they are highly trained infantry soldiers who carry out operational duties worldwide who in addition to their combat role train for Public Duties where they take part in State and Royal ceremonial events.

The scarlet uniforms and bearskin caps of the troops you see Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace may appear the same at first glance, but there are subtle differences.

When performing ceremonial duties, the Grenadiers can be identified by the buttons on their tunics being equally spaced apart, a white plume on the left side of the bearskin, a grenade on their collar badge, and the royal cipher on the shoulder.

Their motto is ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ (the same as that of the Order of the Garter), meaning “Shame Upon He Who Thinks Evil Of It”. They are based at Wellington Barracks and Aldershot.

Prince Andrew, The Duke of York is their Colonel; it was formerly The Duke of Edinburgh.

A mistake often made is the name given to the foot guards famous tall fur hats, or caps. They wear a bearskin, not to be mistaken for the smaller busby which is worn by the Royal Horse Artillery when on ceremonial duties.

The standard bearskin of the British Foot Guards is approx. 18 inches tall (45cm), weighs 1.5 pounds (680g) and is made from the fur of the Canadian black bear. These furs come from culled bears – the animals are not hunted for sport, but under license by native Inuit hunters in a Canadian government programme to keep numbers under control – and is used for its warmth, water-resistance nature, and ability to retain its shape.

Officers’ bearskins are made from the fur of the female Canadian brown bear as it has thicker, fuller fur and is dyed black. An animal-free alternative has been sought for a number of years, but no material has met the requirements.

The red tunics are called ‘Home Service dress tunics’. These are worn in the summer months – April until October. During autumn and winter they change into great coats – long gray coats – much more practical for the weather they have to endure while standing guard outside Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle.

Officers tunics are embellished with fine gold thread and have gold buttons as opposed to other ranks silver buttons, which appear on this tunic.

The overall condition of the Bearskin and Home Service Tunic is excellent. The only items needed to complete the ensemble is a belt and pair of trousers, which unfortunately are not available with this set. There is no noticeable damage to either item and the interior of the tunic still displays original tags and even has a name. For the name, we can barely make out Clegg and the tag has writing all over it making it hard to read, we can make out a size of 18.

This is an incredible opportunity to had a fantastic and iconic uniform set to your collections. Comes more than ready for further research and display!

Collar to shoulder: 10”
Shoulder to sleeve: 26”
Shoulder to shoulder: 18”
Chest width: 19”
Waist width: 15”
Hip width: 22”
Front length: 32"

NOTE: Mannequin Not Included.

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