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Design a cypher

Circular tortoiseshell box with gold cover inset with central white, red and blue enamelled disc with crowned GIIIR cypher


Old buildings can hold lots of clues about how they were used in the past. Cyphers – a design made up of letters, usually someone’s initials – can tell us who a room or object was designed for. This box is decorated with the cypher of George III. Can you spot the letters and numbers spelling out ‘G III R’? The ‘G’ stands for ‘George’, the ‘R’ stands of ‘Rex’ (the Latin word for king) and the ‘III’ means ‘3’. King Charles III's cypher has a 'C' for 'Charles', and a 'R' for 'Rex' intertwined with the Latin numerals 'III' inside. 

There are lots of cyphers that can be spotted throughout the visitor routes at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, so make sure to keep a look out if you visit.

Download the activity sheet to design your own cypher?