- Coat of arms of England
Infobox Coat of arms
name = Coat of arms of England
image_width = 150
year_adopted = (Present form)
shield = Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or armed and langued Azure
The royal coat of arms of England was the official coat of arms of the monarchs of England, and were used as the official coat of arms of the
Kingdom of Englanduntil the Union of the Crownsin 1603. Afterwards, the arms became an integral part of the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom. The spread of the British Empirehas led to the arms being incorporated in various other coats of arms of the United Kingdom's former colonies.
Kingdom of England
Norman conquestof Englandafter 1066, the arms of the House of Normandy were used in England, two golden lions on a red field. The succession of King Henry II of the House of Plantagenet in 1158 saw the first known arms of an English monarch used, a golden lion on a red field.
When King Richard I ("The Lionheart") came to the throne he first adopted his personal arms of two lions rampant on a red field, however by the end of his life he had adopted a shield with three lions passant, on a red field. [http://footguards.tripod.com/08HISTORY/08_heraldry.htm heraldry - coat of arms, King George III] ]
The origin of the third lion is unclear. [ [http://perso.numericable.fr/~earlyblazo/specialarms/richard.htm earlyBlazon.com - Richard the Lionheart] ] According to one tradition, the extra lion was added to two existing Norman lions to represent the combined
Anglo-Normanrealm. According to another tradition the two leopards were combined with the single leopard of Aquitaine, as Henry II, the first Angevinking, had acquired the duchy of Acquitaine by marriage before inheriting the throne of England. Other heraldic authorities have claimed that at an early stage in the development of heraldrythe number of Norman lions was not fixed and that it is simply a matter of design as to why England has ended up with three heraldic lions and Normandy with two.
In 1340, King Edward III laid claim to the throne of France and quartered the English arms with those of
France, the "France Ancient", a blue shield with a tight pattern of small golden fleurs-de-lisof the French royal house.
When Richard II came to the throne in 1377, he decided to marshall the coat of arms of England side by side with the
attributed armsof Edward the Confessor.
During Mary I's reign, the arms of England were sometimes impaled (placed side to side with) with the arms of her husband, King
Philip II of Spain.
Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth of England(1649-60), a new non-royal coat of arms was created, replacing the three lions with the cross of St. George and the lion rampant of Scotland with the St. Andrew's cross. It also incorporated the Irish Harp and an escutcheon featuring a white lion from Oliver Cromwell's personal coat of arms. [ [http://flagspot.net/flags/gb-inter.html#coa United Kingdom: Flags of the Interregnum, 1649-1660] ]
Union of Crowns
On the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, King James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English throne, becoming King James I of England. The arms of England were quartered with those of Scotland. A quarter for the
Kingdom of Irelandwas also added, as the English monarch was also King of Ireland.
The French arms were dropped from the royal arms of the United Kingdom in 1801 when King George III renounced the claim to the French throne. From that point, the heraldic representation of England reverted to the version used between 1198 and 1340, three golden lions on a red field.
The arms of England are not used in any official capacity on their own, although they do feature in the first and fourth quarters of the
royal coat of arms of the United Kingdomand the first quarter of the coat of arms of Canada.
The arms of both the Football Association [ [http://www.englandfootballonline.com/TeamHist/HistThreeLions.html England Football Online - The Three Lions] ] and the
England and Wales Cricket Board[ [http://www.ecb.co.uk/ England Wales Cricket Board] ] are based on the three lions design. In recent years, it has been common to see banners of the arms flown at English football matches, in the same way the Lion Rampant is flown in Scotland.
In 1996, "
Three Lions" was the official song of the England football team for the 1996 European Football Championship, which was held in England.
Use in other arms
The spread of the
British Empirehas led to incorporation of the royal arms of England, or elements thereof, in the coats of arms of many other countries and territories.
* The arms of the
Duchy of Lancasteris that of England with a label of three points each containing three fleurs-de-lis. This was the shield of Edmund Crouchback, 1st Earl of Lancaster(1245–96), the younger son of Henry III.
* The royal arms, as used between 1406 and 1603, appear as part of the arms of
Overseas territories and crown dependencies
Coat of arms of the Cayman Islands
Coat of arms of Guernsey
Coat of arms of Jersey
Coat of arms of Canada
Coat of arms of Quebec
Coat of arms of New Brunswick
Coat of arms of Prince Edward Island
Coat of arms of Saskatchewan
Coat of Arms of Fiji
Coat of arms of Malawi
Lions or leopards
French was the language of English government for a few centuries after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and in French
blazona "lion", without further description, is always rampant; a lion passant guardant – one that is walking forward and facing outward toward the viewer – is always called a "léopard". A lion rampant guardant is a "léopard lionné", and one passant but with its head in profile is a "lion léopardé". The terms describe the animal's posture, not his species. Whatever the beast is called, the heraldic lion or leopard should always have at least a hint of a mane.
Flag of England
Coat of arms of Denmark
Coat of arms of Estonia
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