About royal symbols and titles

Royal symbols are visual and auditory emblems that represent the Crown in various ways. The title “royal” can also be given to Canadian organizations that meet certain criteria, on the Sovereign’s approval.

Below are some of the symbols that represent the Crown in Canada and Canada’s association with the Royal Family.

Royal Anthem

The Royal Anthem originated as a patriotic song in London, England, in 1745. Neither the author nor the composer is known. The anthem is performed officially in Canada in the presence of members of the Royal Family, and as part of the salute accorded to the governor general and lieutenant governors.

Learn more about the Royal Anthem.

Canadian flags of the Royal Family

Canada is the first Commonwealth realm to create personal flags for members of the Royal Family other than the flag of the Head of State. The flags are developed by the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

Learn more about the Canadian flags of the Royal Family.

Canadian Royal Crown

The Canadian Royal Crown is an important symbol of the sovereign’s authority, as well as the state’s power and the principle of the Canadian monarchy. Its design was created by the Canadian Heraldic Authority and approved by His Majesty King Charles III in April 2023.

It was designed so that Canada would have its own distinctive Royal Crown. It will be used during the reigns of all future kings and queens of Canada.

Canada had previously used artistic representations of the Royal Crown that followed the personal preference of the reigning Sovereign, notably St. Edward’s crown during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and, briefly, the Tudor Crown at the start of the reign of King Charles III.

Read a detailed description of the Canadian Royal Crown.

Royal Cypher

The Royal Cypher is the Sovereign’s “signature”. It includes:

  • the Sovereign’s monogram, usually comprised of:
    • the Sovereign’s first initial
    • the letter “R” as the initial for the Latin word rex (king) or regina (queen)
  • the Sovereign’s regnal number, that is, the number that distinguishes them from previous monarchs of the same name (such as King Charles III, Queen Elizabeth II)

The Royal Cypher is created with the addition of the Royal Crown above the monogram.

Read a detailed description of Royal Cypher.

Royal patronage and title "royal"

Members of the Royal Family may support or offer their patronage to various organizations devoted to diverse causes.

Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and accession to the Throne of His Majesty King Charles III, some patronages given to Canadian organizations may be transferred to different members of the Royal Family. This information will be confirmed in due course. For questions or assistance on how to proceed, contact the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General.

See what criteria organizations must meet when seeking royal patronage and title "royal."

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