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HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
"Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense" appears around the shield.
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:
|1801||1813||Half Guinea||George III||Sixth & Seventh Heads - Shield in Garter|
|1813||1813||Guinea||George III||"Military" - Shield in Garter|
|1817||1820||Sovereign||George III||Laureate Head - St. George & Dragon|
|1818||1820||Crown||George III||Laureate Head - St. George & Dragon|
|1816||1820||Halfcrown||George III||Laureate Head - Crowned Shield in Garter|
|1816||1820||Shilling||George III||Laureate Head - Crowned Shield in Garter|
|1816||1820||Sixpence||George III||Laureate Head - Crowned Shield in Garter|
|1823||1824||Halfcrown||George IV||Laureate Head - Crowned Shield in Garter|
|1823||1824||Shilling||George IV||Laureate Head - Crowned Shield in Garter|
|1824||1826||Halfcrown||George IV||Laureate Head - Crowned Shield in Garter|
|1887||1892||Halfcrown||Victoria||Jubilee Head - Crowned Shield in Garter|
|1887||1892||Shilling||Victoria||Jubilee Head - Crowned Shield in Garter|
|1887||1887||Sixpence||Victoria||"Withdrawn" Jubilee Head - Crowned Shield in Garter|
|1893||1901||Florin||Victoria||Old Head - Three Shields in Garter|
|1893||1901||Shilling||Victoria||Old Head - Three Shields in Garter|
|1902||1910||Halfcrown||Edward VI||Bare Head - Crowned Shield in Garter|
|1911||1927||Halfcrown||George V||Bare Head - Crowned Shield in Garter|
|2017||2017||Sovereign||Elizabeth II||200th Anniversary - St. George & Dragon|
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.
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".
Please see our Inscriptions, Legends and Mottos on British Coins page for more information.
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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