Régiment Royal-Suédois

Standards of the Royal Suédois

The Régiment Royal-Suédois (English: The Royal Swedes) was a foreign infantry regiment in the French Army during the Ancien Régime. It was created in 1690 from Swedish prisoners taken during the Battle of Fleurus. The regiment eventually acquired the privilege of being called a Royal regiment. The regiment nominally accepted only Swedish officers. However most of the privates and NCOs were of German origin, from Swedish Pomerania, in view of the difficulty of obtaining sufficient numbers of Swedish recruits,[1] and at least one Irishman, Daniel Charles, Count O'Connell, was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the regiment.

Initially named the Lenck Regiment, the unit was renamed the Appelgrehn Regiment in 1734 and the Royal-Suedois in 1742. From about 1750 onwards the regiment was distinguished by wearing dark blue coats with buff (yellow-brown) collars and cuffs. This colour combination matched the uniform of most infantry regiments in the Swedish Army from the 17th to the early 20th centuries.

Count Axel von Fersen purchased the position of colonel-proprietor of the regiment in 1783, according to some in order to be able to stay close to the Queen of France Marie Antoinette. He remained in active command of the regiment until the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789, and officially this was still the case when, in 1791, all non-Swiss foreign regiments of the royal army were disbanded. The regiment was then reorganised as the new 89th Regiment of the Line.

In December 1813, the regiment was once again raised by a French émigré in Germany, and it fought in the Swedish Army during the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 and during the campaign in Norway in 1814. The Royal Suédois was finally disbanded in December 1814 while in Norway.

Today, the regiment's traditions and flag are carried on in the French Army via a company in the 4th Infantry Regiment.


  1. ^ Christopher J. Tozzi, page 21 "Nationalizing France's Army. Foreign, Black and Jewish Troops in the French Military, 1715-1831, ISBN 978-0-8139-3833-2
  • Beckman, Margareta. Under fransk fana!: Royal Suédois. Stockholm: Svenskt Militärhistoriskt Bibliotek, 1995. ISBN 91-972209-1-4

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