Friday 8 May will be the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Her Majesty's Government has announced plans to commemorate the anniversary, which are summarized here.  

Instructions have been issued that Government buildings should fly the Union Flag from 0800 hours on Friday 8 May until 2000 hours on Sunday 10 May.

There will also be a two minutes' silence at 1100 on Friday 8 May, and Her Majesty The Queen will send a message to the nation.

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 correct protocols for the flying of Union and other flags should be addressed to the Officer in Waiting at the College of Arms in the first instance.

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

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.

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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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