Top 10 Royal Mottos
- Elizabeth I “Semper edam” Always the same
Always the same was one of Elizabeth’s personal mottos. One of her favorite “political” mottos was “I see and say nothing.” The first mention of this motto seems to be in 1568, the year the Scottish Queen arrived in England.
- Richard III “Loyalte me lie” Loyalty binds me
Richard was very loyal to his brother, Edward, and the rest of his siblings as well as to his mother, his wife and to his close friends. His public reputation sadly doesn’t quite square with the motto he chose.
- Catherine of Aragon Humble and Loyal
Catherine was both humble and loyal. The Court, her ladies and the English people loved her, except sadly, Henry. She remained loyal to Henry until the bitter end. In her loyalty, she would have done anything he asked of her, except renounce her place as his wife and queen.
- Katherine Howard No other will but his
I strongly suspect this selfless motto was given to her by an adviser. Katherine was young, not well educated and pleasure loving. It was Henry’s will that she lose her head.
- Edward IV “Comfort et liesse” Comfort and Joy
A highly descriptive motto of a man who enjoyed both – often to excess. Seriously who picks this as their motto?
- Mary Queen of Scots In my end is my beginning
Mary chose her own mother, the French Mary of Guise’s, motto. As Mary’s own life progressed as a political prisoner of her cousin, Elizabeth I, she became obsessed with the idea of martyrdom. She saw herself as a Catholic Queen being martyred by the Protestants because of her Catholic faith. When told she was to be executed in the morning, she replied, “I am quite ready and very happy to die, and to shed my blood for Almighty God, my Saviour and my Creator, and for the Catholic Church, and to maintain its rights in this country.” The red undergarment she wore at her execution was the color of martyrdom. Perhaps in her end, her legacy began.
- Henry VIII “Coure Loyall” True Heart
In his own mind, Henry was the ultimate Knight in Shining Armor. His courtship of Anne Boleyn was high romance with many passionate love letters, and extravagant gifts. He was in love with being in love – many times. The irony of his motto is stunning.
- Anne Boleyn Most Happy
This was Anne’s Coronation motto. I’m sure not everyone was happy when she was crowned. Anne also used the motto, “Me and Mine”, just a little reminder to everyone of what she had won. And if they were ever in doubt, Anne’s motto “Let them grumble; this is how it shall be,” was quite clear. She used this briefly, albeit long enough to have it embroidered on her staff’s livery. Sadly, none of her mottos saved her from the block.
- Edward III “Honi soit qui mal y pense” Shame (or evil) to him who thinks evil of this
This is the motto for The Most Noble Order of the Garter established by Edward III in 1348.Legend has it that Order of the Garter was established in a moment of chivalry. Edward was dancing with one of the ladies of the court, (no one is certain who, although the Duchess of Salisbury or Joan the Fair Maid of Kent are considered possibilities). The lady’s garter slipped from her leg. The King stooped down, picked it up and presented it to his partner. Smirks and knowing looks appeared on a number of faces, to the embarrassment of the lady in question. The King then tied the garter on his own leg faced the Court and said,”Honi soit qui mal y pense.” (Shame or evil to him who thinks evil of it.)The Order of the Garter remains one of the most prestigious honors the crown bestows.
- Henry V “Dieu et mon droit” God and my Right
The great warrior King, Henry V, adopted this as his battle cry. He liked it so much that he made it his Royal Motto. Henry VII adopted it as one of his favorite mottos as well. He was so enamored with it, he made it the national motto – and so it remains to this day.
What’s your favorite Royal motto? Let us know with a comment.