Giacchino Murat, Napoleon’s brother in law became King of Naples in 1808.
He strived for elegance and exhibitionism and his love of show flowed towards the uniforms of his army with particular attention to those of the Royal Guard. Initially the grenadiers uniforms were similar to those of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard , but they were soon to have their own characteristics, such as the amaranth red colour that stood out on the blue coats. In 1812 chest lapels were approved and it was also permitted to embellish the row of buttons with golden chevrons.
Uniform: Fur hat: black with scarlet red imperial and golden grenade; golden flare; white plume secured by white and amaranth rosette.
Coat: dark blue with amaranth bib, collar, cuffs and turn-ups of ends; all rowing are light blue, silver buttons or gold buttons with golden chevrons; epaulettes amaranth-gold-amaranth (triple coloured) with gold rows, ends and gorget. Trousers: White. Belts: light leather with white edges. Boots: Black with gold edge. Flag holder strap : amaranth with golden fringes and embroidery. Sword: golden hilt, black sheath with gold metal lower end protection.
Flag Model 1811: A decree of 11 February 1811 established the regulations concerning the flags. There were only two equal models different only in dimensions, the smaller model was cm 85 x 78 the bigger was cm 118 x 114. Article one of the decree established the National colours of the Kingdom to be white, amaranth and sky-blue , article two established that the background of the flag was to be sky- blue, in the centre a coat of arms should be shown and the ends should have a double chequered edge with equal amaranth and white squares whit the sky-blue colour external to the chequered pattern, all embellished with gold fringes at the ends. The front side shows two fronds of oak and laurel golden oil painted, fastened together by a golden strap on which there is written the following: (NG/al/ Reggimento / Granatieri a piedi/ della Guardia Reale).
NG to the Regiment of foot grenadiers of the Royal Guard. All headed by the golden Royal Crown.
The reverse side of the flag shows: the coat of arms of the Kingdom headed by the Royal crown and framed by the collar of the Order of the two Sicilies. The sides are supported by two mermaids one holding an oar and one holding a cornucopia. In the coat of arms there is the Napoleonic eagle, the horse of Naples and the symbol of Trinacria. The flagstaff is black, headed by the golden rampant horse of Naples . Fastened to the flagstaff there is also a sky-blue scarf with white-amaranth chequers and golden fringes.
Sculptor: Maurizio Bruno
Historical research: Lorenzo Romeo
Translation: Riccardo Carrabino
Special recognition and thanks to Patrice Rainaud and to the unforgettable Marcello Grimaldi.