IF the Lord of the manor should want to marry the Lord of the neighbouring manor they will no longer have to go through that awkward discussion about whose coat-of-arms to use, following a decision to allow married same-sex couples to “impale” their respective crests.
“A man who contracts a same-sex marriage may impale the arms of his husband with his own on a shield or banner,” the London-based organisation said in a statement.
“A woman who contracts a same-sex marriage may bear arms on a shield or banner, impaling the arms of her wife with her own.”
The new ruling follows the legalisation of same-sex marriage in England and Wales in March.
Talking to the Associated Press, Robert Noel, an officer of the college, said the change “seemed natural and logical.”
UK gay rights group Stonewall media manager Richard Lane said the tradition was somewhat “antiquated,” but “it’s nice that this tradition has now caught up with the reality of modern Britain.”
Founded in 1484 by King Richard III, the college is also the official authority in Australia when it comes to matter of heraldic import.
However, while combined coats-of-arms are now available to married same-sex partners in the UK, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, it seems the government’s unwillingness to embrace marriage equality will mean Australian LGBTI couples will have to leave their crests bereft with no impaling allowed.
Assuming they have crests, that is.
However, despite their new found inclusiveness, heraldry can be a headache.
Prior to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Middleton family hastily had a shield created so it could then be impaled to that of Prince William’s.
The nearest thing to gay royalty, Elton John, already has a shield – replete with a piano, records and a satyr playing pan pipes.
If he chooses to upgrade his civil partnership with David Furnish to full blown marriage a whole new crest could be on the cards.
The speaker of the UK’s House of Commons, John Bercow, has a coat of arms heavily influenced by his work on LGBTI rights with a rainbow scroll, pink triangle motifs and the legend ‘all are equal’.
Australia’s most famous heraldic symbol is the Commonwealth coat of arms consisting of a kangaroo and an emu holding a shield containing symbols from every state.