Royal Welsh

The Royal Welsh (R WELSH) (Welsh: Y Cymry Brenhinol) is one of the new large infantry regiments of the British Army. After the restructuring and reorganisation of the army in 2006, the Royal Welsh is one of three regiments to trace its lineage and draw its recruits primarily from Wales.

The Royal Welsh
Cap badge of the Royal Welsh
Active1 March 2006–
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch British Army
TypeLine Infantry
Role1st Battalion – Armoured Infantry
3rd Battalion – Army Reserve
SizeTwo battalions
Part ofScottish, Welsh and Irish Division
Garrison/HQRHQ – Cardiff
1st Battalion – Tidworth
3rd Battalion – Cardiff
Motto(s)"Ich Dien" (German) "I Serve"
"Gwell angau na Chywilydd" (Welsh) ("Better Death than Dishonour")
MarchQuick – Men of Harlech
Slow – Forth to the Battle
Mascot(s)Persian Goat (Shenkin IV)[1]
AnniversariesSt David's Day – 1 March
Colonel in ChiefHM The Queen
Colonel of
the Regiment
Maj-Gen James Swift, OBE (2016–21)
Tactical Recognition Flash
HackleWhite (ORs only)
From Royal Welch Fusiliers
AbbreviationR WELSH


The regiment's formation was announced on 16 December 2004 by Geoff Hoon and General Sir Mike Jackson as part of the restructuring of the infantry and it was actually formed on St David's Day, 1 March 2006. The Royal Welsh initially consisted of two Regular Army battalions, plus an Army Reserve battalion. The former regiments formed part of the battalion title (in brackets):[2]

The 1st battalion deployed to Afghanistan in October 2007, October 2009[3] and April 2012.[4]

In July 2007 the 2nd battalion deployed to Iraq[5] and between 2009 and 2011 the battalion deployed companies to Afghanistan.[6]

The 2nd battalion merged with 1st battalion to form a single battalion, the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh on 2 April 2014.[7]


The 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh is a Regular Army armoured infantry battalion based at Tidworth Camp. It comes under 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade with HQ at Bulford Camp in Wiltshire.[8][9]

The 3rd Battalion, The Royal Welsh is an Army Reserve light infantry battalion based at Maindy Barracks in Cardiff, with company locations in Swansea, Pontypridd, Aberystwyth and Colwyn Bay. Paired with 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, it also comes under 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade.[10][11]

Regimental museum

The Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh is at The Barracks, Brecon.[12] Meanwhile Firing Line: Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier is based at Cardiff Castle[13]


The regiment's cap badge is a representation of the Prince of Wales's feathers (formerly the cap badge of the Royal Regiment of Wales), while the hackle of the Royal Welch Fusiliers is worn by all NCOs and Other Ranks. HM The Queen is the new regiment's Colonel-in-Chief.[14]

The regiment includes a goat, presented by the monarch; this is not a mascot but a ranking soldier. Lance Corporal William Windsor retired on 20 May 2009; a replacement, Fusilier William Windsor, was appointed on 15 June 2009.[15][16]

Regimental Band and Corps of Drums of The Royal Welsh

The Regimental Band of The Royal Welsh is an all-brass band within the British Army. Formed of 30 soldiers who are all members of the Army Reserve, it can provide a marching band, a concert band or a fanfare team.[17]

In October 2009, due to £54m of Ministry of Defence budget cuts affecting front line services including the war in Afghanistan, all bookings from end of October 2009 until April 2010 were cancelled. This covered the Autumn Rugby Union Internationals and Remembrance Day. Band members agreed to honour all charity appearances during this period, but without pay.[18]

Regimental Colonels

Regimental Colonels have been as follows:

  • 2011–2016: Brigadier Philip M. L. Napier, OBE[19]
  • 2016–Present: Maj-Gen James Swift, OBE[20]


The regiment has received the Freedom of several locations throughout its history; these include:


Order of precedence

Preceded by
Mercian Regiment
Infantry Order of Precedence Succeeded by
The Royal Irish Regiment


1880[43]1881 Childers Reforms[43]1921 Name changes1957 Defence White Paper1966 Defence White Paper1990 Options for Change2003 Delivering Security in a Changing World
23rd (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot The Royal Welsh Fusiliers The Royal Welch Fusiliers The Royal Welsh
24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot The South Wales Borderers Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st Foot)
41st (The Welsh) Regiment of Foot The Welsh Regiment The Welch Regiment
69th (South Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot


  1. "Royal Welsh: New regimental goat evades Army capture". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  2. "In detail: army restructuring plans". BBC. 16 December 2004. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  3. "11 Light Brigade to replace 19 Light Brigade in Afghanistan". Ministry of Defence. 15 July 2009. Archived from the original on 16 July 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2016.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  4. "RC – Southwest - Task Force Helmand". International Security Assistance Force(ISAF). 19 April 2012. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  5. "The Royal Welsh return from Iraq". Wales on line. 11 December 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  6. "2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh: Soldiers in Cardigan march". BBC. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  7. "In pictures: Parade commemorates historic merger of Royal Welsh Regiment's 1st and 2nd Battalions". Wales on line. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  8. "Army basing announcement" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  9. "Transforming the British Army: An Update" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. p. 7. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  10. "3rd (United Kingdom) Division | The British Army". Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  11. "Royal Welsh | The British Army". 1 March 2006. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  12. "The Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh". Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  13. "Regimental museum to open doors". BBC News. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  14. "Cardiff set for royal visit from The Queen as she presents the Royal Welsh Regiment with its new colours". Wales on line. 17 April 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  15. "Retiring army goat's new zoo home". BBC News. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  16. "Soldiers choose regimental goat". BBC News. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  17. "Regimental Band and Corps of Drums". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  18. "Army cutbacks hit regimental band". BBC Wales. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  19. "A right Royal family affair for distinguished military family as Queen prepares to come to Cardiff". Wales on line. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  20. "This rare footage shows the moment the Queen came face to face with chiefs of the Royal Welsh". Wales on line. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  21. "Royal Welsh receive freedom of the city of Bangor". North Wales Chronicle. 26 July 2011. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012.
  22. "Freedom honour for Royal regiment". walesonline. 25 September 2010.
  23. "Royal Welsh to get freedom of Blaenau Gwent". South Wales Argus. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  24. WalesOnline. "Freedom honour for Royal Welsh Regiment". Wales Online. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  25. "Royal Welsh receive freedom of Blaenau Gwent - BBC News". Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  26. Freedom of the Borough Bridgend Council Archived 25 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  27. Post, North Wales Daily (23 April 2009). "Royal Welsh to receive freedom of Flintshire and Caernarfon".
  28. CaernarfonOnline (25 April 2009). "Royal Welsh Freedom of The Royal Town of Caernarfon" via YouTube.
  29. "Royal Welsh Regiment to receive Freedom of Caerphilly County Borough - Caerphilly.Observer". 21 September 2010.
  30. WalesOnline (15 September 2010). "Regiment to get freedom of the borough".
  31. steveorido (26 September 2010). "The Royal Welsh Freedom of the borough, Blackwood and Caerphilly" via YouTube.
  32. "March celebrates town centre revamp". 8 June 2013 via
  33. WalesOnline (26 September 2012). "The Royal Welsh to march at Cardigan Freedom Parade".
  34. "Soldiers in county freedom parade". 28 September 2012 via
  35. Live, North Wales (20 September 2010). "Royal Welsh given the Freedom of Conwy". northwales.
  36. Hickey, Alex (13 June 2011). "Royal Welsh given the freedom of Denbighshire".
  37. "Monmouthshire freedom plan is 'honourable tribute' to soldiers". South Wales Argus.
  38. "Freedom parade aims to keep inconvenience to a minimum in Abergavenny".
  39. "Royal Welsh given Freedom of Pembroke". Western Telegraph. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  40. McCarthy, James (8 October 2016). "Royal Welsh soldiers marched through Pontypridd watched by thousands".
  41. "Freedom of the Borough".
  42. "Honorary Freedom". Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  43. The London Gazette, Page 3300-3301 (1 July 1881). "Childers Reform" (24992). Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
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