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.

 

By decision of the College of Arms all proceeds arising from the sale of The Armorial of Haiti will be donated to the international effort for the relief of Haiti
after the calamitous earthquake of 12 January 2010.

The College of Arms Newsletter is produced every three months and sent automatically and free to those who subscribe. Other benefits for those who submit their names in this way include advance notice of College of Arms events, relevant publications, and media appearances.

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