A regal new title, use of Queen Elizabeth‘s personal jewelry archive, and a country residence are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the royal gifts that Meghan Markle has accepted upon her marriage to Prince Harry. On May 25, Kensington Palace announced that she received yet another special honor — an official coat of arms.
According to the palace, Meghan, 36, “worked closely with the College of Arms throughout the design.” The palace further described the coat of arms in a statement: “The blue background of the shield represents the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, while the two golden rays across the shield are symbolic of the sunshine of The Duchess’s home state. The three quills represent communication and the power of words.”
The statement continued: “Beneath the shield on the grass sits a collection of golden poppies, California’s state flower, and wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace. It is customary for Supporters of the shield to be assigned to Members of the Royal Family, and for wives of Members of the Royal Family to have one of their husband’s Supporters and one relating to themselves. The Supporter relating to The Duchess of Sussex is a songbird with wings elevated as if flying and an open beak, which with the quill represents the power of communication.”
The Duchess of Sussex has also been assigned a Coronet. “It is the Coronet laid down by a Royal Warrant of 1917 for the sons and daughters of the Heir Apparent. It is composed of two crosses patée, four fleurs-de-lys and two strawberry leaves,” Kensington Palace added. “The arms of a married woman are shown with those of her husband and the technical term is that they are impaled, meaning placed side by side in the same shield.”
The creation of Middleton family’s coat of arms. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Meghan has followed in the footsteps of previous royal brides. Kate Middleton’s father Michael Middleton received a coat of arms shortly before his eldest daughter’s wedding, as did the father of Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, before her marriage to Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest son.
The Middleton crest featured three acorns, one for Kate, and her siblings Pippa Middleton and James Middleton, and also a reference to their home in Berkshire, England. A gold chevron across the middle nods to Carole Middleton’s maiden name, Goldsmith, while the use of a red and blue is assumed to echo the UK flag. Then, two years after their wedding, Prince William and Kate Middleton received a “conjugal coat of arms,” to represent their respective houses coming together. The two shields for William and Kate are held up by a lion and a unicorn, the royal “supporters,” who wear red escallop shells on their collars, a symbolic nod to Princess Diana’s Spencer family crest.
This article was written by Katie Rosseinsky. For more, check out our sister site, Grazia.