Royal Coats of Arms


The function of the Royal Coat of Arms is to identify the person who is Head of State. In respect of the United Kingdom, the royal arms are borne only by the Sovereign. They are used in many ways in connection with the administration and government of the country, for instance on coins, in churches and on public buildings. They are familiar to most British subjects as they appear on the products and goods of Royal Warrant holders.


queen's coat of arms


In the design the shield shows the various royal emblems of different parts of the United Kingdom: the three lions of England in the first and fourth quarters, the lion of Scotland in the second and the harp of Ireland in the third.

It is surrounded by a garter bearing the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense ('Evil to him who evil thinks'), which symbolizes the Order of the Garter, an ancient order of knighthood of which the Queen is Sovereign.

The shield is supported by the English lion and Scottish unicorn and is surmounted by the Royal crown. Below it appears the motto of the Sovereign, Dieu et mon droit ('God and my right').

The plant badges of the United Kingdom - rose, thistle and shamrock - are often displayed beneath the shield.

Separate Scottish and English quarterings of the Royal Arms originate from the Union of the Crown in 1603. The Scottish version of the Royal Coat of Arms shows the lion of Scotland in the first and fourth quarters, with that of England being in the second. The harp of Ireland is in the third quarter. The mottoes read, In defense and No one will attack me with impunity. From the times of the Stuart kings, the Scottish quarterings have been used for official purposes in Scotland (for example, on official buildings and official publications).

The special position of Wales as a Principality was recognized by the creation of the Prince of Wales long before the incorporation of the quarterings for Scotland and Ireland in the Royal Arms. The arms of the Prince of Wales show the arms of the ancient Principality in the center as well as these quarterings.

Coats of Arms of members of the Royal Family are broadly similar to The Queen's with small differences to identify them.

Prince Charles
- A white "label with three pendants" was added to the traditional coat of arms for Prince Charles to denote his position as the first-born son. The motto below, "Ich Dien," is German for "I serve."

Prince William requested the addition of an "escallop gules" (a red scallop shell, prominent in the Spencer ancestors' coats of arms) to honor his Mother, Diana.

Although middle-age heraldry came into being in warfare, it spread into peaceful use and has been adopted by many nations outside the original Western Europe. The use of arms has been taken up by countless institutions. Today there are family crests, coats of arms, clan and tribal emblems, national emblems and flags, religious symbols, church emblems, lodge and society emblems, totems, and many other forms.


English royalty have no arms until their granting by royal decree. The time at which this happens is not fixed. Queen Elizabeth and her sister Margaret were already eighteen and fourteen, respectively, when their arms were established. Princess Anne was twelve and Prince Andrew only three.


Basically the children of a British monarch received a silver label with three points on which certain small symbols are arranged. Grandchildren of the monarch received a label of five points, the inner three of which are identical with the three points on their father's label.


Below are some additional examples of Royal Coats of Arms with their associated Blazon and we will also include additional Coats of Arms with description.




Another notable Achievement of Arms


Former Beatle Paul McCartney was made a knight bachelor in 1997. His coat of arms was designed to be meaningful to him. The design (granted on Sir Paul's 59th birthday) clearly recalls Sir Paul's principal instrument, the guitar. In addition the cormorant or 'liver bird' in the crest is a reference to his native city, Liverpool. Note that the helmet is left-facing and has an open visor as is customary for knights.

The result is a simple and distinct design that makes a clear reference to the grantee's career without departing from the standard vocabulary of the English heraldic tradition.


paul mccartney's coa

Paul McCartney

Description of Arms: Or between two Flaunches fracted fesswise two Roundels Sable over all six Guitar Strings palewise throughout counterchanged.

Crest: On a Wreath of the Colours A Liver Bird calling Sable supporting with the dexter claws a Guitar Or stringed Sable.

Motto: ECCE COR MEUM (Behold my heart)