I am hoping a fleur-de-lys background works, and that it will work well in other colours as well. The little fleurs-de-lys give the whole thing a rich quality that feels very French to me. I think I sharpened the arms too much, though. I'll soften them up slightly next time.
..and now it is next time. Same fleur-de-lys background pattern but a medium-light blue, a natural colour for the Grand-Duché d'Anchoise. Coat of arms softened a bit. Let's see how this looks:
Well that was useful. The background and the arms don't contrast enough, but I expected that. I kind of like it, even without enough contrast. The softened coat of arms works well. And as the background colour gets lighter, the diamond grid starts to show, which is nice. So I think this qualifies as progress!
It will be interesting to see how the fleur-de-lys ground works in a very light colour, like yellow.