History of pub names with a royal connection

Pubs have been at the heart of Britain for centuries and many of them revel a fascinating and deep history. With it being the Queen's Platinum Jubilee this weekend, we thought we would look into the historic stories behind the royal names of some of the pubs-with-rooms in our Collection - from The Crown and King's Head to The Red Lion.


The Red Lion

The Red Lion is one of the most popular pub names across Britain. Some say it originates from the heraldic coat of arms of John of Gaunt - a 14th-century English prince and military leader. Others believe it dates to when James VI of Scotland became James I of England in 1603 and insisted on pubs exhibiting the red lion of Scotland outside their door.

The Red Lions within our Collection >


The Crown

The Crown was also popular because it was an easy way for pubs to show their support for the monarchy without having to change their name to match each King who occupied the throne.

The Crowns within our Collection >


The Royal Oak

When Charles I died during the English Civil Wars in 1649, his young son continued to fight until he won the Battle of Worcester in 1651. After this, with the Roundheads attempting to hunt him down, he fled to Shropshire and hid under a royal oak tree. Once young Charles was made King in 1660, many pubs renamed themselves the Royal Oak in honour of his achievements.

The Royal Oaks within our Collection >


The White Hart

The heraldic badge of King Richard II, who was in reign from 1377 to 1399, was a white hart - a rare light male red deer. You will most likely see images of this animal with a gold chain around its neck. This comes from the legend that Diomedes, a hero in greek mythology, consecrated a white hart to Diana, goddess of the hunt, with a gold collar around its neck.

The White Harts within our Collection >


The Rose and Crown

This name celebrates the end of the War of the Roses in 1485 and the marriage of Elizabeth of York and Henry VII a year later which unified the red rose of Lancaster and the white rose of York.

The Rose and Crowns within our Collection >


The King's Head

After King Henry VIII split away from the Catholic Church, anti-Catholic sentiment continued for many decades. Most pubs which were previously called the Pope's Head were changed to the King's Head as a safer declaration of allegiance to the monarchy.

The King's Heads within our Collection >

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Last updated: 31.05.22