Monthly Archives: April 2023

Crown of Lord Lyon

It was very interesting to read in the Times that Lord Lyon King-of-Arms, the senior heraldic officer in Scotland will not only take part in King Charles’ coronation on May 6 but will do so wearing the crown that had been commissioned and obtained by the Heraldry Society of Scotland back in the early 2000s. The arches on the crown, which are removable, will be removed for the coronation so it won’t too closely resemble the crown with which the King shall be crowned.

The expensive item and the trouble that went into commissioning and fabricating it was one of the reasons that, despite the Peers not being allowed to wear their coronets at the upcoming, more modernized, ceremony Lord Lyon–and indeed the other three English Kings-of-Arms–will be wearing their crowns. The coronation of the Sovereign is one of the only occasions on which these crowns are traditionally worn.

Queen Camilla Gets a New Coat of Arms

On February 21, HM King Charles III granted new arms to Her Majesty Queen Camilla. This is the first grant of arms made by the King and they replace the arms previously granted buy the late Queen Elizabeth on July 14, 2005. The arms granted are:

Within the Garter Our Royal Arms impaling the Arms of Shand surmounted by Our Crown.”

The Supporters are a Lion Guardant Or Crowned proper (dexter) and to the sinister a Boar Azure armed and unguled Or langued Gules and gorged with a Coronet composed of Crosses formy and Fleurs-de-lys attached thereto a Chain reflexed over the back and ending in a Ring all Or (sinister).

Anniversary for Norroy & Ulster

This month marks the 80th anniversary of the office of Norroy and Ulster King of Arms. The office of Ulster King of Arms was created by King Edward VI on February 2,  1552, and for its first 36 years, appears to have been regarded as attached to the College of Arms; the two Ulsters in this period, Bartholomew Butler and Nicholas Narboon, had both been English Heralds before their appointment as Ulster. After the resignation of Narboon in 1588, subsequent Ulsters acted independently from the English College. On  January 30, 1908, King Edward VII appointed Captain Nevile Rodwell Wilkinson King of Arms and Principal Herald of all that part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland called Ireland, with the title of Ulster. Wilkinson exercised this office, based in Dublin Castle, through a period of great political turmoil in Ireland until his death on December 22, 1940. The political circumstances in Ireland at this time led to the decision to return the office of Ulster to the College of Arms in London, with responsibility for Northern Ireland alone, and united with the office of Norroy.

On  January 29, 1931, King George V had appointed Algar Henry Stafford Howard, M.C., as King of Arms and Principal Herald of the North Part of England, with the title of Norroy. Howard still held this office on April 1, 1943, when King George VI additionally appointed him King of Arms and Principal Herald of that part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland called Northern Ireland, without prejudice to his existing appointment as Norroy and with the title of Ulster to be borne after that of Norroy. Howard held these joint offices until his promotion to Garter the next year, and on June 2, 1944, King George VI appointed Sir Gerald Woods Wollaston, K.C.B, K.C.V.O., King of Arms and Principal Herald of the North Part of England and of Northern Ireland, with the title of Norroy and Ulster, which has remained the form of the office to this day. The present Norroy and Ulster, Robert John Baptist Noel, was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II on April 6, 2021. He proclaimed the accession of His Majesty The King at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland on September 10, 2022, the first time Ulster had performed such a duty in Ireland since the proclamation of King George V in Dublin on May 9, 1910.

Between 1943 and 1980, holders of the office of Norroy and Ulster used the arms of office of one of the two offices, or both arms impaled on one shield. In 1980, Queen Elizabeth II approved new arms for the joint office. These are: Quarterly Argent and Or a Cross Gules on a Chief per pale Azure and Gules a Lion passant guardant crowned between a Fleur-de-lis and a Harp Or. Norroy and Ulster King of Arms is also ex officio King of Arms, Knight Attendant, Registrar, and Keeper of the Records of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, offices which are purely nominal since the death of the last Knight of the order.

Text taken from the College of Arms Newsletter, No. 71 April, 2023

Archbishop Jackels of Dubuque Retires

On April 4, the Holy Father accepted the resignation due to health reasons of the Most Rev. Michael Jackels, (68) Archbishop of Dubuque Iowa. His personal arms reflect his baptismal patron, St. Michael the archangel, combined with the unicorn from his paternal family’s coat of arms. When he first became a bishop his assumed arms impaled these two elements which was an odd choice. When he was translated to Dubuque he impaled his arms with those of the archdiocese and marshaled the other two elements in a manner that worked out to be aesthetically pleasing.