Bataillon de Garde du Palais

Bataillon de Garde du Palais

By request of King Carol ll., the General Staff issued the Order 1967 / 20 June 1930, which created the Palace Guard Company. It was formed by detaching the 1st Company of the Gendarmerie Regiment. The command of the new unit was entrusted to a captain of he 1st Mountain Troops Battalion, that already had had the mission to guard the Royal Residence of Peles Castle in Sinaia. Until January 1931, the company was subordinated to the Royal Military House, but also, from the point of view of administration and training, to the Gendarmerie Regiment. It became independent in 1931, renamed the Palace Guard, and logistically attached to the Royal Escort Regiment. By the end of the same year, the Palace Guard was increased to 2 companies.
By IDR 3097/04 September 1935, the Palace Guard was augmented to 4 companies (758 men), hence renamed the Palace Guard Battalion. Until 1936, recruitment and training for this outfit were made by the gendarmerie and border guards, but at this point the PGB became autonomous also under this aspect. Recruits had to be peasants – members of the German ethnic minority were admitted. Officers and NCOs were chosen amongst the best of these specific schools. The duration of military training for the PGB, 3 years, was the longest of the Romanian army, along with the border guards, gendarmes and navy). Battle training was more intense even than that of operational troops. The composition was: command, 4 rifle companies, 1 heavy weapons company (machine guns and mortars), an administrative platoon and a state of the art communications section; in 1941 pioneers platoon was added. The Battalion covered, among others, 13 sentry posts at the Royal Palace and the Peles Castle.
King Michael I., while he was still Grand Prince of Alba Iulia, has completed a part of his military service, obtaining  the ranks of corporal, sergeant and then 1st lieutenant; he had made it to 2nd lieutenant and was sworn to the colours in the 1st Battalion Mountain Troops in Sinaia.

In September 1940, after the abdication of King Carol ll., a detachment of the Palace Guard Battalion escorted him to the the border, having had during this mission several shootouts with Legionnaires who had attacked the Royal Train.
The name of the unit was changed, on 15 August 1941, to Royal Guard Battalion. During the Second World War, due to the drafting of reservists, an Operational Battalion of the Royal Guard was created, but it did not come to see action at the front. For this reason, many members of the RGB have requested the transfer to operational units (Mountain Troops, Border Guards, Infantry), thus managing to distinguish themselves and showing the true measure of their training.

On August 23rd 1944, during the German attack which destroyed a wing of the Royal Palace, 1 officer and 13 troops were killed and 2 officers, 3 NCOs and 20 soldiers were wounded. 
On 30 December 1947, when King Michael I. was forced into exile by the Soviet occupants, the Royal Guard Battalion was disbanded.

> The Royal Palace Guard uniform consists of: pointed shiny steel helmet with the monogram of King Carol I. in front, dark blue tunic, gray pants, black boots, white gloves and belt, Royal crown on the belt buckle and on the epaulettes, white collar patches and officer’s epaulettes, gold colour braided fourragere, speckled with white. For certain ceremonies, in the ‘30s, Palace Guards donned halberdier uniforms, with white vests bearing the royal monogram on the chest. In 1941 RGB was issued with regular, kaki combat infantry uniforms, with Dutch type kaki combat steel helmets, but with white leather belts and suspenders and white collar patches. The traditional pointed helmet was reintroduced in 1945.

> Distinctive elements:
– 7 years silver badge (an oval crown of oak and laurel leaves, 2 crossed swords and a royal crown in the center, with a ribbon bearing the unit’s initials BGR)
– Pendant, worn on the chest on a blue ribbon rimmed with silver (a Romanian cross enameled white, with the royal monogram in the center and the outfit’s name initials on the arms of the cross (B, G, and R)
– gold colour braided fourragere, speckled with white