So the Shield in front of the Castle was installed around July of 1965. What about the 3 in the back? Do we know when they were installed??
This really is fascinating....
I'm sitting here tapping my fingers waiting to see how this turns out...this is the most interesting thread I've read on here...
maybe it's one of those things we'll never know.
Like..how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop
Again, the shield with fleurs-de-lis on the back of the Castle has nothing to do with the Disney family; it is the national arms of France. I'm searching the blazons of the other two, to the extent I can figure them out, in order to find out their significance.
Well my wife had the idea that it might be King Stefan's coat of arms from the movie. We just watched through the whole movie looking closely at all the coats of arms in there... nope. No three lions. Lots of fleur de lis and a few lions sejant though.
I'm not having any real luck here, for either the shield on the front of the castle or the ones on the back (except for France). There are so many thousands upon thousands of registered coats of arms in the various heraldic archives of the world, and the various elements can be combined in so many ways that it's no good simply doing a Google search on what I can identify. Putting it in quotes won't do me any good if I haven't got the blazon exactly right.
Do you think the Cast Members at the Castle Heraldry Shoppe would know?
So then where did the rumour start? Wierd...
So to recap: it's not anything to do with England, as the three lions are passant, not passant guardant.
What it is in case anyone knows a herald to ask:
The crest consists of one lion passant guardant.
The shield is charged with three lions passant (not guardant) in pale.
None of the lions are armed or crowned (as with Denmark).
None of the tincture is known as the entire thing is slathered in gold paint.
Here's a nice detailed photo:
Strangely there's a copy of this BACKSTAGE at DLP, not painted at all. There's also smaller versions of it to the sides of Paris's castle but reversed? Neither of these are exact copies however, the one backstage includes a cordon/banner for a motto beneath it and the outdoors one is stylised differently (in addition to being cast backwards).
Everything official I've looked at has aspects of the DL one, for example Denmark has three lions but crowned, and Lilv in the Ukraine has three lions as part of its flag, but facing to the right.
I'm beginning to think that this was a crafty mock-up from someone in Imagineering.
Passant - walking to the left and looking to the left.
Guardant - walking to the left but looking at the viewer.
Pale - in a line down the middle.
Tincture - coloration.
Crest - thing at the top above the helm.
Shield - what most people mistakenly call the crest! lol
Charge - any object on the shield.
Armed - charge carries a weapon often a sword.
Crowned - charge wears a crown.
Whoops pushed the wrong button - look up for my post.
So I, and my wife, spent HOURS (literally) combing through the internet looking for links to places where Sleeping Beauty was written, the author (Charles Perrault), any places that were used as inspiration for SBC and Fantasyland... nothing.
The only coat of arms that I can find that comes remotely close is that of Baden-Wurttemburg in Germany. It is three lions passant in pale. However, this can't relate to Neuschwanstein castle as it is located in Bavaria, not in Baden-Wurttemburg. Though it must be said that Lichtenstein castle does bear a resemblance to both Neuschwanstein as well as to Sleeping Beauty Castle, and it is located in Baden-Wurttemburg. It was built in the 1840s by the then Duke of Urach. Their family was the ancestral rulers of the Kingdom of Wurttemburg before it became a state of Germany. The coat of arms for this Kingdom is even closer to the coat of arms on SBC (at least the lion portion as this has several other features to it). All that was retained of this ancient coat of arms upon adoptioninto Germany was the lions passant in pale.
This is not a definitive answer to the riddle, just a link I was able to find, and the only remotely matching coat of arms.