Military Wiki
Cuirassiers Regiment Reggimento corazzieri
Corazzieri official seal
Active 1557–present[1]
Country Kingdom of Savoy.svg Duchy of Savoy
Flag of the Kingdom of Sardinia.svg Kingdom of Sardinia
Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Kingdom of Italy
Italy Italian Republic
Branch  Italian Army
Type Cavalry
  • Honour guard of the King of Sardinia until 1861
  • Honour guard of the King of Italy (House of Savoy) from 1861 to 1946
  • Honor guard of the President of the Italian Republic since 1946
Size Regiment
Part of Carabinieri
Garrison/HQ Barrack "Alessandro Negri di Sanfront", Rome, Lazio, Italy
Courage becomes stronger in danger
Col. Luciano Magrini[2][3]
Colonel-in-Chief President of the Italian Republic

Corazzieri at the Quirinale Palace in Rome

The Cuirassiers Regiment (Italian language: Reggimento corazzieri ) is a Carabinieri Cuirassier regiment acting as honour guard of the President of the Italian Republic. Their motto "Virtus in periculis firmior" means Courage becomes stronger in danger.

Until 24 December 1992, the division was called Reggimento Carabinieri Guardie della Repubblica (Carabinieri Guards of the Republic Regiment) and until 1990 it had been known as the Comando Carabinieri Guardie del Presidente della Repubblica (Carabinieri Guards of the President of the Republic Command).



Armor of a Heavy Cuirassier of the 16th century.

The first examples of a division of Archers and Esquires for the security of members of House of Savoy are dated back to the 15th century, but only during the dukedom of Emmanuel Philibert (1553-1580) a "Guard of Honor of the Prince" (Guardia d'Onore del Principe) was established with about fifty army-men led by a captain. This guard made its first appearance during the battle of St. Quentin in 1557.[1]

The division was subsequently expanded until in 1630 it had about 400 men, divided into 4 companies.[1]

Under the reign of Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia (1675-1730), the security units and ceremonial guards were merged into the "Body Guards" (Guardie del Corpo), which was subdivided into four companies.[1]

Since then, few changes had been made to the uniforms or to the composition of the unit, which has performed normal operational functions as well as serving in war campaigns.[1]

During the Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars and following the occupation of Piedmont, King Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia left the Kingdom in 1798 with only a few guards and took refuge briefly in Sardinia and Spain, until his return to Rome where he abdicated in favour of his brother Victor Emmanuel I on 4 June 1802. Thus, most of the Guards were transferred to the French government which formed the Squadron of Piedmontese Carabineers (Squadrone Carabinieri Piemontesi).[1]

Exiled for over a decade, Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia regain possession of his territories only on 20 May 1814, restoring the institutions existing before the Napoleonic rule. The corps of the Body Guards was re-established with the same dimension it originally had.[1] On the following 13 July, the King established the "Corps of Royal Carabinieri" (Corpo dei Carabinieri Reali) with the occasional tasks of “escorting royals” (initially belonging to the Body Guards),[1] along with the law enforcement and public security purposes according to the Royal Licences (Patenti Reali).[4] Reforms of Charles Albert of Sardinia (1834-1849) reduced the personnel and competences of Body Guards while giving a greater relevance to the Carabinieri, who were also designated to form a mounted squadron of honour for the wedding of the Crown Prince Victor Emmanuel II with the Archduchess Adelaide of Austria in 1842. The Body Guards took part to the First Italian War of Independence alongside the Carabinieri in order to protect the King.[1]

The Body Guards were formally dissolved in 1867, although during the previous twenty years only one company had continued to perform security services exclusively at the Royal Palace of Turin. They were absorbed by the Carabinieri, which were established as an Army Corps with the Royal Decree on the 24 of January 1861.[1][4][5]

Kingdom of Italy

Uniform of a Cuirassier at the end of the 19th century.

The Body of Cuirasses was established on 7 February 1868 in Florence (the Italian capital at the time). It was formed by carabinieri on horseback from the legions of Florence, Milan and Bologna.[1] There were 80 carabinieri; each wearing a black helmet with crest and a black breastplate with a cross on the chest, white suede trousers and white gauntlets, high boots and silver spurs. The armour was wore above the Carabiniere uniform and epaulettes.[5] The division was subsequently formed on the occasion of the wedding between Princess Margherita of Savoy and Prince Umberto I of Italy. Since then it had been never been disbanded.[1] Members of the “Company of His Highness’s Cuirasses” (Compagnia Corazze di Sua Altezza) used to wear the monogram of the King on their breastplates, which were similar to those previously worn by other units.[6] Cuirasses Company had one commander captain, 4 officers, 9 deputy-officers and 69 carabinieri.[1]

In 1870, "Royal Guards Companies of the Palace" (Compagnie Guardie Reali del Palazzo) were dismantled and the "Carabinieri Guards of the King Squadron" (Squadrone Carabinieri Guardie del Re), also known as "Cuirassiers Squadron" (Squadrone Corazzieri), began the only division with the task to protect the Royal family.

In 1871, following the transfer of the Kingdom capital from Florence to Rome, the Carabinieri Guards of the King Squadron joined the Carabinieri Legion of Rome[5] and settled at the Quirinal Palace.

Cuirassiers were deployed in the World War I in order to escort the King in military operations.[1]

Many Cuirassiers also joined the Italian resistance movement after the Badoglio Proclamation of 8 September 1943 and the escape of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, when they were left without orders.[1]

Republic of Italy

On 13 June 1946, the last King, Umberto II of Italy, was exiled after the proclamation of the Republic and he freed the Cuirassiers from their oath to the Monarchy. The division was then renamed as the "3rd Mounted Carabineer Squadron" (3° Squadrone Carabinieri a Cavallo) and members wore new uniforms.[1]

The squadron returned to the Quirinal on 11 May 1948, when the second president of Italy Luigi Einaudi restored the "Squadron of Carabineer Guards" (Squadrone Carabinieri Guardie) with the historical uniforms of 1876.[1][7]

In 1961 the division was called "Squadrons Group" (Gruppo squadroni) and it was renamed "Carabineer Command of the Guards of the President of the Republic" (Comando Carabinieri Guardie del Presidente della Repubblica) in 1965.[1][7]

With the decree of the President of the Republic n. 671 of 12 September 1978, the Command obtained a banner for their mounted units.[7][8]

In 1990 the division was transformed into the "Carabineer Regiment of the Guards of the Republic" (Reggimento Carabinieri Guardie della Repubblica) and it was officially renamed in "Cuirassiers Regiment" (Reggimento Corazzieri) on 24 December 1992 with a decree of the 9th President of Italy Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.[1][7]

In February 2006, the Cuirassiers took part in the flag-raising ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

In June 2017, the first Cuirassier with black skin in the Italian history debuts during the visit of Pope Francis to the President Sergio Mattarella.[9]


Recruitment requirements

Corazzieri on horseback in the gala uniform.

The members of the Regiment, which are a specialized force of the Carabinieri, are distinguished by their uniforms and strict requirements needed to join the Regiment.

A Cuirassier has to be at least 190 cm tall, with a "harmonious" body, a strong resistance and athletic preparation, important qualities for the long shifts during which he must stand with austere immobility in every condition.[10] Moreover, candidates have to have an undisputed personal and familiar morality and it is necessary to have excellent disciplinary and service records, demonstrated by at least six months of territorial service and as many months of traineeship in the Regiment (with a final exam).[10]

Among the regiment there are snipers, martial artists, experts of personal defence and paratroopers. Cuirassiers must manage with expertise their vast range of equipment, known as "bottino" ("booty"), and they are trained to ride perfectly Irish Sport Horses and drive Moto Guzzi California cruisers, a means of complementary or alternative transport in daily services but also in many ceremonial services.[10]

Being in charge to escort the President of the Republic, Cuirassiers have to be able to manage promptly many delicate operations characterized by a large public presence and by the need to ensure a discreet, but always effective, protection.[10]


Cuirassiers use the same uniforms which were established in 1878 but with some slight differences.[11] Lance corporals and brigadiers wear single-breasted horse jackets while marshals and officers wear the double-breasted ones. In special circumstances, for example during guard shifts or ceremonies in the Quirinal, Cuirassiers wear mess dress uniforms, helmets with chinstraps and horse hair crests. During particular honour services, like the Italian Republic Day on 2 June, the distinctive cuirasses of the regiment are worn.

Coat of arms

File:Italian Corazzieri 01.jpg

The coat of arms of the Regiment with the 1988 version of the seal of Carabinieri on the right side of the shield.[12]

The decree of the President of the Republic of 24 December 1986 had given a coat of arms for the Cuirassiers. It is a shield divided in two parts: on the left side, there are the colours representing the Italian capitals where the regiment had served (blue for Turin, silver for Florence and red for Rome) with a black eagle (symbol of the House of Savoy) above with the acronym "RI" (Repubblica Italiana), while on the right there is the coat of arms of the Arma dei Carabinieri.[13] The shield is surmounted by a mural crown and it is sustained by two golden lions which bear the Italian Flag (left) and the Presidential standard (right).[13]

Lions stand on a banner reading the Latin motto «VIRTUS IN PERICULIS FIRMIOR», which means "The courage becomes stronger than the peril".

The current coat of arms has been changed twice, in 1990 and in 1992, accordingly to the changes made on the Presidential standard.[13]


See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 "The Italian Corps of Cuirassiers". 
  2. "Arriva da Brescia il nuovo comandante dei Corazzieri del Quirinale" (in it). 9 January 2019. 
  3. "Cerimonia di cambio del Comandante dei Corazzieri" (in it). 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Cenni storici" (in it). 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Storia dell'Arma" (in it). 2016. pp. 57–58. 
  6. "L'evoluzione delle corazze e degli elmi dei Carabinieri Guardie del Re (Corazzieri)" (in it). 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Dai Carabinieri Guardie del Presidente al Reggimento Corazzieri" (in it). 
  8. "DECRETO DEL PRESIDENTE DELLA REPUBBLICA 12 settembre 1978, n. 671" (in it). 12 September 1978.;671. 
  9. "Dall'adozione in Brasile al Quirinale, la favola del primo corazziere nero" (in it). 2017-06-12. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "I Corazzieri" (in it). 
  11. "I Corazzieri - Le Uniformi attuali" (in it). 
  12. "Carabinieri - Stemma araldico del 1989" (in it). 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "I Corazzieri - Lo stemma araldico" (in it). 


  • Di Paolo, Paolo; Raciti, Aldo (1996). Abbecedario del carabiniere - Dizionario storico essenziale per la conoscenza dell'Arma. Rome: Comando Generale dell'Arma dei Carabinieri. 
  • Pucciarelli, Mauro (1991). Nei Secoli Fedele. Milan: Ente editoriale per l'Arma dei Carabinieri. 

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).