AskDefine | Define equerry

Dictionary Definition



1 an official charged with the care of the horses of princes or nobles
2 a personal attendant of the British royal family

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. An officer responsible for the care and supervision of the horses of a noble family
  2. A personal attendant to a member of the royal household

Extensive Definition

An equerry ( or /ɪˈkwɛrɪ/, originated from the French word "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. They are equivalent to Aides-de-Camp, but the term is specific to the Commonwealth of Nations.


Australian equerries may be appointed on an ad hoc basis to the Queen of Australia, to the Governor General, or to an overseas visiting dignitary.
While maintaining the tradition that all equerries must be drawn from its military, Australia is the only Commonwealth realm to expand the eligible class of soldiers beyond commissioned officers to include non-commissioned officers.


Canadian equerries are most frequently appointed to serve visiting members of the Canadian Royal Family, and are drawn from the commissioned officers of the Canadian Forces. The equerry appointed for the Queen of Canada is a senior officer, typically a Major, while the equerry appointed for children of the Monarch is a junior officer, typically a Captain. The equerry forms part of the Royal entourage, which can also include personal bodyguards, personal secretaries, and ladies-in-waiting.
Major William Foster of the 12e Régiment blindé du Canada, an armoured regiment of the Canadian Forces Land Force Command, is the current Canadian Equerry to the Queen of Canada. He is referred to as the Queen's Canadian Equerry only while the Queen is present in Canada in exercise of her role as head of state.
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.


In medieval and modern Germany, a stallmeister (literally, stable master) or hofstallmeister (court stable master) was one of the highest noble officials in a princely or royal court, responsible for the supervision of the manorial stables. The stable servants were subordinate to him. Out of this rank developed the office of marshal. In present parlance, stallmeister means Stable Master.

New Zealand

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 lieutenants, RNZN.
Squadron Leader Leanne Woon of the Operational Support Squadron, part of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, was the New Zealand 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.

United Kingdom

British equerries are appointed only to senior members of the British Royal Family, and are drawn only from senior officers of the British Armed Forces.
There are now three equerries to the Queen of the United Kingdom, and a larger 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 but are 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 major 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 Crown Equerry is in charge of the Royal Mews Department and holds a distinct office.

Equerries to the British Monarch

Individuals who have served as Equerry to the Queen of the United Kingdom include:


See also

equerry in German: Stallmeister
equerry in Russian: Шталмейстер

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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