Famous Heraldry and Coat of Arms Used by Royalty

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For centuries, noble families and royalty around the world have used heraldry and coat of arms to represent their houses, their history and their achievements. Each coat of arms is unique to its respective family, featuring its own, distinctive symbols, colours and designs. The use of these symbols was not only limited to Europe but also spread to other continents, becoming a hallmark of aristocratic status among many countries and cities across the world.

Famous Coat of Arms and Heraldry Used by Royalty

The British Monarchy

Perhaps one of the most well-known heraldic symbols is the British Royal Coat of Arms. It is made up of several symbols, each with its own significance. The lion and unicorn at the top of the shield, for example, represent England and Scotland, respectively. The three lions passant at the bottom of the shield represent England, while the harp in the centre represents Ireland. The motto "Dieu et mon droit" (God and my right) is also prominently displayed.

Other members of the British royal family also have their own personal coat of arms, which is combined with the Royal Coat of Arms in various ways. For example, Prince William's coat of arms features a red scallop shell, which is a symbol associated with pilgrimage and which is also found on the arms of his mother, Princess Diana. His wife, Kate Middleton, has a coat of arms that features acorns and oak leaves, which represent her hometown of Bucklebury in Berkshire.

The Spanish Monarchy

The coat of arms of the Spanish Royal Family is one of the oldest in Europe. Its origins can be traced back to the twelfth century when King Alfonso VII of León and Castile issued the first Royal Seal. Over time, the coat of arms has evolved, with various monarchs making alterations according to their preference. Today, the Spanish Royal Coat of Arms features a shield with four quarters. The first and fourth quarters contain the arms of Castile, featuring a castle and a lion, while the second and third quarters contain the arms of León, featuring a lion rampant.

The French Monarchy

The French Royal Coat of Arms is also highly recognizable and consists of three golden fleur-de-lis on a blue background. These symbols were originally associated with France's patron saint, Saint Louis, who was also known for his devotion to the Virgin Mary. The design was modified under Napoleon, who added a single eagle and crown above the shield.

The Japanese Monarchy

The coat of arms of the Japanese Royal Family has undergone several changes throughout its history. During the reign of Emperor Meiji in the late nineteenth century, the design of the coat of arms was significantly altered to reflect Japan's modernization efforts. The current version of the coat of arms features a stylized chrysanthemum flower, which has been an important symbol in Japanese culture for centuries. The flower is surrounded by 16 petals and has a red background, which represents the sun and the emperor's status as the son of heaven.

The Thai Monarchy

The Thai Royal Coat of Arms is another example of a heraldic tradition that is unique to its country. The emblem features a stylized Garuda, a mythological bird that is widely regarded as the symbol of Thailand. The emblem also includes the royal cypher, which is formed by the Thai characters for "Phra" and "Maha" (great king), as well as the name of the current king, Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.


Heraldic symbols and coat of arms have been an enduring part of the European and world cultures for centuries, serving as a representation of history, identity, and pride. The use of such symbols has transcended across borders and cultures demonstrating their relevance and importance to nobility and aristocratic families around the world. They serve as a constant reminder of the lineages and traditions that have been passed down from one generation to another.