Back in October of last year I posted about a Cardinal who was also the King of Portugal. He wasn’t alone in the College of Cardinals. In addition to numerous noblemen there have been other royal Cardinals as well. Below we see two more.
Casimir of Poland who was named a cardinal in 1646 but resigned from the College of Cardinals in 1648 to assume the throne as Jan II Casimir, King of Poland. His arms depict what was then the arms of Poland, namely:
Quarterly 1&4 Gules, an eagle displayed Argent membered and armed Or; 2&3 Gules a knight on horseback (Vytautas) Argent saddled Azure holding a shield Azure charged with a double-barred cross Or. Overall an escutcheon bearing Sweden: A cross patteé throughout Or between 1&4 Azure three crowns Or; 2&3 bendy sinister Argent an Azure overall a lion rampant Or; on an escutcheon in pretense per bend wise Azure, Argent, Gules all charged a Vasa Or.
Next is the possibly familiar arms of Henry Cardinal Stuart, acknowledged by many to be the legitimate heir to the English crown as Henry IX. Henry Benedict Mary Clement Stuart was the Duke of York as well as the Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Portico. He was later made Bishop of Frascati, Bishop of Ostia & Velletri in 1803. He died in 1807 never having taken his rightful place on the throne of Great Britain & Ireland. His arms were the royal arms of the Stuarts, namely:
Quarterly 1&4 Grand Quarters (England & France) 1&4 Azure three fleur-de-lis Or and 2&3 Gules three lions passant guardant Or; 2 (Scotland) Or a lion rampant Gules armed Azure within a double treasure flory counter flory Gules; 3 (Ireland) Azure a harp Or. The arms are supported by the lion of England and the unicorn of Scotland, royal supporters since the time of James I. The arms usually depicts the cadence mark of a silver crescent at the center but this was omitted after he assumed the title Henry IX as Pretender to the throne. This version also include the royal crown rather than a ducal coronet.
(all artwork by the late Michael McCarthy)