2016 Great Britain 2oz Silver Queens Beast Lion PCGS MS69 – Flag Label
The Lion of England
The lion is one of the earliest animals to appear in royal emblems; a traditional symbol of bravery, strength and valour. The first recorded use was the gift of a blue shield, decorated with small golden lions, given to Geoffrey Plantagenet by Henry I as he married Henry’s daughter Matilda, in 1127. As long as England has had a shield of its own, it has always featured the lion in some form – the Norman kings of England used motifs featuring the ferocious beast, a tradition made consistent under Henry II and his son Richard I the ‘Lionheart’ in the twelfth century.
First in the series of ten £5 coins are the Lion of England and the Unicorn of Scotland. Both of these beasts are supporters of the Royal Arms – the royal badge that represents the monarchy and the United Kingdom. The pair are seen in many everyday places, including on British passports. The Lion of England, a classic symbol of strength in British heraldry, leads the pack.