An equerry (/ɪˈkwɛri/ or /ˈɛkwəri/; from French écurie 'stable', and related to 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.
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, 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 Crown Equerry is in charge of the Royal Mews Department and holds a distinct office.
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: