International Heraldry Day was initiated in 2013 by the International Association of Amateur Heralds. The day was selected as being the day in 1128 on which the 15 year old Geoffrey Plantagenet (1113-1151), later Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy, was knighted in Rouen by King Henry I of England in preparation for Geoffrey’s marriage to the King’s daughter, the Empress Matilda (widow of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V). They were the parents of King Henry II of England (1133-1189), the first of the three Angevin Kings of England.
The day was selected because the chronicler, Jean de Marmentier, records that, on the occasion of his knighthood, the King hung around Geoffrey’s neck a shield painted with gold lions on an Azure ground. This is asserted to be the earliest documented instance of heraldry. Although that distinction has been disputed, it is more certain that around 1155-60 the twice widowed Empress commissioned an enamel plaque for Geoffrey’s tomb which bears the same device.
International Heraldry Day focuses on one day each year when heraldry in all its forms is celebrated worldwide.
Regardless of jurisdiction, geographic area, customs, favored styles, or favored period, the heraldic community focuses on wider enjoyment of heraldry.
This blog and its author support the objectives of International Heraldry Day and invite the reader to take pleasure in the day and in our shared interest in the subject.
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