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Dieu et mon droit

'Dieu et mon droit ’ is a French phrase used as the motto of the UK monarchy (outside of Scotland). 'Dieu et mon droit ’ translates directly as 'God and my right ’. Similar to 'honi soit qui mal y pense ', the phrase 'Dieu et mon droit ’ is used in the English version of the Royal Coat of Arms, and has been featured on British coins quite sparingly but consistently over the years.

Dieu et mon droit meaning

Dieu et mon droit ’ literally means 'God and my right ’ – which is considered as a reference to the Monarch’s divine right to rule. Over the years it has also been translated as 'God and my lawful right ’, 'God is my right ’, and 'God and my right hand ’.

It was officially adopted as the motto of English monarchs by King Henry V, but was believed to have first been used as a battle cry by King Richard I in 1198 at the Battle of Gisors. Having defeated French forces under Philip II, King Richard I wrote “It is not us who have done it but God and our right through us”.

The belief of a divine right to rule would be central to the English monarchy for centuries, and would eventually lead to Henry VIII’s decision to split England from the Rome-centred Catholic faith.

Dieu et mon droit coins

Dieu et mon droit features on a select few British coins; predominantly Half Crowns from the reign of George IV from 1825 onwards. It is typically found on a ribbon or banner, under the Royal Coat of Arms.

George IV Halfcrowns featuring the phrase 'Dieu et mon droit'.

A number of modern one pound coins were also designed with the Royal Coat of Arms, and featured ‘Dieu et mon droit’ on the reverse of the coins. These were the 1983, 1993, 1998, and 2008 one pound coins. These circulating coins are one of the most common ways for people to have spotted the Dieu et mon droit on their UK coins.

In bullion coins, The Royal Mint’s new ‘Royal Arms’ series of coins features the Coat of Arms predominantly, and has ‘Dieu et mon droit’ stamped in the ribbon beneath the shield as normal. These are produced in fine silver and fine gold and have become a popular alternative British bullion coin.

2019 Royal Arms coins featuring the phrase 'Dieu et mon droit'.