White processing in his ceremonial tabard as Somerset Herald
White processing in his ceremonial tabard as Somerset Herald

David Vines White (born 27 October 1961 at Glasgow) serves as Garter Principal King of Arms since 2021, a member of the Royal Household.[1]

The senior herald and genealogist at the College of Arms in London, he is responsible for the governance of the law of arms in England and Wales, the succession of peerage titles[2] and other official ceremonial duties.[3]


Born in Scotland, the younger son of Sheila (née Chatterton) and Peter Vines White,[4] he was educated at Marlborough College, before going up to Pembroke College, Cambridge, graduating as MA.

As an undergraduate he was elected President of the Cambridge University Heraldic and Genealogical Society. He then pursued postgraduate studies at the Courtauld Institute, receiving a further MA degree from University of London.[5]

White then served as a research assistant to Theobald Mathew, Windsor Herald, and in 1995 was appointed Rouge Croix Pursuivant, following in the tradition of eminent genealogists, such as Sir Henry Farnham Burke;[6] in 2004 he was promoted Somerset Herald, then Registrar of the College of Arms 2014–21.[7] On 1 July 2021 White became Garter Principal King of Arms, succeeding Sir Thomas Woodcock.[8]

A member of Council of The Heraldry Society of London (Chairman 2006–09, now Hon. FHS) and of the British Record Society, since 2010, White has served as Honorary Genealogist to the Royal Victorian Order.[9]

He is also a member of the Travellers' Club.



Coat of arms of David Vines White
A cock's head erased sable combed and wattled gules gorged by three annulets engrailed argent.
Argent goutty de sang three cocks' heads erased sable combed and wattled gules a bordure engrailed sable.[10]
Other versions
White impales the Garter King's arms of office (dexter) with his family arms (sinister).

See also


  1. ^ www.royal.uk
  2. ^ Crown Office, Ministry of Justice
  3. ^ www.college-of-arms.gov.uk
  4. ^ Notice of death of Sheila White, telegraph.co.uk; accessed 13 April 2015.
  5. ^ "White, David Vines, (born 27 Oct. 1961)". www.ukwhoswho.com. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u70860. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  6. ^ www.burkespeerage.com
  7. ^ London Gazette profile; accessed 13 April 2015.
  8. ^ "No. 63408". The London Gazette. 5 July 2021. p. 77.
  9. ^ The College of Arms Newsletter no. 25 Archived 7 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine, June 2010, pg. 2; accessed 13 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Armorial - Honorary Members - David Vines WHITE". whitelionsociety.org.uk. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
Heraldic offices Preceded bySir Henry Paston-Bedingfeld Rouge Croix Pursuivant1995 – 2004 Succeeded byJohn Michael Allen-Petrie Preceded byThomas Woodcock Somerset Herald2004 – 2021 Succeeded byvacant Preceded byWilliam Hunt Registrar of the College of Arms2014 – present Incumbent Preceded bySir Thomas Woodcock Garter Principal King of Arms2021 – present Incumbent Honorary titles Preceded byHubert Chesshyre Honorary Genealogist to the Royal Victorian Order2010–present Incumbent