It was King Henry II who first used three lions on a red background, adding a lion to William the Conqueror’s two when he married Eleanor of Aquitaine, probably to represent his marriage into that family. The three lions shield can be seen today on the England football team kit and is recognised around the world.
Why are the English called the lions?
The Lion derived from the coat of arms of the Duchy of Aquitaine – Eleanor’s family. Naturally, of course, the Lion as a symbol of British “pride” and might was forever identified with Eleanor’s irascible, irresponsible but fearless son, Richard I the Lionheart.