Arms of the Governors General of Canada

Monck arms.svg

Charles Monck, 4th Viscount Monck, Governor-General of Canada, 1867-1868.

Arms: Gules a chevron between three lions’ heads erased Argent

Crest (shown above the coronet of a Viscount): A dragon passant wings elevated Sable

Supporters: Dexter, a dragon; sinister, a lion, both Argent and holding in the forepaw a branch of laurel resting on the shoulder fructed proper

Baron Lisgar Escutcheon.png

John Young, 1st Baron Lisgar, Governor-General of Canada, 1869-1872.

Arms: Argent three piles Sable, each charged with a trefoil slipped Or, on a chief Sable, three annulets Or,and in canton the augmentation of a baronet being an inescutcheon, a dexter hand erect couped at the wrist and appaumé Gules

Crest (shown above the coronet of a Baron): On a wreath Argent and Sable, a demi-lion rampant Gules, charged on the shoulder with a trefoil slipped Or, holding in the dexter paw a sprig of three maple leaves all proper

One of the depictions of the crest is placed above Lord Lisgar’s motto, PRUDENTIA. Lisgar did not use supporters.

Arms of Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, Marquess of Dufferin and Ava.svg

Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, Earl of Dufferin, Governor-General of Canada, 1872-1878.

Arms: Quarterly, 1 and 4 Azure a fess Or, in chief a crescent Argent between two mullets Or and in base a mascle Argent; 2nd quarterly, 1 and 4 Or an eagle displayed Sable, 2 and 3 Argent two bars Sable, each charged with three martlets Or; 3rd Gules three cinquefoils pierced Ermine, on a chief Or a lion passant Gules; overall the augmentation of a baronet being an inescutcheon Argent charged with a sinister hand erect couped at the wrist and appaumé Gules

Crest: 1) On a cap of maintenance Gules turned up Ermine, a crescent Argent; 2) (shown above the cornet of a Marquess), On a ducal coronet, a martlet Or; 3) A demi-antelope affronté Ermine attired and unguled Or holding between the hoofs a heart Gules

Supporters: Dexter, a lion Gules armed and langued Azure gorged with a tressure flory-counter-flory Or; sinister, an heraldic tiger Ermine gorged with a like tressure Gules; each supporter supporting a flag-staff proper therefrom flowing a banner Or charged with a peacock in his pride also proper

Marquess of Lorne Shield.png

John Campbell, Marquis of Lorne, Governor General of Canada, 1878-1883.

Arms: Quarterly, 1 and 4 gyronny of eight Or and Sable; 2 and 3 Argent a galley or lymphad Sable, sails furled, flag and pennons flying and oars in action proper Crest (shown above the coronet of a Duke): On a wreath Or and Sable, a boar’s head fessewise erased Or, armed Argent

One depiction of the crest is shown above the two insignia of office that are generally shown crossed in saltire behind the arms of the Duke of Argyll: A baton Gules powdered with thistles Or, ensigned with an imperial crown proper, thereon the crest of Scotland (for the office of Hereditary Great Master of the Household in Scotland); and: A sword proper hilt and pommel Or (for the office of Lord Justice General of Scotland).

Supporters: Two lions rampant guardant Gules

Note: The heraldic elements here represent Lorne later in his life, when he succeeded to the title of Duke of Argyll. When he was Governor General, Lorne used these arms with a three-point label, and with a Marquess’s coronet.

Marquess of Lansdowne.svg

Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, Governor-general of Canada, 1883-1888.

Arms: Quarterly, 1 and 4 Ermine on a bend Azure a magnetic needle pointing to a polar star Or, 2 and 3 Argent a saltire Gules, a chief Ermine Crest: 1) On a wreath Argent and Azure, a beehive beset with bees diversely volant proper; 2) (Shown above the coronet of a Marquess:) On a wreath Argent and Gules, a Sagittarius proper, the part from the waist Argent

Supporters: Two pegasi Ermine bridled, crined, winged and unguled Or, each charged on the shoulder with a fleur-de-lis Or

Stanley arms.svg

Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, Governor-General of Canada, 1888-1893.

Arms: Argent on a bend Azure, three stags’ heads caboshed Or, a crescent azure for difference

Crest (shown above the coronet of an Earl): A cap of maintenance Gules, turned up Ermine, an eagle wings extended Or, preying on an infant in its cradle proper swaddled Gules, the cradle laced Or

Supporters: Dexter, a griffin wings elevated; sinister, a stag, each Or and ducally gorged with a line reflexed over the back and charged on the shoulder with a crescent Azure

Note: The heraldic elements here represent Stanley as Earl of Derby, a title he inherited from his older brother shortly before the end of his term as Governor General.

Arms of the Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair.svg

John Hamilton-Gordon, 1st Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, Governor-General of Canada, 1893-1898.

Arms: Azure, three boars’ heads couped Or armed proper langued Gules, within a tressure flowered and counterflowered interchangeably with thistles, roses and fleurs-de-lis Or

Crest (shown above the coronet of a Marquess): On a wreath Azure, Or and Gules, two arms holding a bow and arrow straight upwards in a shooting posture and at full draught all proper

Motto (above the crest): Fortuna Sequatur

Supporters: Dexter, an earl in his robes; sinister, a doctor of law in his robes both proper

Note: The coronet in the crest represents Lord Aberdeen after 1916, when he was made a marquess following his service as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

Earl of Minto COA.svg

Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto, Governor-General of Canada, 1893-1904.

Arms: 1 and 4, grand quarters, quarterly 1 and 4 Argent a hunting horn Sable stringed Gules, in dexter chief point a crescent also gules, on a chief wavy Azure, three mullets Argent; 2 and 3 Azure a chevron Argent between three fleurs-de-lis Or; 2 and 3, grand quarters Gules on a bend engrailed Or, a baton Azure, within a bordure Vair; over all, a chief of augmentation Argent charged with a Moor’s head couped in profile proper

Crest (shown above the coronet of an Earl): On a wreath Argent and Azure, issuant from clouds a dexter arm embowed throwing a dart all proper

Motto (above the crest): Non eget arcu

Supporters: Dexter, an Indian sheep; sinister, a fawn, both proper

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey CoA.png

Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey, Governor-General of Canada, 1904-1911.

Arms: Quarterly 1 and 4 Gules, a lion rampant within a bordure engrailed Argent, in dexter chief point a mullet Or; 2 and 3, barry of six Argent and Azure, on a bend Gules a bezant in dexter chief; overall the augmentation of a Baronet, an inescutcheon argent, a sinister hand erect couped at the wrist and appaumé gules

Crest (shown above the coronet of an Earl): On a wreath Argent and Gules, a scaling ladder Or, hooked and pointed Azure

Supporters: Dexter, a lion guardant Purpure ducally crowned Or; sinister, a tiger guardant proper

Arms of Arthur of Connaught.svg

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Governor-General of Canada, 1911-1916.

Arms: The royal arms of general purpose with an inescutcheon of Saxony and differenced with a label of three points Argent, with 1st and 3rd charged with a fleur-de-lis Azure, the 2nd charged with a cross Gules

Crest: On the coronet of a Royal Duke, a lion statant guardant Or, wearing a like coronet charged on the shoulder with a label as in the arms

Supporters: Dexter, a lion rampant guardant Or wearing the coronet of a Royal Duke and charged on the shoulder with a label as in the arms; sinister, a unicorn Argent, armed, crined and unguled Or, gorged with a coronet Or composed of crosses patée and fleurs de lis a chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or and charged on the shoulder with a label as in the arms

Cavendish arms.svg

Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire, Governor-General of Canada, 1916-1921.

Arms: Sable three bucks’ heads caboshed Argent

Crest (shown above the coronet of a Duke): On a wreath Argent and Sable, a serpent nowed proper

Supporters: Two bucks proper each wreathed round the neck with a chaplet of roses alternately Argent and Azure

Arms of Byng, Viscount Byng of Vimy.svg

Julian Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy, Governor-General of Canada, 1921-1926.

Arms: Quarterly sable and argent in the first quarter a lion rampant of the second, over all in bend sinister a representation of the colours of the 31st Regiment, a crescent gules for difference

Crest: 1) Out of a mural crown, a dexter arm embowed grasping the colours of the 31st Regiment and pendent from the wrist by a ribbon the gold cross presented by command for Lord Stafford’s gallant achievement, all proper, and on a scroll the word “Mouguerre”; 2) A heraldic antelope statant Ermine attired Or

Supporters: Dexter, a heraldic antelope Ermine attired Or; sinister, a lion Or, each charged on the shoulder with a rose Gules

Arms of Freeman-Thomas, Marquess of Willingdon.svg

Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon, Governor-General of Canada, 1926-1931

Quarterly, 1st and 4th: Argent three lions rampant gules a chief azure (Thomas); 2nd and 3rd: Ermine two pallets in pale azure over all three fusils conjoined in fess or (Freeman)

Crests: 1st: A Demi Lion rampant Gules charged on the shoulder with an Ermine Spot Argent (Freeman); 2nd: Issuant out of an Antique Crown Azure a Boar’s Head proper (Thomas)

Supporters: On either side a Freeman armed cap à pie in English armour of the 17th century proper

Motto: “Honesty Is the Best Policy”

Arms of Ponsonby.svg

Vere Ponsonby, 9th Earl of Bessborough, Governor-General of Canada, 1931-1935

Baron Tweedsmuir Escutcheon.png

John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, Governor-General of Canada, 1935-1940

Arms: Azure a Fess between three Lions’ Heads erased Argent

Crest: A Sunflower proper

Supporters: Dexter: a Stag proper attired Or collared Gules; Sinister: a Falcon proper jessed belled and beaked Or armed and collared Gules

Motto: Non Inferiora Secutus (“Not following meaner things”)

Earl of Athlone Arms.svg

Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone, Governor-General of Canada, 1940-1946

Arms of Alexander of Caledon.svg

Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis, Governor-General of Canada, 1946-1952

The Rt. Hon. Vincent Massey, 1952 – 1959

First Canadian-born Governor General of Canada. Mr Massey received a grant of arms in 1927, long before he became Governor General. An honourable augmentation of the Royal Crest of Canada was added by Royal Warrant in 1963.

Arms: Argent, on a Chevron Sable between three Lozenges of the last, each charged with a Fleur de Lis of the first, three Stags’ Heads erased Or; on a Canton Azure, a representation of the Crest of Canada as an honourable augmentation.
Crest: Out of an Antique Crown Or, a Bull’s Head Sable, armed Gold, charged on the neck with a Lozenge Argent, thereon a Fleur de Lis also Sable.
Source: College of Arms, London, England, December 18, 1927; Honourable Augmentation by Royal Warrant, December 11, 1963.

The Rt. Hon. Georges Philias Vanier, 1959 – 1967

As a young man, Georges Vanier was appointed an aide-de-camp to then-Governor General Lord Byng, in 1921. Thirty-eight years after that first introduction, Georges and Pauline Vanier came to live at Rideau Hall as the newly appointed vice-regal couple. The appointment of Georges Vanier was announced at a Cabinet meeting in Halifax presided over by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

ECU: Or a chevron pale azure sewn gules eight pieces, loaded with two golden swords appointed accompanied in chief a natural truncated oak, docked with a fleur de lis azure and a clover Vert, and in front of the gate of the citadel of Quebec, summoned by the manner of the governor-general of Canada au naturel.
crest: A tower with its frames of gold, representing the bell tower of the Church of St. Catherine, Honfleur, France.
Source: College of Arms, London, November 1, 1961

The Rt. Hon. Roland Michener, 1967 – 1974

Arms: Azure four bendlets interlaced in saltire between in chief a representation of the Royal Crown of England and in base a Fleur de Lis Or.
Crest: In front of a demi-lion supporting a representation of the Mace of the House of Commons of Canada Or a Plate charged with a Maple Leaf Gules.
Supporters: On the dexter side a Deer Gules attired and unguled Or charged on the shoulder with a Plate thereon a Rose Gules barbed and seeded proper and on the sinister side a Deer Argent attired and unguled Or charged on the shoulder with a Torteau thereon a Square Buckle Argent.
Source: College of Arms, London, June 10, 1968.
Note: The Rt. Hon. Daniel R. Michener was the 1st Governor General Patron of the Society.

The Rt. Hon. Jules Léger1974 – 1979

The arms were granted in 1990 by the Chief Herald of Canada upon the petition of M. Léger’s surviving relatives. The design is based on M. Léger’s seal, created by Alex Colville in 1975.

Arms: Blue Céleste in chief an owl affronty hovering Argent in base a maple leaf ensigned by the Royal Crown both Or.
Source: Canadian Heraldic Authority, Ottawa, June 4, 1988.
Note: The Rt. Hon. Jules Léger was the 2nd Governor General Patron of the Society.

The Rt. Hon. Edward Schreyer1979 – 1984

The Coat of Arms was granted by the The Canadian Heraldic Authority in 1990, following a design created by Bruce Beatty in 1980.

Arms: Per pale Or and Vert a pale wavy of four Azure and Argent in chief a plate displaying a cross Gules charged with the Royal Crown proper; in dexter base a pomeis charged with a garb Or and in sinister base a bezant charged with a fir tree Vert.
Crest: Above a helmet mantled Vert doubled Or on a wreath Or and Vert a mound of ice proper thereon a polar bear charged with a maple leaf Gules.
Supporters: Dexter a Bison proper charged on the shoulder with a lozenge Or bearing a prairie crocus flower slipped and leaved proper sinister a moose proper charged on the shoulder with a hurt displaying a fleur de lys Or the whole set upon a compartment party per pale a wheatfield Or and a forest Vert.
Source: Canadian Heraldic Authority, Ottawa, June 4, 1988.
Note: The Rt. Hon. Edward Schreyer was the 3rd Governor General Patron of the Society.

The Rt. Hon. Jeanne Sauvé,  1984 – 1990
First above left is the first Grant of Arms to the late Hon. Jeanne Sauvé, P.C., C.C., C.M.M., C.D., was from the English College of Arms in 1985.

Upon the formation of the The Canadian Heraldic Authority (CHA), she was granted new arms

Madame Sauvé’s coat of arms was changed in several ways when granted by the CHA. Most significantly, the royal crown was replaced with the royal crest of Canada. A lightning flash was added to the eagle; the coronet was changed to include fleurs-de-lis (showing that she is a French Canadian); and the supporters were given collars.

Arms: Azure the Mace of the House of Commons of Canada Or in bend between in chief an Eagle displayed Or bearing in its beak a bolt of lightning Gules and in base a Lion passant guardant Or imperially crowned proper holding inthe dexter paw a Maple Leaf Gules fimbriated Or.
Crest: Upon a Helm mantled Azure doubled Or, on a Wreath Or and Azure alighting within a circlet composed alternately of Maple Leaves Gules and Fleurs-de-Lys Or a Dove wings elevated and addorsed holding in its beak a sprig of Olive both proper.
Supporters: On either side a Doe proper each gorged with a collar Argent pendant therefrom a Roundel barry wavy Argent and Vert.
Source: Canadian Heraldic Authority, Ottawa, November 19, 1985.
Note: The Rt. Hon. Jeanne Sauvé was the 4th Governor General Patron of the Society.

The Rt. Hon. Ramon John Hnatyshyn,1990 – 1995

During the Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn’s term of office, the official residence began to be known as a tourist destination, with many Canadians enjoying tours of the public rooms and grounds. In 1991, Mr. Hnatyshyn created the Governor General’s Summer Concert Series, which became a popular annual music festival.

Arms: Per fess Bleu Celeste and Or, in chief a lion passant guardant Or royally crowned Proper, holding in its dexter paw a Maple Leaf Gules fimbriated Or, in base a lion passant guardant Bleu Celeste holding in its dexter paw a heart Gules.
Crest: A demi-lion rampant Gules charged on either shoulder with a Maple Leaf Argent and grasping in its dexter paw a scale of justice Gules.
Supporters: Dexter: A white-tailed deer per fess Bleu Celeste and Or, armed and gorged with a collar all Or, pendant therefrom a bezant charged with a representation of the badge of the House of Commons of Canada Proper;Sinister: A bull per fess Bleu Celeste and Or, gorged with a collar Vert, fimbriated Argent, pendant therefrom a prairie lily flower Proper, charged with the Tryzub of the Ukraine Bleu Celeste, the whole set upon a compartment party per pale of trees of the boreal forest Vert and a wheat field Or rising above barry wavy Azure and Argent.
Source: Canadian Heraldic Authority, Ottawa, January 16, 1990.
Note: The Rt. Hon. Ramon Hnatyshyn was the 5th Governor General Patron of the Society.
Artist: Cathy Bursey-Sabourin

The Rt. Hon. Roméo LeBlanc,1995 – 1999

The Honourable Roméo LeBlanc became Governor General of Canada on February 8, 1995, following a long and distinguished career of public service. An Acadian born in Memramcook, New Brunswick in 1927, he was the first Governor General from the Maritimes.

Arms: Argent on a pile Gules the Star of Acadia ensigned by a representation of the Royal Crown Or.
Crest: Four eagle feathers Argent quilled Or encircled with a band of Micmac porcupine quill decoration Gules embellished with a barrulet dancetty Argent.
Supporters: Rising from a mount Argent semé of maple leaves Gules between waves of the sea Azure crested Argent two dolphins Argent finned and tailed and gorged with a garland of fleurs-de-lys Or and maple leaves Gules pendant therefrom a hurt charged dexter with a steam locomotive wheel and sinister with a closed book Or clasped Gules.
Source: Canadian Heraldic Authority, Ottawa, January 1, 1995.
Note: The Rt. Hon. Roméo LeBlanc was the 6th Governor General Patron of the Society.
Artist: Cathy Sabourin

The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson,1999 – 2005

Madame Clarkson was the 26th Governor General of Canada from October 7, 1999 to September 27, 2005. The Rt. Hon. Andrienne Clarkson was the patron of The Royal Heraldry Society of Canada while she was Governor General.

Arms: Gules a Chinese phoenix regarding a lightning flash and rising from flames issuant from a maple leaf the whole ensigned by a representation of the Royal Crown all Or.
Crest: A loon (Gavia immer) calling proper naiant within a circlet of trillium flowers Argent seeded Or.
Supporters: Two tigers Or and Argent embellished Sable each gorged with a ribbon Gules, pendant therefrom a plate surmounted by a cross Gules the whole upon rocks set with four wind-swept jack pines proper.
Source: Canadian Heraldic Authority, Ottawa, October 1, 1999
Note: The Hon. Adrienne Clakson was the 7th Governor General Patron of the Society.

The Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean, 2005 – 2010

Michaëlle Jean was born in Port au Prince, Haiti. As a young child in 1968, she and her family left her country and sought refuge in Canada. Michaëlle Jean has won numerous honours for her professional achievements, including: the Human Rights League of Canada’s 1989 Media Award for her report titled La pasionaria, on the struggle of an immigrant woman in Québec; the Prix Mireille-Lanctôt for her report titled Partir à zér, dealing with spousal violence; the Prix Anik for best information reporting in Canada for her investigation of the power of money in Haitian society; the inaugural Amnesty International Canada Journalism Award; the Galaxi Award for best information host; the 2001 Gemini Award for best interview in any category; and the Conseil de la Langue Française du Québec’s Prix Raymond-Charette. Michaëlle Jean has also been named to the Ordre des Chevaliers de La Pléiade by the Assemblée internationale des parlementaires de langue française.

Arms: Sable a sand dollar ensigned by the Royal Crown Or.
Crest: A sea shell Or entoured by a chain its ends broken Sable.
Supporters: Two Simbis Or queued and crined Sable each sounding a sea shell Or and issuant from barry wavy Or and Sable set before a rocky mound proper growing thereon to the dexter a palm tree and to the sinister a pine tree Or.
Motto: BRISER LES SOLITUDES ( Breaking down solitudes )
Source: Canadian Heraldic Authority, Ottawa, September 1, 2005
Note: The Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean was the Society’s 8th Patron.

The Rt. Hon. David Johnston,2010 – 2017
David Johnston began his professional career as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University in 1966, moving to the Law Faculty at the University of Toronto in 1968. He became dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario in 1974. In 1979, he was named principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University, and in July 1994, he returned to the McGill Faculty of Law as a full-time professor. In June 1999, he became the fifth president of the University of Waterloo.

Sworn in on October 1, 2010, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston is the 28th governor general since Confederation.

Arms: Sargent fretty Sable, on a chief Gules the Royal Crown between two open books Or.
Crest: A candle Argent enflamed and within a stand Or flanked by four closed books their spines palewise, two Gules and two Or, all set on a closed book bound Or its edge fesswise Argent.
Supporters: Two unicorns Gules, armed, maned, tufted, unguled, each charged on the shoulder with an astrolabe, and standing on a grassy mount Or set with two feet Gules winged Sable and in base a bar wavy Sable inscribed with zeros and ones Or.
Motto: CONTEMPLARE MELIORA ( To envisage a better world )
Source: Canadian Heraldic Authority, Ottawa, September 24, 2010
Note: The Rt. Hon. David Johnston is the 9th Governor General Patron of the Society.

Governor General Julie Payette, 2017-


A symbol of exploration and liberty, an open wing embodies our desire to reach higher and expand our horizons. As with birds protecting their young, the wing also conveys the strength and safety of family ties. Moreover, it represents Ms. Payette’s career as an aviator and astronaut. The Royal Crown symbolizes the viceregal office and service to all Canadians.

The astronaut’s helmet represents the never-ending quest for knowledge, a quest that extends beyond the frontiers of the known world.


At the top, a musical stave, a melody, symbolizes the creativity, sensitivity and remarkable virtuosity of human beings. The first notes of the second movement of Alessandro Marcello’s “Oboe Concerto in D Minor” evoke Ms. Payette’s lifelong interest in singing and classical music, particularly from the Baroque period.


Meaning “Through hardship to the stars,” the Latin phrase PER ASPERA AD ASTRA is the motto used by Ms. Payette and her fellow astronauts. Whatever the difficulties or challenges, perseverance and effort always bear fruit. There is hope in every situation; we simply need to look for it.


Making a nod to the cat perched atop “La fusée de Julie,” the emblem created by Quebec artist Gérard Dansereau of Ms. Payette’s first space mission, STS-96, the two lynx, proud and strong, represent us, the people of Canada. An elusive feline, the Canada lynx is remarkably well adapted to northern territories, particularly because of its enormous paws that allow it to move easily through the snow. The stars around their necks represent the spark of passion in each of us, inspiring us to dare to dream. They also evoke space travel and the work environment of astronauts. The laurel leaves – laurier in French – depicted alongside the stars represent Laurier, Ms. Payette’s son.


Represented here as seen from space, without borders and surrounded by a thin layer of atmosphere, our planet resembles a blue marble on a backdrop of darkness. It remains the only place where humans can live. The mathematical symbol for the sum, Σ (sigma), placed in its centre, illustrates the power of facts and science, and reminds us that we share the Earth and a responsibility to care for it.


1. List of personal coats of arms of Governors General of Canada

2. Arms of Past and Present Canadian Governors General

3. The Governor General of Canada

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