Kungl Livgardet

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to navigationJump to search

Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Swedish Army >> Kungl Livgardet

Origin and History

This permanent regiment traces its ancestry to the Gustaf Vas's Bodyguard of 1521. It was raised in 1617 and it was known under several names, the most famous was Gula Regiment (Yellow Regiment). It received the name of "Kunglig Majestuats Livgarde till häst och fot" during the reign of Karl XI. Karl XII separated the out the mounted unit in 1700 when the Drabants formed were formed into a special corps.

In the Great Northern War, the regiment strength increased to four battalions of which one was a grenadier battalion. In 1701 one company each was taken from the Svenska and Tyska Livregementet and the Drottingen Regementet. In 1703 two battalions, one from the Upplands tremännings-regemente and one from the Östgöta- Sodermalands tremännings-regemente were incorporated, as well as 150 men from the Jämtland dragonregementet.

The Guard took part in the landing on Själland, 1700, then transferred to Livland in Fall 1700 and with the King's Army thereafter. Distinguished at Holowczin 1708 and captured at Poltava. Raised again through enlistment in Sweden but despite the efforts could be brought to 13 companies only. Norwegian campaign 1718.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, this regiment consisted of 18 companies of 111 men each.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • ???

Service during the War

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment garrisoned Stockholm.

By the end of August 1757, 10 companies of the regiment (about 1,000 men) had been transported across the Baltic towards Swedish-Pomerania.

To do: campaigns from 1758 to 1763



Uniform in 1756 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
sketches of infantry uniforms from the
Swedish War Archives
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a tin button on the left side
Grenadier Prussian style mitre with a blue bag (because of the great similarity of the Prussian and Swedish grenadiers, in the field the mitre was covered with a black wax cloth)
Neckstock black
Coat dark blue with 10 tin buttons down the front yellow trimmed buttonholes and 2 tin buttons at small of the back
Collar saffron yellow
Shoulder Straps on the left shoulder with one tin button
Lapels none
Pockets on each side with 3 tin buttons each
Cuffs saffron yellow
Turnbacks saffron yellow
Waistcoat yellow
Breeches yellow
Gaiters white stockings with brown leather strap at knee
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt broad white leather shoulder-strap
Waistbelt white with brass buckle
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard none
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear black shoes with brass buckles

Troopers were armed with a sword and a musket. The bayonet was permanently fixed to the musket.

Other interpretations

Schirmer as well as Pengel and Hurt mention white trimmed buttonholes.


NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:

  • a silver lace on the tricorne
  • brass buttons (smaller than those of officers)

NCOs carried halberds but no cane.


Officers wore a blue uniform (coat) with blue distinctives (collar, cuffs, turnbacks). They were further distinguished from privates by:

  • a gold lace on the tricorne
  • no turnbacks on the coat
  • a silver gorget
  • brass buttons
  • blue or black breeches (breeches of the same colour as those of the privates were also worn)

N.B.: contrarily to the custom in other armies, Swedish officers did not wear any sash

Horses were equipped with blue housing with a yellow border.


The uniform of the drummers were usually yellow with the addition of plain white swallows nest on each shoulder. There were no other lace on the sleeves, etc.

The drums were brass. The rims were blue with yellow edging.


The pikes used as staffs to carry the colours were always yellow. The Liffana had gold finials while the Kompanifana had steel finials. The colours measured 2.12 x 1.70 m. (1.81 x 1.33 m. as per Clifford).

Liffana (Colonel flag): white field sown with gold crowns; centre device consisted of the golden cipher “AR” flanked by 2 golden lions and surmounted by a gold crown.

Kompanifana (ordonnance flag): white field carrying the King's cipher surmounted by a gold crown; 1 small coronet in each corner.

Liffana - Source: rf-figuren from a template by Hannoverdidi
Kompanifana - Source: rf-figuren from a template by Hannoverdidi

Exceptionally, this regiment carried 6 colours.


Großer Generalstab, Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen - Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763. Vol. 6 Leuthen, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher), Berlin 1904, pp.92-107, Annex pp. 11-16

Höglund, Lars-Eric and Ake Sallnäs: The Great Northern War 1700-1721, Colours and Uniforms, Acedia Press, Karlstadt, 2000

Pengel, R. D. and G. R. Hurt; Swedish Army in Pomerania – 1757-1763, Birmingham, 1983

Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, vol. III, published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989, pp. 25-38

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.