The Royal Marines were formed during the reign of King Charles II on October 28, 1664. At this stage they were known as 'the Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot' (or Admiral’s Regiment), and the name 'Marines' first cropped up in the records in 1672. King George III designated them as such, officially, in 1802.
The Marines have fought in more engagements than any other branch of the British Armed Forces, from Trafalgar to Afghanistan and they are rightly celebrated this year for their three and a half centuries of distinguished service.
The Royal Navy has everything in hand, of course, and they've created this excellent webpage detailing all of the ceremonies and celebrations that are taking place to commemorate the Marines' service. They've also listed all the component branches of the Marines, and have a brilliant timeline slider that marks all of their most notable deployments and battles in history.
If you want to check out some Osprey material on the Marines, take a look at this fabulous Elite title.
Royal Marine Commando 1950-82: From Korea to the Falklands tells you all you need to know about the equipment, tactical deployment, dress and recruitment methods in a time of great change. It covers their actions in some of the mid-late 20th century's most dramatic conflicts.
Join us in wishing the Marines a happy birthday, and make sure you check out some of the events taking place this year and next.