Robert Peter Williams, as his real name is, has got 14 tattoos on his body (depending on how you count). Robbie’s first tattoo is a Pagan Celtic cross on his right hip. It was done while he was singing in Take That. It is meant for protection because, like he says in an interview, “he’s got the devil inside him”.
On his left arm, Robbie Williams has a very large Maori tribal tattoo in a partial sleeve from his shoulder to halfway down his biceps. It is a series of delicately rounded waves symbolic of the twists and turns in life. It is a very complex curvilinear tattoo, based on adjoining spirals.
The tribal tattoo tells the story of his life and was done in the studio of Henk Schiffmacher (a famous Dutch tattoo artist) by Te Rangitu Netana. On his abdomen, Robbie Williams has got some old school tattoo designs: a pair of swallows. Swallow tattoos are a symbol for freedom and loyalty. He had the bird tattoos done in May 2003.
On his lower back, Robbie Williams has a transcription of the notes and lyrics of All You Need Is Love, a famous Beatles song.
Robbie calls this tattoo on his right under arm the “Christian”. It’s Jesus Christ on the cross with the Virgin Mary and some angels. He had it done in July 2000 in New Zealand. In his neck Robbie has got an Eye of Horus tattoo to protect him from evil spirits. Horus is the ancient Egyptian falcon god, the all-seeing eye, son of Osiris and Isis. Robbie Williams had this tattoo done in 2004.
The tattoo on Robbie Williams’ opposite shoulder and biceps is a lion head tattoo. It is quite a detailed representation of a young male lion’s features – the universal symbol of power, masculinity and virility.
Underneath the lion are the words “Born to be mild”, above it the phrase “Elvis, grant me serenity”.
This tattoo is also meant for protection, just like the cross and Horus tattoo.
On his left under arm Robbie Williams got a tattoo of the coat of arms of the town of Burslem (one of the towns of Stoke on Trent) where he and his family were living after he was born.
Robbie Williams has just as many word-based tattoos as he does pictorial ones — and most of them are along the theme of familial love, the ones that are not, interestingly enough, are angled toward a declaration of individuality. Between his first and second right-hand knuckles, he has the word “Love” , one letter on each finger, in a thin and elegant script. Robbie Williams had this tattoo done in February 2007. On his right forearm he has the phrase “ILoveU” in old English letters and on his left forearm the word “Mother”. Mother and I Love You both have 6 letters.
Two stories go round about the tattoo on his left wrist, the number 1023. The first story tells that it is the time of Robbie’s birth (the wrong time though). The second story is that the number forms the initials of his best friend, Jonathan Wilkes. J is the 10th letter of the alphabet, W the 23th. Jonathan has the number 1823 on his thigh, guess what that stands for…
On his chest, resembling a chain, he got the phrase “chacun à son goût”, French for “everyone has got his own taste”. He had this tat done in LA. He had to pause every 15 minutes to recover from the pain. The B tattoo behind his ear is the first letter of his nanny’s name (Betty), whom he liked very much.
On his right wrist he has the name Jack and on his left wrist Farrell, both followed by a hearth tattoo. Jack Farrell is Robbie’s grandfather. He put the name there to honor is grandfather and to remind him of his youth.