The White Lion came to The Queen through Edward IV who inherited the creature from his grandmother, heiress of the Mortimers. Although Edward sometimes used the White Lion as a supporter of his Royal Arms, unlike the Lion of England the White Lion of Mortimer has no crown and its tongue and claws are blue rather than red. In heraldry lions are often ‘rampant’, standing with forepaws raised, but the Lion of Mortimer is often shown sitting rather like a tamed dog with its tail between its legs.
The White Lion of The Queen’s Beasts holds a Yorkist shield of blue and ‘murrey’ or mulberry colour with a ‘white rose en soleil’, a white rose on a golden sun, combining emblems that were used by both Edward IV and Richard III. It was a badge used by George VI, The Queen’s father, when he was Duke of York.