This regiment was first raised in 1685, in response to the Monmouth Rebellion, as the Earl of Plymouth's Regiment of Horse. It was ranked as the 4th Regiment of Horse. It fought duration the War of the Spanish Succession (`1701 - 1715), participating in the battles of Schellenberg Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, and Malplaquet.
It was active during the Peninsular War from 1809 onward, participating in the battles of Talavera, Albuhera, and Vittoria. This being a unit of Dragoon Guards, one of the subtle differences from the Dragoon regiments was that the edging on the front of the collar was red instead of the lace color. Tough to pick out, but it is there!
During this era, it had white facings with yellow lace.
In 1816, its facings were changed to Yellow with white lace, and thus later acquired the nickname of "The Old Canaries".
The badge of the Regiment was the three feathered cap of the Prince of Wales.
I'ts motto was that of the Prince of Wales as well -"Ich Dien" ("I serve" in German; there are various stories as to how that came about, none of them verified).
In contrast tot he Queen's Dragoons, this regiment wears the normal service trousers, grey with a red stripe. I kept the dress shabraques, though - white edged with yellow.
I mounted this regiment on Light Chestnut horses.
In keeping with the usual practice of British cavalry, their horse furniture is natural leather color.
As you can see, their flag is still MIA. It was square (as opposed to the swallow tailed guidons of he Dragoons and Light Dragoons/Hussars), with a white field and gold fringe, and bears the badge of the Prince of Wales in the center.
In keeping with the association with Wales, its slow march was "Men of Harlech", a personal favorite of mine. Must be the Welsh portion of my ancestry! It probably has more different sets of lyrics than just about any March or song that I can think of!
Not a military performance, but clear and well played. It seems that all of the various instrumental versions I listened to use the same arrangement, even those played by the Welsh Guards - I the first half, but in the 2nd half, IMHO, it gets too fancy and off track. The Band Director of our band in college was genius at adapting music into arrangements for Band, and I've love to see what he could have done with this!
Men of Harlech! In the Hollow,
Do ye hear like rushing billow
Wave on wave that surging follow
Battle's distant sound?
Tis the tramp of Saxon foemen,
Saxon spearmen, Saxon bowmen,
Be they knights or hinds or yeomen,
They shall bite the ground!
Loose the folds asunder,
Flag we conquer under!
The placid sky now bright on high,
Shall launch its bolts in thunder!
Onward! 'tis the country needs us,
He is bravest, he who leads us
Honor's self now proudly heads us,
Freedom, God and Right!
Rocky Steeps and passes narrow,
Flash with spear and flight of arrow
Who would think of death or sorrow?
Death is glory now!
Hurl the reeling horsemen over,
Let the earth dead foemen cover
Fate of friend, of wife, of lover,
Trembles on a blow!
Strands of life are riven!
Blow for blow is given
In deadly lock, or battle shock,
And mercy shrieks to heaven!
Men of Harlech! young or hoary,
Would you win a name in story?
Strike for home, for life, for glory!
Freedom, God and Right!