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Impaling the Royal Arms

Posted: 21 May 2020, 13:05
by Arthur Radburn
For centuries, it's been the custom for the heads of armigerous organisations to impale their personal arms with those of their organisations. They include bishops and archbishops; heralds, pursuivants and kings of arms; university principals; -- and at least one monarch.

The Order of the Garter, which is the most senior English order of chivalry, has its own coat of arms, namely Argent, a cross Gules. As sovereign head of the Order, the monarch impales the arms of the Order with his/her Royal Arms, the arms of the Order taking precedence. Here are three examples, from different periods :

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A 15th- or 16th-century example from the Kingdom of England.

Garter 2.jpg
A 17th-century (Stuart period) example from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

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A 20th-/21st-century example, i.e. Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.