Spirit of England - Heraldry

    E N G LI S H   H E R A L D R Y

 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

Heraldric Rendering of the Imperial Tudor Crown

This crown was used in heraldry during the reign of Henry VIII, Mary I and Elizabeth I
(see below)

 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 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)

Coat of Arms - Edward IV of England of England

Royal Arms of Queen Mary I of England

Royal Arms of Queen Elizabeth I of England

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.

 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.

 Heraldric Rendering of the Star of the Most Noble Order of the Garter

 Star of the Most Noble Order of the Garter

Royal Arms

Royal Arms

Small Royal Arms



 Royal Monogram of King-Emperor Edward VII

 Royal Monogram of King-Emperor George V

Royal Monogram of King-Emperor Edward VIII

Ducal Cypher of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor

 Royal Monogram of King-Emperor George VI

 Royal Monogram of  Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II
Diamond Jubilee Logo

© Peter Crawford 2012

Royal Monogram of  Prince Phillip - Duke of Edinburgh

Ducal Cypher of  the Duke (Prince William) & Duchess of Cambridge
(Many thanks - this has been corrected by Maneheimer)

Ducal Cypher of Prince William of Windsor


Coat of Arms of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon - Queen Consort

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002) was the Queen consort of King 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

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

Coat of Arms of Prince Charles - Prince of Wales

Arms of the Duchy of Cornwall

Prince of Wales Feathers Logo

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
Arms of Lord Mountbatten of Burma


Arms of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland

Badge of the Royal Airforce

Coat of Arms of the Duke of Wellington

Tudor Rose
Coat of Arms of the City of London

Coat of Arms of the Greater London Council

Badge of the Royal British Legion


Ecclesia Anglia
(The Anglican Church)

Coat of Arms of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster

Coat of Arms of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark

Coat of Arms of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham
for more information click below

Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
for more information click below

Coat of Arms of Ampleforth College
for more information click below

Coat of Arms of St Augustine's Abbey School - Ramsgate 
for more information click below

Arms of Holy Cross Roman Catholic School
Broadstairs - Thanet
for more information click below

Coat of Arms of the Anglican Diocese of Canterbury


  1. I love this blog, but did you really say 'cypher of Prince William and Princess Caroline' above????