Monday, September 20, 2021

Some Armorial Plaques with WWII Connections


Continuing our look at some of the armorial plaques of members of the Order of the Elephant in the upper level of the chapel at Frederiksborg Castle, we come now to a few members who played large roles in the World War II.

Because these people are so very well-known, I am going to assume here that I don't really have to tell you who they are, beyond noting their names.

Even though the pictures here are of individual plaques, please feel free to click on an image to see a larger, more detailed photograph.


First, and likely the most well-known, we have the arms of Winston S. Churchill, Prime Minister of England during the war. He became a member of the Order of the Elephant in 1950.


Next, we have another Briton, Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein. His title as Viscount comes from his victory in the battle in North Africa, the second battle of El Alamein, Egypt, where Montgomery and the British 8th Army pushed back German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and the Afrika Korps, eventually leading to the defeat and surrender of Axis forced in North Africa in May 1943. Montgomery was made a member of the Order in 1945.


And finally, we have the plaque of General Charles de Gaulle, one of the leaders of the Free French forces in WWII, and President of the French Republic (1959-1960). He was created a member of the Order in 1965.

The arms are not personal arms, but consist of the French tricolor (blue, white and red) on a shield, charged in the center with the cross of Lorraine, a widely-used symbol of French resistance to the Nazi occupation during the war.

Yes, I know that I've left out one other famous WWII general who was created a member of the Order of the Elephant from the august company here. I didn't forget him; we'll take a more detailed look at his plaque, and some of the background  to it, in our next post. See you then!


Thursday, September 16, 2021

More Foreign Recipients of the Order of the Elephant


Then we came to this window bay in Frederiksborg Castle, with armorial plaques from a number of foreign (that is, not Danish) recipients of the Order of the Elephant.



I'm not going to highlight all of the plaques in this bay besides the three below, but if you look carefully (and, of course, you can always click on an image to see a larger, more detailed photo), you can see the arms of France, Great Britain, Norway, and The Netherlands amongst them.


The first of the three plaques I will highlight from this bay is that of Henry William Frederick Albert, Duke of Gloucester (1900-1974). He was the third son and fourth child of King George V and Queen Mary. He served as Governor-General of Australia from 1945 to 1947, the only member of the British royal family to hold the post. (He was created a member of the Order of the Elephant in 1924.)


Next are the arms of Albert Frederick Arthur George (1895-1952), Duke of York, later King George VI (1936-1952). He was the second son of King George V and Queen Mary, and also the subject of movie The King’s Speech. He was created a member of the Order in 1920.


Finally, we come to the "arms" of Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), President of the Republic of South Africa (1994-1999). He was created a member of the Order in 1996. The shield is not his arms, per se, but rather the flag of the Republic of South Africa, displayed on a shield shape.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Some Members of the Danish Royal Household and Their Spouses


Now we come to the armorial plaques of some members of the royal family of Denmark, and their spouses.


The arms on the plaque above are, obviously, the arms of the King (or Queen) of Denmark, though with no date on the plaque, I can't tell you just offhand which one. Note, however, that the shield is surrounded with the sashes and collars of both Order of the Elephant and the Order of the Dannebrog.

(Maybe Mel Brooks, in his History of the World, Part 1, was right: "It's good to be the king!")


Here we find the armorial plaque of His Royal Highness Prince Henrik of Denmark (born Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat) (1934-2018). He was the husband of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. He served as her royal consort from her accession on January 14, 1972 until his death in 2018. He was created a member of the Order in 1967, the year he married heir presumptive Princess Margrethe.


Here, on his own plaque, we have the arms of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, Count of Monpezat.


And here, displayed with the arms of his wife, we find the arms of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, Count of Monpezat, and Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat, R.E. She was born Mary Elizabeth Donaldson. Because Frederik is the heir apparent to the throne of Denmark, when he succeeds she will automatically become Queen Consort of Denmark.

The gold field with the eagle gules and ship (specifically, a lymphad) sable (though it appears they gave the eagle a second head) both symbolize her Scottish ancestry from the clan MacDonald is set on a field of gold. The chief of the shield is azure and shows two gold Commonwealth (seven pointed) stars from the coat of arms of Australia, and a golden rose in between.

The MacDonald arms (without the charged chief) can be seen on the tabard of the Finlaggan Pursuivant (in the center of the picture below, taken when Adam Bruce was Finlaggan).


The office of Finlaggan Pursuivant is currently held by Thomas Miers, who was appointed at a ceremony in Edinburgh in July 2009. Miers succeeded the Hon. Adam Robert Bruce following his appointment as Unicorn Pursuivant at the Court of the Lord Lyon King of Arms of Scotland. Bruce was appointed by Godfrey James Macdonald, 8th Baron Macdonald of Slate, Chief of the Name and Arms of Macdonald and High Chief of Clan Donald. This post was revived in 2005, after 510 years, in a ceremony attended by Ross Herald of Arms in Ordinary from the Court of the Lord Lyon and the four MacDonald chiefs.


Next, we come to the arms of Prince Joachim of Denmark, Count of Monpezat. Joachim is the younger brother of Crown Prince Frederik. (The title Count of Monpezat descends to all male descendants of their father, H.R.H. Prince Henrik (above).)


And here are the arms of Prince Joachim of Denmark, Count of Monpezat, and Princess Marie. Her arms were granted in 2010. A horseman, representing her maiden name Cavallier (meaning knight or horseman) is depicted in blue on a silver shield. The secondary charges are a combination of the Danish and French national symbols; a heart and a fleur de lys. Three red hearts (symbolizing Denmark) are cut with the fleur-de-lis (symbolizing France).


And finally, we have their two plaques, side-by-side.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

More 19th Century Members of the Order of the Elephant


This next selection of armorial plaques of members of the Order of the Elephant in Frederiksborg Castle brings us a wider variety of nationalities.

As ever, and especially for any plaques which may be dark and harder to see, please click on an image to go to a larger, more detailed (and often more visible) photograph.


First, we have the armorial plaque of Karl Robert Reichsgraf von Nesselrode-Ehreshoven, more commonly known as Charles de Nesselrode (1780- 1862) (created a member of the Order in 1819). He was a Russian German diplomat. For forty years (1816-1856) Nesselrode as Foreign Minister guided Russian policy; he was a leading European conservative statesman of the Holy Alliance.


Here, on the left we have the arms of Ludwig I or Louis I (1786-1868), king of Bavaria from 1825 until the 1848 revolutions in the German states. (He was created a member of the Order in 1825.)

On the right, we see the arms of Ferdinand Charles (Ferdinando Carlo), Crown Prince of Naples and Sicily ("the Two Sicilies"), created a member of the Order in 1829. He later ruled as Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies.


Next, we have the arms of Ferdinand I (1793-1875), the Emperor of Austria from March 1835 until his abdication in December 1848. As ruler of Austria, he was also President of the German Confederation, King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia (as Ferdinand V), King of Lombardy–Venetia and holder of many other lesser titles. (created a member of the Order in 1831)


Then we come to the arms of Albert Edward, Prince of Great Britain (1841-1910), later King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India from 1901 until his death in 1910. (He was created a member of the Order in 1863.)


Next we we find Prince Alexander Mikhailovich Gorchakov (1798-1883), a Russian diplomat and statesman from the Gorchakov princely family. He has an enduring reputation as one of the most influential and respected diplomats of the mid-19th century. As Foreign Minister of the Russian Empire, he was preceded by Karl Nesselrode, above. (He was created a member of the Order of the Elephant in 1857).


And finally (well, for today, anyway), we have the quarterly arms of Édouard Drouyn de Lhuys (1805-1881), a French diplomat. (He was created a member of the Order in 1856.) An ambassador to the Netherlands and Spain, he served four times as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1848–1849, 1851, 1852–1855, and 1862–1866). He was the first Foreign Minister of the (French) Second Empire.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Some 18th and 19th Century Members of the Order of the Elephant


Continuing our look at some of the shields of members of the Order of the Elephant in Frederiksborg Castle, here are some more dating to the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Again, I'm not going to blazon many of these multi-quartered coats of arms. You may, however, click on any of these images to see a larger, more detailed photograph of these arms, and you can also see detailed paintings of these arms in the Arms Books of the Order of the Elephant, which can be found on-line at https://www.kongehuset.dk/vaabenboeger

So today, we have for you:


On the left: Frederick William George Adolphus, Landgrave of Hesse (1820-1884), created a member of the Order in 1840. He was born in Copenhagen, and moved with his family to Denmark at the age of three, where he grew up. In 1843 he was third in line for the Danish throne after the King's son and brother, Prince Ferdinand, his mother being Princess Louise Charlotte of Denmark (1789–1864), the daughter of Hereditary Prince Frederick of Denmark and Norway (1753–1805). His arms have only nine quarters!

On the right, we find: Leopold IV Frederick, Duke of Anhalt (1794–1871, ruled 1817-1871) (created a member of the Order in 1840). His arms contain eleven quarters and an inescutcheon.


Now we come to the arms of Frederik Wilhelm Ludwig (which in truth ought to be Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig), Prince of Borussum (Prussia) (lived 1797-1888; created a member of the Order in 1841). He became King of Prussia in 1861, and German Emperor in 1871. His arms, like those of Frederik Wilhelm IV, his father, who plaque we saw in our last post, also say “Look at all the stuff I own!”, with 48 quarters, plus four (count ‘em, four!) inescutcheons.


On the left, we find the arms of Louis, Prince of Nassau-Saarbrücken (1745-1794; created a member of the Order in 1769). Quarterly of seven and an inescutcheon

To the right, the arms of Wilhelm, Landgrave of Hesse (William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, ruled 1785-1821) (created a member of the Order in 1810). His mother was Princess Mary of Great Britain, the daughter of George II. In 1764, William married his first cousin, Wilhelmina Caroline of Denmark and Norway (1747–1820). William's younger brother Charles in 1766 married another of their Danish first cousins, Princess Louise of Denmark. His son and successor, William II, Elector of Hesse, became a member of the Order of the Elephant following his father's death in 1821. The arms are quarterly of seven, the sixth quarter being quartered with an inescutcheon, plus inescutcheon overall.


And here we have the arms of Hieronymus Napoleon, King of Westphalia (created a member of the Order in 1811). Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte (born Girolamo Buonaparte; 1784–1860) was the youngest brother of Napoleon I and reigned as Jerome Napoleon I (formally Hieronymus Napoleon in German), King of Westphalia, between 1807 and 1813. His arms are quarterly of four, with two of them being grand quarters (that is, each quarter is also quartered), one with an inescutcheon, and an inescutcheon of Bonaparte (Azure an eagle displayed standing atop a thunderbolt fesswise all or) overall.


In this picture, on the left we have the plaque of Clemens Wenceslaus Nepomucimis Lothar, Prince Metternich-Winneburg-Ochsenhausen (Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar, Prince of Metternich-Winneburg zu Beilstein) (1773-1859), created a member of the Order in 1814. He was the Austrian Empire's foreign minister from 1809 and Chancellor from 1821-1848. His arms are uarterly of four with two other arms as a pale with an inescutcheon crowned.

And finally, on the right, the arms Friedrich Wilhelm Karl (1781–1864), King of Württemberg from 1816-1864 (created a member of the Order in 1817). Once again, arms that say "look at all the stuff I own," including a crowned inescutcheon. If you look carefully, you may recognize some of the quarters from photographs of the arms of Württemberg that we reviewed some time back.


Thursday, September 2, 2021

And Now: Armorial Plaques of Members of the Order of the Elephant


Today is our first post in a new month, and we're going to celebrate by continuing our trip around the upper level of the chapel in Frederiksborg Castle, and start reviewing some of the armorial plaques of members of the Order of the Elephant.

To begin, here's a view across the chapel from the Order of the Dannebrog aisle to the Order of the Elephant aisle.


If you look carefully, you may recognize some of the arms there. We'll be seeing more of them more closely in a little while.

But for now, a note:

I am not blazoning many of the multi-quartered coats of arms in the first several posts of these armorial plaques. If you wish to see painted versions of these arms, particularly of some of the older ones, I recommend that you consult the Arms Books of the Order of the Elephant, which have been digitized and can be found on-line at https://www.kongehuset.dk/vaabenboeger

And the usual note that you can click on any of these images to see a larger, more detailed photograph of these plaques.

The arms in each of these plaques are surrounded by the light blue sash of the Order, itself charged with the collar of the Order done in relief.


On the left, we have: Alexander Nicolaievich, Grand Duke of Russia (1818-1881; created a member of the Order in 1834). He later became Tsar Alexander II of Russia, 1855-1881). The shield is the arms of Russia (which are also the arms of Moscow) on the breast of a double-headed eagle.

To the right, we find the arms of Joseph Francis Oscar Bernadotte, Hereditary (Crown) Prince of Sweden and Norway (created a member of the Order in 1835). He later became King Oscar I of Sweden and Norway 1844-1859. The arms are Quarterly per saltire and have the inescutcheon of the impaled arms of Vasa and Bernadotte.


This plaque is that of Bernhard [II] Erik Freund, Duke of Sachsen-Meiningen (d. 1882; created a member of the Order in 1838). The shield is one of those lovely German multiply-quartered shields that says, “This is everything, and I do mean everything, I own.”


Here on the left we have: Georg Friedrich Charles Joseph, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1779-1860; reigned 1816-1860) (created a member of the Order in 1838). One of his daughters, Caroline Mariane (1821-1876) in 1841 became the second wife of the future King Christian VIII of Denmark. Here again, we find a multiply quartered field of the territories rules by the Grand Duke.

And on the right: Friedrich Wilhelm, Hereditary (Crown) Prince of Borussorum (Prussia) (created a member of the Order in 1840). He later became  Friedrich Wilhelm IV, King of Prussia 1840-1861. Again, “Look at all the stuff I own!”, including four (count ‘em, four!) inescutcheons.


And for our final entry today, we have Adolf Wilhelm Charles August Karl Friedrich, Duke of Nassau-Weilburg-Usingen (1817-1905; created a member of the Order in 1840). His arms consist of sixteen quarters and an inescutcheon!

Monday, August 30, 2021

(At Long Last!) The Final Armorial Plaques of the Order of the Dannebrog


I know you think it's been a long time coming, but today we have the final pictures of armorial plaques of members of the Order of the Dannebrog. (But never fear! We aren't done with the heraldry in Frederiksborg Castle yet. Next time we're going to start on the other aisle on this floor of the Chapel, the one displaying the armorial plaques of the members of the Order of the Elephant.)

But for today, these are the plaques on the other side of the window alcove from the ones we looked at in our last post, all inducted in 1959 and 1960.


Once again, you can click on an image to see a larger, more detailed picture. And, as always, the blazons offered here are my own.

Starting at the top left, and then going from left to right, and then down, we have the armorial plaques of:

Kristjan Johannes Jensen (1890-1961, inducted in 1960), Director General of the Danish postal service: Gules an arrow palewise point to chief argent overall a hunting horn or.


Erik Dreyer (inducted in 1960): Per pale gules and or a chevron counterchanged in dexter chief an escallop argent. A Google search for Erik Dreyer came up with way too many people who could not be or have been this Erik Dreyer.


Michael Nicolai Neiiendam (1895-1962, inducted in 1960), Danish theologian: Argent on a gabled house gules atop a foundation argent masoned sable issuant from a base wavy azure, an owl displayed or grasping in its talons an open scroll argent with a seal pendent therefrom or.


Hans Fuglsang-Damgaard (1890-1979, inducted in 1960), bishop of the diocese of Copenhagen: Azure in pale a mullet of four greater and four lesser points or and an hourglass argent, the lower half of the mullet between two Luther roses argent, heart gules and Latin cross sable.


Erhard Jorgen Carl Qvistgaard (1898-1980, inducted in 1960), Danish admiral, first Danish Chief of Defense: Per saltire gules, argent, argent and sable, in chief a crane in its vigilance argent, in dexter flank an arm in armor brandishing a sword sable, in sinister flank a scythe and a spade in saltire sable handled gules, and in base three bees(?) fesswise one and two or.


Anker Dolleris Engelund (1889-1961, inducted in 1959), civil engineer and university professor: Azure a bridge of one and two-half arches issuant from a base wavy of four traits wavy argent and azure in chief two mullets of six points or.


Johannes Frandsen (1891-1968, inducted in 1959), Medical Director, National Board of Health’s medical council, member of Parliament, President of the Danish Red Cross: Per chevron grady azure and argent in base a rooster azure combed and wattled gules beaked and legged or.


Rudolf Lassen (1882-1973, inducted in 1959), Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and The Ministry of Social Affairs: Azure a sword palewise proper between two roses in fess all between seven mullets of six points, one, two, and four or.


Next time, the Order of the Elephant!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

More Heraldry from the 1950s


Not all of the members who received the Order of the Dannebrog were Danish. In this window alcove, three of the eight shields are for inductees from the Kingdom of Thailand.

Here's an overview of this side of the alcove, following which we'll take a detailed look at the individual plaques.


As always, the blazons offered here are my own.

Starting at the upper left, and then moving left to right and then down, we have the arms (or in some instances, the pseudo-heraldry) of:

Johan Vilhelm Filip Vest (1893-1966, inducted in 1959), Danish naval officer, court marshal and chamberlain: Gules an anchor bendwise sinister argent surmounted by a baton bendwise sable garnished and tipped or. (or, Gules in saltire an anchor argent and a baton sable garnished and tipped or.)



Johan Otto Söderhjelm (1898-1985, inducted in 1958), Finnish lawyer, RKP politician and multiple minister: Per pale: Or a griffin segreant gules, and Azure a pentagonal bastion between in pale two mullets argent.


Prince Galavarnadis Diskul, Commodore (later Vice-Admiral), Royal Thai Navy (inducted in 1958) A non-heraldic design of a Thai god or warrior kneeling.


Thanom Kittikachorn (1911-2004, inducted in 1958), Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, Thai Prime Minister: A quasi-heraldic design, Or (two letters in Thai abugida [script] azure.


Phya Manava Raja Sevi (1890-1984, inducted in 1958), Thai legal officer: a non-heraldic design of a Thai god, I presume.


Otto Irminger Kaarsberg (1894-1979, inducted in 1958), President of the Supreme Court: Azure a cross couped and a trimount issuant from base argent. An outstanding example of simple heraldry!


William Borberg (1885-1958, inducted in 1956), diplomat and Ambassador to the United Nations: Gules within a star of David or on a hurt [a roundel azure] a cross arrondy and a bordure or.


Erik Christopher Voldemar Møller (1896-1972, inducted in 1957), Chief of the Army: Gules on a pale argent between two millrinds or a cannon barrel azure.