I have written a post on Lords of the Blog about the death of Sir Peter Gwynn-Jones who until a few months ago was Garter King of Arms and, as such, responsible for agreeing titles and overseeing the introduction of new peers. He was quite a character. I got on quite well with him, despite the fact I failed to invite him to lunch.
Upon introduction, a new peer is entitled to host a lunch for family and friends. It is also quite usual to invite the two peers who act as one’s supporters and I did so with mine, Lords Weatherill and Newton of Braintree. Lord Weatherill was, as he usually was, on good form, regaling my family about his time as a tailor. However, I discovered subsequently that Garter also rather liked (expected?) to be invited to lunch. I consoled myself with the thought that he may have been invited to lunch by the other peer being introduced that day.
I think my standing with him, though, was maintained by having a coat of arms. Not only did I commission one, but I was full of admiration for his design. The draft version was the final version (pictured). I did, though, check it carefully. When I met him to discuss my title and a coat of arms, he showed me some coats of arms that he had designed – and woven in some armorial jokes, usually a play on the names of the peers. I don’t think there are any jokes in mine, at least I hope not.