The Feathers comprise three silver (or white) feathers rising through a gold coronet of alternate crosses and fleur-de-lys. The motto “Ich Dien” (I serve) is on a dark blue ribbon beneath the coronet.
Its use in royal heraldry goes back to the time of Edward, Prince of Wales (the Black Prince) in the 14th Century.
Experts in heraldry believe the feathers may have been used by the family of Edward’s mother, Philippa of Hainault, but the Ich Dien motto formed part of the arms of the King of Bohemia.
The rules of heraldry allow limited variations in the depiction of the badge. The spines or quills of the feathers can be of gold, instead of white or silver, and the coronet, usually studded with emeralds and rubies, can also feature small sapphires.
The arrangement of the motto ribbon can vary, but is usually shown in front of the two outer feathers and behind the centre one.
Below find the penny issued by the Royal Family of England in the 18th century:
Coat of Arms
The Prince of Wales’s Coat of Arms has long historical links with the heraldry of his ancestors. The main shield is the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom. It has been used in this form since the reign of Queen Victoria.
In the first and fourth quarters of the shield are the three gold lions on a red field of the Sovereigns of England.
The second quarter of the shield contains Scotland’s red lion rampant on gold. In the third is the golden harp of Ireland on a blue field.
The shield is marked with a white label to show that it is borne by the eldest son of the Sovereign during the latter’s lifetime.
There is a smaller shield within the larger shield which represents the shield of arms of the original native princes of Gwynedd, with quarters of gold and red with four counter-coloured lions.
This shield is surmounted by the coronet of the Heir Apparent. In heraldry this is depicted in the same way as the crown of the Sovereign except that it has one arch instead of two.
Surrounding the whole is the blue buckled garter of the Most Noble Order of the Garter which bears in gold letters the motto, ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ which means ‘Shame upon him who thinks evil of it’ in Old French.
On top of the shield the royal crest, a gold lion crowned with The Prince’s coronet and a white label about its neck, stands upon a larger coronet.
This in turn sits upon the Royal Helm from both sides of which flow the gold and ermine mantling of the royal family.
On either side, standing on gold scrollwork, are the royal supporters, the Lion and the Unicorn; both have a white label around their necks to again signify the eldest son of the Sovereign.
Beneath them in the centre is the shield of arms of the Duchy of Cornwall surmounted by his coronet.
On the left is the badge of The Prince of Wales, the three ostrich feathers encircled by a gold coronet, and on the right is the royal badge of the Red Dragon of Wales.
Around its neck there is also a white label, to distinguish it from that of the Sovereign.
Under the achievement is a scroll bearing the motto of The Prince of Wales ‘Ich dien’, which means ‘I serve’.