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An equerry (// or //; from French: "écurie" (stable), and related to the French word "écuyer" (squire)) is an officer of honour. Historically, it was a senior attendant with responsibilities for the horses of a person of rank. In contemporary use, it is a personal attendant, usually upon a Sovereign, a member of a Royal Family, or a national representative. The role is equivalent to an aide-de-camp, but the term is now prevalent only in the Commonwealth of Nations.
Australian equerries are commissioned officers in the Australian Defence Force, appointed on an ad hoc basis to the Queen of Australia, Governor General, state governors or to visiting foreign heads of state.
Canadian equerries are drawn from the commissioned officers of the Canadian Forces, and are most frequently appointed to serve visiting members of the Canadian Royal Family. The equerry appointed for the Queen of Canada is a senior officer, typically a major or a lieutenant-commander, while the equerry appointed for a child of the Monarch is a junior officer, typically a captain or navy lieutenant.
Canadian equerries are also sometimes appointed to serve national representatives of the country. Colonel the Hon Henry Jackman of The Governor General's Horse Guards, Canada's Household Cavalry regiment, is the Equerry to Akaash Maharaj, in the latter's role as head of UNICEF Team Canada.
New Zealand equerries are appointed to serve the Queen of New Zealand only for the duration of a royal visit to the country, and are always drawn from the officers of the New Zealand Defence Force, typically Captains, Flight Lieutenants, and Navy Lieutenants.
Squadron Leader Leanne Woon of the Operational Support Squadron, part of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, was the Equerry to the Queen of New Zealand during the most recent royal visit in 2002. She is the only woman to serve as an Equerry to the monarch anywhere in the Commonwealth. Captain Sam Stevenson of the New Zealand Army served as Equerry to the Duke of Cambridge during his 2005 visit to New Zealand. Squadron Leader Tim Costley of the Royal New Zealand Air Force served as Equerry to the Duke of Cambridge during the 2014 Royal visit to New Zealand by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George.
There are now three equerries to the Queen of the United Kingdom, at least one of whom is in attendance on the Sovereign on a daily basis. For some years the Queen's senior equerry has also held the position of Deputy Master of the Household.
The Queen's permanent Equerry is an officer of OF3-OF4 (Maj-Lt Col) rank or equivalent, recruited from the three services of the British Armed Forces in turn. Many previous equerries have gone on to reach higher rank.
The Queen's temporary Equerry is a Captain of the Coldstream Guards, who provides part-time attendance. When not required for duty an Equerry has additional regimental or staff duties. Senior members of the British Royal Family each also have one or two equerries.
The Royal Household also includes a number of 'Extra Equerries' – usually retired senior officers with some connection to the Royal Household. The extra equerries are rarely if ever required for duty.
Equerries to the British Monarch
Individuals who have served as Equerry to the Monarch of the United Kingdom include:
- Wing Commander Samuel Fletcher, Royal Air Force 2015-
- Lieutenant Commander Andrew Canale, MVO 2012 – 2015
- Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rex, MVO Royal Gurkha Rifles 2010–12
- Squadron Leader Andrew Calame, MVO MBE Royal Air Force 2007–2010
- Commander Heber Ackland, MVO Royal Navy 2004–2007
- Major James Duckworth-Chad, MVO Coldstream Guards 2001–2004
- Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony Charles Richards, LVO Welsh Guards 1999–
- Squadron Leader Simon Brailsford, MVO Royal Air Force 1998–2001
- Lieutenant-Commander Toby Williamson, MVO Royal Navy 1995–1998
- Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Guy Acland, Bt LVO Royal Artillery 1994–1999
- Major James Patrick, MVO Irish Guards 1992–1995
- Squadron Leader David Walker, OBE, MVO Royal Air Force 1989–1992
- Lieutenant-Commander Sir Timothy Laurence, KCVO Royal Navy 1986–1989
- Major Hugh Lindsay, LVO 9th/12th Royal Lancers 1983–1986
- Squadron Leader Adam Wise, LVO, MBE Royal Air Force 1980–1983
- Lieutenant-Commander Robert Guy, MVO Royal Navy 1977–1980
- Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Blair Stewart-Wilson, KCVO Scots Guards 1976–1994
- Major G R S Broke, MVO Royal Artillery 1974–1977
- Squadron Leader Peter Beer, LVO Royal Air Force 1971–1974
- Lieutenant-Commander Jock Slater, LVO Royal Navy 1968–1971
- Major Charles Howard, LVO 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards 1965–1968
- Lieutenant-Commander John Garnier, LVO Royal Navy 1962–1965 (temporary)
- Squadron Leader M J P Walmsley, Royal Air Force c. 1964
- Squadron Leader H S Carver, CBE LVO Royal Air Force c. 1960-1963 (temporary)
- Lieutenant-Commander P C D Campbell, Royal Navy c. 1959
- Captain Richard Vickers, LVO Royal Tank Regiment 1956–1959 (temporary)
- Lieutenant-Colonel The Lord Plunket, KCVO Irish Guards 1954–1975
- Lieutenant-Commander David Loram, LVO Royal Navy 1954–1957
- Major Sepala Attygalle, 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards 1953
- Wing Commander Peter Horsley, AFC Royal Air Force 1952–1953
- Captain the Lord John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, MVO Royal Scots Greys 1950–1954
- Captain Sir Harold Campbell, KCVO DSO Royal Navy 1936–1954
- Captain Sir Bryan Godfrey-Faussett, Royal Navy 1910–1936
- Captain the Hon. Sir Seymour Fortescue Royal Navy 1893–1910 (brother of the Hon. Sir John William Fortescue)
- Major General Sir John Carstairs McNeill 1874–189?
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- PACMAN, Chapter 10, Part 3, Australian Defence Force, retrieved February 20, 2012
- "He Lives by the Sword", Globe and Mail, February 17, 2007
- "Transsexual MP greets the Queen as she lands in New Zealand", The Daily Telegraph, February 22, 2002
- NZ envoy among diplomatic guests, The New Zealand Herald, April 25, 2011
- https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-british-monarchy/court-circular-20-august-2012/489444351084638 Court Circular, 20 August 2012
- Royal Household of Buckingham Palace. "Diana, Princess of Wales biography". Royal.gov.uk, the official website of the British Monarchy. Archived from the original on May 25, 2014.
- "The Crown". Time. 27 May 1929.
Sir John's brother, Capt. Hon. Sir Seymour Fortescue, equerry-in-waiting to King George since 1893, author of a book of memoirs, Looking Back.
- Mennell, Philip (1892). " McNeill, Major-General Sir John Carstairs". The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co. Wikisource