Royalty and the Army in the Twentieth Century

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Modern Monarchy book series (PSMM)


This chapter explores the emphasis placed by the royal family on its continuing relationship with its armed forces, through a case study of the army. A significant remaining part of the royal prerogative that is still exercised by the Windsor monarchy is focused on the monarch’s role as titular commander-in-chief of the armed forces, something that is argued to be of immense importance for monarchy and armed forces alike. For most soldiers, the Crown represented a higher form of authority than that of government. By posing, first and foremost, as servants of the Crown, soldiers could distance themselves from what was perceived as the squalid nature of politics. Potentially, indeed, it is argued here, the army has been able to attempt, at least, to play off the royal prerogative against the authority of elected governments. In assessing the relationship of Crown and army, the chapter explores the conventional and practical links as well as the more political aspects of the relationship.


Royal Family General Staff Military Affair Household Division George Versus 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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