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British Royal Flags, Reign of Elizabeth II


Last modified: 2022-10-08 by rob raeside
Keywords: royal standard | house of windsor | elizabeth ii |
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[British royal standard] image by Martin Grieve, 7 April 2007

Other members of the Royal Family:

See also:

Personal Flags of Queen Elizabeth II

[Queen's personal flag]

[Queen's personal flag] images by M. Schmöger, based on an image by Graham Bartram

Books usually show a square standard; however, a flag with dimensions approximately 1:2 was on display at the ICV in York, July 2001.  It is not used in Britain.

In 1961 the Queen adopted a personal flag which is quite separate from the Royal Standard and is a square royal blue flag bearing a crowned initial E within a ring of stemmed roses, all in gold. I think it's supposed to symbolise her role as head of the Commonwealth rather than as Queen of the United Kingdom or of any particular realm. Anyway, I think the rules are thus:

  • In the UK and non-Commonwealth countries the Royal Standard is used
  • In Commonwealth countries of which she is Queen, a personal flag for that "realm" is used which consists of a banner of the arms of that country with a blue disk bearing the gold crowned E and which is bordered by the gold ring of roses.  See a list of links to these flags.
  • In Commonwealth countries which she is not Queen (not all are republics: this would include Tonga and Malaysia for instance), the plain personal flag as described above is used.
I'm pretty sure Barraclough's Flags of the World gives chapter and verse on this, but it's a long time since I last saw a copy of that book. 
Roy Stilling, 1 April 1997

As I understand it, the point of the Queens big 'E' flag is that it is personal to her, as Elizabeth Windsor, not as Queen of Great Britain, etc. Although Edward VII tried to make the British Royal Standard more personal by restricting its use, it is a British Royal Flag, and the same flag will become the Standard of her successor. The Head of the Commonwealth does not necessarily have to be the British monarch, and if the Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, visits a Commonwealth republic, she goes as Elizabeth Windsor, not as Queen Elizabeth II.
David Prothero, 28 March 2003

The big 'E' flag was first used when the Queen visited India in 1961. The same device on a field of the appropriate national arms forms her personal flag on visits to certain Commonwealth countries." [Evans (1970)]
Peter Hans van den Muijzenburg
, 23 April 2002

The Queen's personal flag in Commonwealth countries

In countries where the Queen is the head of state, she commonly has (or had) her own flag.  These are shown at:

Standard of Princess Elizabeth (before accession)

[standard of Princess Elizabeth] image by Martin Grieve, 25 April 2007

Based on Carr (1953)

When the Queen was Princess Elizabeth her standard was the Royal Standard with one labels with three points, St George's cross twice, and a Tudor rose in the central one. At that time the Duke of Edinburgh's standard was his own arms (at the hoist) impaled with those of Princess Elizabeth.
David Prothero, 27 April 2002

Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh

The Royal Standard of HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh (i.e., the Queen after marrying Prince Philip and before she became Queen). This is shown in the records of the College of Arms, and was used I believe on a visit to Canada. It is unusual (in Royal Standard terms) in that the Duke of Edinburgh’s arms are at the hoist, and the Royal Arms, differenced with Princess Elizabeth’s label, are in the fly.
Graham Bartram, 24 September 2002