Crests as regards the Royal Arms of Sweden, Denmark and Norw

Nordic heraldry (Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden)
Jonathan Webster
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Crests as regards the Royal Arms of Sweden, Denmark and Norw

Postby Jonathan Webster » 01 Jun 2014, 16:22

Have the Royal Arms of Denmark, Sweden or Norway ever at any point featured a helm or crest and if so; what are the crests?

I have seen an imprint of the personal seal of King Haakon VII of Norway that features a helm and crest in addition to the Royal Arms of Norway; executed in a very aesthetically pleasing mediaeval style; but that's about all I know

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Chris Green
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Re: Crests as regards the Royal Arms of Sweden, Denmark and

Postby Chris Green » 01 Jun 2014, 16:54

I have seen no example, ancient or modern, of the Swedish Royal Arms, (greater or lesser) with a helm or crest. The crown sits directly on the shield in both (also on the pavilion in the greater - why two crowns one wonders?). The Danish practice is similar to the Swedish, but with a crown sitting only on the pavilion in the "greater" version these days (used only by the monarch while the government uses the "lesser" with crown). The modern Norwegian practice resembles that of Denmark, while that used during the joint monarchy (1814-1905) matched the Swedish practice. There is however one example from medieval times of a Norwegian royal arms with a helm and crest - King Haakon VI (1343-1380):

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Ryan Shuflin
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Re: Crests as regards the Royal Arms of Sweden, Denmark and

Postby Ryan Shuflin » 01 Jun 2014, 17:10

The Gelre Armorial represents crests for all three
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Although, there is also a manuscript a different crest for Denmark:
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Jonathan Webster
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Re: Crests as regards the Royal Arms of Sweden, Denmark and

Postby Jonathan Webster » 02 Jun 2014, 02:36

Intetestingly enough; the crest given in the Gelre armorial for the King of Norway is identical with that used on King Haakon VII's personal seal:

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Chris Green
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Re: Crests as regards the Royal Arms of Sweden, Denmark and

Postby Chris Green » 02 Jun 2014, 06:25

I must admit to reservations over many of the early Armorials that are collections of achievements from all over Europe. The authors would have had the greatest difficulty collecting comprehensive and accurate information and, lacking that, might simply have resorted to including details that they thought the arms should have had to fit in with their preconceptions - remember that this was the same period when arms were ascribed to persons who could never have had them - heroes of antiquity, biblical characters etc. That said, where an Armorial is backed up by an independent source, a seal for example, its accuracy is unimpeachable.

That test wouldn't work of course for the Gelre achievement and King Haakon VII's seal, as Haakon was of course King from 1905-1957 and Heynen completed the Gelre for the Duke of Guelders not later than 1396. The interesting thing about the 20th century King Haakon's seal is that he, or his advisers, believed that the Geldre arms were those of earlier Norwegian Kings. Their evidence for that would most likely have been seals of Kings pre-dating the Danish hegemony. Most of the early seals however show the King seated on a throne or mounted on a charging horse (though that of King Magnus of Norway (VII) and Sweden (IV) 1316-74 had a fine CoA - without either crown or crest). It would be interesting to find the evidence for the Geldre illustration.
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Jonathan Webster
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Re: Crests as regards the Royal Arms of Sweden, Denmark and

Postby Jonathan Webster » 02 Jun 2014, 11:44

The crest given for the King of Norway in the Gelre Armorial can also be seen on the seal of King Haakon VI (ruled in Norway 1343-1380):


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and the seal of Duchess Ingeborg (Regent of Norway 1319-1327):

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The crest given for the King of Sweden can also be found on the seal of King Albrecht (ruled in Sweden 1364-1389):

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The crest given for the King of Denmark can also be found on the seal of King Valdemar IV Atterdag:

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Chris Green
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Re: Crests as regards the Royal Arms of Sweden, Denmark and

Postby Chris Green » 02 Jun 2014, 12:48

Thank you Jonathan for providing this substantiation.

It would be interesting to know when Scandinavian monarchs stopped using helm and crest. King Gustaf I (Vasa)'s tomb gives a clear statement that it had occurred by the 16th century.

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Jonathan Webster
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Re: Crests as regards the Royal Arms of Sweden, Denmark and

Postby Jonathan Webster » 02 Jun 2014, 16:54

Intriguingly enough; the crest given for the Danish King of a Crowned Lion Azure issuant from a Ducal Coronet is the same as the crest in the Arms in right of Great Britain borne by Prince George of Denmark, Duke of Cumberland and consort to Queen Anne (who died in 1708):


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Anyone any idea what Armorial the Crest is from?

According to wikipedia the previous crest was only used by the Danish monarch until about 1420. If that's true, perhaps the later crest dates from then.

[Edited by webmaster to reduce size of image]

Marcus Karlsson
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Re: Crests as regards the Royal Arms of Sweden, Denmark and

Postby Marcus Karlsson » 02 Jun 2014, 19:16

Prince Johan of Sweden (later King Johan III) was as Duke of Finland granted the following Arms with no less than three crests! The middle one supposedly the Crest of the Vasa Familiy before they came to the Throne. The Bear being the Crest of Satakunda and the Lances with Flags that of Finland Proper, this beeing nearly the only instance these Crests have been used.. The Arms of which is to be seen in the I and IV respectedly II and III quarters. The inescutcheon showing the Vasa Arms.

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This was used before 1560, then he was granted new arms omitting the Crests:

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Last edited by Marcus Karlsson on 05 Dec 2015, 10:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Chris Green
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Re: Crests as regards the Royal Arms of Sweden, Denmark and

Postby Chris Green » 02 Jun 2014, 20:38

Unusual "table-top" the wild-men are standing on in Prince George's achievement. Most supporters make do with a grassy mound.
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