French Republican Guard
The Republican Guard is part of the French Gendarmerie. It is responsible for providing security in the Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...
area and for providing guards of honor.
Its missions include:
- Guarding important public buildings in ParisParisParis is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...
such as the Élysée PalaceÉlysée PalaceThe Élysée Palace is the official residence of the President of the French Republic, containing his office, and is where the Council of Ministers meets. It is located near the Champs-Élysées in Paris....
, the residence of the Prime Minister of FrancePrime Minister of FranceThe Prime Minister of France in the Fifth Republic is the head of government and of the Council of Ministers of France. The head of state is the President of the French Republic...
, Hôtel MatignonHôtel MatignonThe Hôtel Matignon is the official residence of the Prime Minister of France. It is located in the VIIe arrondissement of Paris, France.The address of Hotel Matignon is 57 rue de Varenne, Paris, France.-History:...
, the SenateFrench SenateThe Senate is the upper house of the Parliament of France, presided over by a president.The Senate enjoys less prominence than the lower house, the directly elected National Assembly; debates in the Senate tend to be less tense and generally enjoy less media coverage.-History:France's first...
, the National AssemblyFrench National AssemblyThe French National Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic. The upper house is the Senate ....
, the Hall of Justice, and keeping public order in Paris.
- Honor and security services for the highest national personalities and important foreign guests;
- Support of other law enforcement forces (with intervention groups, or horseback patrols);
- Staffing horseback patrol stations, particularly for the forests of the Île-de-FranceÎle-de-France (région)Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....
- Transporting and escorting urgent organ transplantOrgan transplantOrgan transplantation is the moving of an organ from one body to another or from a donor site on the patient's own body, for the purpose of replacing the recipient's damaged or absent organ. The emerging field of regenerative medicine is allowing scientists and engineers to create organs to be...
The close physical protection of the President of France is entrusted to the GSPR (Groupe de Sécurité de la Présidence de la République
Groupe de Sécurité de la Présidence de la République
The Security Group for the Presidency of the Republic is the security unit in charge of the safety of President of France.In the past, the group was composed of 30 gendarmes and 30 policemen and a Lieutenant-Colonel of Gendarmerie or a Commissaire divisionnaire de Police was alternately in...
), and the SPHP (Service de Protection des Hautes Personalités), neither is part of the Guard.
The Republican Guard also fulfills an important diplomatic role, representing France at international events abroad and receiving important dignitaries at home.
The Republican Guard is twinned with the Red Guard of Senegal
Red Guard of Senegal
The Red Guard of Senegal is a unit of the Senegalese Gendarmerie which is responsible for presidential security. It also has ceremonial duties and assists in general policing. It is very similar in concept to the French Republican Guard, with which it is officially twinned...
HistoryThe Republican Guard is the heir of all bodies that have ensured in the course of history, honors and protection of the high authorities of the State and City of Paris. It relates more directly to the Municipal Guard of Paris, established on 12 Vendémiaire XI (October 4, 1802) by Napoleon Bonaparte. It distinguished itself in big battles, including Danzig and Friedland in 1807, Alcolea in 1808 and Burgos in 1812.
Republican Guard guarding the Elysee Palace
In 1813 it was dissolved following the attempted coup of General Malet and replaced by the Imperial Gendarmerie of Paris and then, under the Restoration, the Royal Guard of Paris and the Royal Mounted Police of Paris. In 1830, it is recreated, and again removed after the Revolution of 1848 in favor of the ephemeral Civic Guard.
In June 1848 created the Republican Guard of Paris, including an infantry regiment and a regiment of cavalry. It received its insignia July 14, 1880. It took part in the First World War and saw its flag and banner decorated with the Knight's Cross of the Legion of Honour. During the Second World War, it reported to the police headquarters and took the name of Guard of Paris. Part of its staff rallied to General de Gaulle and the Guard was involved in the fighting alongside the FFI at the liberation of Paris.
In 1952, the guard was renamed the Legion of the Republican Guard of Paris and took part in the Indochina War, which earned it the Croix de Guerre
Croix de guerre
The Croix de guerre is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts...
In 1978, the guard took its current name of "Republican Guard." President Giscard d'Estaing gave, on 11 November 1979, its new insignia. Michele Alliot-Marie, Minister of Defence, said in October 2002: "The Republican Guard has a popularity that transcends borders," it helps "to radiation French armies and France. "
OrganizationThe Republican Guard belongs to the French National Gendarmerie. 3200 men and women make it up (on a total of 105,000 in gendarmerie). Intrinsically related to Paris, the guards wear the armorial bearings of the city on their uniforms.
It consists of two infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...
s (one includes a motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...
squadron) and a horse cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...
regiment. It also has four musical formations
A military band originally was a group of personnel that performs musical duties for military functions, usually for the armed forces. A typical military band consists mostly of wind and percussion instruments. The conductor of a band commonly bears the title of Bandmaster or Director of Music...
, as well as groups demonstrating prowess in horseback or motorcycle maneuvers. The regiment is commanded by a colonel and his staff.
Duty“The Republican Guard has a popularity which exceeds the borders,” it contributes “to the prestige of the French Army and France.” (Minister for Defense, October 2002)
Missions of honourThese ceremonial functions are performed mainly by the First Regiment of Infantry, the Regiment of Cavalry and sometimes by the Second Regiment of Infantry.
Detachments of the cavalry regiment reinforce the two infantry regiments in carrying out ceremonial and security roles in and around state buildings. These include the lining of both sides of the entry stairs of the Elysium or Matignon Palaces (and other buildings) by dismounted cavalry on special occasions. These Republican Guards belong to the Cavalry Regiment and not to the infantry units whose mission is to ensure the security of these palaces and of senior government figures. Certain ceremonial duties in the form of honour guards are performed when state visits are made to the Paris museums or the Opera, as well as at the moment of the descent of the Academicians beneath the cupola of the French Academy.
Formerly, one could hire Republican Guards for private fashionable evenings but this option was terminated by President Giscard d'Estaing.
The Republican Guard is in the direct service of the French State, which explains the removal from its title in 1979 of the reference to the city of Paris. The Republican Guard of Paris became, under President Giscard d'Estaing, simply the Republican Guard.
Controversially, they will frequently accept other honors from regiments of allied countries, but they will usually award their own honors, such as the famed spurs of the Republican Guard, only to royalty or to individuals of high standing.
Special MissionsSome guards are assigned to more specific missions:
- Security of Diplomatic bagDiplomatic bagA diplomatic bag, also known as a diplomatic pouch is a kind of receptacle used by diplomatic missions. The physical concept of a "diplomatic bag" is flexible and therefore can take many forms e.g. an envelope, parcel, large suitcase or shipping container, etc...
s entering and leaving the Ministry for Foreign AffairsMinister of Foreign Affairs (France)Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs ), is France's foreign affairs ministry, with the headquarters located on the Quai d'Orsay in Paris close to the National Assembly of France. The Minister of Foreign and European Affairs in the government of France is the cabinet minister responsible for...
and the airports.
- Safety of the Tour de FranceTour de FranceThe Tour de France is an annual bicycle race held in France and nearby countries. First staged in 1903, the race covers more than and lasts three weeks. As the best known and most prestigious of cycling's three "Grand Tours", the Tour de France attracts riders and teams from around the world. The...
by the motorcycle squadron.
- One of the more discreet missions of the Republican Guard is the transport of donor-organs intended for transplantation. The squadron motorcyclist is charged to ensure transport of it in order to guarantee the safety of this invaluable cargo and its delivery to the various hospitals in the Paris area. For this purpose, it assists the Agency of Biomedecine, (Seine-Saint-Denis) and carries out some 600 escorts per year.
Regiment of cavalry
Housed in the Caserne des Célestins, Paris, built in 1895-1901, designed by the renowned French architect Jacques Hermant
Jacques-Rene Hermant was a French architect, one of the most renowned architects of fin-de-siècle Paris....
The cavalry also includes the Fanfare of Cavalry and the brass band of Cavalry. It also includes more than 500 soldiers and civilians which includes a growing number of women (a little more than 8%). It has approximately 550 horses (11% mares) and remains the last unit of the French Army with horses.
The regiment is composed of:
- Centre of Instruction (Goupil district in Saint-Germain-en-LayeSaint-Germain-en-LayeSaint-Germain-en-Laye is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris from the centre.Inhabitants are called Saint-Germanois...
- Three squadrons of cavalry (the first is based with the district of Célestins and two others with the Carnot district),
- A squadron hors rang (based in Célestins) and composed of:
- Mounted Fanfare and Brass Band
- horse-shoeing (farriers},
- veterinary service.
This unit has a section of high level sportsmen, in particular Hubert Perring, dressage champion of France in 2005, and member of the French team for the World Equestrian Games of 2006.
The regiment of cavalry presents four activities:
- Lancer's Carrousel and Musical Ride
- Maison du Roi Historical drill
- Tandem Riders
- the resumption of the twelve
The republican guard has two regiments of infantry:
- The first regiment of infantry
- HQ Band of the Republican Guard
- Motorcycle Squadron
- Bayonet Squares Honor Guard and Drill Team
- the second regiment of infantry
Activities of the Infantry Regiments
- Bayonet Squares Honor Guard and Drill Team
- The Battery Fanfare bandFanfare bandFanfare Bands, Fanfare Corps, Fanfare Battery or Trumpet and Drum Bands are the Marching bands composed of percussion instruments, Natural horns and Fanfare trumpets which are common in Germany and France...
- The Napoleonic Brass Fanfare Band
- Emperor's Grenadiers Platoon
Orchestra of the Republican GuardDepending on staff availability, this formation has two main parts:
- the Orchestra of Harmony (80 musicians)
- the String Orchestra (40 musicians), likely to be presented in configurations of 24 or 12 bows, or in string quartet
It was founded in 1848 by Jean-George Paulus.
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