Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom

The royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, or the Royal Arms for short, is the official coat of arms of the British monarch,[1][2] currently Queen Elizabeth II. These arms are used by the Queen in her official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom. Variants of the Royal Arms are used by other members of the British royal family; and by the British government in connection with the administration and government of the country. In Scotland, there exists a separate version of the Royal Arms, a variant of which is used by the Scotland Office. The arms in banner form serve as basis for the monarch's official flag, known as the Royal Standard.

In the standard variant used outside of Scotland, the shield is quartered, depicting in the first and fourth quarters the three passant guardant lions of England; in the second, the rampant lion and double tressure flory-counterflory of Scotland; and in the third, a harp for Ireland.[3] The crest is a statant guardant lion wearing the St Edward's Crown, himself on another representation of that crown. The dexter supporter is a likewise crowned English lion; the sinister, a Scottish unicorn. According to legend a free unicorn was considered a very dangerous beast; therefore the heraldic unicorn is chained,[4] as were both supporting unicorns in the royal coat of arms of Scotland.

In the greenery below, a thistle, Tudor rose and shamrock are depicted, representing Scotland, England and Ireland respectively. This armorial achievement comprises the motto, in French, of English monarchs, Dieu et mon Droit (God and my Right), which has descended to the present royal family as well as the Garter circlet which surrounds the shield, inscribed with the Order's motto, in French, Honi soit qui mal y pense (Shame on him who thinks evil). The official blazon of the Royal Arms is:

Quarterly, first and fourth Gules three Lions passant gardant in pale Or armed and langued Azure (for England), second quarter Or a Lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland), third quarter Azure a Harp Or stringed Argent (for Ireland), the whole surrounded by the Garter; for a Crest, upon the Royal helm the Imperial Crown Proper, thereon a Lion statant gardant Or imperially crowned Proper; Mantling Or and Ermine; for Supporters, dexter a Lion rampant gardant Or crowned as the Crest, sinister a Unicorn Argent armed, crined and unguled Proper, gorged with a Coronet Or composed of Crosses patées and Fleurs-de-lis a Chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or. Motto "Dieu et mon Droit" in the compartment below the shield, with the Union Rose, Shamrock and Thistle engrafted on the same stem.[3]

Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom
Versions
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (Scotland)
ArmigerElizabeth II in Right of the United Kingdom
Adopted1837
CrestA golden lion, royally crowned and standing on a royal crown; gold and ermine mantling
BlazonQuarterly: 1 and 4 England, 2 Scotland, 3 Ireland; quarters for England and Scotland are exchanged in Scotland.
SupportersA golden lion and a silver unicorn
CompartmentTudor rose, Shamrock, and Thistle
MottoFrench: Dieu et mon droit
OrdersOrder of the Garter
Earlier versionssee below
UseOn all Acts of Parliament; the cover of all UK passports; various government departments; adapted for the reverse of coins of the pound sterling (2008)

Uses

St Andrew's church - royal arms - geograph.org.uk - 1708484
The Royal Arms as used by the House of Stuart (these being of William III and Mary II (1688-1694/1702))

The Royal Arms as shown above may only be used by the Queen herself. They also appear in courtrooms, since the monarch is deemed to be the fount of judicial authority in the United Kingdom and law courts comprise part of the ancient royal court (thus so named).[5] Judges are officially Crown representatives, demonstrated by the display of the Royal Arms behind the judge's bench in almost all UK courts; notable exceptions include the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, which displays its own badge and flag to symbolize its nationwide role, the magistrates' court in the City of London, where behind the Justices of the Peace stands a sword upright flanked by the arms of the City and the Crown. In addition, the Royal Arms cannot be displayed in courtrooms or on court-house exteriors in Northern Ireland, except for the courtrooms of the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast and the courts in Armagh, Banbridge, Downpatrick, Magherafelt, or Omagh, and the exterior of court buildings that had them in place prior to the 2002 law.[6]

As the United Kingdom is governed in the monarch's name, the British Government also uses the Royal Arms as a national symbol of the United Kingdom,[7] and, in that capacity, the coat of arms can be seen on several government documents and forms, passports, in the entrance to embassies and consulates, etc. However, when used by the government and not by the monarch personally, the coat of arms is often represented without the helm. This is also the case with the sovereign's Scottish arms, a version of which is used by the Scotland Office.

The Royal Arms have regularly appeared on the coinage produced by the Royal Mint including, for example, from 1663, the Guinea and, from 1983, the British one pound coin. In 2008, a new series of designs for all seven coins of £1 and below was unveiled by the Royal Mint, every one of which is drawn from the Royal Arms. The full Royal Arms appear on the one pound coin, and sections appear on each of the other six, such that they can be put together like a puzzle to make another complete representation of the Royal Arms.[8]

The monarch grants Royal Warrants to select businesses and tradespeople which supply the Royal Household with goods or services. This entitles those businesses to display the Royal Arms on their packaging and stationery by way of advertising.

It is customary (but not mandatory) for churches throughout the United Kingdom whether in the Church of England or the Church of Scotland to display the Royal Arms to show loyalty to the Crown.[9][10]

A banner of the Royal Arms, known as the Royal Standard, is flown from the royal palaces when the monarch is in residence, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace being her principal abodes; and from public buildings only when the monarch is present. This protocol equally applies to the monarch's principal residences in Scotland (the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Balmoral Castle), where the Royal Standard (Scottish version) is flown. When the monarch is not in residence the Union Flag, or in Scotland the ancient Royal Standard of Scotland, is flown.

The widely sold British newspaper The Times uses the Hanoverian Royal Arms as a logo, whereas its sister publication, The Sunday Times, displays the current Royal Arms.

The Royal Arms are also displayed in all courts in British Columbia, as well as in other Canadian provinces such as Ontario, where the judges are appointed by Crown authority.[11]

The Royal Arms were also displayed by all Viceroys of Australia as representation of their Crown authority.

The Royal Arms are also used and displayed in the Supreme Courts of South Australia and Victoria.

The Royal Arms are also the coat of arms for the Western Australian Legislative Council.

The Royal Arms were controversially used by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as her official letterhead from c. 1997.[12]

Scotland

Lion and Unicorn - geograph.org.uk - 902236
At St Michael's Parish Church, Linlithgow, Scotland: a Scottish version of the royal arms of the Hanoverians as used from 1801 to 1816.

Since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, a separate version of the Royal Arms has been used in Scotland, giving the Scottish elements pride of place.

The shield is quartered, depicting in the first and fourth quarters the lion rampant of Scotland; in the second, the three lions passant guardant of England; and in the third, the harp of Ireland.

The crest atop the Crown of Scotland is a red lion, seated and forward facing, itself wearing the Crown of Scotland and holding the two remaining elements of the Honours of Scotland, namely the Sword of State and the Sceptre of Scotland. This was also the crest used in the Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland. The motto, in Scots, appears above the crest, in the tradition of Scottish heraldry, and is an abbreviated form of the full motto: In My Defens God Me Defend.

The supporters change sides and both appear wearing the crowns of their respective Kingdom. The dexter supporter is a crowned and chained unicorn, symbolising Scotland. The sinister supporter is a crowned lion, symbolising England. Between each supporter and the shield is a lance displaying the flag of their respective Kingdom.

The coat also features both the motto Nemo me impune lacessit (No one wounds (touches) me with impunity) and, surrounding the shield, the collar of the Order of the Thistle. On the compartment are a number of thistles, Scotland's national flower.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland

St Mary, Stone, Kent - Royal Arms - geograph.org.uk - 1490059
The current version of the Royal Arms, displayed in the parish church of Stone, Kent.

Unlike the Acts of Union 1707 with Scotland, the Acts of Union 1800 with Ireland did not provide for a separate Irish version of the royal arms. The crest of the Kingdom of Ireland (on a wreath Or and Azure, a tower triple-towered of the First, from the portal a hart springing Argent attired and unguled Or) has had little or no official use since the union.

The harp quarter of the Royal Arms represents Ireland on both the English and Scottish versions. Likewise, one English quarter is retained in the Scottish version, and one Scottish quarter is retained in the English version. Thus, England, Scotland and Ireland are represented in all versions of the Royal Arms since they came under one monarch. When the Irish Free State established its own diplomatic seals in the 1930s, the royal arms appearing on them varied from those on their UK equivalents by having the Irish arms in two quarters and the English arms in one.[13] By contrast, there is no representation at all for Wales in the Royal Arms, as at the Act of Union 1707 Wales was an integral part of the Kingdom of England pursuant to the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542; thus, it has been argued Wales is represented in the English coat of arms. However the argument is somewhat disengenuous as in 1535 the Welsh Dragon was already part of the Tudor Coat of Arms. Upon the accession of the Tudor monarchs, who were themselves of Welsh descent, a Welsh Dragon was used as a supporter on the Royal Arms. This was dropped by their successors, the Scottish House of Stuart, who replaced the Tudors' dragon supporter with the Scottish unicorn. In the 20th century, the arms of the principality of Wales were added as an inescutcheon to the coat of arms of the Prince of Wales, and a banner of those arms with a green inescutcheon bearing the prince's crown is flown as his personal standard in Wales. The so-called Prince of Wales's feathers are a heraldic badge rather than a coat of arms upon a shield, but they are not Welsh in any case. They derive, in fact, from the English Princes of Wales (who may owe them to an exploit of Edward, the Black Prince at the Battle of Crécy) and carry the motto Ich dien (German, "I Serve"). In any event, they do not form part of the Royal Arms, as opposed to the heraldic achievement of the Prince of Wales, who drops them upon his accession as King.

History

Kingdoms of England and Scotland

The current royal arms are a combination of the arms of the former kingdoms that make up the United Kingdom, and can be traced back to the first arms of the kings of England and kings of Scotland. Various alterations occurred over the years as the arms of other realms acquired or claimed by the kings were added to the royal arms. The table below tracks the changes in the royal arms from the original arms of King Richard I of England, and William I, King of Scots.

Kingdom of England Kingdom of Scotland
Arms Dates Details
Royal Arms of England (1189-1198) c. 1189 Possible interpretation of the arms shown on King Richard I's first Great Seal. These are the arms of Plantagenet, of which family Richard was a member. The tinctures and the number of charges shown in this illustration are speculative.
Royal Arms of England 1198–1340 The arms on the second Great Seal of King Richard the Lionheart, used by his successors until 1340: three golden lions passant gardant, on a red field.[3]
Royal Arms of England (1340-1367) 1340–1377
King Edward III quartered the Royal Arms of England with the ancient arms of France, the fleurs-de-lis on a blue field, to signal his claim to the French throne.[3]
Royal Arms of England (1395-1399) 1377–1399 King Richard II impaled the Royal Arms of England with the arms attributed to King Edward the Confessor.[3]
Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 1399–1422 King Henry IV updated the French arms to the modern version, three fleurs-de-lis on a blue field.[3]
Royal Arms of England (1470-1471) 1422–1461
1470–1471
King Henry VI impaled the French and English arms, using the same arms after his "readeption".[3]
Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 1461–1470
1471–1554
King Edward IV restored the arms of King Henry IV.
Royal Arms of England (1554-1558) 1554–1558 Queen Mary I impaled her arms with those of her husband, King Philip of Spain.[3] Although Queen Mary I's father, King Henry VIII, assumed the title "King of Ireland" and this was further conferred upon King Philip, the arms were not altered to feature the Kingdom of Ireland.
Royal Arms of England (1399-1603) 1558–1603 Queen Elizabeth I restored the arms of King Henry IV.[3]
Arms Dates Details
Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland 12th century – 1558 A red lion, rampant, on a yellow field within a double royal tressure, flory counter-flory, first used by King William I, and later by his successors, and becoming the heraldic representation of Scotland.
Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland (1558-1559) 1558–1559 Mary, Queen of Scots, Dauphine of France, impaled with the arms of Francis, Dauphin of France, King consort of Scots.[14]
Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland (1559-1560) 1559–1560 Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen consort of France. She also for a short time quartered the English arms in France. See Mary, Queen of Scots#Claim to the English throne.
Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland (1560-1565) 1560–1567 Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen dowager of France.
Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland 1567–1603 Upon her (second) marriage to Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, in 1565, Mary discontinued the arms of Scotland and France impaled, reverting to those of the Kingdom of Scotland.[15] King James VI was the last monarch of Scotland to use these arms before the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

Union of the Crowns and the Commonwealth

The Union of the Crowns places England, Ireland and Scotland under one monarch
Arms Dates Details
Royal Arms of England (1603-1707) Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland (1603-1707)
1603–1689 James VI, King of Scots inherited the English and Irish thrones in 1603 (Union of the Crowns), and quartered the Royal Arms of England with those of Scotland. For the first time, the Royal Coat of Arms of Ireland was added to represent the Kingdom of Ireland.[3] (The Scottish version differs in giving the Scottish elements more precedence.)
Arms of the Commonwealth of England
1649–1654

These novel arms, already in use by parliamentarians in 1648, were adopted by the Commonwealth of England established in 1649.[16]

Arms of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland
1654–1655

The Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland (the Protectorate) was created in 1653. St Andrew's Cross was added to the arms in 1654.[17]

Arms of the Protectorate (1653–1659)
1655–1659 The arms of the Commonwealth from 1655 to 1659. Struck in 1655, the Great Seal included the personal arms of Oliver Cromwell on a shield in the centre.[3]

Blazon: Quarterly 1 and 4 Argent a Cross Gules (England) 2 Azure a Saltire Argent (Scotland) and 3 Azure a Harp Or Stringed Argent (Ireland) on an Inescutcheon Sable a Lion Rampant Argent (Cromwell's arms). The supporters were a crowned lion of England and a red dragon of Wales. The Scottish unicorn was removed, as it was associated with the Stuart Monarchy. The motto read PAX QUÆRITUR BELLO ("peace is obtained through war").[18]

Arms of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland
1659–1660

Following the Protectorate, the 1654 arms were restored.

Royal Arms of England (1603-1707) Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland (1603-1707)
1603–1689 Charles II restored the Royal Arms following the restoration after the civil wars.
Royal Arms of England (1689-1694) Arms of Scotland (1689-1694)
1689–1694 King James II & VII is deposed and replaced with his daughter Mary II and her husband, William III. As King and Queen they impaled their arms: William bore the Royal Arms with an escutcheon of Nassau (the royal house to which William belonged) added (a golden lion rampant on a blue field), while Mary bore the Royal Arms undifferenced.[19][20]
Royal Arms of England (1694-1702) Arms of Scotland (1694-1702)
1694–1702 After the death of Mary II, William III reigned alone, and used his arms only.[3][19]
Royal Arms of England (1603-1707) Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland (1603-1707)
1702–1707 Queen Anne inherited the throne upon the death of King William III & II, and the Royal Arms returned to the 1603 version.[3]

After the Acts of Union 1707

At the Union creating Great Britain in 1707, arms were adopted for the new kingdom, and again in 1801 at the Union creating the United Kingdom
Arms Dates Details
Royal Arms of Great Britain (1707-1714) Arms of Great Britain in Scotland (1707-1714)
1707–1714 The Acts of Union 1707 created the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1800). The Royal Arms of England and Scotland are impaled (as for a married couple) and moved to the first and fourth quarters, France second quarter and Ireland third quarter.[3]
Royal Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801) Arms of Great Britain in Scotland (1714-1801)
1714–1800 The Elector of Hanover inherited the throne following the death of Queen Anne under the provisions of the Act of Settlement 1701, becoming King George I. The fourth quarter of the arms was changed to reflect the new King's domains in Hanover (BrunswickLüneburg, surmounted by the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire for the Holy Roman office of Archbannerbearer/Archtreasurer).[3]
Royal Arms of United Kingdom (1801-1816) Arms of the United Kingdom in Scotland (1801-1816)
1801–1816 The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. At the same time, King George III abandoned his ancestors' ancient claim to the French throne (France had become a republic). The Royal Arms changed, with England now occupying the first and fourth quarters, Scotland the second, Ireland the third. The Royal Arms used in Scotland has Scotland occupying the first and fourth quarters, England the second, Ireland the third. For the Electorate of Hanover, there is an inescutcheon surmounted by the electoral bonnet.[3] The Arms of Hanover were similar, but lacked the electoral bonnet.
Royal Arms of United Kingdom (1816-1837) Arms of the United Kingdom in Scotland (1816-1837)
1816–1837 The electoral bonnet was replaced by a crown in 1816, as Hanover had been declared a kingdom two years previous.[3]
Arms of the United Kingdom (Variant 1) Royal Arms of the United Kingdom (Scotland) (Variant 1)
1837–1952 The accession of Queen Victoria ended the personal union between the United Kingdom and Hanover, as Salic law prevented a woman from ascending the Hanoverian throne. The escutcheon of Hanover was removed and the Royal Arms remained the same.[3] There was no attempt to alter the Royal Arms to reflect later titles acquired by the British monarch such as Emperor of India. The harp of the Kingdom of Ireland remained despite partition in 1921, to represent Northern Ireland.
Arms of the United Kingdom Royal Arms of the United Kingdom (Scotland)
1952–present The Irish harp was modified to a plain Gaelic harp, rather than a winged female [as above], in 1952 in accordance with the personal preference of Queen Elizabeth.[21] The Royal Arms do not incorporate any specific element for Wales, a principality, incorporated into the Kingdom of England under Henry VIII. However, the Prince of Wales places arms for Wales at the centre of his personal arms.

Other variants

Royal family

Members of the British royal family are granted their own personal arms which are based on the Royal Arms. Only children and grandchildren in the male line of the monarch are entitled to arms in this fashion: the arms of children of the monarch are differenced with a three-point label; grandchildren of the monarch are differenced with a five-point label. An exception is made for the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, who bears a three-point label. Since 1911, the arms of the Prince of Wales also displays an inescutcheon of the ancient arms of the Principality of Wales. Queens consort and the wives of sons of the monarch also have their own personal coat of arms. Typically this will be the arms of their husband impaled with their own personal arms or those of their father, if armigerous. However, the consorts of a Queen regnant are not entitled to use the Royal Arms. Thus Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has been granted his own personal arms.

Currently the following members of the royal family have their own arms based on the Royal Arms:

Children and grandchildren of the monarch in the male line
Armorial achievement Shield Bearer Difference(s)
Coat of Arms of Charles, Prince of Wales Arms of Charles, Prince of Wales Charles, Prince of Wales, outside Scotland The coat of arms of the Prince of Wales is based on the Royal arms with the plain three-point label, augmented by an inescutcheon in honour of the traditional arms of the Principality of Wales.[3] The Prince of Wales's feathers, the Red Dragon of Wales, Sable fifteen Bezants Or (the arms of the Duke of Cornwall, his subsidiary title in England) and his motto Ich dien are also added below the shield and the supporters. In Scotland, his arms as the Duke of Rothesay are displayed rather than those of the Prince of Wales.
Coat of Arms of the Duke of Rothesay Shield of Arms of the Duke of Rothesay Charles, Duke of Rothesay (Prince of Wales), in Scotland Used in Scotland, the arms of the Duke of Rothesay are those of Clan Stewart of Appin adapted, namely the quartered arms of the Prince and Great Steward of Scotland and Lord of the Isles (secondary titles of the Duke) with an inescutcheon as Scottish heir apparent (the Royal Arms of Scotland with a blue three-point label).
Coat of Arms of William, Duke of Cambridge Arms of William, Duke of Cambridge Prince William, Duke of Cambridge Three-point label with a red escallop, alluding to the patrilineal arms of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.[22]
Coat of Arms of Harry, Duke of Sussex Arms of Harry, Duke of Sussex Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex Five-point label with three red escallops in alternate points, alluding to the patrilineal arms of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.[22]
Coat of Arms of Anne, the Princess Royal Arms of Anne, the Princess Royal Anne, Princess Royal Three-point label, the points bearing a red cross, a red heart and a red cross.[3]
Coat of Arms of Andrew, Duke of York Arms of Andrew, Duke of York Prince Andrew, Duke of York Three-point label, the centre point bearing a blue anchor.[3]
Coat of Arms of Beatrice of York Arms of Beatrice of York Princess Beatrice of York Five-point label with three bees in alternate points.
Coat of Arms of Eugenie of York Arms of Eugenie of York Princess Eugenie of York Five-point label with three thistles in alternate points.
Coat of Arms of Edward, Earl of Wessex Arms of Edward, Earl of Wessex Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex Three-point label, the centre point bearing a Tudor rose.
Coat of Arms of Richard, Duke of Gloucester Arms of Richard, Duke of Gloucester Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester Five-point label, the first, third and fifth points bearing a red cross, the second and fourth points bearing a red lion.[3]
Coat of Arms of Edward, Duke of Kent Arms of Edward, Duke of Kent Prince Edward, Duke of Kent Five-point label, the first, third and fifth points bearing a blue anchor, the second and fourth points bearing a red cross.[3]
Coat of Arms of Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy Arms of Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy Princess Alexandra, The Hon. Lady Ogilvy Five-point label, the first and fifth points bearing a red heart, the second and fourth points bearing a blue anchor, and the third bearing a red cross.[3]
Coat of Arms of Michael of Kent Arms of Michael of Kent Prince Michael of Kent Five-point label, the first, third and fifth points bearing a red cross, the second and fourth points bearing a blue anchor.[3]
Consorts
Coat of Arms of Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Arms of Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip's arms post-1949 comprise four quarters, Denmark, Greece, and Mountbatten, representing his ancestry, and Edinburgh, representing the territorial designation of his dukedom.[3]
Coat of Arms of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Arms of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall The arms of the Prince of Wales impaled with those of her father, Major Bruce Shand, crowned with the single-arched Coronet of Prince of Wales.[23]
Coat of Arms of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Arms of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge The arms of the Duke of Cambridge impaled with those of her father, Michael Middleton, crowned with the coronet of a child of the heir-apparent.[24]
Coat of arms of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex Shield of arms of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex Meghan, Duchess of Sussex The arms of the Duke of Sussex impaled with those of her own design, crowned with the coronet of a child of the heir-apparent.[25]
Coat of Arms of Sophie, Countess of Wessex Arms of Sophie, Countess of Wessex Sophie, Countess of Wessex The arms of the Earl of Wessex impaled with those granted in 1999 to her father, Christopher Rhys-Jones, with remainder to his elder brother Theo. The new grant was based on an unregistered 200-year-old design. The lion alludes to one of the Countess' ancestors the Welsh knight Elystan Glodrydd, prince of Ferrig.[26]
Coat of Arms of Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester Arms of Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester The arms of the Duke of Gloucester with an escutcheon of pretence granted to her by Royal Warrant on 18 July 1973.[27]
Coat of Arms of Katharine, Duchess of Kent Arms of Katharine, Duchess of Kent Katharine, Duchess of Kent The arms of the Duke of Kent impaled with those of her father, Sir William Arthington Worsley, 4th Baronet.
Coat of Arms of Marie Christine von Reibnitz, Princess Michael of Kent Arms of Marie Christine von Reibnitz, Princess Michael of Kent Princess Michael of Kent The arms of Prince Michael of Kent impaled with those of her father, Baron Günther Hubertus von Reibnitz.

Government

Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government)
The version used by the British Government.
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (Government in Scotland)
The version used by the Scotland Office.
Coat of Arms of the British Government
A version used by the British Government on official websites and departmental insignia.

Various versions of the Royal Arms are used by Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, the Parliament of the United Kingdom and courts in some parts of the Commonwealth.

HM Government generally uses a simplified version of the Royal Arms with a crown replacing the helm and crest, and with no compartment.[28] In relation to Scotland, the Scotland Office and the Advocate General for Scotland use the Scottish version, again without the helm or crest, and the same was used as the day-to-day logo of the Scottish Executive until September 2007, when a rebranding exercise introduced the name Scottish Government, together with a revised logo incorporating the flag of Scotland.[29]

The Scottish Government continues to use the Arms on some official documents.

The simplified Royal Arms also feature:

Various courts in the Commonwealth also continue to use the Royal Arms:

Furthermore:

Blazon

This table breaks down the official blazons to enable comparison of the differences between the general coat and the coat used in Scotland.

Everywhere except Scotland Scotland
Quarterly I & IV Gules three lions passant gardant in pale Or armed and langued Azure Or a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure within a double tressure flory-counter-flory of the second
II Or a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure within a double tressure flory-counter-flory of the second Gules three lions passant gardant in pale Or armed and langued Azure
III
Azure a harp Or stringed Argent
Surrounded by The Garter circlet The collar of the Order of the Thistle
Crest Upon the Royal helm the imperial crown Proper, thereon a lion statant gardant Or imperially crowned Proper Upon the Royal helm the crown of Scotland Proper, thereon a lion sejant affronté Gules armed and langued Azure, Royally crowned Proper holding in his dexter paw a sword and in his sinister a sceptre, both Proper
Supporters
Lion of England, seen in the Kew Gardens, London
Dexter a lion rampant gardant Or imperially crowned Proper, sinister a unicorn Argent, armed, crined and unguled Or, gorged with a coronet Or composed of crosses patée and fleurs de lis a chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or
a statue of a Unicorn, seen in St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster Palace, London
Dexter a unicorn Argent Royally crowned Proper, armed, crined and unguled Or, gorged with a coronet Or composed of crosses patée and fleurs de lis a chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or holding the standard of Saint Andrew, sinister a lion rampant gardant Or imperially crowned Proper holding the standard of Saint George
Motto Dieu et mon Droit (French) In My Defens God Me Defend, abbr. In Defens (Scots)
Order Motto Garter: Honi soit qui mal y pense (Old French) Thistle: Nemo me impune lacessit (Latin)
Plants on the compartment Roses, thistles and shamrocks (on the same stem) Thistles only

See also

Of all the former Dominions only three retain elements from the British Coat of Arms:

Ireland uses the medieval arms of Ireland that are incorporated into the British Coat of Arms:

All other former Dominions have changed their coat of arms with little or no British influence:

References

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 March 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ p. 10, Government identity system (2012). HM Government. "The Queen is Head of State, and the United Kingdom is governed by Her Majesty’s Government in the name of the Queen. The royal coat of arms is personal to the Queen and..."
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Brooke-Little, J.P., FSA (1978) [1950]. Boutell's Heraldry (Revised ed.). London: Frederick Warne LTD. pp. 205–222. ISBN 0-7232-2096-4.
  4. ^ "Heraldic Sculptor- Accessed 29 April 2008".
  5. ^ "Traditions of the courts". Courts and Tribunals Judiciary. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  6. ^ Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 (c.26) 66 Display of Royal Arms at courts
  7. ^ Government identity system HM Government
  8. ^ The New Designs Revealed Archived 4 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Treasures of Britain and Treasures of Ireland (1976 ed.). Drive Publications. p. 677. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Royal Arms in church". Intriguing History. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  11. ^ Welcome
  12. ^ Summers, Michael; Streeter, Ben (24 March 1997). "The strange case of Lady Thatcher and Her Majesty's coat of arms". The Independent. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  13. ^ Hanley, Hugh (2015). "'The Last Shadow': Negotiating the Great Seal and Direct Access to the King, 1931". Irish Studies in International Affairs. Royal Irish Academy. 26: 257–274 : 266. doi:10.3318/isia.2015.26.13. JSTOR 10.3318/isia.2015.26.13.; Walshe, Joseph (26 October 1937). "Memorandum on external seals". Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, Vol. V No. 97. Royal Irish Academy. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  14. ^ The Franco-Scots Coinage of Mary Stuart and Francis II Archived 26 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Scottish Coins ~ Mary (1542 - 1567)
  16. ^ Petchey, W.J., Massachusetts (1967). A Short Account of the Armorial Bearings of the Sovereigns of England. London: National Council of Social Service.
  17. ^ Scotland was formally reunited with England by an Ordinance of 12 April 1654 which ordered: "That the arms of Scotland viz: a Cross commonly called the St Andrew's Cross be received onto and borne from henceforth in the Arms of this Commonwealth ... etc". 'April 1654: An Ordinance for uniting Scotland into one Commonwealth with England.', Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660 (1911), pp. 871-875. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=56540&strquery=arms Date accessed: 1 January 2011.
  18. ^ Friar, Basic Heraldry (1993).
  19. ^ a b François Velde's Heraldica site
  20. ^ Arnaud Bunel's Héraldique européenne site
  21. ^ British Royal Standards since 1801 David Prothero and Martin Grieve. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  22. ^ a b College of Arms. "College of Arms - the coat of arms of TRH Prince William and Prince Henry of Wales". Archived from the original on 27 May 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  23. ^ "Camilla's coat of arms unveiled". 17 July 2005 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  24. ^ "Coat of Arms of Duchess of Cambridge". dukeandduchessofcambridge.org. 14 November 2012. Archived from the original on 6 November 2012.
  25. ^ "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex: Coat of Arms". The Royal Family. May 25, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  26. ^ Sophie's new coat. BBC News. 19 May 1999. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  27. ^ Boutell, Charles; Brooke-Little, John Philip (1978). Boutell's Heraldry (8th revised ed.). Frederick Warne. p. 226. ISBN 9780723220961.
  28. ^ GOV.UK, Departments, agencies and public bodies [1]. Retrieved 10 August 2013
  29. ^ |www.gov.scot New Lyon King-of-arms appointed
  30. ^ "Court of Appeal - Hearing List". www.courts.gov.bc.ca.
  31. ^ "Provincial Court of British Columbia". www.provincialcourt.bc.ca.
  32. ^ [2]
  33. ^ "Supreme Court". www.yukoncourts.ca.
  34. ^ "SUPREME COURT ACT 1935 - SECT 15". www.austlii.edu.au.
  35. ^ Victoria, Supreme Court of Victoria, State Government of. "Home". www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au.
  36. ^ "Parliament of Victoria - Home". www.parliament.vic.gov.au.

External links

Arms of Canada

The Arms of Canada (French: armoiries du Canada), also known as the Royal Coat of Arms of Canada (French: armoiries royales du Canada) or formally as the Arms of Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada (French: Armoiries de Sa Majesté la Reine du chef du Canada), is, since 1921, the official coat of arms of the Canadian monarch and thus also of Canada. It is closely modelled after the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom with French and distinctive Canadian elements replacing or added to those derived from the British version.

The maple leaves in the shield, blazoned "proper", were originally drawn vert (green) but were redrawn gules (red) in 1957 and a circlet of the Order of Canada was added to the arms for limited use in 1987. The shield design forms the monarch's royal standard and is also found on the Canadian Red Ensign. The Flag of the Governor General of Canada, which formerly used the shield over the Union Flag, now uses the crest of the arms on a blue field.

The arms are embossed on the covers of Canadian passports, in order to legally signify and symbolize that the bearer is travelling under the aid of the Crown of Canada.

Baltic Exchange Memorial Glass

The Baltic Exchange Memorial Glass comprises several stained glass windows designed by English artist John Dudley Forsyth which were installed over a staircase at the Baltic Exchange in London in 1922, as a memorial to the members of the exchange who were killed while serving during World War I. The memorial glass was damaged in an IRA bombing in 1992; after restoration, it has been displayed at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich since 2005.

The memorial forms a hemispherical half-dome about 3 metres (9.8 ft) high, with 240 panels divided into five sectors, with five rectangular windows of painted coloured glass, each of which features a personification of one of the virtues – Truth, Hope, Justice, Fortitude and Faith. The dome is replete with classical and religious symbolism, featuring a winged figure of Victory stepping from a boat into a classical temple, accompanied by Roman soldiers, putti, a dove symbolising peace, the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, and armorial shields and badges for the territories of the British Empire. Two panels, one to either side, list battles in the First World War – Cambrai, Mezières, Arras and Lens, Galipoli, and Messines Ridge to the left; and Bethune, Salonika, Ypres and Loos, Givenchy, Paschendaele to the right. The glass was put together by Lowndes & Drury at The Glass House, Fulham. It was unveiled by General Sir Herbert Alexander Lawrence on 1 June 1922, and dedicated by the Bishop of Willesden William Perrin. It replaced clear glazed windows and dome included on the north side of the exchange when it was rebuilt in 1903. Originally, it was accompanied by marble panels listing the 61 dead, which had been installed earlier and unveiled on 16 July 1920.

The glass survived the Second World War intact, but suffered damage in an IRA bombing on 10 April 1992. Only 45 of the 240 panels of the dome were left intact; the other panels, and all five of the windows, all suffered damage. Plans to rebuild the Baltic Exchange were abandoned when the extent of the damage became clear; the remnants of the old building were demolished in 1998 and replaced by 30 St Mary Axe (nicknamed the Gherkin) where the glazed rooftop dome refers back to the dome of the Baltic Exchange. With funding from Swiss Re, the memorial glass was restored by glass conservators Goddard & Gibbs and has been displayed at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich since 2005. The marble panels were installed at the Baltic Exchange's new building at 38 St Mary Axe.

Banner of arms

A banner of arms is a type of heraldic flag which has the same image as a coat of arms, i.e. the shield of a full heraldic achievement, rendered in a square or rectangular shape of the flag.The term is derived from the terminology of heraldry but mostly used in vexillology. Examples of modern national flags which are banners of arms are the flags of Austria, Iraq, and Switzerland.

The banner of arms is sometimes simply called a banner, but a banner is in a more strict sense a one of a kind personal flag of a nobleman held in battle.

Coat of arms of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, a British Overseas Territory, does not have its own coat of arms and the three administrative regions have their own symbols, respectively, as discussed in the following articles:

Coat of arms of Saint Helena

Coat of arms of Ascension Island

Coat of arms of Tristan da Cunha

Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, especially the version used by British government, is the only arms that has official status across the entire territory.

Coat of arms of Victoria

Coat of arms of Victoria may refer to:

Coat of arms of Victoria (Australia)

Coat of arms of Victoria, British Columbia

Coat of arms of Victoria, Chile

Coat of arms of Victoria, Gozo

Coat of arms of Ciudad Victoria

The personal coat of arms of Queen Victoria, see Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom

Coat of arms of the Prince of Wales

The coat of arms of the Prince of Wales is the official heraldic insignia of the Prince of Wales, a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, formerly the Kingdom of Great Britain and before that the Kingdom of England.

The coat of arms, in its current form, was devised for Charles, Prince of Wales in 1958. It contains the badges and elements taken from all four of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom as well as from the many titles the prince holds as heir apparent.

The history of the coat of arms is closely linked with that of the Royal coat of arms of England and the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom. However, as the noted antiquarian and heraldist Charles Boutell wrote in 1863, "The Arms of the Prince of Wales have a distinct individuality of their own, with which nothing ought to be directly associated."

Frontenac County Court House

The Frontenac County Court House in Kingston, Ontario, Canada is the Courthouse for Frontenac County, Ontario. The Neoclassical building was designed by Edward Horsey and constructed by builders Scobell and Tossell. Alternation after 1874 fire by John Power added the dome tower. It overlooks City Park to its south, and Lake Ontario beyond. The front of the structure features the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom.

Honours of Scotland

The Honours of Scotland, also known as the Scottish Regalia and the Scottish Crown Jewels, dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, are the oldest surviving set of crown jewels in the British Isles.

The regalia were used together for the coronation of Scottish monarchs from Mary I in 1543 until Charles II in 1651. They were used to represent Royal Assent to legislation in the Estates of Parliament before England and Scotland were unified under one parliament in 1707, at which time the Honours were locked away in a chest and the English Crown Jewels were adopted by British monarchs. They were rediscovered in 1818 and have been on public display at Edinburgh Castle ever since. The Honours have been used at state occasions including the first official visit to Scotland as monarch by George IV in 1822 and the first such visit by Elizabeth II in 1953. The Scottish Parliament was founded in 1999 and the Honours are used there once again to represent Royal Assent.

There are three primary elements of the Honours of Scotland: the crown, the sceptre, and the Sword of State. The gold crown, decorated with gems and pearls, is Scottish, and the sceptre and sword were gifts from the pope made in Italy. They also appear on the crest of the royal coat of arms of Scotland and on the Scottish version of the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, where the red lion of the King of Scots is depicted holding the sword and sceptre and wearing the crown. Robes, a pair of spurs and a ring also had been part of the Scottish regalia, and queens consort had their own consort crown, none of which survives today.

The secondary Honours comprise a silver-gilt wand, three items of insignia and a ring once owned by James VII added in 1830, and a necklace with a locket and pendant bequeathed to Scotland by the Duchess of Argyll in 1939.

In My Defens God Me Defend

In my defens God me defend is the motto of both the Royal coat of arms of the Kingdom of Scotland and Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom used in Scotland. Contemporary versions of the Royal arms show an abbreviated motto, in the form of IN DEFENS or, where English is used as an alternative, IN DEFENCE. The motto appears above the crest of the arms, in the tradition of Scottish heraldry.

Index of United Kingdom-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Lap of Honour

Lap of Honour is an EP released on 18 January 2005 as a Japan-only release by British rock band Kaiser Chiefs, though it is available for import. The EP mostly consists of b-sides featured on the single releases from their debut album Employment, plus live sessions and an exclusive remix of "Na Na Na Na Naa". The album cover depicts the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom.

List of British flags

This list includes flags that either have been in use or are currently used by the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories and the Crown dependencies.

The College of Arms is the authority on the flying of flags in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and maintains the only official register of flags for these countries. It was established in 1484 and as part of the Royal Household operates under the authority of the Crown. The Lord Lyon King of Arms holds a similar role within Scotland. A separate private body called the Flag Institute, financed by its own membership, also maintains a registry of United Kingdom flags that it styles 'the UK Flag Registry', though this has no official status under UK law.

List of public art in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

This is a list of public art in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

Matthew Dent (designer)

Matthew Dent (born in 1981 in Bangor, Wales) is a British graphic designer. His designs were selected for the new reverse sides of seven coins of the pound sterling, after a competition open to the public by the Royal Mint on 2 April 2008.

Dent studied art at Coleg Menai and graduated in graphic design from the University of Brighton.

The competition was to re-design the reverses of all circulation British coins (except the two pound coin which had only been introduced eleven years earlier). His entry was selected as the best of 4,000 and he was given a one-off payment of £35,000.Dent's designs were inspired by heraldry. He divided the shield of the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom among the pence coins, so that when they are placed together they show the entire shield. The full shield appears on his pound coin, which before the competition had no fixed design, instead changing every year to represent Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

In 2011 he designed a commemorative fifty pence coin for the Royal Mint to celebrate 50 years of the World Wildlife Fund. It featured 50 small pictures of plants, animals and natural resources.In 2012 he designed a limited edition two pound coin featuring the face of Charles Dickens made up from his book titles, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Dickens's birth.

Miramichi Herald

Miramichi Herald of Arms is the title of one of the officers of arms at the Canadian Heraldic Authority in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The office was created in 2003. Like the other heralds at the Authority, the name is derived from aCanadian river. The design of the badge of office of Miramichi Herald of Arms was assigned on 15 June 2005.

Nemo me impune lacessit

Nemo me impune lacessit was the Latin motto of the Royal Stuart dynasty of Scotland from at least the reign of James VI when it appeared on the reverse side of merk coins minted in 1578 and 1580. It is the adopted motto of the Order of the Thistle and of three Scottish regiments of the British Army. The motto also appears, in conjunction with the collar of the Order of the Thistle, in later versions of the Royal coat of arms of the Kingdom of Scotland and subsequently in the version of the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom used in Scotland. It means No one "cuts" (attacks/assails) me with impunity, and has been loosely rendered in Scots as Wha daur meddle wi' me? (in Scottish Gaelic Cha togar m' fhearg gun dìoladh, pronounced [xa ˈt̪okəɾ ˈmɛɾak kuɲ ˈtʲiəl̪ˠəɣ] (listen)). It is also alternatively translated into English as No one can harm me unpunished.

Royal Arms of England

The Royal Arms of England are the arms first adopted in a fixed form at the start of the age of heraldry (circa 1200) as personal arms by the Plantagenet kings who ruled England from 1154. In the popular mind they have come to symbolise the nation of England, although according to heraldic usage nations do not bear arms, only persons and corporations do. The blazon of the Arms of Plantagenet is: Gules, three lions passant guardant in pale or armed and langued azure, signifying three identical gold lions (also known as leopards) with blue tongues and claws, walking past but facing the observer, arranged in a column on a red background. Although the tincture azure of tongue and claws is not cited in many blazons, they are historically a distinguishing feature of the Arms of England. This coat, designed in the High Middle Ages, has been variously combined with those of the Kings of France, Scotland, a symbol of Ireland, the House of Nassau and the Kingdom of Hanover, according to dynastic and other political changes occurring in England, but has not altered since it took a fixed form in the reign of Richard I (1189–1199), the second Plantagenet king.

Although in England the official blazon refers to "lions", French heralds historically used the term "leopard" to represent the lion passant guardant, and hence the arms of England, no doubt, are more correctly blazoned, "leopards". Without doubt the same animal was intended, but different names were given according to the position; in later times the name lion was given to both.Royal emblems depicting lions were first used by Danish Vikings, Saxons (Lions were adopted in Germanic tradition around the 5th century, they were re-interpreted in a Christian context in the western kingdoms of Gaul and Northern Italy in the 6th and 7th centuries) and Normans. Later, with Plantagenets a formal and consistent English heraldry system emerged at the end of the 12th century. The earliest surviving representation of an escutcheon, or shield, displaying three lions is that on the Great Seal of King Richard I (1189–1199), which initially displayed one or two lions rampant, but in 1198 was permanently altered to depict three lions passant, perhaps representing Richard I's principal three positions as King of the English, Duke of the Normans, and Duke of the Aquitanians. In 1340, Edward III laid claim to the throne of France, and thus adopted the Royal arms of France which he quartered with his paternal arms, the Royal Arms of England. He placed the French arms in the 1st and 4th quarters. This quartering was adjusted, abandoned and restored intermittently throughout the Middle Ages as the relationship between England and France changed. When the French king altered his arms from semée of fleur-de-lys, to only three, the English quartering eventually followed suit. After the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland entered a personal union, the arms of England and Scotland were marshalled (combined) in what has now become the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom. It appears in a similar capacity to represent England in the Arms of Canada and on the Queen's Personal Canadian Flag. The coat of three lions continues to represent England on several coins of the pound sterling, forms the basis of several emblems of English national sports teams (although with altered tinctures) and endures as one of the most recognisable national symbols of England.When the Royal Arms are in the format of an heraldic flag, it is variously known as the Royal Banner of England, the Banner of the Royal Arms, the Banner of the King (Queen) of England, or by the misnomer the Royal Standard of England. This Royal Banner differs from England's national flag, the St George's Cross, in that it does not represent any particular area or land, but rather symbolises the sovereignty vested in the rulers thereof.

The Lion and the Unicorn

The Lion and the Unicorn are symbols of the United Kingdom. They are, properly speaking, heraldic supporters appearing in the full royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom. The lion stands for England and the unicorn for Scotland. The combination therefore dates back to the 1603 accession of James I of England who was already James VI of Scotland. By extension, they have also been used in the arms of Canada since 1921.

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