In these times of lockdown I have no "Tales from the Road" or much from the garage either. So I looked at some pieces I wrote but did not post on this blog.
In September 2018 I took a run to Angus. In Friockheim I found a gunshop bearing the heraldic badge of the Prince of Wales. It is fairly common, in this country, to see such royal warrants displayed by suppliers to the Royals.
badge had the motto "Ich Dien" which I assumed meant something in the
Welsh language but it turns out to be German, "I serve". So why is a
royal badge in German?
Note that the Prince of Wales is the title held by the hier to the British (previously English) throne.
story goes like this. The Battle of Crécy was fought in northern France
in 1346. An English army defeated the French and their allies. Amongst
the allies was King John the Blind of Bohemia. When it became apparent
that the battle was lost the king's aides suggested that he retreated to
safely. John is said to have replied that the King of Bohemia would not
run away and asked to be led to the heart of the battle for a glorious
(but pointless) death.
|UK 2 pence coin|
the battle Edward, Prince of Wales, known as the Black Prince is said
to have found John's body and been impressed by the ostrich feathers on
his helmet so took them as his badge and John's motto as his own. An
important factor in the English victory at Crécy were Welsh archers and
they are said to have liked the motto because "Ich Dien" sound the same
as "Eich Dyn" meaning "Your Man" in Welsh.
Of course most of the
above is in doubt. Historians think that the symbol and motto came from
a royal marriage to the aristocracy of the Low Countries or Luxembourg -
but that isn't such a good story.
|John's tomb in the crypt of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg City|
lands. Luxembourg, Bohemia (mostly in the Czech Republic), a bit of Poland and
Regent Bar in Govanhill displays the badge. It's a "Rangers pub" - ie
decorated in the style of, and frequented by fans of, the football club. |
Ok, history lesson over.