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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dieu et mon droit


Seeing the Queen's coat of arms on the Royal Opera House, I thought how many people see it, without realising how much it is a distillation of the history and tradition of our country.

It's been around one way and another for 900 years, since Richard the Lionheart. In the centre shield, the three lions represent England, the single lion Scotland, and the harp, Ireland. Around them is the motto of the most exclusive club in the land - the Order of the Garter - Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense - Shame to him who evil thinks. There are 26 members - the Monarch, the Prince of Wales and 24 chosen by the Monarch. These are the folks one up from the Knights Templar

And underneath it, the words that sum up the monarchy - Dieu et mon droit - God and my right.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 5

Comments on "Dieu et mon droit"

 

Anonymous NiC said ... (06:59) : 

Nicely summed up.

I expect you're right that most don't give it a second thought. Indeed I don't suppose I do most of the time either.

 

Anonymous roam said ... (20:23) : 

it is also on the coat of arms of Imperial college london ;-)

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (17:40) : 

Don't forget the lion and the unicorn - symbolising the sun and the moon, representing might and harmony - also a sign of the union of England and Scotland, as the Royal Arms of Scotland formerly had two unicorns as supporters.

 

Blogger Ham said ... (18:30) : 

roam - it's on a lot of places!

Anon - Too true, and also the unicorn is chained because it was considered a dangerous beast. (Could only be tamed by a virgin!)

 

Blogger Neva said ... (17:02) : 

Wow I would've have never known this without reading this.....very interesting....

 

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Name: Ham Location: London, United Kingdom View my complete profile