In the mythical stories of Ancient Greece, The Three Graces were goddesses of Mount Olympus, the daughters of mighty Zeus. They represent the good things in life: laughter, festivities, elegance and youthful exuberance.
The cheerful Euphrosyne symbolises joy and laughter. The bright Aglaea is the personification of elegance and beauty. And finally, Thalia represents festivity and the blooming of youth.
William Wyon cleverly captured renewed interest in the Classics and used The Three Graces to tell the story of The 1801 Act of Union, which saw the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland combine to form the United Kingdom.
At the mythical sisters’ feet, Wyon placed the national symbols of Scotland, England and Ireland; a thistle, a shield bearing the flag of St George and a harp. He decorated their crowns with shamrocks, roses and further thistles. And around the entwined goddesses he added the motto “Foedus Inviolabile’, meaning ‘unbreakable league, a message of hope for the new union.