Royal Crown and Cypher

Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we invite you to visit our commemorative page to relive key moments of her visits to Canada and find information on the commemorative events held in her honour.

Please note that some information on the web pages about the Crown in Canada will be updated.

The Royal Crown

Royal Crown

When she ascended the throne on February 6, 1952, Queen Elizabeth II adopted a heraldic representation of the crown closely resembling the St. Edward's Crown, which was used for her coronation on June 2, 1953.

The present St Edward's Crown contains much of the crown fist made in 1661 for the coronation of King Charles II. Constructed of solid gold, the crown's design includes a base, with four crosses pattée alternating with four fleurs-de-lis, within which is a velvet cap with ermine border and two arches above and surmounted by a cross, all set with 444 precious stones. Formerly the stones were hired for each coronation and then detached, leaving only the frame. However, in 1911 the jewels were set permanently. A number of changes were made for the coronations of James II (a new monde) and William III (the base being changed from its original circular form to a more natural oval one). The crown was also made slightly smaller to fit the head of George V, the first monarch to be crowned with St. Edward's Crown in over 200 years. The crown was, however, carried in procession at other coronations at which it was not actually worn.

The St Edward's Crown weighs 4 lb 12 oz (2.2 kg).

Though the physical St Edward's Crown is property of the Queen in Right of the United Kingdom, its two-dimensional representation has come to be utilised throughout all the Commonwealth realms as an indication of each country's respective royal authority, thus appearing on coats of arms, badges for military and police units, and logos for government departments and private organizations with royal associations. In this use, it replaced the Tudor Crown by the command in 1953 of Queen Elizabeth II. Such use of the crown is only by the personal permission of the sovereign.

The Royal Crown in any design must receive the personal permission of Her Majesty, by her express direction. Permission is sought through the Governor General’s Office. In addition, any organization that has been honoured with Royal Patronage or permission to use the word "Royal" as part of its name may receive appropriate insignia when petitioning the Canadian Heraldic Authority for a grant of armorial bearings ("Coat of Arms") or other emblem.

The Royal Cypher

The Royal Cypher

The Royal Cypher is the personal device or monogram of Her Majesty The Queen (EII refers to Elizabeth II and R is for Regina, meaning Queen) surmounted by the St. Edward’s Crown. A symbol of sovereignty, the cypher is used in the insignia of Canadian orders, decorations and medals, and on various badges.

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