Coat of arms of the Netherlands

Last updated
Coat of arms of the
Kingdom of the Netherlands
Royal Coat of Arms of the Netherlands.svg
Greater (Royal) version
Versions
State coat of arms of the Netherlands.svg
Middle (State) version
Royal Arms of the Netherlands.svg
Lesser version
Armiger Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
Adopted10 July 1907
23 April 1980 [1]
Crest Dutch royal Crown
Blazon Azure, billetty Or a lion with a coronet Or armed and langued Gules holding in his dexter paw a sword Argent hilted Or and in the sinister paw seven arrows Argent pointed and bound together Or
Supporters Two lions rampant Or armed and langued Gules
Motto French: Je Maintiendrai
Other elementsThe monarch places this coat of arms on a mantle gules lined with Ermine. Above the mantle is a pavilion gules again topped with the royal crown.
Earlier version(s)August 24, 1815

The coat of arms of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was originally adopted in 1815 and later modified in 1907. The arms are a composite of the arms of the former Dutch Republic and the arms of the House of Nassau, it features a checkered shield with a lion grasping a sword in one hand and a bundle of arrows in the other and is the heraldic symbol of the monarch (King Willem-Alexander) and the country. The monarch uses a version of the arms with a mantle (Dutch : Koninklijk wapen) while the government of the Netherlands uses a smaller version without the mantle (cloak) or the pavilion, sometimes only the shield and crown are used (Dutch : Rijkswapen). The components of the coats of arms were regulated by Queen Wilhelmina in a royal decree of 10 July 1907, affirmed by Queen Juliana in a royal decree of 23 April 1980. [1]

Dutch Republic Republican predecessor state of the Netherlands from 1581 to 1795

The Dutch Republic, or the United Provinces, was a confederal republic that existed from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces—seceded from Spanish rule—until the Batavian Revolution of 1795. It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first Dutch nation state.

House of Nassau diversified aristocratic dynasty in Europe

The House of Nassau is a diversified aristocratic dynasty in Europe. It is named after the lordship associated with Nassau Castle, located in present-day Nassau, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The lords of Nassau were originally titled "Count of Nassau", then elevated to the princely class as "Princely Counts".

Monarchy of the Netherlands Wikimedia list article

The monarchy of the Netherlands is constitutional and, as such, the role and position of the monarch are defined and limited by the Constitution of the Netherlands. Consequently, a fairly large portion of the Dutch Constitution is devoted to the monarch; roughly a third of the document describes the succession, mechanisms of accession and abdication to the throne, the roles and responsibilities of the monarch and the formalities of communication between the Staten-Generaal and the role of the monarch in the creation of laws.

Contents

Description

The blazon is as follows:

Azure, billetty Or a lion with a coronet Or armed and langued Gules holding in his dexter paw a sword Argent hilted Or and in the sinister paw seven arrows Argent pointed and bound together Or. (The seven arrows stand for the seven provinces of the Union of Utrecht.) The shield is crowned with the (Dutch) royal crown and supported by two lions Or armed and langued gules. They stand on a scroll Azure with the text (Or) "Je Maintiendrai" (pronounced  [ʒə mɛ̃.tjɛ̃.dʁe] , French for "I shall maintain".)

In heraldry, azure is the tincture with the colour blue, and belongs to the class of tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of horizontal lines or else is marked with either az. or b. as an abbreviation. The term azure derives from the name of the deep blue stone now called lapis lazuli. The word was adopted into Old French by the 12th century, after which the word passed into use in the blazon of coats of arms.

In heraldry, or is the tincture of gold and, together with argent (silver), belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals", or light colours. In engravings and line drawings, it is hatched using a field of evenly spaced dots. It is very frequently depicted as yellow, though gold leaf was used in many illuminated manuscripts and more extravagant rolls of arms.

Lion (heraldry) element in heraldry

The lion is a common charge in heraldry. It traditionally symbolises courage, nobility, royalty, strength, stateliness and valour, because historically it has been regarded as the "king of beasts". Lion refers also to a Judeo-Christian symbolism. The Lion of Judah stands in the coat of arms of Jerusalem. Similar looking lion can be found e.g. in the coat of arms of the Swedish royal House of Bjelbo, from there in turn derived into the coat of arms of Finland, formerly belonging to Sweden, and many others examples for similar historical reasons.

The monarch places this coat of arms on a mantle gules lined with ermine. Above the mantle is a pavilion gules again topped with the royal crown.

Ermine (heraldry) "fur", or varied tincture, in heraldry

Ermine in heraldry is a "fur", a type of tincture, consisting of a white background with a pattern of black shapes representing the winter coat of the stoat. The linings of medieval coronation cloaks and some other garments, usually reserved for use by high-ranking peers and royalty, were made by sewing many ermine furs together to produce a luxurious white fur with patterns of hanging black-tipped tails. Due largely to the association of the ermine fur with the linings of coronation cloaks, crowns and peerage caps, the heraldic tincture of ermine was usually reserved to similar applications in heraldry.

In the royal decree, it is stated that male successors may replace the crown on the shield with a helm with the crest of Nassau.

Crest (heraldry) top component of an heraldic display

A crest is a component of a heraldic display, consisting of the device borne on top of the helm. Originating in the decorative sculptures worn by knights in tournaments and, to a lesser extent, battles, crests became solely pictorial after the 16th century.

History and origin of the coat of arms

This version of the coat of arms has been in use since 1907 but differs only slightly from the version that was adopted in 1815. From 1815 until 1907 all the lions wore the royal crown and the supporting lions were facing.

The royal arms were adopted by the first king of The Kingdom of the Netherlands, William I, when he became king after the Congress of Vienna in 1815. As king, he adopted a coat of arms that combined elements of his family’s (Orange-Nassau) coat of arms and that of the former Dutch Republic that existed from 1581 until 1795.

Kingdom of the Netherlands Kingdom in Europe and the Caribbean

The Kingdom of the Netherlands, commonly known as the Netherlands, is a sovereign state and constitutional monarchy with the large majority of its territory in Western Europe and with several small island territories in the Caribbean Sea, in the West Indies islands.

William I of the Netherlands King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg 1815 - 1840

William I was a Prince of Orange and the first King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

Congress of Vienna conference of ambassadors of European states

The Congress of Vienna, also called Vienna Congress, was a meeting of ambassadors of European states chaired by Austrian statesman Klemens von Metternich, and held in Vienna from November 1814 to June 1815, though the delegates had arrived and were already negotiating by late September 1814. The objective of the Congress was to provide a long-term peace plan for Europe by settling critical issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. The goal was not simply to restore old boundaries but to resize the main powers so they could balance each other and remain at peace. The leaders were conservatives with little use for republicanism or revolution, both of which threatened to upset the status quo in Europe. France lost all its recent conquests while Prussia, Austria and Russia made major territorial gains. Prussia added smaller German states in the west, Swedish Pomerania and 60% of the Kingdom of Saxony; Austria gained Venice and much of northern Italy. Russia gained parts of Poland. The new Kingdom of the Netherlands had been created just months before, and included formerly Austrian territory that in 1830 became Belgium.

From his family arms he used the azure, billetty or with a lion rampant or of Nassau (blue shield, lion, billets). The "Je Maintiendrai" motto represents the Orange family since it came into the family with the princedom of Orange as "Je Maintiendrai Châlons". These elements are also found in the arms of king William III, who was also king of England, Scotland & Ireland (1689–1702). From the arms of the former States General of the Republic of the United Provinces he took the lion with a coronet, sword and arrows. The arrows symbolize the seven provinces that made up the Republic, the sword the determination to defend their liberty, and the coronet their sovereignty. William replaced the coronet with a royal crown. In 1907, Queen Wilhelmina returned to an open coronet.

Prince of Orange title originally from the Principality of Orange

Prince of Orange is a title originally associated with the sovereign Principality of Orange, in what is now southern France. Under the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713, Frederick William I of Prussia ceded the Principality of Orange to King Louis XIV of France. After William III of England died without children, a dispute arose between Johan Willem Friso and Frederick I of Prussia, which was settled in the Treaty of Partition (1732); consequently, Friso's son, William IV had to share use of the title "Prince of Orange" with Frederick William I of Prussia. The title is traditionally borne by the heir apparent of the Dutch monarch. The title descends via absolute primogeniture since 1983, meaning that its holder can be either Prince or Princess of Orange.

Chalon-sur-Saône Subprefecture and commune in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

Chalon-sur-Saône is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in eastern France.

William III of England 17th-century Stadtholder, Prince of Orange and King of England, Scotland and Ireland

William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from 1672 and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy".

Counts of Nassau

Arms of Nassau: Azure billetty or, a lion rampant of the last armed and langued gules Arms of Nassau.svg
Arms of Nassau: Azure billetty or, a lion rampant of the last armed and langued gules

The arms of Nassau has existed since about 1250. There are two versions of the Nassau arms, representing the two main branches. This is a result of two brothers, count Walram II and count Otto I, agreeing to divide their father's (Henry II) lands between them in 1255. The line of Walram added a crown to the lion in the Nassau arms to make it different from the lion used by the line of Otto.

The kings and queens of the Netherlands are descendants of count Otto. The Grand Dukes of Luxemburg are descendants of count Walram. They also still use "Nassau" in their arms. [2] Both lines are now extinct in the male line.

The helm and crest that can be used in the Royal arms by the male successors to the throne (and is in fact being used by some male members of the Royal Family) is: "On a (ceremonial) helmet, with bars and decoration Or and mantling Azure and Or, issuing from a coronet Or, a pair of wings joined Sable each with an arched bend Argent charged with three leaves of the lime-tree stems upward Vert".

This crest is used by the descendants of Otto and differs from the crest used by the descendants of Walram. But in the royal decree of 1815 the crest issuing from a crown on the Dutch Royal Arms was the one used by the Walram line. Why this was done is not sure. Maybe due to the "mistake" this crest was hardly used.

The crest of the Walram-line is: Between two trunks Azure billetty Or a sitting lion Or. The trunks are probably a misinterpretation of two cow horns, a crest that is frequently used in German heraldry. On the Grand Coat of Arms of the Grand Duke of Luxemburg the lion is crowned, armed and langued Gules.

The Princedom of Orange

The motto has been used by every "ruling" member of the Nassau family, who was also the prince of Orange since it came into the family with the Princedom of Orange in 1530. Count Henry III of Nassau-Breda, who was living in the Low Countries, was married to Claudia Orange-Châlon. Her brother, Philibert of Châlon, was the last Prince of Orange from the House of Châlon. When he died in 1530, Henry's and Claudia's son René of Nassau-Breda inherited the Princedom on condition that he used the name and coat of arms of the Châlon family. History knows him therefore as René of Châlon. With this inheritance came the "Je Maintiendrai Châlons" motto into the Nassau family. René died in 1544 without leaving a child. His cousin William of Nassau-Dillenburg inherited all of René's lands. William became William of Orange (in English better known under his nickname William the Silent) and the founder of the House of Orange-Nassau. William first changed the motto to "Je Maintiendrai Nassau". Later he (or his sons) dropped the family name from the motto.

The horn from the arms of the Princedom of Orange is not used in the coat of arms of the kingdom but is part of the personal arms and flags of many members of the royal family. See for example the image of the Royal Standard of the Netherlands.

The Dutch Republic

The sword and arrows originated from the Habsburg rulers.[ citation needed ]

Great seal of the States General, 1578 Zegel Staten Genraal1578.jpg
Great seal of the States General, 1578
The banners of the Dutch Republic, the County of Holland and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, hung from the town Hall in Gouda. Gouda Arms of Dutch republic County Holland Kingdom The Netherlands.JPG
The banners of the Dutch Republic, the County of Holland and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, hung from the town Hall in Gouda.
The Lion of the Dutch Republic Arms of the united provinces.svg
The Lion of the Dutch Republic
Full heraldic achievement of the Dutch Republic, princely crowned, in reference to the sovereignty (independence among nations) of the United Provinces Coat of arms of the republic of the united Netherlands (after 1665).svg
Full heraldic achievement of the Dutch Republic, princely crowned, in reference to the sovereignty (independence among nations) of the United Provinces

The lion, as representing the Burgundian Netherlands, first appears as a crest on the tomb of Philip the Handsome. Later Charles V added the sword. The arrows were used, on coins etc., since the early 16th century to represent the Seventeen Provinces in the low countries under control of Charles V. In 1578, during the Eighty Years' War, the States General ordered a new great seal representing the lion, the sword and the 17 arrows combined. Although only seven provinces remained free from Spain, this seal stayed in use until 1795.

After the completion of its forming in 1584 the Republic of the Seven United Provinces used as its arms: Or a crowned lion Gules armed and langued Azure, holding in his dexter paw a sword and in the sinister paw seven arrows tight together Azure. The colours of this version where derived from the most important of the seven provinces, the county of Holland (its arms are still in use since being adopted by the counts of Holland c. 1198).

After c. 1668 the colours where reversed and the arms became Gules a crowned lion Or armed and langued Azure holding in his dexter paw a sword Argent hilted Or and in the sinister paw seven arrows Argent pointed and tight together Or.

The arrows symbolize the seven provinces that made up the Republic, the sword the determination to defend their liberty, and the coronet their sovereignty.

1795–1815 Revolution, Napoleonic years and Restoration

Part of a series on the
History of the Netherlands
Joannes van Deutecum - Leo Belgicus 1650 - published by Claes Jansz Visscher Amsterdam.jpg
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlandsportal

In 1795, with French help, the last Stadholder William V was forced to flee and the Batavian Republic (1795–1806) was proclaimed. At first this had no influence on the use of the arms of the former Republic. However, the following year the lion, that had served for approximately 280 years, was replaced by an allegoric image of a “Dutch maiden of Freedom”.

The replacement of the Batavian Republic with the Kingdom of Holland (1806–1810) saw the first return of the lion of the States General. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (brother of the French Emperor Napoleon) used as King Louis I a coat of arms that quartered the Dutch lion with the French Imperial Eagle. After the emperor Napoleon abolished the Kingdom of Holland in 1810 the lion again had to leave the stage and the Imperial Eagle was the only image in use.

In 1813 the French were forced out of the Netherlands and the son of the last Stadholder, William VI / I was proclaimed 'Sovereign Prince' (1813–1815). To symbolize his new status he assumed a new coat of arms. In it the old lion with the sword and arrows made his second reappearance, now with a Royal crown upon his head. Again it was placed in de prime locations of a quartered shield (I and IV quarter). In the II and III quarter where the arms of Châlon-Orange-Geneve, the arms of Nassau (Otto) where placed on an escutcheon in the center of the shield.

The final retirement of the Republican lion came in 1815 with the establishment of the “United Kingdom of the Netherlands”. Because this new kingdom comprised not only of the lands of the former Dutch Republic but also of the former Austrian or Southern Netherlands it was also not appropriate to continue the use of the old arms. First a combination with the arms of Brabant (Sable a Lion Or, now the coat of arms of Belgium) was considered. In the end the attributes, the sword, arrows and crown, were placed in the care of his older “colleague” from Nassau to symbolize the union between the (now Royal) House of Nassau and the Netherlands. As seen above, this is still the basis of the current coat of arms.

Versions and variants

Government

Various versions of the Dutch Royal Arms are used by Government, the Parliament and courts. Government and its agencies generally use a simplified version of the Royal Arms without the mantle, the pavilion and the topped royal crown. [3] This simplified Royal Arms also feature on the cover of passports, [4] embassies and consulates. [5] The versions used by the Legislature and its chambers shown the Royal Arms with the Royal Crown and a buckled dark-blue strap that bears the name of the Parliament or each chamber Staten-Generaal (States General), Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal (Senate), Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal (House of Representatives) in gold letters surrounding the shield. [6]

Royal Family

Members of the Dutch Royal Family receive their own personalised arms which are based on the Royal Arms. For more details see Wapen van Nassau,Tak van Otto (in Dutch).

Coats of Arms of the Dutch Royal Family
Coat of armsBearerDetails
Full achievementEscutcheon
Coat of Arms of Maxima, Queen of the Netherlands.svg
Arms of Maxima, Queen of the Netherlands.svg
Queen Máxima Oval shield-shaped (usually borne by women), a quartering of the Dutch royal arms with Orange; over all an escutcheon with the arms of Zorreguieta (paternal arms):

Or, two poplar trees proper flanking a Triple-towered castle Gules, ondoyant to the gate of the castle a river Azure. [7]

Coat of Arms of the children of Wilhelm-Alexander of the Netherlands.svg
Arms of the children of Wilhelm-Alexander of the Netherlands.svg
Children of
King Willem-Alexander
(Princesses Catharina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane)
A quartering of the Dutch royal arms with Orange; over all an escutcheon with the arms of Zorreguieta (maternal arms). [7]
Coat of Arms of the children of Beatrix of the Netherlands (Variant).svg
Arms of the children of Beatrix of the Netherlands.svg
Children of
Princess Beatrix
(Prince Constantijn)
A quartering of the Dutch royal arms with Orange; over all an escutcheon with the arms of the House of Amsberg (paternal arms):
Vert, a triple-towered castle argent, on a mount Or. [7]
Coat of Arms of Beatrix of the Netherlands.svg
Arms of Beatrix of the Netherlands.svg
Princess BeatrixA quartering of the Dutch royal arms with Orange; over all an escutcheon with the arms of the House of Lippe (paternal arms):
Argent, a rose Gules barbed and seeded Or. [7]
Coat of Arms of the children of Juliana of the Netherlands.svg
Arms of the children of Juliana of the Netherlands.svg
Children of
Queen/Princess Juliana
(Princesses Irene, Margriet and Christina)
Oval shield-shaped, a quartering of the Dutch royal arms with Orange; over all an escutcheon with the arms of the House of Lippe (paternal arms). [7]
Coat of Arms of the children of Margriet of the Netherlands.svg
Arms of the children of Margriet of the Netherlands.svg
Children of
Princess Margriet
(Princes Maurits, Bernhard, Pieter-Christiaan and Floris)
A quartering of the Dutch royal arms with Orange; over all an escutcheon with the arms of the House of Vollenhoven (paternal arms):
Azure, a six-pointed star Argent impaling Or, a deer Gules supported on a tree, the tree on a Mount Vert. [7]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Besluit tot het voeren van het Koninklijk wapen (1908) wetten.nl
  2. The Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg (PDF). Service information et presse. 2001. p. 105. ISBN   2-87999-016-5 . Retrieved 2014-02-26.
  3. "Dutch Government website" . Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  4. "Paspoortwet, Overheid.nl" (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  5. "Image of the Dutch Embassy Residence in Helsinki" . Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  6. "Staten-generaal.nl" (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Dutch Royal Household Website" . Retrieved 9 August 2015.

Further reading

Wapens van de Nederlanden : de historische ontwikkeling van de heraldische symbolen van Nederland, België, hun provincies en Luxemburg / Hubert de Vries. Uitgeverij Jan Mets, Amsterdam, 1995

Website: Dutch Royal House

Website: Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs

Website: International Civic Heraldry

Website: Nassau - Ottonian Line