Special instructions have been received to request that buildings of Her Majesty's Government fly the Union Flag at half-mast on 10 December 2013, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. This is to mark the memorial service of Nelson Mandela, former President of the Republic of South Africa.

Any other UK national flags flown alongside the Union Flag when it is at half-mast should also be at half-mast. If a flag of a foreign nation is normally flown on the same stand as the Union Flag, it should be removed – unless the South African flag is normally flown. If the South African flag is flown, it should be flown at half-mast.

Local authorities are not bound by this request but may wish to follow it for guidance. Devolved administrations are responsible for issuing instructions for the flying of the Union Flag on buildings in their estate and others as necessary.

Learning with regret of the death of Nelson Mandela, former President of the Republic of South Africa on 5 December, special instructions have been received requesting that all Union Flags on buildings of her Majesty's Government be flown at half-mast from 8 a.m. this morning until 8 p.m. this evening, 6 December 2013.

Any other UK national flags flown alongside the Union Flag when it is at half-mast should also be at half-mast. If a flag of a foreign nation is normally flown on the same stand as the Union Flag, it should be removed.

Local authorities are not bound by this request but may wish to follow it for guidance. Devolved administrations are responsible for issuing instructions for the flying of the Union Flag on buildings in their estate and others as necessary.

From the Archives

07 October 2013

Over the years the College has received many donations of manuscripts, photographs and some artefacts from retiring College employees, Officers of Arms, or their families. These will not go on to form part of the College's official records, but are nonetheless worthy of preservation in its archives. Modern computer systems make listing and sorting these items much more straightforward, and this work is currently being undertaken as part of a larger project to address some of the issues around storing an expanding archive in a finite space. Some of the items rediscovered in the course of this work are particularly valuable for those interested in the history of the College in the early twentieth century. For more information about the archives of the College of Arms see here.

 

Artist's work book

Artists work bookThis page of an artist's sketch book dates to 1931 and is an excellent example of the stages through which a design progressed - the initial sketch, another with annotations giving further details to be executed, and the finished item sent to the commissioning Officer for approval. The colours in which the Indian pheasant are depicted are particularly beautiful.

 

Artist's account ledger

Artists accounts ledger

These accounts ledgers show the work of the College from the point of view of the artists who were commissioned to realise the designs devised by Officers of Arms for their clients. This page, from 1922, is headed with the name of the Officer commissioning the work (A G B Russell, who was created Lancaster Herald in the same year) and shows the amount charged for different types of work, and the names of clients for whom the work was intended. On this page these include HRH The Prince of Wales, the Inner Temple, the Borough of Southport, the Duchess of Albany, and Westmoreland County Council.

 

Silver cigarette case belonging to Keith W Murray, Caernarvon Pursuivant of Arms (1860-1922).

Cigarette caseThis silver cigarette case was presented to Keith Murray, Caernarvon Pursuivant, by Sir Alfred Scott-Gatty, Garter King of Arms, in 1910. Rather than having their names inscribed on the case, Scott-Gatty chose to use Murray's crest and motto and Garter's achievement of arms instead.

CambridgeMaritalRevReleased today are the conjugal Arms of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which were approved in February this year by Her Majesty The Queen. Conjugal Arms are those that show the separate shields of a husband and wife, side by side. In this case, the two Shields are the Duke's on the left and the Duchess's on the right with both supported by the Duke of Cambridge's Supporters of the Royal Lion and Unicorn, which is made to look different from The Queen's by adding his white label of three points around their necks with the central point charged with a red escallop shell taken from the Duke of Cambridge's mother's Arms of Spencer.

For the full heraldic story, stretching back to the announcement of the engagement between Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton, see here.

A grant of Arms, Crest and Badge (illustrated left) was made to Heston Marc Blumenthal of Bray in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, OBE, by Letters Patent of Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms dated 18 June 2013. College reference: Grants 177/132. The blazon is:

Arms: Sable issuant in pall three dexter cubit Arms vested Or each charged with a Rose Gules and cuffed Argent the hands appaumy proper between in chief an Apple slipped and leaved and in base two Lyres Or.

Crest: A Duck wings elevated and addorsed Or holding in the dexter foot a Magnifying-glass proper the frame and handle Gules and in the beak three Stems of Lavender flowered proper tied Gules.

Badge: A Duck's Leg erased à la quise Or.Blumenthal005

The design of the Arms and Crest represents the five senses, which the distinguished chef and food scientist Heston Blumenthal considers should all contribute to the enjoyment of food. The hands stand for touch, the apple for taste, the lyre for hearing, the lavender for smell, and the magnifying glass for sight and scientific examination. The duck in the Crest and the duck's foot in the Badge allude to Heston Blumenthal's restaurant The Fat Duck and the three roses recall its three Michelin stars.

John Petrie, Rouge Croix PursuivantBy Letters Patent dated 26 July 2013, Her Majesty the Queen has been pleased to appoint John Michael Allen-Petrie to the office of Rouge Croix Pursuivant of Arms, vacant since the promotion of David Vines White to the office of Somerset Herald in 2004.

John Petrie (right) was born in Canada in 1980 and educated at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris, where he received a master's degree in sciences politiques, and at the London School of Economics, where he received the degree of M.Sc. Before coming to the College of Arms and successfully completing a probationary period in the practice of William Hunt, Windsor Herald of Arms, he worked at the Bank of England in the division regulating the circulation and issuance of bank notes in the United Kingdom.

Following the announcement of the birth of a son to their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, instructions have been received that the buildings of Her Majesty's Government should fly the Union Flag at full mast from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., tomorrow, 23 July 2013.

Local authorities are not bound by this request but may wish to follow it for guidance. Devolved administrations are responsible for issuing instructions for the flying of the Union Flag on buildings in their estate and others as necessary.

Enquiries regarding the flying of flags should be addressed to the Officer in Waiting, College of Arms.

Photograph Album p. 15 photo a compressedPlanning the Coronation: the Coronation ceremony, with other State ceremonials, falls under the jurisdiction of the Earl Marshal, one of the Great Officers of State. The Officers of Arms, or heralds, act as his Staff. They also maintain the official records of coronations, which are held in the archives of the College of Arms. The Coronation service of 1953 was planned and arranged by the Earl Marshal's Office.

On display at the College of Arms are facsimiles of documents in the College archives relating to the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Included are examples of preparations for the ceremony, photographs of the service itself, and subsequent analysis of the proceedings by Garter King of Arms for the use of future generations. Also included are photographs of artefacts owned by the College which were used in the preparation for the service and at the ceremony itself.

Some of these items can also be seen on the College of Arms website: http://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/news-grants/news/item/84-planning-the-coronation

The Coronation ceremony, with other State ceremonials, falls under the jurisdiction of the Earl Marshal, one of the Great Officers of State.

Investiture with the Sword of State

The Officers of Arms, or heralds, act as his Staff. They also maintain the official records of coronations, which are held in the archives of the College of Arms. On this page is a small selection of items in the College archives relating to the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

The image on the right shows the moment after The Queen was handed the Sword of State (the Jewelled Sword of Offering) by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Coronation Chair on which Her Majesty sits was made for Edward I in 1300-1301; its cushion, made for the Coronation of 1953, is one of the treasures of the College of Arms. Close by the throne, Officers of Arms can be seen looking on, wearing their distinctive tabards and white breeches (the only occasion on which white, rather than black, breeches are worn).

Pass to South Choir Gallery front compressedPass to South Choir Gallery reverse compressedAll members of the congregation received an invitation from The Queen, as well as a ticket from the Earl Marshal. The tickets varied in colour depending on where in Westminster Abbey the person was to sit. The reverse provided a plan, with the route to be taken their seat.

Armbands compressed

 

The arm brassards shown on the left were worn during rehearsals by (from top to bottom): Abbey staff; Gold Staff Officers; tailors and technical attendants; doctors and medical attendants.

Gold Staves compressed

The congregation were marshalled and ushered in Westminster Abbey by Gold Staff Officers, and others had related responsibilities. They were marked out by the staves they carried. The Gold Staff Officers' staves were designed by the Goldsmiths' Company, following discussions between the company and the Earl Marshal's Office about aspects of their design and their cost. Shown here are drawings of designs for the staves of the Gold Staff Officers, alongside seven examples of different staves.

 

 

 

 

 

Coronation Book vol 6 compressedThis drawing is one of a whole volume of similar vitally important plans, detailing every stage of the Coronation service. They were drawn up as an aid for those planning the ceremony – the arrows show the movements of key figures at each stage.

You can now follow Peter O'Donoghue, York Herald, on Twitter, where he tweets on College news, heraldry, genealogy, ceremonial, history and other relevant subjects. Please note that his is not a College of Arms account and the views expressed there are not those of the College of Arms.

 

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