Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Tuesday 27 September 2022

The new Royal Cypher

The design of the new Royal Cypher has been released. We shall become ever more used to seeing this as it is used over coming years on uniforms and regimental standards, on letterheads and pillar boxes and much more besides.

The design is elegant and a conscious break with that of Queen Elizabeth II. With its curves and more sinuous flow, including the intertwining of the C and the R, it is more reminiscent of that used by King Edward VII. 

There is also a Scottish version using the crown of King James V created by the Lord Lyon. That appears only to have been released so far only in a black and white version rather than the full colour version to match the one from the College of Arms.

The designs are set out on the College of Arms website at Royal Cypher

The resemblance to the cyphers of the earlier twentieth century is also true in the use of a stylised version of the Imperial State Crown rather than St Edward’s Crown, which the late Queen specifically chose. My own aesthetic might have led me to retain that, partly because the curve of the arches would complement the design of the CR, and partly because of the link to the Coronation rite that crown symbolises. That however is just my sense, not a criticism, of a good piece of design. It stands well in the tradition of such Royal Cyphers. It also reflects, in his selection of it, His Majesty’s  well known concern for excellence and tradition in matters of design.

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