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Carved stone shield. The bottom left and top right quarters are painted red and have three lions in gold. The bottom right and top left quarters are painted blue and have fleur de lis in gold. This carved and painted stone shield was found in the roof of the medieval Guildhall during rebuilding works in 1864-5. It shows the arms of the English kings when they first laid claim to the throne of France. Edward III adopted these arms in about 1340, combining three gold lions on a red background, representing England, with the gold fleurs-de-lis on blue of France. After about 1405 the number of fleurs-de-lis was reduced to three large ones in each field. The French fleurs-de-lis remained an essential element of the English royal arms until 1801.
© Museum of London