Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Stuart Royal Arms

It's not at all unusual for cathedrals and even churches in England to have a display in one form or another of the Royal coat (or achievement) of arms.

This carved wooden one in Canterbury Cathedral is one of the better ones I have seen.

It is, of course, the full achievement - that is, with the coat of arms, the Garter surrounding the arms, helm, crown, crest, mantling, and the lion and unicorn supporters, with the motto Dieu et mon droit (God and my will) below the shield - of the Royal Arms as used by the Stuart kings of England, 1603-1649 and 1660-1689. (The gap in their use being filled by the arms of the Commonwealth and the Protectorate.)

This is a beautifully carved display of royal heraldry; please feel free to click on the image above to see a larger and more detailed version.

I don't know the details of this carving; I assume that it would have been done following the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660. I just can't see that Cromwell and the Parliamentarians would have allowed it to remain.

Still, it's there now, and is a lovely sight to see.

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