The Irish Guard: the Redcoats Are Coming!

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How It’s New York:  New Yorkers are watching and talking about it.  Even me.
How It’s Irish:  It’s an Irish Regiment.  In the British Army.

The Redcoats are coming!  The Redcoats are coming!

Michael Caine in Zulu

See the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  “He looks like Michael Caine in Zulu,” said my brother Stephen   He’s right (I have to wonder what Millburn School systems were thinking by making us watch that in junior high, or in high school, in his case.  As Stephen said, so 140 British soldiers with  guns held off 4000 Zulus with spears…)

This is what I discovered about the Irish Guards from Wikipedia:

The Irish Guards (IG), part of the Guards Division, is a Foot Guards regiment of the British Army.
Along with the Royal Irish Regiment, it is one of the two Irish regiments remaining in the British Army.[1][2][3] The Irish Guards recruit in Northern Ireland [4] and the Irish neighbourhoods of major British cities.[5] Restrictions in the Republic of Ireland‘s Defence Act make it illegal to induce, procure or persuade enlistment of any citizen of the Republic of Ireland into the military of another state,[6] however people from that country do enlist in the regiment.[7] Recently, the regiment has also seen several “non-traditional” recruits, notably Zimbabwean Christopher Muzvuru, who qualified as a piper before becoming one of the regiment’s two fatal casualties in Iraq in 2003.
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Amy Andrews at Irish Central informs us that the regiment are known as “The Micks.” So how did William get to be an honorary Colonel in the Irish Guard?  “How did he get to be Prince?” brother replied.  He’s sensible.  He’s a lawyer.  But not everyone is thrilled about Prince Edward’s Irishness.


Here’s Niall O’Dowd at Irish Central:

There was a clear Irish subtext to the royal wedding from Prince William dressed in an Irish Guards uniform to shamrocks on Kate Middleton’s wedding dress as well as the news that the dress was manufactured using old Irish lace traditions.

But the most significant announcement was the one that Prince William has become Baron Carrickfergus among many other titles.

That tips the balance for me between a benign interpretation on the Irish subtext to something more in your face.

On the one hand people can argue that the upcoming Queen’s visit to Ireland ensures a new era and the Irish subtext to the royal wedding helped reinforce that.

On the other hand was it all a deliberate effort to state categorically that a part of Ireland was still under British rule and that the Irish could like it or lump it?

 The Irish papers seem to be pretty neutral about it all.  The Irish Independent reports:

It may also reflect the royal family’s wish to demonstrate the strengthening of ties between London and Dublin ahead of the Queen’s historic state visit to Ireland next month. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Joe.ie cheekily writes;

Prince ‘going Irish’ with wedding outfit

today at 9:18 am

Prince William has opted to turn out on his big day dressed in the Scarlet uniform of the Irish Guards regiment. Scarlet for ya!
Although he’s probably never fired a shot in anger, William holds the title of colonel in the Irish Guards regiment of the British army.

This means the rapidly-balding prince who wouldn’t have had a hope of pulling Kate had he not been born a royal is entitled to wear the bright red, scarlet if you will, uniform of the regiment.

The Journal hasn’t much to report (though they do link to Time magazine’s five reasons to hate the Royal Wedding), but the comments are more fun:

Comments (30 Comments)

  • fitszpatrick 3 hours ago #
    Comment reported, thank youReport this comment 2 0
    He could have worn a Celtic jersey with a Hurley up his arse and it wouldn’t get over the fact that the British establishment is inherently sectarian.

    What do YOU think?

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