Royal Standard

The Royal Standard represents the Sovereign and the United Kingdom.

The Royal Standard is flown when The King is in residence in one of the Royal Palaces, on The King's car on official journeys and on aircraft (when on the ground).

It may also be flown on any building, official or private (but not ecclesiastical buildings), during a visit by The King, if the owner or proprietor so requests.

The Royal Standard also used to be flown on board the Royal Yacht, when it was in service and Queen Elizabeth II was on board.

Since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, the composition of the Royal Standard has taken various forms. In today's Standard there are four quarterings - England (three lions passant) in the first and fourth quarters, Scotland (a lion rampant) in the second quarter and Ireland (a harp) in the third quarter.

Wales is not represented in the Royal Standard, as its special position as a Principality was recognised by the creation of the Prince of Wales long before the incorporation of the quarterings for Scotland and Ireland in the Royal Arms.

In Scotland a different version of the Royal Standard is used, with Scottish arms in the first and fourth quarters and English arms in the second.

The Royal Standard is flown only when the Sovereign is present. If the Union Jack is flying above Buckingham Palace instead of the Standard, The King is not in residence.

When The King goes to Parliament, the Royal Standard flies from Victoria Tower.

Unlike the Union flag, the Royal Standard is never flown at half mast, even after the death of a monarch, as there is always a Sovereign on the throne.

Related content

The King's message marking two years of conflict in Ukraine

My heart goes out to all those affected, as I remember them in my thoughts and prayers.

24 February 2024

A message from His Majesty The King to Grenada marking their 50th year of Independence

On the occasion of the fiftieth Anniversary of the Independence of Grenada, it gives me great pleasure to send you all my congratulations and warmest good wishes.

07 February 2024

A message from His Majesty The King for the launch of Big Help Out 2024

I have long believed that one of the greatest strengths of our nation is our ability to come together and help each other through times of hardship. Throughout my life, I have...

31 January 2024

The Queen's Introduction to Queen Mary's Dolls' House's Modern-Day Miniature Library

It has continued to enchant generations of children and adults who come to marvel at its perfect proportions, extraordinary attention to detail and, perhaps above all, the...

30 January 2024
Press release 29 January 2024

A statement from Buckingham Palace

Read more
Press release 26 January 2024

A message from The King on Holocaust Memorial Day 2024

Read more
Press release 25 January 2024

The King's Gold Medal for Poetry 2023

Read more
News

The Queen visits Swindon

22 January 2024
Queen Camilla smiles after unveiling a plaque during a visit to the Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service's (SDASS) in Wiltshire, to mark the charity's 50th anniversary and highlight their work in support, prevention, education and early intervention, including work with perpetrators of domestic abuse.
Press release 17 January 2024

A statement from Kensington Palace

Read more

A message from His Majesty The King to Their Majesties King Frederik X and Queen Mary of Denmark

I look forward to working with you on ensuring that the enduring bond between our countries, and our families, remains strong, and to working together with you on issues which...

15 January 2024

The King's Christmas Broadcast 2023

And at a time of increasingly tragic conflict around the World, I pray that we can also do all in our power to protect each other.

25 December 2023

A speech by His Majesty The King at the opening of COP28, Dubai, U.A.E

Change will come by working together and making it easier to embrace decisions that will sustain our world, rather than carry on as though there are no limits – or as though...

01 December 2023