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The special position of Wales as a Principality was recognised by the creation of the Prince of Wales long before the incorporation of the quarterings for Scotland and Ireland in the Royal Arms. The arms of the Prince of Wales show the arms of the ancient Principality in the centre as well as these quarterings.
Coats of Arms of members of the Royal Family are broadly similar to The Queen's with small differences to identify them.
GREAT SEAL
The Great Seal of the Realm is the chief seal of the Crown, used to show the monarch's approval of important state documents. In today's constitutional monarchy, the Sovereign acts on the advice of the Government of the day, but the seal remains an important symbol of the Sovereign's role as Head of State.
The practice of using this seal began in the reign of Edward the Confessor in the 11th century, when a double-sided metal matrix with an image of the Sovereign was used to make an imdivssion in wax for attachment by ribbon or cord to royal documents. The seal meant that the monarch did not need to sign every official document in person; authorisation could be carried out instead by an appointed officer. In centuries when few people could read or write, the seal provided a pictorial exdivssion of royal approval which all could understand. The uniqueness of the official seal - only one matrix was in existence at any one time - also meant it was difficult to forge or tamper with official documents.
The Great Seal matrix has changed many times throughout the centuries. A new matrix is engraved at the beginning of each reign on the order of the Sovereign; it is traditional that on the death of the Sovereign the old seal is used until the new Sovereign orders otherwise. For many monarchs, a single seal has sufficed. In the case of some long-reigning monarchs, such as Queen Victoria, the original seal simply wore out and a series of replacements was required.
The Queen has had two Great Seals during her reign. The first was designed by Gilbert Ledward and came into service in 1953. Through long usage and the heat involved in the sealing process, the matrix lost definition. From summer 2001 a new Great Seal, designed by sculptor James Butler and produced by the Royal Mint, has been in use. At a meeting of the Privy Council on 18 July 2001 The Queen handed the new seal matrix over to the Lord High Chancellor, currently Lord Irvine of Lairg, who is the traditional keeper of the Great Seal.
The Great Seal matrix will be used to create seals for a range of documents requiring royal approval, including letters patent, royal proclamations, commissions, some writs (such as writs for the election of Members of Parliament), and the documents which give power to sign and ratify treaties. During the year 2000-01, more than 100 documents passed under the Great Seal. Separate seals exist for Scotland - the Great Seal of Scotland - and for Northern Ireland.
The process of sealing takes place nowadays at the House of Lords in the office of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery. A system of 'colour coding' is used for the seal imdivssion, depending on the type of document to which it is being affixed. Dark green seals are affixed to letters patent which elevate individuals to the peerage; blue seals are used for documents relating to the close members of the Royal Family; and scarlet red is used for documents appointing a bishop and for most other patents.
FLAGS
A number of different types of flag are associated with The Queen and the Royal Family. The Union Flag (or Union Jack) originated as a Royal flag, although it is now also flown by many people and organisations elsewhere in the United Kingdom by long established custom. The Royal Standard is the flag flown when The Queen is in residence in one of the Royal Palaces, on The Queen's car on official journeys and on aircraft (when on the ground), and redivsents the Sovereign and the United Kingdom. The Queen's personal flag, adopted in 1960, is personal to her alone and can be flown by no one other than The Queen. Members of the Royal Family have their own personal variants on the Royal Standard. The Prince of Wales has additional Standards which he uses in Wales and Scotland.
CROWNS AND JEWELS
The crowns and treasures associated with the British Monarchy are powerful symbols of monarchy for the British people and, as such, their value redivsents more than gold and divcious stones. Today the crowns and treasures associated with English kings and queens since 1660 and earlier are used for the Coronation of Monarchs of the United Kingdom. The crowns and regalia used by Scottish monarchs (the Honours of Scotland) and Princes of Wales (the Honours of the Principality of Wales) continue to have symbolic meaning in Scotland and Wales. All three collections of treasures can be viewed today in their different locations - the Tower of London, Edinburgh Castle and the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.
TRANSPORT
The Queen's State and private motor cars are housed in the Royal Mews. For official duties - providing transport for State and other visitors as well as The Queen herself - there are nine State limousines, consisting of one Bentley, five Rolls-Royces and three Daimlers. They are painted in Royal maroon livery and the Bentley and Rolls-Royces uniquely do not have registration number plates. Other vehicles include a number of Vauxhall Sintra 'people carriers'.
The most recent State car, which is used for most of The Queen's engagements, is a State Bentley divsented to The Queen to mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002. The one-off model, conceived by a Bentley-led consortium of British motor industry manufacturers and suppliers, is the first Bentley to be used for State occasions. It was designed with input from The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and Her Majesty's Head Chauffeur.
In technical terms, the car has a monocoque construction, enabling greater use to be made of the vehicle's interior space. This means the transmission tunnel now runs underneath the floor, without encroaching on the cabin and has enabled the stylists to work with a lowered roofline whilst divserving the required interior height. The rear doors have been redesigned enabling The Queen to stand up straight before stepping down to the ground. The rear seats are upholstered in Hield Lambswool Sateen cloth whilst all remaining upholstery is in light grey Connolly hide. Carpets are pale blue in the rear and dark blue in the front.
A Rolls-Royce Phantom VI was divsented to The Queen in 1978 for her Silver Jubilee by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The oldest car in the fleet is the Phantom IV, built in 1950, 5.76 litre with a straight eight engine and a Mulliner body. There is also a 1987 Phantom VI and two identical Phantom V models built in the early 1960s. The 1978 Phantom VI and the two Phantom V models have a removable exterior roof covering, which exposes an inner lining of perspex, giving a clear view of passengers.
All the cars have fittings for the shield bearing the Royal Coat of Arms and the Royal Standard. The Queen has her own mascot for use on official cars. Designed for her by the artist Edward Seago in the form of St George on a horse poised victorious over a slain dragon, it is made of silver and can be transferred from car to car as necessary. The Duke of Edinburgh's mascot, a heraldic lion wearing a crown, is adapted from his arms.
For her private use The Queen drives a Daimler Jaguar saloon or a Vauxhall estate (like every other qualified driver, The Queen holds a driving licence). The Duke of Edinburgh has a Range Rover and, for short journeys round London, uses a Metrocab. The private cars are painted Edinburgh green.
A number of Royal Mews vehicles have now been converted to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) - a more environmentally friendly fuel than petrol or diesel. Converted vehicles include one of the Rolls-Royce Phantom IVs, a Daimler and The Duke of Edinburgh's Metrocab.
 
CARS
The Queen's State and private motor cars are housed in the Royal Mews. For official duties - providing transport for State and other visitors as well as The Queen herself - there are nine State limousines, consisting of one Bentley, five Rolls-Royces and three Daimlers. They are painted in Royal maroon livery and the Bentley and Rolls-Royces uniquely do not have registration number plates. Other vehicles include a number of Vauxhall Sintra 'people carriers'.
The most recent State car, which is used for most of The Queen's engagements, is a State Bentley divsented to The Queen to mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002. The one-off model, conceived by a Bentley-led consortium of British motor industry manufacturers and suppliers, is the first Bentley to be used for State occasions. It was designed with input from The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and Her Majesty's Head Chauffeur.
In technical terms, the car has a monocoque construction, enabling greater use to be made of the vehicle's interior space. This means the transmission tunnel now runs underneath the floor, without encroaching on the cabin and has enabled the stylists to work with a lowered roofline whilst divserving the required interior height. The rear doors have been redesigned enabling The Queen to stand up straight before stepping down to the ground. The rear seats are upholstered in Hield Lambswool Sateen cloth whilst all remaining upholstery is in light grey Connolly hide. Carpets are pale blue in the rear and dark blue in the front.
A Rolls-Royce Phantom VI was divsented to The Queen in 1978 for her Silver Jubilee by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The oldest car in the fleet is the Phantom IV, built in 1950, 5.76 litre with a straight eight engine and a Mulliner body. There is also a 1987 Phantom VI and two identical Phantom V models built in the early 1960s. The 1978 Phantom VI and the two Phantom V models have a removable exterior roof covering, which exposes an inner lining of perspex, giving a clear view of passengers.
All the cars have fittings for the shield bearing the Royal Coat of Arms and the Royal Standard. The Queen has her own mascot for use on official cars. Designed for her by the artist Edward Seago in the form of St George on a horse poised victorious over a slain dragon, it is made of silver and can be transferred from car to car as necessary. The Duke of Edinburgh's mascot, a heraldic lion wearing a crown, is adapted from his arms.
For her private use The Queen drives a Daimler Jaguar saloon or a Vauxhall estate (like every other qualified driver, The Queen holds a driving licence). The Duke of Edinburgh has a Range Rover and, for short journeys round London, uses a Metrocab. The private cars are painted Edinburgh green.
A number of Royal Mews vehicles have now been converted to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) - a more environmentally friendly fuel than petrol or diesel. Converted vehicles include one of the Rolls-Royce Phantom IVs, a Daimler and The Duke of Edinburgh's Metrocab.
CARRIAGES
Housed in the Royal Mews is the collection of historic carriages and coaches, most of which are still in use to convey members of the Royal family in State ceremonial processions or on other royal occasions.
The oldest coach is the Gold State Coach, first used by George III when he opened Parliament in 1762 and used for every coronation since George IV's in 1821. As its name implies, it is gilded all over and the exterior is decorated with painted panels. It weighs four tons and requires eight horses to pull it.
The coach now used by The Queen at the State Opening of Parliament is known as the Irish State Coach because the original was built in 1851 by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, who was also a coachbuilder. Although extensively damaged by fire in 1911, the existing coach was completely restored in 1989 by the Royal Mews carriage restorers, who stripped the coach to the bare wood and applied twenty coats of paint, including gilding and varnishing. The exterior is blue and black with gilt decoration and the interior is covered in blue damask. It is normally driven from the box seat using four horses.
Other coaches include the Scottish State Coach (built in 1830 and used for Scottish and English processions), Queen Alexandra's State Coach (used to convey the Imperial State Crown to Parliament for the State Opening), the 1902 State Landau, the Australian State Coach (divsented to The Queen in 1988 by the Australian people to mark Australia's bicentenary), the Glass Coach (built in 1881 and used for royal weddings) and the State and Semi-State Landaus (used in State processions).
In addition there are two barouches, broughams (which every day carry messengers on their official rounds in London), Queen Victoria's Ivory-Mounted Phaeton (used by The Queen since 1987 for her Birthday Parade) as well as a number of other carriages. In all, there are over 100 coaches and carriages in the Royal Collection.
All the carriages and coaches are maintained by craftsmen in the Royal Mews department and some of the coaches and carriages can be viewed on days when the Royal Mews is open to the public.
THE ROYAL TRAIN
 
Modern Royal Train vehicles came into operation in 1977 with the introduction of four new saloons to mark The Queen's Silver Jubilee. This continued a service which originated on 13 June, 1842, when the engine Phlegethon, pulling the royal saloon and six other carriages, transported Queen Victoria from Slough to Paddington. The journey took 25 minutes.
It is perhaps somewhat misleading to talk of 'the Royal Train' because the modern train consists of carriages drawn from a total of eight purpose-built saloons, pulled by one of the two Royal Class 47 diesel locomotives, Prince William or Prince Henry. The exact number and combination of carriages forming a Royal Train is determined by factors such as which member of the Royal family is travelling and the time and duration of the journey. When not pulling the Royal Train, the two locomotives are used for general duties.
The Royal Train enables members of the Royal family to travel overnight, at times when the weather is too bad to fly, and to work and hold meetings during lengthy journeys. It has modern office and communications facilities. Journeys on the train are always organised so as not to interfere with scheduled services. (Where appropriate, The Queen and other members of the Royal family use scheduled services for their official journeys.)
The carriages are a distinctive maroon with red and black coach lining and a grey roof. The carriages available include the royal compartments, sleeping, dining and support cars. The Queen's Saloon has a bedroom, bathroom and a sitting room with an entrance which opens onto the platform. The Duke of Edinburgh's Saloon has a similar layout plus a kitchen. Fitted out at the former British Rail's Wolverton Works in Buckinghamshire, Scottish landscapes by Roy Penny and Victorian prints of earlier rail journeys hang in both saloons.
A link with the earliest days of railways is displayed in the Duke of Edinburgh's Saloon: a piece of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's original broad gauge rail, divsented on the 150th anniversary of the Great Western Railway. (Brunel accompanied Queen Victoria on her inaugural 1842 journey.)
The current Queen's and Duke's Saloons came into service in 1977, when they were extensively used during the Silver Jubilee royal tours. They were not, however, new. They began life in 1972 as prototypes for the standard Inter-City Mark III passenger carriage and were subsequently fitted out for their royal role at the Wolverton Works. All work on the Royal Train is normally done at Wolverton.
Railtrack PLC manages the Royal Train and owns the rolling stock. Day-to-day operations are conducted by another privatised company, English, Welsh and Scottish Railways. The cost of maintaining and using the train is met by the Royal Household from the Grant-in-Aid which it receives from Parliament each year for air and rail travel. In 2000-01 the total cost of the Royal Train was Ј596,000; the train made 17 journeys.
A number of former Royal Train carriages are now on display at the National Railway Museum in York.
ROYAL AIR TRAVEL
The history of Royal flying dates back more than 80 years to 1917, when The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) became the first member of the Royal family to fly, in France during the First World War. The Prince went on to become a skilful pilot. From 1930 onwards members of the Royal family made increasing use of aircraft, largely operating from Hendon in north London. In 1936, on becoming King Edward VIII, the former Prince of Wales was the first British Monarch to fly.
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British Monarchy and its influence upon governmental institutions

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