British Heraldry


 The Ancient Arms of England

Following the Norman conquest of England after 1066, the arms of the House of Normandy were adopted in England. The coat of arms consists of two golden lions (or leopards) on a crimson field. With the succession of King Henry II of the House of Plantagenet in 1158, the first known arms of a truly English monarch consisted of a single golden lion on a crimson field.

 The Royal Arms of England


 Heraldic Depiction of St Edward's Crown

St Edward's Crown was one of the English Crown Jewels and remains one of the senior British Crown Jewels, being the official coronation crown used in the coronation of first English, then British, and finally Commonwealth realms monarchs.
As such, two-dimensional representations of the crown are used in coats of arms, badges, and various other insignia throughout the Commonwealth realms to indicate the authority of the reigning sovereign.
Though the physical St Edward's Crown is property of the Queen in Right of the United Kingdom, its two-dimensional representation has come to be utilised throughout all the Commonwealth realms as an indication of each country's respective royal authority, thus appearing on coats of arms, badges for military and police units, and logos for government departments and private organizations with royal associations.
In this use, it replaced the Tudor Crown by the command in 1953 of Queen Elizabeth II.
Such use of the crown is only by the personal permission of the sovereign.

St Edward's Crown

 Heraldic Depiction of Tudor Imperial Crown

The Tudor Crown, also known as the King's Crown or Imperial Crown, was a symbol used from 1902 to 1953 representing not only the British monarch personally, but also "The Crown", meaning the sovereign source of governmental authority. As such, it appeared on numerous official emblems in the United Kingdom, British Empire and Commonwealth.
While various crown symbols had been used for this purpose for many years previously, the specific Tudor Crown design was standardised at the request of Edward VII. It does not represent any actual physical crown.
Upon the accession of Elizabeth II, she requested the design to be replaced with a representation of the St Edward's Crown which she wore at her coronation.

The Imperial State Crown

Imperial Crown of India

The Imperial Crown of India was the crown of the Sovereign as Emperor of India during the time of the British Raj.
The crown is housed with, but is not part of, the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
The crown was created for George V as Emperor of India to wear at the Delhi Durbar of 1911. The need for the new crown lay in the fact that it is forbidden by Old Royal Law for the British Crown Jewels themselves to leave the United Kingdom.
King George and Queen Mary travelled to Delhi for the Durbar ceremonies, proclaiming them as Emperor and Empress of India to the princes of India.
The King was not crowned at the service because the Archbishop of Canterbury did not think it suitable for a Christian religious service to take place in a predominantly non-Christian (Hindu and Muslim) country, therefore the King wore the crown as he entered the arena where the Durbar took place.
The Crown Jewellers, Garrard & Co, created the crown at the cost of £60,000 (£4,530,137 as of 2011), ($7,047,857 as of 2011).
It weighs 34.05 ounces (0.97 kg) and is set with emeralds, rubies, sapphires, 6,100 diamonds, and one large fine ruby.
The crown has not been worn by any Sovereign since.
Similar to other British crowns, the Imperial Crown of India consists of a circlet topped by four crosses pattée and four fleurs-de-lis, however, the arches on top, which join at a typical monde and cross, point upwards in an Asiatic manner instead of curving back downward as other British crowns do.
It is also the only crown of a British Sovereign with eight half-arches, in the manner of Continental European crown jewels, departing from the British tradition of the Crown having four half-arches. This difference is emblematic of the difference between the crown of an Emperor and that of a King.



The Delhi Durbar : دلّی دُربار  -  meaning "Court of Delhi", was a mass assembly at Coronation Park, Delhi, India, to mark the coronation of a King and Queen of the United Kingdom.
Also known as the Imperial Durbar, it was held three times, in 1877, 1903, and 1911, at the height of the British Empire.
The 1911 Durbar was the only one attended by the sovereign, who was George V.
The term was derived from common Mughal term durbar.
Held in December to commemorate the coronation in Britain a few months earlier of King George V and Queen Mary, and their proclamation as Emperor and Empress of India Practically every ruling prince, nobleman, landed gentry and other persons of note in India attended to pay obeisance to their sovereigns.
The Sovereigns appeared in their Coronation robes, the King-Emperor wearing the Imperial Crown of India.

There is a magnificent tiara belonging to the present Queen called the Delhi Durbar Tiara.
The necklace was presented to Queen Mary by the Maharanee of Patiala on behalf of the Ladies of India to mark the first visit to India by a British Queen-Empress.

Coat of Arms of Henry VIII of England (1509-1547)

Ecclesia Anglia

Coat of Arms of King Edward VI of England (1461- 1483)

Coat of Arms of Queen Mary I of England

Coat of Arms of Queen Elizabeth I of England (1559-1603)

Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of England Scotland and Ireland

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha - 1840

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel; later The Prince Consort; 26 August 1819 – 14 December 1861) was the husband of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland.
He was born in the Saxon duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld to a family connected to many of Europe's ruling monarchs.
At the age of 20 he married his first cousin, Queen Victoria, with whom he would ultimately have nine children. 
t first, Albert felt constrained by his position as consort, which did not confer any power or duties upon him.
Over time he adopted many public causes, such as educational reform and a worldwide abolition of slavery, and took on the responsibilities of running the Queen's household, estates and office.
He was heavily involved with the organisation of the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Albert aided in the development of Britain's constitutional monarchy by persuading his wife to show less partisanship in her dealings with Parliament—although he actively disagreed with the interventionist foreign policy pursued during Lord Palmerston's tenure as Foreign Secretary.
He died at the early age of 42, plunging the Queen into a deep mourning that lasted for the rest of her life.
Upon Queen Victoria's death in 1901, their oldest son, Edward VII, succeeded as the first British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, named after the ducal house to which Albert belonged.

Tudor Rose

 The Arms of the Most Noble Order of the Garter

The Most Noble Order of the Garter is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England, founded in 1348.
The Order is dedicated to the image and arms of St. George as England's patron saint, and is presently bestowed on recipients from British and other realms; after peerages, it is the pinnacle of the honours system in the United Kingdom.
Membership in the order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than twenty-four members, or Companions; the order also comprises Supernumerary knights and ladies (e.g., members of the British Royal Family and foreign monarchs). Bestowing the honour has been described as one of the Monarch's few remaining truly personal, executive prerogatives.
The order's emblem, depicted on insignia, is a garter with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense (Old French: "shame upon him who thinks evil upon it", or "evil to him who evil thinks") in gold lettering. Members of the order wear such a garter on ceremonial occasions.
Most British honours encompass the whole United Kingdom, but the top most three each pertain to one constituent nation.
The Order of the Garter, pertaining to England and Wales, is senior in age and precedence; The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle pertains to Scotland; and the now-dormant The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick pertains to Ireland.
New appointments to the Order of the Garter are always announced on St George's Day, 23 April, as Saint George is the patron saint of England.

 Star of the Most Noble Order of the Garter

Royal Arms of the United Kingdom

Arms of the United Kingdom Government

Royal Arms of the United Kingdom

Small Arms of the United Kingdom

Arms of the Duchy of Cornwall

The Duchy of Cornwall is one of two royal duchies in England, the other being the Duchy of Lancaster.
The eldest son of the reigning British monarch inherits the duchy and title of Duke of Cornwall at the time of his birth, or of his parent's succession to the throne.
If the monarch has no son, the estates of the duchy are held by the crown, and there is no duke. The current duke is Charles, Prince of Wales.
The principal activity of the duchy is the management of its land and properties.
The duchy has a financial investment portfolio and owns land totalling 540.9 km² (or 208.9 sq. mi.). Nearly half of the holdings are in Devon, with other large holdings in Cornwall, Herefordshire, Somerset and Wales.
For the fiscal year 2007, the duchy was valued at £647 million, and annual profit in 2007 was £16.3 million, thus yielding 2.5%.
The duchy also exercises certain legal rights and privileges across Cornwall, including some that elsewhere in England would usually belong to the crown.
As a crown body, the duchy is exempt from paying corporation tax, but, since 1993, the Prince of Wales has voluntarily paid income tax.
The duchy was established in 1337 out of the former earldom of Cornwall by Edward III for his son, Edward, Prince of Wales, the "Black Prince", who became the first Duke of Cornwall.
The duchy consisted of two parts: the title and honour, and the landed estate that supported it financially.
The core of the estate at its foundation was the 17 duchy manors found within the county. However, the duchy does not share the same boundaries as the county, and much of the estate has always been outside those boundaries, however, the duchy maintains a special relationship with Cornwall, and maintains various rights, such as that of appointing the county's High Sheriff. The extent of the estate has varied as various holdings have been sold and acquired over the years, both within Cornwall and in other counties.

Prince of Wales Logo

Heraldic Badge of the Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales's feathers is the heraldic badge of the Heir Apparent to the British and Commonwealth Realms thrones. It consists of three white feathers emerging from a gold coronet. A ribbon below the coronet bears the motto Ich dien (a contraction of the German for "I serve", ich diene).
It is thought to have originated with Edward, the Black Prince, the eldest son of Edward III of England.
Edward bore (as an alternative to his differenced royal arms) a shield of Sable, three ostrich feathers argent, described as his 'shield for peace': this probably means it was the shield he used for jousting. These arms can be seen several times on his tomb chest in Canterbury Cathedral, alternating with his royal arms.
His younger brother, John of Gaunt, used a similar coat on which the ostrich feathers were ermine.
According to legend, the Black Prince obtained the arms from the blind John I of Bohemia, against whom he fought in the Battle of Crécy in 1346.
After the battle, the prince went to the body of the dead king (whom he admired for his bravery) and took his helmet lined with ostrich feathers.
The feathers and the dead king's motto made up the prince's new badge and came to be used by subsequent Princes of Wales.
Since a key factor in the English army's defeat of the French was the use of Welsh archers, it may have been Edward's pride in the men of Wales which led him to use a symbol of their victory as his emblem.

Prince of Wales Feathers
(Platinum, Gold and Diamonds)
Edward VIII

Tywysogaeth Cymru
Heraldic Badge of Wales

The Principality of Wales  existed between 1216 and 1542, encompassing two-thirds of modern Wales.
It was formally founded in 1216 at the Council of Aberdyfi, and later recognised by the 1218 Treaty of Worcester between Llywelyn the Great of Wales and Henry III of England.
The treaty gave substance to the political reality of 13th century Wales and England, and the relationship of the former with the Angevin Empire.
The principality retained a great degree of autonomy, characterized by a separate legal jurisprudence based on the well established laws of Cyfraith Hywel, and by the increasingly sophisticated court of the House of Aberffraw.
Although it owed fealty to the Angevin king of England, the principality was de facto independent, with a similar status in the empire to the Kingdom of Scotland.
Since the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, which formally incorporated all of Wales within the Kingdom of England, there has been no geographical or constitutional basis for describing any of the territory of Wales as a principality, although the term has occasionally been used in an informal sense to describe the country, and in relation to the honorary title of Prince of Wales.


Royal Monogram of Queen-Empress Victoria of Great Britain

 Royal Monogram of King-Emperor Edward VII of Great Britain

 Royal Monogram of King-Emperor George V of Great Britain

Royal Monogram of King-Emperor Edward VIII of Great Britain

Ducal Monogram of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor

 Royal Monogram of King-Emperor George VI of Great Britain

 Royal Monogram of  Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain

 Royal Monogram of  Prince Phillip of Great Britain

Royal Cypher of Prince William and Princess Caroline


Coat of Arms of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon - Queen-Empress Consort

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002) was the Queen-Empress consort of the King-Emperor George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
She was the last Queen consort of Ireland and Empress consort of India.
Born into a family of Scottish nobility as The Honourable Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, she became Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon when her father inherited the Earldom of Strathmore and Kinghorne in 1904.
She came to prominence in 1923 when she married Albert, Duke of York, the second son of King George V and Queen Mary.
As Duchess of York, she – along with her husband and their two daughters Elizabeth and Margaret – embodied traditional ideas of family and public service.
In 1936, her husband unexpectedly became King when his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated in order to marry the American divorcée Wallis Simpson.
As Queen consort, Elizabeth accompanied her husband on diplomatic tours to France and North America before the start of World War II.
After the war, her husband's health deteriorated and she was widowed at the age of 51.
On the death of her mother-in-law Queen Mary in 1953, with her brother-in-law living abroad and her elder daughter Queen at the age of 25, Elizabeth became the senior member of the royal family and assumed a position as family matriarch.
She continued an active public life until just a few months before her death at the age of 101, seven weeks after the death of her younger daughter, Princess Margaret.

Coat of Arms of Edward - Duke of Windsor

Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; later The Duke of Windsor; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.
Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay.
As a young man, he served in the British Armed Forces during the First World War and undertook several foreign tours on behalf of his father, George V.
He was associated with a succession of older, married women but remained unmarried until his accession as king.
Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to the American socialite Wallis Simpson, who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second.
The prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing that the people would never accept a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands as queen.
Additionally, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as head of the Church of England, which opposed the remarriage of divorced people if their former spouses were still alive. Edward knew that the government led by British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have dragged the King into a general election and ruined irreparably his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch.
Rather than end his relationship with Mrs. Simpson, Edward abdicated.
He was succeeded by his younger brother Albert, who chose the regnal name George VI.
With a reign of 326 days, Edward was one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British and Commonwealth history. He was never crowned.
After his abdication, he was created Duke of Windsor.
He married Wallis Simpson in France on 3 June 1937, after her second divorce became final. Later that year, the couple toured Germany.
After the war, he spent the remainder of his life in retirement in France.

Queen Elizabeth II
Diamond Jubilee Logo

© Peter Crawford 2012

Personal Flag of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Badge of the House of Windsor

The House of Windsor is the current royal house of the Commonwealth realms.
It was founded by King George V by royal proclamation on the 17 July 1917, when he changed the name of his family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor, due to the anti-German sentiment in the United Kingdom during World War I.
Currently, the most prominent member of the House of Windsor is Elizabeth II, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms.

Arms of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge

Arms of the Prince of Wales

Arms of Lord Mountbatten of Burma


Badge of the British Army

Badge of the Royal Airforce

Coat of Arms of the Duke of Wellington

Emblem of the Royal British Legion


Arms of the City of London

Arms of Scotland

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