Stable belt

From Academic Kids

A stable belt is an item of uniform used in the armed forces of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries.

Originally, stable belts were worn by cavalrymen in the working dress they used for cleaning the stables and tending to their horses, but in the 1950s they spread to all branches of the armed forces, adding a splash of colour and individuality to the drab khaki working uniforms. Initially they were resisted by many senior officers, who saw them as too individualistic, but they soon became accepted throughout the forces.

A stable belt is a wide webbing belt, usually a single solid colour or horizontally striped in two or more different colours. It is worn around the waist, either in the belt loops of trousers or a skirt or over a jersey. The original cavalry stable belts buckled at the side to avoid chafing the soldier's stomach as he bent down during stable work, but many stable belts are now clipped at the front, usually behind a metal belt plate. A large number of units, however, continue to use the traditional method of securing the belt using two leather straps and metal buckles at the left-hand side.

Today, every regiment and corps of the British Army has its own stable belt, often very colourful. The Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force also have their own. They are worn with most styles of informal dress, but not with formal (No.2 or No.1) dress. Stable belts are purchased by individual service personnel, not issued, so are theoretically neither regulation nor compulsory, but since virtually everyone does own one they are effectively uniform items.


Current British stable belts

Note that these belts are shown in cross section, the stripes actually being horizontal as worn, and are actually considerably wider than shown, although the stripes are shown in correct proportion. Where belts are asymmetrical, the left-hand side of the illustration is the uppermost as worn.


Household Cavalry 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
Royal Dragoon Guards Queen's Royal Hussars 9th/12th Royal Lancers
King's Royal Hussars The Light Dragoons Queen's Royal Lancers
Royal Tank Regiment Royal Yeomanry Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry
Royal Wessex Yeomanry Queen's Own Yeomanry


Scottish infantry regiments are not shown, as their stable belts are in the regimental tartan.

Foot Guards Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment King's Own Royal Border Regiment
Royal Regiment of Fusiliers King's Regiment Royal Anglian Regiment
Devonshire and Dorset Regiment The Light Infantry Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire
Green Howards Cheshire Regiment Royal Welch Fusiliers
Royal Regiment of Wales Royal Irish Regiment Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment
Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment Queen's Lancashire Regiment Duke of Wellington's Regiment
Staffordshire Regiment Royal Green Jackets The Parachute Regiment
Royal Gurkha Rifles Special Air Service


Royal Horse Artillery Royal Artillery Royal Engineers
Royal Corps of Signals Army Air Corps Intelligence Corps
Royal Army Chaplains' Department Royal Logistic Corps Royal Army Medical Corps
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Royal Military Police Adjutant General's Corps
Royal Army Veterinary Corps Small Arms School Corps Royal Army Dental Corps
Army Physical Training Corps Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps

Cadet and training units

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst University of London Officers Training Corps Oxford University Officers Training Corps
Army Section, Combined Cadet Force Army Cadet Force

Former Territorial Army regiments still existing as sub-units

Middlesex Yeomanry Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry

Other services

Royal Navy Royal Marines Royal Air Force

Obsolete British stable belts


Queen's Royal Irish Hussars 14th/20th King's Hussars 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers
17th/21st Lancers


Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) Queen's Regiment Gloucestershire Regiment
Royal Hampshire Regiment Northamptonshire Regiment Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment
King's Shropshire Light Infantry Durham Light Infantry Rifle Brigade
Mercian Volunteers


Adjutant General's Corps (First Pattern) Army Catering Corps Army Fire Service
Royal Army Ordnance Corps Royal Army Pay Corps Royal Corps of Transport
Royal Pioneer Corps Women's Royal Army Corps

External links

Stable Belts (


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