The Royal Company of Archers

The Royal Company of Archers functions as the Sovereign's 'Body Guard in Scotland'.

It performs duties at the request of The King at any State and ceremonial occasion taking place in Scotland. The Royal Company also provided a guard on vigil during Queen Elizabeth II lying-in-state.

The Royal Company's most regular duty is to be in attendance at His Majesty's annual garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

About 120 members of the Royal Company form avenues down which The King and Queen proceed while guests chosen at random are presented to them by the Company's Captain-General and President of the Council.

Another major duty is attendance outside St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, at the service of installation of Knights of the Thistle. Members of the Company also attend Investitures at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the presentation of new Colours for Scottish regiments.

Apart from its role as the Sovereign's bodyguard, the Royal Company of Archers still functions as an archery club - the purpose for which it was originally formed in 1676.

In return for being endowed with "perpetual access to all public butts, plains and pasturages legally allotted for shooting arrows", including the grounds at the Palace at Holyroodhouse, the Royal Company is required to present to the Sovereign three barbed arrows on request.

Members of the Royal Company must be Scots or have strong Scottish connections. Membership is by election. The structure of the organisation is divided between officers and members.

By seniority, the officers comprise one Captain-General, four Captains, four Lieutenants, four Ensigns and twelve Brigadiers.

Members of the Royal Company of Archers wear a distinctive uniform. It features a dark green tunic with black facings, dark green trousers with black and crimson stripe, and a Balmoral bonnet with the Royal Company's badge and an eagle feather.

Related content

Feature

Coronations and the Royal Archives

Explore documents from the Royal Archives relating to this historic ceremony ...
Archive document showing procession
Press release 23 April 2023

New appointments to the Order of the Garter

Read more
Feature

The Coronation Emblem

Find out more about the meaning behind the emblem design ....
Emblem bunting
Feature

The Coronation Quiche

Find out how to make this special Coronation Big Lunch recipe ...
The Coronation Quiche

A speech delivered by The Princess of Wales at the launch of her business taskforce for Early Childhood

The societal impact we could have, if we work together on this, could transform lives for generations to come.

21 March 2023

A Speech by His Majesty The King at the State Banquet at Schloss Bellevue, Berlin

Over all these years, and in so many ways, I have been struck by the warmth of the friendship between our nations and by the vitality of our partnership

29 March 2023

A Speech by His Majesty The King at the German Bundestag

I can hardly begin to express the pride I feel in the strength of the partnership between our two countries. Germany, her people and distinctive culture have made such a...

30 March 2023

A speech by His Majesty The King at the 200th Sovereign's Parade, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

It is the lifelong friendships which are forged through shared hardship, and the humour that you find in the darkest hours of the coldest, wettest nights, which remain with...

18 April 2023
News

State Visit to Germany

29 March 2023
State Visit to Germany
News

The Coronation Invitation

04 April 2023
The Coronation Invitation
News

Royal Maundy Service 2023

06 April 2023
The King and The Queen Consort at York Minster
News

The Coronation Regalia

09 April 2023
The Imperial State Crown, The Orb and St Edward's Crown
News

The Coronation Procession

17 April 2023
The Gold State Coach
Feature

Downloadable image for the Coronation

Download an image to mark the Coronation ...
The King and The Queen Consort

A speech delivered by The Prince of Wales at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

I may be stepping aside, but in Colonel Catherine you have a committed, focussed, and already incredibly loyal 11th Colonel.

20 March 2023

A Speech by His Majesty The King at the Presentation of Loyal Addresses by Privileged Bodies

You underpin the very foundations upon which our country is built

09 March 2023
News

Commonwealth Day 2023

13 March 2023
The King signs the Commonwealth Charter