A Lion has represented England since at least the reign of Richard 1, who many know by the name ‘Richard the Lionheart.’ At the time, three lions represented England in battle on the Royal banner of arms, and they now represent England on one of the biggest sporting stages in international football. As such, the Lion is synonymous with England and the crowned Lion in this design represents His Majesty King Charles 111.
A Dragon has represented Wales since the fourth century, and the victories and myths of Welsh Kings against the Roman forces. Since then, it has become a key part of British folklore and the legends of King Arthur. A leek accompanies the Dragon on the bullion bar; a popular symbol of Wales that dates back to the sixth century and St David, the patron saint of Wales, who ordered his men to strap leeks to their armour to distinguish themselves from the enemy in battle.
A Unicorn has been a prominent feature of the Scottish Coat of Arms since 1603, when James 1 united England and Scotland, though it had long been a symbol of Scotland. It is said only a King can command a unicorn, therefore the crown placed around the Unicorn’s neck in Thomas T Docherty’s design represents King Charles 111 as monarch. The unicorn is partnered with a Scottish thistle, which has been a part of Scottish heraldry since the late thirteenth century. It has come to represent the Order of the Thistle, a chivalric order of Scotland comprising the sovereign, sixteen knights and ladies appointed by the sovereign and further knights – usually members of the Royal Family. The honour is awarded to those who have made a remarkable contribution to Scotland and the United Kingdom.
The elk is a prominent feature on the Coat of Arms of Northern Ireland, which highlights a union between the islands of Britain and Northern Ireland. The elk is paired with an Irish clover. The shamrock has represented Ireland on the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom since the 1800 Acts of Union and has become a popular symbol of Ireland throughout the world.