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Answered 2011-10-20 16:09:07

The British Army is the land armed forcesbranch of the British Armed Forces. It came into being with unification of the Kingdoms of Englandand Scotland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England and Scotland and was administered by the War Office fromLondon. Since 1963 it has been managed by the theMinistry of Defence.

This is the reason why the UK only have an a British Army and not a Royal one. Purely political and historical reasoning as in 1707 at the time of the above merger, Scotland might have been a bit upset to merge into a 'Royal' army!!

Anyone have a comment

Jeff - British Army retired

The Royal this and the Royal thatThe contrast is between the Royal Navy and the merchant navy, and between the Royal Air Force and civil aviation.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand use 'royal' in the same way.

In the case of the army, the difference is - I think - that maintaining private armies in England has been illegal since 1487. It was a piece of legislation brought in soon after the end of the Wars of the Roses and was enforced energetically. At the time it was directed against aristocrats who tried to maintain their own armies, which were an obvious threat to the central government.

Another factor: an army is generally more critical than a navy during a civil war, so calling it "The Royal Army" would have been considered symbolically dangerous to the authority of Parliament. The monarchy was useful as a symbolic figurehead for the empire, so ships of "The Royal Navy" visited colonies.

During WWI, the navy assumed responsibility for defending Britain from German zepplins, so the Royal Air Force was split from the Royal Navy, not from the army (unlike the birth of the USAF). Thus the royal name was natural.

This is not intended to deny the other factors - just that initial accidents usually continue when they turn out to be useful.

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