The Lion and the Unicorn

The lion and the unicorn
Were fighting for the crown.
The lion beat the unicorn all around the town.



Some gave them white bread,
Some gave them brown.
Some gave them plum cake
And drummed them out of town!

Many have heard the nursery rhyme 'The Lion and the Unicorn'. The lion and the unicorn were both considered to be the kings of the animals and the sounds of their clashes could be heard throughout the forest. It was said that their battles determined the seasons.

A rampant lion and unicorn are also seen on the British coat of arms. Before Britain took over Scotland, the British coat of arms had two rampant lions and Scotland's had two rampant unicorns.

In the design the shield shows the various royal emblems of different parts of the United Kingdom: the three lions of England in the first and fourth quarters, the lion of Scotland in the second and the harp of Ireland in the third. The shield is supported by the English lion and Scottish unicorn and is surmounted by the Royal crown. Below it appears the motto of the Sovereign, Dieu et mon droit ('God and my right').