Thursday, August 28, 2014

Etiquette and a Prominent Royal Flag

The flag draped coffin carried past mourners.

In its worldwide coverage of the shocking, early death, of Princess Diana, the press missed some subtle nuances of British regal etiquette and protocol regarding the flag draping her coffin.  

Wrote Kevin Harrington, of Scarborough Ontario, and publisher of Flagscan, "Never has a flag figured so conspicuously in the minds of millions as did the Royal flag draped over the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales, in her funeral procession." adding, "This Royal flag, commonly but not correctly, referred to as a Royal standard."
Diana's personal coat of arms 
Of the variations in the real Royal standard, Harrington elaborated, "Prince Charles has a personal standard, or banner, with different markings and additions as Prince of Wales." 
The late-Queen Mother's flag draped coffin is brought past mourners.

The late-"Queen Mother," had her coat of arms added to the coat of arms of the sovereign. The late-Princess Margaret had, and Princess Anne has, the white bar across the top with specific markings. On the other hand, Harrington explained, the flag that had been draped over Diana's coffin, "had a quite prominent wide white border with tiny black markings, which represent the heraldic fur, ermine." That particular flag designated one's membership in the royal family, but who was without a personal standard. 

Harrington advised reporters who need help understanding their standards, to contact any vexillologist, adding one "would be happy to make calls on the flagpole near you."