• The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom now, as back in the era of World War II, made up of three branches: The British Army, The Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. The answer to your question is also in the same answer as why two of the branches have the "Royal" prefix, whilst the Army does not. The Army is unique in that it has come together from many seperate components over hundreds of years -- Some of the existing regiments predate the Treaty of Union that joined England and Scotland. Becuase some of these units had personal patronage, for example, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, the Army formed from a unification of these regiments, and not one formal formation at once. Both the RAF and the RN were created and formally named and of those, the Royal Navy is by far the older of the pair. That is the reason why the Royal Navy is known as the "Senior Service", for they are the oldest formally established branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces.

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