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The White Horse of Hanover

1

Apart from the Queen's Crown the White Horse of Hanover ranks as second to none among our military badges. It was bestowed by the first three King Georges to certain regiments as a special honor. The first instance of it being so granted was to certain regiments for their part in suppressing the Jacobites.

2

It was first granted as a special headdress badge by King George the first in 1715, to the 3rd The King's Own Hussars for their part in defeating the Jacobites. (The 3rd Hussars also wore another form of the White Horse on their sleves in the guise of Pegasus).

3At the time the White Horse formed part of our Royal Arms, on which it was displayed from 1714 to 1837, the horse on its red background being in the fourth quarter of the royal standard. in that quarter, which is now occupied by the three lions of England, were the arms of Hanover, which were divided by three parts by a vertical line bifurcated at the bottom. (Like an inverted letter Y.) In the first part were two gold lions passant gardant on a red ground ; for Brunswick. In the second part on a gold ground covered with red hearts, was a blue lion rampant ; for Luneburg. and in the lower part on a red field, was a silver horse courant ; for Westphalia.

4It was this horse of Westphalia that the Kings of Hanover used as a personal badge. (A badge in heraldry, is any charge on a coat of arms used on its own for simplicity.) The horse was used as an emblem of Westphalia, and the personal badges of the King's of Hanover, in memory of the white horse ridden by the Saxon King Widukind (or Wittekind), in his was against Charle-mange about the year 800. The arms of Hanover were removed form the Royal Arms on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837, as, owing to the Salic Law, she could not succeed to the throne of Hanover

5

Although the horse on the arms of Hanover has no ground beneath it, when used alone as a badge it has. The ground is shown rough to illustrate the motto "Nec Asprea Terrent" - rough going does not deter.

6The White Horse is depicted in three different positions:

 

1,         Prancing.

2,         Galloping, with both forelegs and hind-legs on the same level as illustrated by the 3rd Hussars.

3,         Galloping, with forelegs raised above the ground. This is the usual way of showing the horse on Guidon's, Drum banners and Regimental colors.

 

7

The horse is silver , but according to the rules of heraldry it may be shown white. The ground below the horse is green. It is NOT a crest.

8

The Honor. of wearing the badge on the beret was continued by The Queen's Own Hussars through to the amalgamation in 1993. Today the White horse is worn as Collar Badges on No2 Service dress and can also be seen in the center of The Queen's Royal Hussars Regimental Crest surmounted by the order of the garter.

 

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