Royal coat of armsThe Royal Mews at Buckingham PalaceLondon Grid for Learning

The word 'livery' comes from a tradition started hundreds of years ago when a liveried man or servant would wear his master's badge as proof of who he was and that he had the support of his master. Gradually, clothing on which the badge was worn became more distinctive and in time the word 'livery' came to mean the special garments and clothing worn by servants of a particular household. Different liveries would often be used for different times of the day and different roles.

Her Majesty's livery at the Royal Mews has changed little since the 1700s. The men and women of the Royal Mews are required to wear different types of livery depending upon their roles at the Mews and the occasion in which they are involved. This includes everyday duties such as exercising the horses, during which the coachmen wear drab coats with a top hat.