Cadency labels of the British royal family

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 Label and charges

Lambel.svg

Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Imperial Crown Heraldry.svg Tudor Rose.svg
 Heart*.svg Anchor (blue).svg Scottish Thistle (Heraldry).svg

 Fleur de lys (azure).svg Escallop (red).svg Shamrock of Ireland (Heraldry).svg

Heraldic labels are used to differentiate the personal coats of arms of members of the royal family of the United Kingdom from that of the monarch and from each other. In the Gallo-British heraldic tradition, cadency marks have been available to "difference" the arms of a son from those of his father, and the arms of brothers from each other, and traditionally this was often done when it was considered important for each man to have a distinctive individual coat of arms and/or to differentiate the arms of the head of a house from junior members of the family. This was especially important in the case of arms of sovereignty: to use the undifferenced arms of a kingdom is to assert a claim to the throne. Therefore, in the English royal family, cadency marks were used from the time of Henry III, typically a label or bordure alluding to the arms of the bearer's mother or wife. After about 1340, when Edward III made a claim to the throne of France, a blue label did not contrast sufficiently with the blue field of the French quarter of the royal arms; accordingly most royal cadets used labels argent: that of the heir apparent was plain, and all others were charged.[1] Bordures of various tinctures continued to be used into the 15th century.

The label[edit]

Main article: Label (heraldry)

In the ordinary system of differences a label of three points (which has also been termed a label with three files) is the distinction of the eldest son during the lifetime of his father. In the oldest rolls of arms the labels are all of five points; but labels of three points were at an early period used interchangeably. Besides being used as mere temporary marks of cadency, labels are also employed as permanent distinctions, borne (like any other charge) by every member of some particular branches of certain families. Labels are the principal cadency marks used in certain royal families. In the British royal family, all labels are argent (white). The sons and daughters of the sovereign all bear labels of three points argent; that of the Prince of Wales is plain, but all others are charged. Further descendants of princes bear labels of five points charged. All such differences should be borne on the arms, crest, and supporters.

The charge[edit]

Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg

Red Cross
Tudor Rose.svg

Rose
Heart*.svg

Heart
Fleur de lys (azure).svg
Fleur-de-lis
blue
Anchor (blue).svg

Anchor
Scottish Thistle (Heraldry).svg

Thistle
Shamrock of Ireland (Heraldry).svg

Trefoil
Heraldique lion passant fin méd.svg

Red Lion
Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg

Ermine
Imperial Crown Heraldry.svg

Crown
Escallop (red).svg

Escalope
Meuble héraldique Abeille 64.svg

Bee
Disc Plain red.svg

Roundel

The system of a special mark for difference for each member of the family goes back to the time of Henry III, whose successor, as a prince, placed such a mark on the shield of England. Since 1340 this label has almost always been white, and overlaid with small figures, or charges, such as red crosses of St George.[2] This red cross represents England and its patron saint, and was first borne by Richard of Bordeaux (future king Richard II) before the death of his father Edward, the Black Prince in 1376. Other charges used:

Labels used since the Hanoverian succession[edit]

King George I to Queen Victoria
Name Title Royal Warrant  Label argent[2][3]
Lambel.svg
Notes
King George I
(1660–1727)
Electoral Prince of Hanover
British King from 1714.
As George was never a cadet member of the British royal family, he never had such a label.
Ernest
(1674–1728)
Duke of York and Albany, Earl of Ulster 1716 Heart*.svg
Heart*.svg
Heart*.svg
Heart*.svg
Heart*.svg
Heart*.svg
Heart*.svg
Heart*.svg
Heart*.svg
Brother of George I.
Bishop of Osnabrück.
George
(1683–1760)
Prince of Wales 1714 Future King George II.
Frederick
(1701–1751)
Duke of Gloucester 1718,
Duke of Edinburgh 1726
Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg
Prince of Wales 1729
Anne
(1705–1759)
Princess Royal 1719 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg 2nd child, eldest daughter of George II.
Princess of Orange-Nassau.
1727 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg
Amelia
(1711–1786)
1719 Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg
1727 Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg
Caroline (1713–1757) 1719 Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
1727 Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
William
(1721–1765)
1725 Red-square.gif Red-square.gif Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Red-square.gif Red-square.gif
Duke of Cumberland
1726
1727 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg
Mary
(1723–1772)
1727 Red-square.gif Red-square.gif Red-square.gif
Louise
(1724–1751)
1727 Disc Plain red.svg
Disc Plain red.svg
Disc Plain red.svg
Disc Plain red.svg
Disc Plain red.svg
Disc Plain red.svg
Disc Plain red.svg
Disc Plain red.svg
Disc Plain red.svg
Queen of Denmark and Norway
Augusta
(1737–1813)
1813 Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
George (1738–1830) 2nd Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales 1751 Future king George III
Edward
(1739–1767)
Duke of York and Albany 1760 1752 Red-square.gif Red-square.gif Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Red-square.gif Red-square.gif
William (father)
(1743–1805)
Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh 1764 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg
Henry (1745–1790) Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn 1766 Fleur de lys (azure).svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg
Frederick
(1750–1765)
Posthumous Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
George
(1762–1830)
Prince of Wales 1762 Future King George IV
Frederick
(1763–1827)
Duke of York and Albany 1784 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg
William
(1765–1837)
Duke of Clarence and St Andrews 1789 1781 Anchor (blue).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Anchor (blue).svg Future King William IV
Charlotte
(1766–1828)
Princess Royal Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Queen of Württemberg
Edward
(1767–1820)
Duke of Kent and Strathearn 1799 Fleur de lys (azure).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Father of Queen Victoria
Augusta Sophia
(1768–1840)
1789 Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg
Elizabeth
(1770–1840)
1789 Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg
Ernest Augustus
(1771–1851)
Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale 1799 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg King of Hanover 1837
Augustus Frederick
(1773–1843)
Duke of Sussex 1801 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Heart*.svg
Heart*.svg
Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg
Adolphus
(1774–1850)
Duke of Cambridge 1801 Heart*.svg
Heart*.svg
Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Heart*.svg
Heart*.svg
Mary
(1776–1857)
1789 Red-square.gif Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red-square.gif Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Sophia
(1777–1848)
1789 Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Heart*.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
Amelia
(1783–1810)
1789 Heart*.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Heart*.svg
Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
(1790–1865)
as consort of Princess Charlotte of Wales Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Later first King of the Belgians
Charlotte of Wales
(1796–1817)
1816 Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II
Alexandrina Victoria of Kent (1819–1901) No known arms were assigned to her as Princess. Future Queen Victoria
Albert of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha (1819–1861) Prince Consort 1837 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Husband of Queen Victoria. Quartered these arms with his paternal arms of Saxony.
Victoria
(1840–1901)
Princess Royal 1841 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg German Empress
Albert Edward
(1841–1910)
Prince of Wales 1841 Future King Edward VII (1901)
Alice
(1843–1878)
1858 Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg Grand Duchess of Hesse.
Alfred
(1844–1900)
Duke of Edinburgh  ? Anchor (blue).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Anchor (blue).svg Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Helena
(1846–1923)
1858 Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Princess of Schleswig-Holstein.
Louise
(1848–1939)
1858 Red-square.gif Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Red-square.gif Duchess of Argyll
Arthur
(1850–1942)
Duke of Connaught
and Strathearn
1874 Fleur de lys (azure).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg
Leopold
(1853–1884)
Duke of Albany 1881 1856 Heart*.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Heart*.svg
Beatrice
(1857–1944)
1858 Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Heart*.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Princess of Battenberg.
Albert Victor
(1864–1892)
Duke of Clarence and Avondale 1890 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg The firstborn son of Edward Prince of Wales, died in 1892.
George
(1865–1936)
Duke of York 1892 Anchor (blue).svg Future King George V (1910)
Prince of Wales 1901
Louise
(1867–1931)
Princess Royal 1905 1889 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Scottish Thistle (Heraldry).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Scottish Thistle (Heraldry).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Duchess of Fife
Victoria
(1868–1935)
1896 Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg
Maud of Wales
(1869–1938)
1896 Heart*.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Heart*.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Heart*.svg Queen of Norway
Alfred of Edinburgh
(1874–1899)
 ? Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Anchor (blue).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Anchor (blue).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Marie of Edinburgh
(1875–1938)
 ? Anchor (blue).svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Red Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg Anchor (blue).svg Queen of Romania
Victoria Melita of Edinburgh
(1876–1936)
 ? Heart*.svg Anchor (blue).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Anchor (blue).svg Heart*.svg Grand-duchess of Hesse, later Grand-duchess of Russia
Alexandra of Edinburgh
(1878–1942)
 ? Fleur de lys (azure).svg Anchor (blue).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Anchor (blue).svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Margaret of Connaught
(1882–1920)
1905 Fleur de lys (azure).svg Shamrock of Ireland (Heraldry).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Shamrock of Ireland (Heraldry).svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Crown princess of Sweden
Arthur of Connaught
(1883–1938)
1904 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg
Alice of Albany
(1883–1981)
1934 Heart*.svg Heart*.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Heart*.svg Heart*.svg Countess of Athlone
Beatrice of Edinburgh
(1884–1966)
 ? Anchor (blue).svg Anchor (blue).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Anchor (blue).svg Anchor (blue).svg Duchess of Galliera.
Charles Edward of Albany
(1884–1954)
2nd Duke of Albany none Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Deprived of his British titles 1919. Never granted arms in right of the United Kingdom, but used the arms of Dominion of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as was his right as its sovereign.
Patricia of Connaught
(1886–1974)
1919 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Fleur de lys (azure).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Lady Patricia Ramsay
Edward
(1894–1972)
Prince of Wales 1911 King Edward VIII, abdicated 1936
Duke of Windsor 1937 Imperial Crown Heraldry.svg Unique use of a Crown for an abdicated monarch.
Albert
(1895–1952)
Duke of York 1920 1912 Anchor (blue).svg Future King George VI (1936)
Mary
(1897–1965)
Princess Royal 1952 1921 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Countess of Harewood
Henry
(1900–1974)
Duke of Gloucester 1928 1921 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Heraldique lion passant fin méd.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg
George
(1902–1942)
Duke of Kent 1934 1921 Anchor (blue).svg Anchor (blue).svg Anchor (blue).svg
Alastair of Connaught
(1914–1943)
2nd Duke of Connaught
and Strathearn
1942 Quarterly 1 and 4 his grandfather's arms; 2 Fife; 3 Duff.
Elizabeth II
Philip
(born 1921)
Duke of Edinburgh; Prince Consort 1947–49: his arms included an inescutcheon of his ancestor Princess Alice (Grand Duchess of Hesse): the Royal Arms with a label as shown above.[4]
Elizabeth
(born 1926)
1944 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Tudor Rose.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Future queen Elizabeth II (1952)
Margaret
(1930–2002)
1944 Tudor Rose.svg Scottish Thistle (Heraldry).svg Tudor Rose.svg Countess of Snowdon
Edward of Kent
(born 1935)
2nd Duke of Kent 1948 Anchor (blue).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Anchor (blue).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Anchor (blue).svg
Alexandra of Kent
(born 1936)
1961 Heart*.svg Anchor (blue).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Anchor (blue).svg Heart*.svg Lady Ogilvy
William of Gloucester
(1941–1972)
1962 Heraldique lion passant fin méd.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Heraldique lion passant fin méd.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Heraldique lion passant fin méd.svg
Michael of Kent
(born 1942)
1962 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Anchor (blue).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Anchor (blue).svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg
Richard of Gloucester
(born 1944)
2nd Duke of Gloucester 1962 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Heraldique lion passant fin méd.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Heraldique lion passant fin méd.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg
Charles
(born 1948)
Prince of Wales 1958
Duke of Rothesay 1974 Last used by Edward III of England (pre 1327).
Anne
(born 1950)
Princess Royal 1962 Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Heart*.svg Badge of the Rouge Croix Pursuivant.svg Formerly Mrs Mark Phillips
Andrew
(born 1960)
Duke of York 1962/63 Anchor (blue).svg
Edward
(born 1964)
Earl of Wessex 1983 Tudor Rose.svg
William
(born 1982)
Duke of Cambridge 2011 2000 Escallop (red).svg The escallop is taken from the arms of their mother Diana Spencer (1961–1997).
Harry
(born 1984)
formally "Prince Henry of Wales" 2002 Escallop (red).svg Escallop (red).svg Escallop (red).svg
Beatrice of York
(born 1988)
2006 Meuble héraldique Abeille 64.svg Meuble héraldique Abeille 64.svg Meuble héraldique Abeille 64.svg Bee from the arms of her mother. The three bees are a canting of her first name.
Eugenie of York
(born 1990)
2008 Scottish Thistle (Heraldry).svg Scottish Thistle (Heraldry).svg Scottish Thistle (Heraldry).svg Thistles from the arms of her mother.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A Complete Guide to Heraldry by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies (1909), p. 494. (Online texts at http://www.archive.org/details/completeguidetoh00foxduoft or http://www7b.biglobe.ne.jp/~bprince/hr/foxdavies/index.htm .)
  2. ^ a b Ottfried Neubecker & John Brooke-Little: Heraldry: Sources, Symbols and Meaning (1997). ISBN 0-316-64141-3. "Signs of Differencing" (pp. 96–97).
  3. ^ François Velde: Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family. Accessed 2010 December 7.
  4. ^ Boutell (page 219).