We regret to announce that due to the public health situation the College of Arms is closed to members of the public until further notice. Enquiries may continue to be made by telephone on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on 020 7248 2762, by email addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through the form on this website at https://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/contact-us.

Please be aware that we are not able to guarantee a speedy response at this time but all enquiries will receive a considered reply in due course.

Further information and changes to this decision will be published here.



We regret to announce that due to the public health situation the College of Arms has decided to suspend the recruitment of a new Probationary Officer of Arms until further notice.


The College of Arms is the official heraldic authority for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and most of the Commonwealth realms. It is responsible for the granting of new coats of arms and the recording of pedigrees. The College also maintains official registers of arms and pedigrees. The officers of arms, in addition to their ceremonial duties, advise on matters relating to dignities, honours, precedence and official symbols, and undertake genealogical, historical and other research.

The College consists of up to thirteen officers of arms, also known as heralds, individually appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the Earl Marshal. 

College of Arms Joel 2 jpeg cropped compressedThe College of Arms in winter: this image of the main entrance of the College was taken by photographer and illustrator Humphrey Joel, probably during the notably cold winter of 1928-1929. The cars in the courtyard no doubt belonged to Officers of Arms; both bear London registration numbers.

College of Arms Joel 7 jpeg cropped compressedJoel also created some striking images of the interiors of the College which are preserved in the archives. This image shows the Waiting Room, where enquirers are received. This interior remains much the same today. The Arms of Sir Henry Farnham Burke, Garter King of Arms, can be seen above the doorway into the Record Room, with those of Sir Gerald Wollaston, Norroy and Ulster, and Sir Arthur Cochrane, Clarenceux, to either side.

Kerr Philip compressed and croppedThe White Lion Society has generously given the College of Arms a portrait of Philip Walter Kerr MVO FSA (1886-1941), who became Rouge Croix Pursuivant in 1928. The fourth son of Admiral Lord Walter Talbot Kerr, he was educated at the Oratory School, Edgbaston, and Pembroke College, Cambridge. After serving in the army in the First World War and in the Egyptian Civil Service from 1919-24, he died on active service as a Pilot-Officer (Intelligence) RAF at Shallufa in Egypt during the Second World War. He is dressed for the coronation of King George VI in 1937, in his tabard, and holding his staff ensigned with the Badge of Rouge Croix.

The artist was Charles Louis Geoffroy-Dechaume (1877-1944), a French Anglophile who can be identified from his monogram on the portrait. He lived in Sussex prior to 1914 but returned to France at the outbreak of the First World War and served in the 275th Regiment of Infantry, losing his left leg in 1914. He spent the Second World War at his house at Valmondois, north of Paris, where he was involved in the Resistance. His daughter Marie-France was also active, helping from 1941 to 1943 to rescue Allied pilots who had been shot down over France.

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