Some Developments, Old and New

My hobby as an amateur armorial artist has been going in earnest for six years now and is fast approaching 1,400 illustrations. Every now and again I go back to revisit one of my earlier works to see if it can be improved.

Today’s retrospective was Lord Walker of Aldringham, former Chief of the Defence Staff, whose arms I first did in January 2019. I found an old thread about it on r/heraldry and, predictably, they weren’t very impressed.

I set out to remake the shield from scratch, smoothing out the fracture of the orle, refining the colours and, crucially, making the acorns a little more recognisable. The main difficulty I had was fitting the four acorns above and below the chevrons, for this arrangement works more naturally with three. When reading the blazon on Walker’s page I saw that there was no source given for it, and set out to find one. Reading Debrett’s Peerage 2019 (page 4691) I discovered that there were indeed three acorns not four, and corrected the image accordingly. I must wonder how that error originated (since it was written as a word not a numeral, so a simple typo would be difficult) and how far it has proliferated.

With nine days to go until King Charles’s coronation, his cypher has started to be seen on the liveries of royal soldiers. The Yeoman Warders (or “Beefeaters”) at the Tower of London recently debuted their new blue undress uniforms, and the state trumpeters have updated theirs as well.

UPDATE (30th April)

I see that on the same day I uploaded my re-illustration the Prime Minister’s Flickr account published a photograph taken inside Westminster Abbey, with Walker’s banner hanging in the background. Sure enough, three acorns only.

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