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Uniforms and Badges of Rank

Uniform regulations for naval officers were first introduced in 1748, differences in rank being shown by the shape and cut of the lapels and cuffs. In 1825 jackets and trousers replaced frocked coats and breeches and in 1833 peaked caps with cap badges were introduced for use with working dress.

Further changes in the Victorian era led to the present day working uniform.

A 'square rig' for seamen was introduced in 1857, with badges worn on the left sleeve to denote differences between senior and junior ratings. Petty Officers moved into 'fore' and 'aft' rig of jacket, waistcoat, trousers and peaked caps in 1859.

Since 1997 all ratings, including both sexes, have worn the same ceremonial uniform.

Royal Navy Officers Badges of Rank
Admiral of the Fleet

Admiral of the Fleet
Admiral

Admiral
Vice-Admiral

Vice-Admiral
Rear Admiral

Rear Admiral
Commodore

Commodore
Captain

Captain
Commander

Commander
Lieutenant-Commander

Lieutenant-Commander
Lieutenant

Lieutenant
Sub-Lieutenant

Sub-Lieutenant
Midshipman

Midshipman
 

Royal Navy Ratings Badges
Warrant Officer 1

Warrant Officer 1
Warrant Officer 2

Warrant Officer 2
Chief Petty Officer

Chief Petty Officer
Petty Officer

Petty Officer
Leading Rate

Leading Rate