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Two carabinieri on horseback

The ancient Corps of the Royal Carabinieri was instituted in Turin by the King of Sardinia, Vittorio Emanuel l by Royal Warrant on 13th July, 1814. It was given the dual function of national defence, in first position with respect to other branches of the Armed Forces, and policing with special powers and prerogatives.
The Carabinieri Force was issued with a distinctive uniform in dark blue with silver braid around the collar and cuffs, edges trimmed in scarlet and epaulets in silver, with white fringes for the mounted division and light blue for infantry. The characteristic hat with two points was popularly known as the "lucerna".
A version of this uniform is still used today for important ceremonies.
The Force was given a territorial task and was organized into divisions, one for each province. They were called Companies and sub-divided into Lieutenancies which commanded and coordinated the local police stations, and were distributed throughout the national territory in direct contact with the public.
The mounted division "Corazzieri" was formed in 1868 as an escort of honour and security, first for the Sovereign, and since 1946 for the President of the Republic.
With the Unity of Italy and added territory the number of divisions were increased and responsible to operating commands, called territorial legions. On 24th January, 1861 the Force was appointed "First Force" of the newly founded national military organization, rising to the status of Armed Force on 31st March, 2000. This privileged position, as well as the presence of Carabinieri in every part of the country, even in the smallest village, were and still are the most significant characteristics of the Institution.

From: http://www.carabinieri.it/Internet/Multilingua/EN/HistoricalReferences/01_EN.htm

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Additional Photos by Gae La Rocca (Zanni) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 152 N: 1266] (6108)
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