2016 Queen's Beasts Lion Of England One Ounce Gold Bullion Coin
£100 Gold bullion coin from The Royal Mint, honouring The Lion of England. Both sides of the coin were designed by Jody Clark. The coin's obverse presents the 5th Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II, with the reverse depicting the lion in its signature 'rampant' pose. The lion is accompanied by a royal shield acting as a motif connecting The Queen's Beasts collection, of which this coin is one of 10 in the series. For every coin in the series, Jody Clark took inspiration from heraldry and the true nature of the beast. Each coin in the limited presentation series arrives with a booklet produced in association with Clive Cheesman, Richmond Herald at the College of Arms.
The Lion of England has represented bravery, valour and strength since its origins in 1127, when a blue shield was gifted to Geoffrey Plantagenet on his marriage to Henry I's daughter, Matilda. The tradition of using lions on shields was formalised by Richard the Lionheart in the 12th century. The practice has remained a staple of British culture and present on the Royal Coat of Arms ever since. The Lion of England was one of 10 statues sculpted by James Woodford, OBE. The six-foot-tall statues formed a guard of honour, The Queen's Beasts, at the entrance to Westminster Abbey in 1953, on the occasion of the coronation of Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II. The figures were inspired by statues at Hampton Court Palace created over 400 years ago for Henry VIII and known as The King's Beasts. Today, The Queen's Beasts are displayed at the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec. Portland stone replicas, again designed by James Woodford, OBE, watch over Kew Gardens in London.
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