Military Wiki
1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry)
File:QDG Cap Badge.PNG
Cap badge of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry)
Active 1 January 1959-
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Type Line cavalry
Role Formation Reconnaissance
Size One regiment
Part of Royal Armoured Corps
Garrison/HQ RHQ - Cardiff
Regiment - Sennelager, Germany
Nickname(s) The Welsh Cavalry
Motto(s) Pro rege et patria (For King and Country) (Latin)
March Quick - The Radetzky March and Rusty Buckles
Slow - 1st Dragoon Guards and 2nd Dragoon Guards Slow March
Engagements Most notable battle honours are Blenheim, Waterloo, Tobruk and El Alamein.
Lieutenant Colonel W.H.L. Davies MBE
Colonel-in-Chief HRH The Prince of Wales KG GCB KT
Colonel of
the Regiment
Lt General Simon Mayall CB (Currently the Defence Senior Adviser for the Middle East in the MOD)
Tactical Recognition Flash QDGflash.jpg
Arm Badge Royal Cypher of Queen Caroline
From the Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards)
Abbreviation QDG

A soldier from the Queen's Dragoon Guards fires an FN MINIMI

1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (QDG) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army. Nicknamed The Welsh Cavalry, the regiment recruits from Wales and the bordering English counties of Herefordshire, and Shropshire, and is the senior cavalry regiment, and therefore senior regiment, of the line of the British Army. The regiment is part of the Royal Armoured Corps.

Operational role

The regiment operates in the formation reconnaissance role and is equipped with vehicles from the CVR(T) family. These include the Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicle; the Sultan command vehicle and Samaritan ambulance; the Spartan armoured personnel carrier and the Samson armoured recovery vehicle.

Current status

The QDG has been based in Germany since after the invasion of Iraq. It is based in Sennelager and in a unit of 20th Armoured Brigade.

The regiment completed its second tour of Afghanistan (Operation Herrick XV (October 2011-April 2012)), its fifth tour to the Middle East in seven years. In 2003, C Squadron QDG was attached to 3 Commando Brigade, providing the reconnaissance and light armour support necessary to allow the brigade's advance north to Basra, Iraq. Members of C Squadron won a variety of operational awards for their efforts on Op Telic 1, most notably the Military Crosses awarded to Lieutenant Simon Farebrother and Major Henry Sugden.

In May 2012, there was speculation that the unit would become a victim of the defence budget cuts. As it was one of only three regiments historically associated with and still largely recruits from Wales, there was much support from the Welsh public to keep the QDG. However, Ministry of Defense officials announced no such plan has been made.[1][2]

As part of the Army 2020 plans, most units based in Germany will return to the UK and the QDG is scheduled to move to Swanton Morley, Norfolk by 2015.[3] They will re-role as "light cavalry", using Jackal vehicles.[4]

Recruiting Areas

  • Wales
  • Shropshire
  • Herefordshire


The current regiment was formed in 1959 by the amalgamation of 1st King's Dragoon Guards (raised in 1685 as Lanier's or 2nd Queen's Regiment of Horse by James II of England in reaction to the Monmouth Rebellion) and the Queen's Bays or 2nd Dragoon Guards (the former Peterborough's or 3rd Regiment of Horse, also raised in 1685 by James II in reaction to the Monmouth Rebellion). In 1896 Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the 1st King's Dragoon Guards and allowed the regiment to wear the Austrian imperial coat of arms, which is still used as the regiment's cap badge today. Also the regiment adopted an Austrian military march, Radetzky March, as quick march. The current Regimental March is Radetzky March and Rusty Buckles, the latter being the Regimental March of The Queen's Bays. The regimental museum is located in Cardiff Castle.

Perhaps the best known member in recent years was Captain Mark Phillips, one-time husband of The Princess Anne.

The regiment has spent much of its history based in Germany at various times. It served during the Aden Emergency and its squadrons were dispersed throughout the Middle East through the 1960s. During the 1980s and 90s the regiment was deployed to Lebanon in support of the allied Multinational Force, the Middle East for the Gulf War and to Bosnia as part of NATO peacekeeping forces during the Yugoslav Wars. In 2003 the regiment served in Iraq during the invasion of Iraq and subsequent Operation Telic tours.[5] It has also served in Afghanistan on Operation Herrick.

The regiment celebrated their fiftieth anniversary on 31 July 2009 with a ceremony at Cardiff castle and a parade through the streets of Cardiff city both attended by their Colonel-in-Chief The Prince of Wales. The regiment received a great response from the people of Cardiff. That same year the unit was also awarded with the Freedom of the City of Swansea.[6]

Collections relating to 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards are displayed at Firing Line: Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier.

Battle honours

Notable COs




Affiliated yeomanry

Order of precedence

Preceded by
The Blues and Royals
(Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons)
Cavalry Order of Precedence Succeeded by
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
(Carabiniers and Greys)


External links

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