The Queen’s Beasts
The Dragon of Wales

 

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The Red Dragon of Wales

Dragons are one of the best known mythical beasts. They are associated with strength, wisdom and power; these intimidating traits made the dragon a popular choice in heraldry.

The dragon was mentioned in Welsh chronicles as early as the sixth century, interwoven with the legend of King Arthur and his father Uther Pendragon. But it is the Red Dragon of The Queen’s Beasts that came to represent the nation of Wales, as an emblem of Owen Tudor, Henry VII’s grandfather.

Dragons are one of the best known mythical beasts, found in legends all over the world. In Europe the dragon was seen as a frightening but strong, wise and powerful creature. In Wales it was mentioned in chronicles as early as the sixth century, sometimes known as the red dragon of Cadwallader, the legendary king of Gwynedd. The Red Dragon of The Queen’s Beasts was an emblem of Owen Tudor, a claim to Welsh heritage that was carried on by his son, who would become Henry VII. The troops of Henry VII carried a fiery red dragon standard at the Battle of Bosworth, when Henry secured the crown of England.

Henry VIII used a red dragon on green and white – the colours of the House of Tudor – on his ships. It was an official emblem of Wales for many years but it was not until 1959 that The Queen made the red dragon on a green and white background the official flag for Wales. The dragon of The Queen’s Beasts is red with a yellow underbelly and it holds a quartered red and gold shield with leopards, the arms of Llewelyn ap Griffith, the last native prince of Wales.

The connection to the Queen
Coronation Beasts
The Queen’s Beasts Collection is a series of ten coins from The Royal Mint, inspired by the ancestral beasts of heraldry, myth and legend that have watched over Her Majesty The Queen throughout her extraordinary reign, from her coronation to her Sapphire Jubilee.

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Bullion

The Royal Mint series
Queen’s Beast
Coin Series

The Queen’s Beasts Collection is a series of ten coins from The Royal Mint, inspired by the ancestral beasts of heraldry, myth and legend that have watched over Her Majesty The Queen throughout her extraordinary reign, from her coronation to her Sapphire Jubilee.

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Dragon
 

“They are very stylised
and look imposing as
statues but the challenge
was to capture this on the surface of a coin...”

Jody Clark, Coin Designer

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