Royal wedding: The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle receives coat of arms
The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle has received a very special gift: a coat of arms. She herself worked closely with the College of Arms throughout the design process.
Kensington Palace has confirmed, and the meaning behind its design is symbolic to Meghan. The coat of arm is generally given to the father of the bride, but he didn't come for the royal wedding. The decision has been made to made to give the coat of arms directly to Meghan herself, which is a break in royal tradition.
Also, Meghan's family name is not represented in the design. In case of Kate Middleton's coat of arms not only reflected the Middleton family, but also her mother Carole’s maiden name. Kate's father, Michael Middleton, received his coat of arms just over a week before her 2011 wedding. It featured three acorns, which represented the family’s three children — Kate, Pippa and James — and a gold stripe across the middle in honor of Kate’s mother, Carole, whose maiden name is Goldsmith.
“A Coat of Arms has been created for The Duchess of Sussex. The design of the Arms was agreed and approved by Her Majesty The Queen and Mr. Thomas Woodcock (Garter King of Arms and Senior Herald in England), who is based at the College of Arms in London,” the palace said in a statement Friday.
The blue background in the shield represents represents the Pacific Ocean off the California coast as Meghan is an LA native and two golden rays across the shield are symbolic of the sunshine of her home-state.
The three quills represent communication and the power of words. As Markle is quite active for women's rights, and gave a powerful speech at the UN Women's 2015 conference about gender equality.
Beneath the shield on the grass sits a collection of golden poppies - California's state flower, and wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace, where she and Harry reside in Nottingham Cottage.
The palace adds that "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."
A Coronet has also been assigned to The Duchess of Sussex. 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.
Mr. Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms said: "The Duchess of Sussex took a great interest in the design.
“Heraldry is Europe’s oldest, most visual and strictly regulated form of identity and it surrounds us in Britain, giving clues to our history and surroundings.”
"Heraldry as a means of identification has flourished in Europe for almost 900 years."