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About lions for curious readers

The lions (couchant) posted yesterday drew some questions. As far as we know the last lions roaming Britain became extinct around the end of the last Ice Age. They made a triumphant return in the retinue of King John, who was trying, we think, to compete with his brother, Richard the Lionheart.

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A lion rampant was first used by Richard's father, Henry II on his Royal Coat of Arms.

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Richard's first, rather charming variation on the lion theme.

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Richard's 1198 lions, looking very like the lions on the Royal Arms today.

There were enough lions roaming around the Tower of London that Edward I built a lion tower for them. Today they are happily ensconced in a few British parks and on the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.

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The Royal Arms as used in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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The Royal Arms as used in Scotland.


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