The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
Heraldry Today

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Elizabeth Dowdeswell

Toronto, Ontario
Grant of Arms and Supporters
June 15, 2016
Vol. VI, p. 621

Arms of Elizabeth Dowdeswell

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Blazon

Arms

Azure on an oval Argent environed by two branches of laurel Or, a viceroy butterfly volant Purpure embellished Or;

Crest

Issuant from a circlet of garbs Or and trillium flowers proper, a demi-globe Azure resting thereon a balance Or;

Supporters

Two doves Argent beaked and legged Or each charged on the wing with an oval Purpure, that to the dexter bearing a Celtic cross, that to the sinister bearing a harp Or, and standing on a grassy mount Vert;

Motto

SERVIRE VITÆ IN TERRA;


Symbolism

Arms

The blue colour and the laurel branches are based on the emblem and flag of the United Nations to indicate Her Honour’s service as Executive Director of its Environment Program. The oval is the shield shape sometimes used with women’s heraldic emblems. It also represents a round conference table and thus the idea of community, dialogue and cooperation. The butterfly alludes to the “butterfly effect” whereby a seemingly small action can have great results, emphasizing the connectedness of life. It also represents change and transformation. The fact that it is a viceroy butterfly alludes to Her Honour’s viceregal position as Lieutenant Governor.

Crest

The trillium flowers and wheat sheaves refer to Ontario and Saskatchewan. The blue orb refers to the earth and the importance of protecting the environment. The balance refers to concepts of justice and equity, and placed on the representation of the earth it conveys the idea of the balance of nature.

Supporters

The doves symbolize peace and reconciliation. Purple alludes to the provincial mineral of Ontario, amethyst. The Celtic cross and the harps symbolize Her Honour’s birthplace, Ireland, and the harps also indicate the fact that her mother was an accomplished musician.

Motto

This Latin phrase means “To serve life on earth”.