Due to the current pandemic, we regret that the College of Arms is closed to visits by members of the public. All the work of the College continues. Enquiries may be made by telephone on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on (+44) 207 248 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 here.

There may be a delayed response at this time but all enquires will receive a considered reply in due course.

Future alterations to these arrangements will be published here.

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.

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.

Parliament Rolls

17 October 2019

The College of Arms holds four painted Parliament Rolls, each showing the lords spiritual and temporal who attended specific Parliaments in the reign of Henry VIII, with their shields of arms in colour. The Rolls show the order of precedence in which the lords sat, those with the most important positions sitting nearest the King. Three documents are in the form of long vellum rolled manuscripts; the fourth is in a bound volume. Other similar but less elaborate documents held at the College also feature in this exhibition.

1. NumSch 06 40Top portion of the Parliament Roll recording those who attended the Parliament held in the 31st year of the reign of Henry VIII, 1539. Depicted are the arms of Thomas (Cromwell), Earl of Essex, ‘Vicegerent of the Spirituality’; Thomas (Audley), Baron Audley of Walden, Lord Chancellor; Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury; Thomas (Howard), Duke of Norfolk and Lord Treasurer. Thomas Howard was also Earl Marshal, a role which involves oversight of the College of Arms. College of Arms Ms Num Sch 6/40

Moon J F compressedA grant of Arms and Crest was made to Jonathan Frederick MOON of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, by Letters Patent of Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms dated 29 April 2019. College reference: Grants 182/77. The blazon reads as follows:

Arms:  Azure on a Pall reversed between in chief on the dexter an Increscent and on the sinister a Decrescent Or a Quill palewise Gules.

Crest: Upon a Helm with a Wreath Or and Azure a demi Chinese Dragon Gules holding between the forefeet a Fleur de Lys Or. 

Windsor Herald

13 July 2019

By Letters Patent under the Great Seal dated 5 July 2019, Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to appoint John Michael Allen-Petrie, Rouge Croix Pursuivant of Arms, to the Office of Windsor Herald of Arms, vacant by the retirement of William George Hunt, Esquire, T.D.

HRH Prince Charles was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester by Letters Patent dated 26 July 1958. Building on the ancient tradition of bestowing this title on the eldest son and heir apparent of the Sovereign, and following the precedent set by the future Edward VIII, who was formally recognised or invested as Prince of Wales at a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle in 1911, it was decided that Prince Charles should be formally invested in a ceremony there. He would be invested by The Queen with the sword, coronet, ring, rod and mantle, whilst the Letters Patent of his creation were read in Welsh; and would then take his oath as Her Majesty’s liege man.

The Investiture of the Prince of Wales took place at Caernarfon Castle on 1 July 1969. Some footage of the ceremony may be seen here.  The ceremony was arranged by the Earl Marshal, Duke of Norfolk, with the Officers of Arms acting as his staff officers. What follows is an exhibition of some of the records of this work, which are held in the archives of the College of Arms.

1Personal flag granted to the Prince of Wales to be used in Wales. Granted by Royal Warrant, 21 May 1968. College of Arms Ms I. 83 p. 161 

Her Majesty's Government has instructed that to mark Armed Forces Week, Government buildings are encouraged to fly the Armed Forces Flag from Monday 24 June until Saturday 29 June 2016 inclusive. If flying alongside a national flag, the national flag should be in the senior position.

All Whitehall Government Buildings are also encouraged to fly the Rainbow Flag from Monday 1 July until Saturday 6 July inclusive to mark London Pride. If flying alongside a national flag, please ensure the national flag is in the senior position.

Local authorities are not bound by these instructions but may wish to follow them 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.

For information about Armed Forces Day flags and issues relating to the flying of flags more generally, please contact the Officer in Waiting at the College of Arms.

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