Royal Life Guards (Denmark)

The Royal Life Guards (Danish: Den Kongelige Livgarde) is a mechanized infantry regiment of the Danish Army, founded in 1658 by King Frederik III. The primary task is to provide a number of soldiers from the Guard Company to serve as a guard/ceremonial unit to the Danish monarchy, while training the Royal Guards for various functions in the mobilisation force.[1] Until its disbandment, the Royal Horse Guards (Livgarden til Hest), served the role as the mounted guard/ceremonial unit, afterwards the role was taken over by Guard Hussar Regiment Mounted Squadron. During the time period 1684-1867, the Royal Life Guards were called The Royal Foot Guard (Den Kongelige Livgarde til Fods), in order to distinguish between the regiment and the Royal Horse Guards.[2]

The Royal Life Guard
Den Kongelige Livgarde
Coat of arms for Danish Royal Life Guards.svg
Coat of arms
Active30 June 1658 – present (362 years, 4 months)
Country Kingdom of Denmark
Branch Royal Danish Army
TypeFoot Guards
Role1st Battalion – Mechanized infantry
2nd Battalion – Mechanized infantry
3rd Battalion – Training
Guards Company – Public Duties
SizeThree battalions & one company
Part ofArmy Staff
Rosenborg Castle
Nickname(s)Livgarden, Garden
Motto(s)Pro Rege et Grege (For King and people)
EngagementsNorthern Wars
Scanian War
Great Northern War
Napoleonic Wars
First War of Schleswig
Second War of Schleswig
Operation Weserübung
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
Post-invasion Iraq, 2003–2011
Operation Inherent Resolve
Resolute Support Mission
WebsiteOfficial website
Colonel Mads Rahbek
Chief of the Guard CompanyMajor S.P. Østergaard
Duke William of Württemberg
Christian X of Denmark
Alexander III of Russia
Cap Badge of the Royal Danish GuardEmblem for the Danish Royal Life Guards.svg
Regimental beltStable belt LG.PNG
ColoursLG Colours.svg


The Life Guards Band in 1998.

The regiment itself has two battalions, the Guard Company and a Musical Corps:

  •   1st Battalion – Founded 1658. Mechanized Infantry Battalion, part of 1st Brigade. Plus Ultra (Even further)
    •   Staff Company (STKMP/I/LG)
    •   1st Armored Infantry Company (1/I/LG)
    •   2nd Mechanized Infantry Company (2/I/LG)
  •   2nd Battalion – Founded 1867. Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Vincere Volumus (We'll be victorious)
    •   1st Mechanized Infantry Company (1/II/LG)
    •   2nd Basic Training Company (2/II/LG)
    •   3rd Basic Training Company (3/II/LG)
  •   Royal Guard Company (Vagtkompagniet) - Founded 1659. Ceremonial/guard unit.
  •   Royal Life Guard Music Band (Den Kongelige Livgardes Musikkkorps) - Founded 1658. Musical unit.
Disbanded units
  •   3rd Battalion – Founded 1923, Disbanded 2018. Infantry (basic training) Battalion. (Mechanized Infantry Battalion 2000-2004)
  •   4th Battalion – Founded 1961, Disbanded 2005. Infantry Battalion.
  •   5th Battalion – Founded 2001, Disbanded 2005. Infantry Battalion. (Merged in from Danish Life Regiment, only as reserve)
  •   6th Battalion – Founded 2001, Disbanded 2005. Infantry Battalion. (Merged in from Danish Life Regiment, only as reserve)
  •   7th Battalion – Founded 2001, Disbanded 2005. Infantry Battalion. (Merged in from Zealand Life Regiment, only as reserve)

Guard CompanyEdit

Guard dutiesEdit

The Royal Life Guards provide a permanent guard at the Amalienborg Palace, Kastellet (part of the old fortification of Copenhagen), Rosenborg Castle/garrison of the Royal Life Guards in Copenhagen and the garrison of Høvelte. On occasions guard is kept at Fredensborg Palace, Marselisborg Palace, Gråsten Palace, Christiansborg Palace and other locations inside the Danish realm.


The review order uniform of the Royal Life Guards, worn while they are on guard duty, consists of bearskin headdresses, dark blue tunics and light blue trousers with white stripes. The ceremonial uniform, worn on special state occasions, substitutes a scarlet tunic for the dark blue.[3] The bearskin dates from 1803 and is decorated with the regiment's bronze cap badge (the Sun and Royal Coat of Arms).[4] Symbolic infantry sabers are carried by the rank and file. These were part of the spoils from the First Schleswig War of 1848–1851 and were originally derived from a French infantry weapon.

Names of the regimentEdit

Hans kongelige Majestæts Livregiment His Royal Majesty's Life Regiment 1658 1684
Vor Garde til Fods Our Guard on Foot 1684 1763
Den kongelige Livgarde til Fods Royal Life Guard on Foot 1763 1867
Livgarden Life Guard 1867 1961
Den kongelige Livgarde Royal Life Guard 1961 Present


Image galleryEdit

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Brammer, G. (1908). Livgarden 1658-1908 (in Danish). Copenhagen.
  • Gram-Andersen, J. (1983). Den Kongelige Livgarde 325 år - perioden 1958-1983 (in Danish). Copenhagen.
  • Gram-Andersen, J. (1986). Livgardens Kaserne & Rosenborg Eksercerplads 200 år (in Danish). Copenhagen.
  • Lövenskiold, C.L.v (1858). Efterretninger om Den Kongelige Livgarde til Fods (in Danish). Copenhagen.
  • Thaulow, Th. (1933). Livgarden 1908-1933 (in Danish). Copenhagen.
  • Thaulow, Th.; Mentze, E.; Friis Møller, M., eds. (1958). Livgarden gennem 300 år (in Danish). Copenhagen.


  1. ^ Værnsfælles Forsvarskommando (11 September 2018). "Om Den Kongelige Livgarde". (in Danish). Danish Defence. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  2. ^ Værnsfælles Forsvarskommando (18 December 2016). "Livgardens historie". (in Danish). Danish Defence. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  3. ^ Rinaldo D. D'Ami, page 83 "World Uniforms in Colour" Vol. 1, SBN 85059 031 0
  4. ^ Rinaldo D. D'Ami, page 84 "World Uniforms in Colour" Vol. 1, SBN 85059 031 0
  5. ^ Laursen, Ole (22 April 2014). "Historical Overview of Royal Life Guards". Wadschier. Retrieved 5 June 2017.

External linksEdit