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Long live the King! Queen’s Messengers renamed

Following the accession of King Charles III, the Queen’s Messenger Service, our experienced and respected global courier service, has now been renamed the King’s Messenger Service.

This follows the official approval for the name change from the Royal Household and Cabinet Office last week.

King's Messengers emblem showing a silver greyhound

The service dates back over 800 years and is one of the most respected in the world. The King’s Messengers travel all around the globe by land, air and sometimes sea in all conditions.

They are responsible for the safe delivery of the UK’s classified diplomatic material to British embassies, high commissions and consulates worldwide.

Messengers accompany diplomatic bags from departure to arrival point, and prevent them from being tampered or interfered with on route to their end destination.

Each has extensive experience in public service and a detailed knowledge of the Vienna Convention of 1961. This is an international treaty that governs the movement of diplomatic material by all nations.

King’s Messengers’ emblem

The King’s Messengers’ emblem remains the silver greyhound. No-one knows where it came from for sure, but it has been the emblem for hundreds of years.

The most popular theory is that King Charles II introduced the emblem while in exile in the Netherlands. To prove the identity of four of his messengers to supporters in England, he broke off the four silver greyhounds decorating his dish. When he became King, he decreed that the greyhound would be the emblem for his messengers.

Another theory is that it comes from the greyhound featured in King Henry VII’s coat of arms.

The King’s Messengers have a Badge of Office, consisting of the Sovereign’s Royal Cypher (a monogram-like design for a reigning monarch to use) with a silver greyhound suspended below. Today, messengers regularly wear the official tie depicting silver greyhounds on a blue background.

Our King’s Messengers provide an invaluable service safely delivering critical items within the Diplomatic Bag around the globe. They are about to travel for the first time using diplomatic passports that name them as King’s Messengers instead of Queen’s Messengers, marking the start of a new era serving under King Charles III’s reign.”

Head of the King’s Messenger Service

Further links

  • King's Messengers

    The role of the King’s Messenger has a long and distinguished history. They deliver classified material diplomatic material effectively and securely across the globe

  • History of the King's Messengers

    First mentioned in 1199 during the reign of King John, our couriers carried items on behalf of the monarch. They allowed the King or Queen to send sensitive information securely

    Photo of Hanslope Park in 1945.