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Coat of arms of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

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Title: Coat of arms of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor  
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Subject: House of Habsburg, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, List of titles and honours of the Spanish Crown
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Coat of arms of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

Coat of arms of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Armiger Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Charles I as King of Spain
Adopted 1530
Crest Imperial Crown of Austria
Torse Cross of Burgundy
Escutcheon His maternal inheritance quartering his paternal inheritance
Supporters Imperial Eagle and the Pillars of Hercules
Motto Plus Ultra
(Latin areas)
Plus Oultre
(German and Burgundian areas)
Orders Order of the Golden Fleece

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, or Charles I of Spain, was the heir of four of Europe's leading royal houses. Charles was the first sole monarch of Spain, inheriting the kingdoms first united by his maternal grandparents, Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon (the Catholic Monarchs). From his father, Philip I of Castile, he inherited the Burgundian Netherlands, which came from his paternal grandmother, Mary of Burgundy. Finally, on the death of his paternal grandfather, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, he inherited the Habsburg lands in Austria. His coat of arms, representing much of the land he inherited, is blazoned as follows:

Personal arms

Coat of Arms as Heir

The first and fourth quarters represents holdings derived from the Spanish crowns: that is, the quartered arms of Castile and Leon themselves quartered with the quartered arms of Aragon and Sicily. After 1520 the Aragon/Sicily quartering also incorporated the arms of Jerusalem, Naples, and Navarre.

The second and third quarters represents holdings derived from Charles's Austrian and Burgundian inheritance: these quarters shows further quartering of Austria, Duchy of Burgundy, County of Burgundy, and the Duchy of Brabant, with the escutcheon in the middle showing Flanders on the left and Tyrol on the right.

The Granada pomegranate is represented at the bottom between the two.


First and Fourth Quarters
First and Fourth Grand-quarters Second Grand-quarter
Arms Meaning Details
Kingdom of Castile 1st and 4th great-grand-quarters
Gules, a three towered castle Or, masoned sable and ajouré azure
Kingdom of León 2nd and 3rd great-grand-quarters
Argent, a lion rampant purpure(sometimes blazoned gules) crowned Or, langued and armed gules
Third Grand-quarter
Crown of Aragon Dexter chief
Or, four pallets gules
Kingdom of Navarre Dexter base
Gules, a cross, saltire and orle of chains linked together Or, a centre point vert
Kingdom of Sicily Sinister side
Party per Saltire, Or four pallets gules and Argent an eagle displayed sable (Manfred of Sicily)
Arms Meaning Details
Crown of Aragon Dexter chief
Or, four pallets gules
Kingdom of Navarre Dexter base
Gules, a cross, saltire and orle of chains linked together Or, a centre point vert
Kingdom of Naples Sinister side
Party per pale Argent, a cross potent and four crosslets Or Barry of eight Gules and Argent (Kingdom of Jerusalem) and
Barry of eight Gules and Argent (Kingdom of Hungary).[1]
Second and Third Quarters
Arms Meaning Details
Austria 1st grand-quarter
Gules a fess Argent
Second Capetian house of Burgundy
(Burgundy "modern")
2nd grand-quarter
azure semy de lis or, a bordure compony gules and argent
Duchy of Burgundy
(Burgundy "ancient")
3rd grand-quarter
bendy of six or and azure a bordure gules
Arms Meaning Details
Duchy of Brabant 4th grand-quarter
Sable, a lion rampant Or, langued and armed gules
County of Flanders Dexter
Or, a lion rampant of Sable, langued and armed gules
Tyrol Sinister
Argent an eagle displayed gules, armed, beaked, and langued Or
External ornaments
Arms Meaning Details
Double-headed eagle
(Holy Roman Empire)
Imperial Eagle
Double-headed eagle displayed Sable
Cross of Burgundy
(Duchy of Burgundy)
blazoned Argent, a saltire ragulée gules.
Arms Meaning Details
Pillars of Hercules Supporters
an ancient name given to the Strait of Gibraltar. The personal motto of the Monarch plus ultra, means 'further beyond' in Latin at Spanish and Italian territories. Plus oultre, in French was common in German and Burgundian areas.
Imperial crown (Holy Roman Empire,
Austrian version)
King's Charles I of Spain crown. He was also Holy Roman Emperor Charles V
Golden Fleece Collar
Order of chivalry founded in 1430 by Duke Philip III of Burgundy to celebrate his marriage to the Portuguese princess Isabel of Aviz.

The Burgundian Inheritance and the Order of the Golden Fleece

In 1477, the territory of the Duchy of Burgundy had been conquered and annexed by France. In the same year, Mary "the Rich", the last Burgundian duke's only child, had married Charles' grandfather Maximilian, giving the Habsburgs control of the remainder of the Burgundian Inheritance: although the territory of the Duchy of Burgundy itself remained in the hands of France, the Habsburgs remained in control of the title of Duke of Burgundy and the other parts of the Burgundian inheritance, notably the Low Countries and the Free County of Burgundy in the Holy Roman Empire. They often used the term Burgundy to refer to it until the late 18th century, when the Austrian Netherlands were lost to the French Republic. Although Charles V had inherited the grand mastership of numerous orders, the only order which he habitually wore and awarded was that of the Burgundian Order of the Golden Fleece.


Coat of Arms of Charles when he was Duke of Burgundy and King of Navarre, Castile and Aragon (Version with motto and supporters)

Middle Coat of Arms

Or shield version


  • (Spanish) Gavira Ignacio, .Origins and history of the Spanish coat of arms
  1. ^ (Spanish) ; . Madrid (2001), p.156.La moneda napolitana de Fernando el Católico, documento porpagandístico de la unidad de las coronasKingdom of Naples arms in the heraldry of Ferdinand II of Aragon as King of Naples, De Francisco Olmos, José María,
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