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Régiment Royal-Suédois

The Régiment Royal-Suédois (Royal Swedes Regiment) was a foreign infantry regiment in the French Army during the Ancien Régime. It was created in 1690 from Swedish prisoners taken during the Battle of Fleurus.

The regiment eventually acquired the privilege of being called a Royal regiment. The regiment nominally accepted only Swedish officers. However most of the privates and NCOs were of German origin, from Swedish Pomerania, because of the difficulty of obtaining sufficient numbers of Swedish recruits. At least one Irishman, Daniel Charles, Count O’Connell, was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the regiment.

Initially named the Lenck Regiment, the unit was renamed the Appelgrehn Regiment in 1734, and the Royal-Suedois in 1742.

From about 1750 onwards the regiment was distinguished by wearing dark blue coats with buff (yellow-brown) collars and cuffs. This color combination matched the uniform of most infantry regiments in the Swedish Army from the 17th to the early 20th centuries.

Count Axel von Fersen purchased the position of colonel-proprietor of the regiment in 1783. According to some, this was to be able to stay close to the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette. He remained in active command of the regiment until the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. Officially, this was still the case in 1791, when all non-Swiss foreign regiments of the royal army were disbanded.

The regiment was then reorganized as the new 89th Regiment of the Line.

In December 1813, the regiment was once again raised by a French émigré in Germany. It fought in the Swedish Army during the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, and during the campaign in Norway in 1814. The Royal Suédois was finally disbanded in December 1814 while in Norway.