Arms of Prince Albert Edward

Edward VII

From Encyclopedia of Heraldry by John Burke and John Bernard Burke (1844)

The text gives the blazon as follows: “the Royal Arms, differenced by a label of three points and an escutcheon of pretence, for Saxony, viz. barry of ten, sable and argent, a bend treflé vert.”

I was so distracted by the fuckup on the charge of Saxony last week (seriously, how is that a cross? It’s a bend! It’s obviously a bend!) that I missed the other glaring fuckup in the blazon: sable and argent? It’s or! Saxony has never involved argent at all! Argh. Also worth noting is the escutcheon of pretense; we typically see these in the arms of men married to heiresses, but here, it indicates that Edward is also an heir to Saxony, though as a kingdom, the UK takes precedence over a duchy.

The Burkes, bless their status-obsessed little hearts, very carefully place the at-the-time infant Prince Albert Edward (who will, eventually, become Edward VII) above his father due to his status as heir apparent. Victoria and Albert’s first child, Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa, gets her label placed just below her younger brother and just above her father, as second in line to the throne. Despite the fact that this edition was republished in 1844, it doesn’t look like anyone added the arms (or even the label) of Princess Alice, born 1843. Next week, we’ll take a look at a whole bunch of fancy labels that differentiated all the many princes and princesses of the United Kingdom in 1842.

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Arms of Prince Albert

Prince Albert

From Encyclopedia of Heraldry by John Burke and John Bernard Burke (1844)

The Burkes give the blazon as follows:

“Quarterly, first and fourth, the Royal Arms, differenced by a label of three points, on the center point a cross gules; second and third, barry of ten, sable and argent, a cross treflé vert, for Saxony.

Supporters – Two lions rampant or, crowned proper each charged on the shoulder with a label as in the arms.”

Okay, first off, because I can’t not point it out: the charge of Saxony is not, and never has been a cross treflé (or botony, as I typically prefer.) It’s a ducal coronet (embowed or not might be a point of dispute), but it’s…. definitely not a cross. The arms of Saxony aren’t hard to find, and this is a second edition of the text, and this particular slip-up isn’t mentioned in the errata, AND they blazon it correctly (or anyway, less wrongly) on literally the same page, so I’m gonna have to blame shitty editing here. Like, come on, that is demonstrably not a cross. The artist got it right, at least.

Also, the label is worth a word. English royalty tend to use labels with differences to distinguish between the inevitably numerous heirs to the throne. We’ll see more of this a bit later on, since the Burkes have included depictions of the labels for many of the other members of the royal family. You will probably notice that Albert has a label with a difference (the cross gules) instead of the undifferentiated label of three points. This is due to the fact that, as Prince Consort, he wasn’t actually first in line to the throne. That honor goes to his and Victoria’s eldest son, Albert Edward, whom we’ll look at next week.

Arms of Queen Victoria

Victoria

The Burkes give the royal blazon as follows: 

Arms – Quarterly, first and fourth, gules, three lions passant guardant in pale or, for England; second, or, a lion rampant within a double tressure, flory, counterflory gules for Scotland; azure a harp or, stringed argent for Ireland; all surrounded by the Garter.

Crest – England – Upon the royal helmet, the imperial crown proper thereon a lion statant, guardant or, imperially crowned, also proper.

Supporters – Dexter, a lion rampant guardant or, crowned as the crest. Sinister, an unicorn argent armed, crined, and ungled or, gorged with a coronet composed of crosses pattée and fleurs-de-lis, a chain affixed thereto, passing between the forelegs, and reflexed over the back, also or.

Crest – Scotland – On an imperial crown proper a lion sejant affrontée gules imperially crowned or, holding in the dexter paw a sword, and in the sinister a sceptre erect, also proper.

Crest – Ireland – On a wreath, or and azure a castle, triple-towered, gold, a hart argent springing from the gate.

I’ve written out the abbreviations used – gu. into gules, pass. into passant, etc. but everything else is copied directly. I can’t quibble with the actual content of the blazon, although I would use a lot fewer commas. I’m also not sure why they give the blazons for the crests of Scotland and Ireland, but good to know, I guess.

The depictions of the royal arms are excellent examples of nineteenth-century heraldic art; whatever else I can say about the Burkes, they got some pretty good and period-typical heraldic artists. I’m planning on posting the rest of the complete achievements given for the royal family, as well as some of the labels, and possibly a few of the simple arms given for former monarchs.

Arms of Birmingham, England

Birmingham

Granted 1977

Blazon: Per quarterly I and IV azure a bend of five lozenges conjoined or, II and III per pale indented or and gules, overall on a cross ermine a mitre proper

Crest: On a wreath or and azure issuant from a mural crown or charged with a Tudor rose a dexter arm embowed holding a hammer all proper

Supporters: On the dexter a figure representing Art proper vested argent wreathed with laurel vert tied by a riband gules, holding in the sinister hand resting on the shield a book bound of the last and in the dexter a palette with two brushes proper; on the sinister a figure representing Industry habited as a smith, holding in the dexter hand resting on the shield a cupel and in the sinister a hammer resting on an anvil all proper

Mantling: Azure lined or

Motto: Forward

Both coats quartered here were used by the de Bermingham family at various points in time. The family also quartered the coats, but in opposite quarters; the city changed the order for difference. The city was previously granted arms in 1889, which used a fess ermine instead of a cross, and a mural crown instead of a mitre. The supporters in the previous arms were also reversed, with Industry on the dexter and Art on the sinister.

Arms of the borough of Amber Valley

Amber Valley

Derbyshire, England

Granted 1989

Blazon: Vert a pale wavy or within a bordure argent charged with five horseshoes sable, on a chief of the second between two lozenges a cresset sable fired proper

Crest: On a wreath of the colors the battlements of a tower proper issuant therefrom between two croizers or an oak tree also proper fructed and ensigned by a crown of fleurs-de-lis of the first

Supporters: On the dexter a unicorn argent armed and crined or gorged with a collar pendant therefrom a cross flory gules; on the sinister a leopard proper gorged with a collar gules pendant therefrom a fleur-de-lis or

Mantling: Vert lined or

Motto: Per laborem progredimur (By hard work we progress)

The pale wavy evidently represents the river Amber, while the lozenges and cresset symbolize the coal and iron industries. The horseshoes on the bordure are taken from (one of the versions of) the arms of the Ferrers family.

Arms of Staffordshire County, England

Staffordshire

Granted 1931

Blazon: Or on a chevron gules a Stafford knot of the first, on a chief azure a lion passant guardant of the field

Crest: Issuant from a mural crown proper a Stafford knot or

Supporters: On the dexter a lion reguardant gules ducally crowned or and on the sinister a griffin reguardant of the second

Mantling: Gules lined or

Motto: The knot unites

While the knot is the most common symbol of the Stafford family (who bear or a chevron gules), the lion and griffin are also Stafford badges.

Arms of Derbyshire County, England

Derbyshire

Granted 1937

Blazon: Or a rose gules surmounted by another argent, both barbed and seeded proper, on a chief sable three stags’ heads caboshed of the third

Crest: Issuant from a mural crown or a dragon wings elevated and addorsed sable holding in the dexter claw a pick of the first and collared argent

Supporters: On the dexter a stag and on the sinister a ram, both proper and gorged with a chain or pendant therefrom a rose gules surmounted by another argent, barbed and seeded also proper

Mantling: Gules lined or

Motto: Bene consulendo (By good counsel)

The double rose is referred to as the Tudor rose; Henry VII adopted it as a badge to symbolize the union of the houses of Lancaster (whose symbol was a red rose) and York (the white rose). The county previously used the Tudor rose as an unofficial device. The stag refers to the first local fort built by Danish invaders, which was named Derby after the number of deer in the region, and eventually gave its name to the county.