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British Royal Flags, Reign of Edward VIII


Last modified: 2019-06-04 by rob raeside
Keywords: royal standard | house of windsor | edward viii |
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Reign of Edward VIII

Edward VIII abdicated before his coronation.

Edward, Prince of Wales, 1911-1936

[Prince of Wales] image by Martin Grieve, 16 April 2007

Based on 1913 amendment to Flaggenbuch 1905

Escutcheon of the Arms of Wales ensigned with a Ducal Coronet on the Royal Standard.

King George V succeeded King Edward VII in 1910 and his son Edward was granted the title Prince of Wales. The opportunity was taken to modify the Standard of the Prince of Wales, and the shield of Saxony was replaced by a shield of the Arms of Wales ensigned with a Ducal Coronet.

This flag raises an heraldic question about the relationship between labels and escutcheons. In most cases they do not interfere with each other, but here the coronet is superimposed on the centre point of the label. The points in some drawings of the Arms of the Duke and Prince of Connaught (12 and 13) are very long, and the central point lies over the escutcheon of Saxony. Do labels and escutcheons have relative importance, or is it a matter of chronology with the later addition lying over the earlier one ?
David Prothero, 16 April 2007

It is a matter of chronology. The label, being a later addition, can lie over the escutcheon, since it is a mark of difference for the son of the Prince of Wales. In fact there should be at least a small amount of overlap so that it is clear that the label is an addition after the escutcheon. It is, however, preferable that there not be too much of an overlap, since it is often necessary to show certain details.
Mike Oettle, 17 April 2007

The inescutcheon of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is on the standard of the Prince of Wales in the 1905 Flaggenbuch. According to my notes the same inescutcheon is on the standard shown in the 1907 Admiralty Flag Book. There was no edition in 1910, but in the 1915 edition the inescutcheon of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha had been replaced by the shield from the Welsh arms. It seems that this happened when George V granted arms to Edward (VIII) Prince of Wales in about 1910, but the inescutcheon of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha continued on the standards of the Duke of Connaught and 'Other Members of the Royal Family' until 1917 when the family name was changed to Windsor.
David Prothero, 12 February 2005

An example of this standard at shows a smaller inescutcheon, which allows the shield to be centred on the banner as its predecessor had it. This specimen is dated 1908 by the museum, yet it already has the Welsh arms that supposedly were placed on it only two years later, for the next Prince of Wales!
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 6 May 2019

Duke of Windsor

I seem to recall a photo of the Duke of Windsor's flag (crown on white label for difference) laid on his coffin.
Jan Mertens, 3 November 2005

Arms differenced with a three point label charged with one Royal Crown were granted to Edward after he had abdicated and been given the title Duke of Windsor, but it is unlikely that he was ever granted a Standard based on these Arms.
David Prothero, 21 April 2007

It lay on his coffin - it may not have been granted of course. According to Boutell's Heraldry (Rev.Ed. 1963) the label was charged with an Imperial Crown proper (p. 219, ill. 381). Shown is a royal (Tudor) crown in the style of the period.
Jan Mertens, 21 April 2007

I see that reports of his funeral state that his coffin was covered with his Personal Standard, although in 1969, just three years before his death, Campbell and Evans (1965) in "Book of Flags" wrote "he has not yet been granted a flag". If correct, this does suggest that the flag was made specifically for his funeral. I have the impression that Personal Royal Standards (perhaps other than impaled versions?) are flown only when that person is on official duty and in effect representing the Sovereign?  The Duke of Windsor, I think, never undertook any official duties other than Governor of Bahamas, for which the Governor's flag would have sufficed.
David Prothero, 22 April 2007

Confirmation of the use of a personal Royal Standard at the funeral of the Duke of Windsor appears in a clip near the end of a television programme 'Britain's Nazi King'. A St. Edward's crown can be seen on the one visible point of the label of the Royal Standard covering the coffin.
David Prothero, 21 July 2009, 22 November 2014

Edward VIII's funeral took place on 05 June 1972 in St George's Chapel, Windsor, followed by burial at Frogmore on the estate.
Video from the event is available at
Colin Dobson, 22 July 2009

A colour photo gives the essential detail (Tudor crown on white label) at
Jan Mertens, 3 April 2010

The crown on his Arms, which the Standard should copy, is a Tudor crown.
David Prothero, 22 November 2014

Continued in: Reign of George VI