This is the royal motto: DIEU ET MON DROIT.
But how should it be translated? The common translation is “God and my right.” However, this is not the only possible translation. At the outset, I should let the reader know that I have had it translated by a Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia as “GOD IS MY LAW.” And this is a right and reasonable translation if we only admit a few principles. The first is from Mrs. Beeton’s
The law is not particular as to orthography; in fact, it distinctly refuses to recognize the existence of that delightful science. You may bring your action against Mr. Jacob Phillips, under the fanciful denomination of Jaycobb Fillipse, if you like, and the law won’t care, because the law goes by ear; and, although it insists upon having everything written, things written are only supposed in law to have any meaning when read, which is, after all, a common-sense rule enough.
(The Book of Household Management. Mrs. Isabella Beeton. Retrieved on December 19, 2016 from http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/10136/pg10136-images.html)
And thus, we should beware any notion that an ancient motto like DIEU ET MON DROIT has any precise meaning, due to orthography. This motto, as a legal signifier, is meant to be heard, not seen. The “s” in “est” is perhaps more seen than heard, and, indeed, if we allow that “et” means “est”, we are left not with a sentence fragment, “God and my right” (this sentence no verb), but with a full independent clause: GOD IS MY LAW.
There is further evidence for this if we consult an online Anglo-Norman dictionary, which shows that there is not much standardization of orthography in Anglo-Norman. Here is a selection from the entry for “estre”, that is, the verb “to be.”
estre3, eistre, ester, estere, estier, estiere, etre; istre; aistre, astre (ethre Receptaria 92 93); ind.pr.1 seo, siu, su, sue, sui; ind.pr.2 es, iés; ind.pr.3 e, es, est, eist, eit, et, estz; (Anglo-Norman Dictionary. Retrieved on December 19, 2016 from www.anglo-norman.net/dict/AND-201-53828C71-80DCE522-84172DEC-C5ACF8FD
And so we see that a single “e”, or “et”, can mean the third person indicative, which would render the motto quite clearly GOD IS MY LAW. This is also the version given by Diderot in his Encyclopédie, to wit:
Dieu est mon droit, (Hist. mod.) c’est le mot ou la devise des armes d’Angleterre, que prit d’abord Richard premier ou Coeur de – lion, qui vivoit à la fin du xije siecle, ce qu’il fit pour marquer qu’il ne tenoit son royaume d’aucun mortel à titre de vassal.
(Retrieved December 19, 2016 from http://artflsrv02.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.3:2488:1.encyclopedie0513)
This, translated into English by Susan Emanuel, is as follows:
God is my right. Dieu est mon droit is the motto or device of the army of England, first taken by Richard the Lionheart who lived at the end of the thirteenth century, which he did to mark that he took his kingdom from no mortal as a vassal.
(Retrieved December 19, 2016 from http://quod.lib.umich.edu/d/did/did2222.0003.042/–god-is-my-right?rgn=main;view=fulltext)
The term droit poses a legal translation challenge. However, let use use the Canadian Law Dictionary, Fifth Ediction, by John A. Yogis, Q.C.:
DROIT (drwä) Fr.: a right. Law; the whole body of the law. (Canadian Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, p. 89)
Thus it seems quite possible that a proper translation is “God is my whole body of the law,” or “God is my whole right.” And in this sense, we see firmly captured, in only four words, the notion of the King being governed not by the law of humans, but by the Law of God, which is the Law that makes the King. And we find this quite consonant with the Old Testament, in which God, through Moses, commands that
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you…Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons. (Deuteronomy, cap. 5 ss. 2, 5-9)
Therefore, it is quite clear that the word, that is, law, as Delivered by Moses, should not be diminished nor added to. And therefore, requiring University students to obey anything outside of the bible is clearly a damnable heresy intended to deprive them of the protection of Royal Government, which is freedom under the Monarch, whose office is to discharge the duties historically discharged by Moses, and subsequently by Jesus Christ, either in the monarch’s own proper person, or through delegates within the King’s faith.
The oldest English legal textbook, Horn’s Speculum Justitiariorum, the Mirror of Justices, makes this plain in even clearer terms:
we discovered that law is nothing else than the rules laid down by our holy predecessors in Holy Writ for the salvation of souls from everlasting damnation, although it be obscured by false judges. And we found that all Holy Writ consists of the Old Testament and of the New.
(Mirror of Justice, p. 2. Retrieved on December 19, 2016 from https://archive.org/stream/mirrorofjustices00hornrich#page/n65/mode/2up)