The ten heraldic beasts that flank the Moat Bridge of Hampton Court Palace have been standing guard, still and silent, for hundreds of years, representing the legitimacy of the Tudor dynasty.
Like his father before him, Henry VIII was keen to reinforce his right to rule and heraldry provided the perfect way of not just signifying the king’s regal lineage but also celebrating his marriage to Jane Seymour, the daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentworth.
The first coin in the Royal Tudor Beasts Collection features the Seymour Panther, which was given to Jane Seymour by the king from the royal treasury of beasts. Depicted with flames coming out of its mouth and ears and known for its intoxicating fragrant breath, the fiery beast represents the union between a committed consort and a mighty monarch.
This coin is the first to be released from the ten-part collection, with the Lion of England, the Bull of Clarence, the Tudor Dragon, the Greyhound of Richmond, the Royal Dragon, the Yale of Beaufort, the Seymour Unicorn, the Queen’s Panther and the Queen’s Lion to follow over the next five years