King of Arms vs Chief Herald?

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Jonathan Webster
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King of Arms vs Chief Herald?

Postby Jonathan Webster » 26 Sep 2012, 17:38

Is there any reason that the 'younger' heraldic authorities use the title 'Chief Herald' (or something similar.) rather than the title 'King of Arms' that is used by older authorities? I appreciate the two positions are essentially the same; but it's something I have always wondered.

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Chris Green
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Re: King of Arms vs Chief Herald?

Postby Chris Green » 26 Sep 2012, 18:46

Because they are republics I imagine.
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Jonathan Webster
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Re: King of Arms vs Chief Herald?

Postby Jonathan Webster » 26 Sep 2012, 20:24

Last time I checked the head of the Canadian Heraldic Authority bears the title 'Chief Herald' :)

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Chris Green
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Re: King of Arms vs Chief Herald?

Postby Chris Green » 26 Sep 2012, 20:35

True true. I hadn't checked the complete list of "Chief Heralds". My thoughts went to Ireland.
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Re: King of Arms vs Chief Herald?

Postby Jonathan Webster » 26 Sep 2012, 21:26

And isn't the head of the Swedish heraldic authority the State Herald, or am I mistaken?

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Chris Green
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Re: King of Arms vs Chief Herald?

Postby Chris Green » 26 Sep 2012, 21:49

There is no equivalent Swedish heraldic authority to, for example, the English College of Arms. Statsheraldikern (the State Herald) is an official of Riksarkivet (the State Archives) and deals only with heraldic matters concerning the Court and national public bodies. He advises local authorities but has no authority in their regard - they are (or should be) registered with the Patent and Registration Authority. Private citizens do not deal with the State Herald. The highest heraldic "authority" is Heraldiska Nämnden (the Heraldic Council) chaired by the State Archivist. Statsheraldikern is secretary of this body which meets in general twice a year to approve (or otherwise) new CoAs for public bodies and authorise (or otherwise) the use of state symbols (for example recently Carlsberg Sweden wished to use the King's crown on its "Pripps Blå" beer - which it had done without permission in the past - this application was rejected).
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steven harris
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Re: King of Arms vs Chief Herald?

Postby steven harris » 01 Oct 2012, 14:38

Jonathan Webster wrote:Is there any reason that the 'younger' heraldic authorities use the title 'Chief Herald' (or something similar.) rather than the title 'King of Arms' that is used by older authorities? I appreciate the two positions are essentially the same; but it's something I have always wondered.

I had always found the "King of Arms" title to be a little awkward, even approching lèse-majesté. It's also a bit ambigous as one King of Arms (Garter) outranks the other two (Clarenceux, Norroy & Ulster). The "newer" sytles of Cheif Herald and Deputy Cheif Heralds seem more logical.
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Re: King of Arms vs Chief Herald?

Postby Jonathan Webster » 02 Oct 2012, 11:45

steven harris wrote:
Jonathan Webster wrote:Is there any reason that the 'younger' heraldic authorities use the title 'Chief Herald' (or something similar.) rather than the title 'King of Arms' that is used by older authorities? I appreciate the two positions are essentially the same; but it's something I have always wondered.

I had always found the "King of Arms" title to be a little awkward, even approching lèse-majesté. It's also a bit ambigous as one King of Arms (Garter) outranks the other two (Clarenceux, Norroy & Ulster). The "newer" sytles of Cheif Herald and Deputy Cheif Heralds seem more logical.


-Yes; I've always thought that actually.

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Chris Green
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Re: King of Arms vs Chief Herald?

Postby Chris Green » 02 Oct 2012, 11:59

... one King of Arms (Garter) outranks the other two (Clarenceux, Norroy & Ulster).


You must bear in mind that England is home to illogical titles: the Archbishop of Canterbury is "Primate of All England" while the Archbishop of York is "Primate of England".

Kings of Arms do have crowns, not coronets.
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Re: King of Arms vs Chief Herald?

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 02 Oct 2012, 13:45

Chris Green wrote: Kings of Arms do have crowns, not coronets.


Up until quite recently successive Lords Lyon (Scottish Kings of Arms) had been quite content to display (use?) the same crown as their brethren Kings but have now adopted (or should that be reverted to?) a Scottish Crown. The Heraldry Society of Scotland funded a new/reproduction crown for use by the Lord Lyon and presented it to H.M. The Queen during the heraldic reign of Lyon Blair. What prompted this adoption/reversion I can't recall without looking it up (it may have been initially instigated by Innes of Learney's dislike of the "English" heralds and his fondness for heraldic brigadoonery) but I would not be at all surprised to learn that it has its routes in the increasing desire of the Scots to distance themselves from the rest of the UK.
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