Published on June 27th, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw
The Queen’s Beasts
Are you familiar with The Queen’s Beasts? These symbols of power and lineage have passed down through the centuries. They are now featured in a new collection of coins by the Royal Mint.
At Her Majesty, The Queen’s coronation in 1953 hundreds of years of history were represented by ten heraldic statues, known as The Queen’s Beasts:
- The Griffin of Edward III
- The Falcon of the Plantagenets
- The Black Bull of Clarence
- The Yale of Beaufort
- The White Greyhound of Richmond
- The Red Dragon of Wales
- The Unicorn of Scotland
- The White Horse of Hanover
- The Lion of England
- The White Lion of Mortimer
Displayed outside the western annex of Westminster Abbey for the Coronation, these statues were placed along the front apart from The Lion. This statue was placed in the alcove formed by the north wall of the annex and the entrance used by The Queen as she entered the Abbey.
Following the coronation, the statues were moved to the Great Hall in Hampton Court Palace and then to St George’s Hall Windsor. However, in the late 1950’s a decision was made to offer the statues to the governments of the Commonwealth. As Canada was the most senior Commonwealth nation, they were offered The Queen’s Beasts statues first. Today they are displayed in the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau.
The Queen’s Beasts Commemorative Coins
The first and second releases in The Queen’s Beasts Collection by The Royal Mint are The Lion of England and the Unicorn of Scotland.
Royal Mint Designer, Jody Clarke has created the striking designs showing the lion and unicorn in all their heraldic splendour. The Queen’s Beasts coins are accompanied by a booklet which has been complied in collaboration with Clive Cheesman, Richmond Herald at the College of Arms.
The Lion of England
Known as the King of the Beasts, the lion is one of the earliest animals to appear on royal emblems. Welsh lions have appeared on the Royal Arms since the ascension of James I in 1603. Meanwhile the Lion of England has been a part of the Arms of the United Kingdom since Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837.
It is depicted in this stunning The Queens Beasts Lion of England Brilliant Circulated £5 Coin.
The Unicorn of Scotland
The mythical and magical unicorn is the national animal of Scotland. Two unicorns were incorporated as the supporters of the Scottish Royal Arms at the end of the 16th century. When James VI of Scotland became James I of England in 1603 he took as supported of his Royal Arms a crowed lion of England and one Scottish unicorn.
The legend of the Unicorn, and the natural enemy to the Lion is captured perfectly in The Queens Beasts Unicorn of Scotland Brilliant Uncirculated £5 Coin.
Keep checking the Post Office Shop Blog and the Post Office Shop for further additions to this collection in the coming months. In the meantime, for other royal collectibles and memorabilia, take a look at our Royalty range of special stamps and coins.