The First Battalion London Guards received its new Colours in a sacred ceremony at Buckingham Palace in July 2023. The Colours were presented by the battalion’s Colonel, HRH Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh.
The traditional ceremony, based on the format of religious services held on the battlefield for centuries, was attended by 100 soldiers from the unit, led by their Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Chris Sykes.
Colours were originally carried into the thick of battle so that soldiers could see where the rest of their regiment was at all times. They are incredibly important to every soldier who serves under them as they represent the spirit of the regiment and it is believed that they carry the essence of all those soldiers who have died serving the Colours.
The new Colours have been handmade by expert craftsmen using centuries’ old techniques. They are made from heavy silk, richly embroidered with gold and silver thread depicting the Regiment’s cap badge and company cyphers.
After the ceremony the Duke of Edinburgh joined the Reservists, their families and association members at a celebratory reception in Wellington Barracks.
The four companies that make up the battalion are Army Reserve companies of the most senior regiments of the Foot Guards: The Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, and Irish Guards.
Lieutenant Colonel Chris Sykes explained: “First Battalion London Guards receiving new Colours 14 months after its formation in 2022 cements the battalion’s place in the Household Division. Colours are central to the infantry and all Army Reserve Guardsmen are immensely proud of today.
“Since formation in May 2022, the battalion has taken its place alongside our Regular Guards colleagues on every major ceremonial event, just as its predecessor, The London Regiment, did on operations for 29 years.”
In September 2022 the 1st Battalion London Guards deployed to Italy on Exercise ROMAN STAR working with their Regular counterparts as equals. The joint exercise was conducted with the Italian 9th Alpini Regiment, experts in mountain warfare.
1st Battalion London Guards has more recently mobilised personnel to support the training of Ukrainian armed forces in the UK.