The Guardia Reale traces its establishment to 9 Nevoso An Vl (1798) when the Cisalpine Republic formed the "Guardia del Corpo Legislativo" (Legislative Guard) in accordance with article 69 of the constitution. As stated in document number 36 of Valerio Gibellni's I Soldati Del Primo Tricolore Italiano "The Grand Council in consideration of the 69th Article of the constitution will bring into existence a Legislative Guard of 300 Grenadiers." This organization was in place for approximately two years when the unit was changed.
On 9 Nevoso, An IX (1800) the Cisalpine Legislative Council published a new army organization. Article 10 notes changes in the guard which included a new title "Guardia del Governo". This formation included companies of foot grenadiers, horse grenadiers, hussards and light horse plus a small detachment of carabiniers.
On September 1, 1803 the Guard again changed and became the "Guardia del President" assigned to Napoleon. The organization would comprise of the following; one battalion of grenadiers, one battalion of chasseurs, one battery of horse artillery and one company of the artillery train. This formation lead to the Guardia Reale in 1805.
As previously stated the "Guardia del Corpo Legislativo" was formed of 300 grenadiers in 1798. The unit organization was as follows:
Brigade staff- two capi di battaglione, two tenenti, two sottotenenti and two tamburi brigadieri.
Battalion staff- one capo legioni, one capitano1 one quartier mastro, one chirugo, one tamburo maggiore and 12 bandisti.
Company, of which there were four, one capitano, one tenente, one sottotenente, one sargente maggiore, three sargenti, one caporal foriere, six caporali, two tamburi and 50 granatieri.
The reorganization of An IX (1800) dramatically changed the unit types and the overall organization of the Guard. This new structure would become the basis for future changes and increases.
On September 1, 1803 the organization of the guard was again modified. The grenadiers would now field a full battalion under the following structure:
Battalion staff- one colonnello, one tenente colonnello, one tenente quartiermastro, one capitano aiutante maggiore, one portabandiero sotto tenente and one uffiziale di salute di la classe.
Company, of which there were eight, one capitano, one tenenti in primo, one tenenti in secondo, one sotto tenente, one sargente maggiore, four sargenti, one foriere, eight caporali, two zappatori, 80 granatieri and two tamburi.
This basic organization was in existence when the guard became the Guardia Reale in 1805.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the guard contact:
David M Giovannini
3 Eleanor Drive
Worchester, MA 01605