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HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE

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1817 Gold Sovereign Reverse Featuring Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.
1817 Gold Sovereign Reverse Featuring "Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense".

Coins Inscriptions

1889 Victoria Half Crown Reverse Featuring Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.
1889 Victoria Halfcrown Reverse.
"Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense" appears around the shield.

Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense

This is one of a number of the foreign language mottos that appear on British coins. Many mottos, legends and inscriptions are in Latin, but this one is in French. It first appeared on British coins on the half guineas of George III in 1801. Other British coins on which it has appeared include:

Date RangetoDemoninationReignType
18011813Half GuineaGeorge IIISixth & Seventh Heads - Shield in Garter
18131813GuineaGeorge III"Military" - Shield in Garter
18171820SovereignGeorge IIILaureate Head - St. George & Dragon
18181820CrownGeorge IIILaureate Head - St. George & Dragon
18161820HalfcrownGeorge IIILaureate Head - Crowned Shield in Garter
18161820ShillingGeorge IIILaureate Head - Crowned Shield in Garter
18161820SixpenceGeorge IIILaureate Head - Crowned Shield in Garter
18231824HalfcrownGeorge IV Laureate Head - Crowned Shield in Garter
18231824ShillingGeorge IV Laureate Head - Crowned Shield in Garter
18241826HalfcrownGeorge IV Laureate Head - Crowned Shield in Garter
18871892HalfcrownVictoriaJubilee Head - Crowned Shield in Garter
18871892ShillingVictoriaJubilee Head - Crowned Shield in Garter
18871887SixpenceVictoria"Withdrawn" Jubilee Head - Crowned Shield in Garter
18931901FlorinVictoriaOld Head - Three Shields in Garter
18931901ShillingVictoriaOld Head - Three Shields in Garter
19021910HalfcrownEdward VIBare Head - Crowned Shield in Garter
19111927HalfcrownGeorge VBare Head - Crowned Shield in Garter
2017 2017 Sovereign Elizabeth II 200th Anniversary - St. George & Dragon

Other Occurrences

The motto, usually shown on the garter, also occurs as the emblems, symbols, or badges of a number of entities including the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.

Translation of Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense

The phrase itself is in mediaeval French, so there are many variations of its translations. The one we use is "Evil be to him who evil thinks thereof". Others translations include: "Shame on whosoever would think badly of it", "May he be shamed who thinks badly of it", "Shame be to him who thinks evil of it", "Evil (or shame) be to him that evil thinks".

Inscriptions on British Coins

Please see our Inscriptions, Legends and Mottos on British Coins page for more information.

Order of the Garter

The order of the garter was instituted by King Edward III in 1348. Its patron saint is St George, and new appointments are always announced on 23rd April, which is St. George's Day in England. It's members are chosen solely by the ruling monarch, and there are normally a maximum of 25 members in addition to the sovereign. There are a number of stories recounted how and why the order was formed, we will not try to repeat them here.


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