In 1804, when Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed himself ‘Emperor’ of the French Empire, the Italian Republic was similarly transformed, becoming the ‘Kingdom of Italy’ with Napoleon as its monarch.
For some time Italy had been a client state of France with its capital in Milan. This ‘new’ kingdom now ruled over most of northern Italy.
Its army was organized along French military lines and included regular line infantry, light infantry, dragoons and light horse. It soon grew to add on chasseurs, elite mounted gendarmes and... Royal Grenadiers of the Guard.
Many of the regiments wore green coats instead of French ‘blue’ however their general style and cut was copied from the French military fashion of the period.
Here are our first ‘Grenadiers of The Guard’ on parade... somewhere in northern Italy.