This Is What Meghan Markle's New Coat Of Arms Actually Means
By Katie Rosseinsky Posted on 28 Mar 2018
Being a royal doesn’t just mean a regal new title or three, use of the Queen’s personal jewellery archive and the keys to a fancy country residence. Following Saturday’s royal wedding, Meghan Markle, the newly-minted Duchess of Sussex, has received the very special (and very old school) honour of an official coat of arms.
A traditional coat of arms is typically bestowed upon the family of a new royal bride ahead of their wedding, customized with colours and symbols that reflect their history, but amid all the controversy that surrounded Thomas Markle’s eventual no-show, the Palace has decided to give the honour directly to Meghan herself.
According to a statement from the Palace, Meghan worked closely with the College of Arms in London to create a Coat of Arms that was ‘both personal and representative.’ The design received the final approval of both the Queen and Thomas Woodcock, who, as the Garter King of Arms and Senior Herald in England, has what must surely be the most brilliantly medieval job title to exist in 2018.
The blue background of the shield is a nod to the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, with the two golden rays symbolising the sunnier climes of Meghan’s home state. The California references don’t end there: below the shield, a collection of golden poppies (California’s state flower) lie upon the grass, next to the wintersweet that grows at Kensington Palace. Elsewhere, the three quills represent ‘communication and the power of words.’ (The Tig, is that you?)
According to heraldic custom, members of the royal family are each assigned ‘supporters’ for their shield (those are the animals you’ll see on either side of a crest). Royal wives will then take one of their husband’s supporters, and one of their own. So, Meghan’s crest features Harry’s supporter, a lion wearing red escallop shells on its collar in a nod to Princess Diana’s Spencer family crest, and a new one of her own: a songbird with an open beak, another image of the power of communication.
So, how does this measure up to the crests created for past royal brides? It’s certainly unusual that Meghan’s coat of arms features no reference to her own family and surname. Unveiled in 2011, the Middleton crest featured three acorns, one for Kate, Pippa and James (also a reference to their Berkshire home), while a gold chevron across the middle nodded to Carole Middleton’s maiden name, Goldsmith.
Admit it, you’re a little disappointed that Gary the beagle doesn’t make an appearance. And where are the suits?
NOW READ: Prince Harry And Meghan Markle’s Relationship Timeline
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in London in July 2016.
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They were introduced by mutual friend Markus Anderson, who is the director of Soho House.
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In October 2016, the Express became the first newspaper to publish news that Prince Harry had a new girlfriend.
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On November 8th 2016, Kensington Palace released an unprecedented statement which referring to Markle as Harry’s girlfriend for the first time.
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In the statement, Prince Harry condemned the ‘wave of abuse and harrassment’ faced by Markle, saying that he was ‘worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.’
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‘It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,’ the statement continued.
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The couple were papped together for the first time in December 2016, shopping for a Christmas tree in London at the Pines and Needles store.
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Later that week, they were seen on London’s West End, catching a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
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In February, Prince Harry wore a his ‘n’ hers bracelet on the cover of Town & Country magazine, just weeks after Markle was pictured wearing the same one on Instagram.
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In March 2017, Meghan joined Prince Harry in the Caribbean for the wedding of his friend’s Tom ‘Skippy’ Inskip and Lara Hughes-Young.
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It was the first time that Markle accompanied Harry to a wedding, marking another milestone occasion for the couple.
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The first public event attended by the couple was the polo at Coworth Park in May 2017.
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Later in May, Markle attended the party portion of Pippa Middleton’s wedding to James Middelton.
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Prince Harry was seen driving her to the event after the church ceremony.
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The couple made their first official public appearance in September, when Markle attended the opening of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games.
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Meghan wore a maroon midi dress with a pleated chiffon skirt by one of her favourite Canadian brands Aritzia.
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She teamed it with a matching burgundy biker jacket by Mackage.
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Although Prince Harry was sat next to First Lady Melania Trump at the event, rather than his girlfriend, she was only seated a few rows behind him.
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The couple were photographed together the following day at the wheelchair tennis.
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Much was made of Markle’s choice of outfit: ripped jeans and a white blouse called ‘The Husband’.
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The couple ‘broke with royal protocol’ by holding hands and appearing affectionate while at the Invictus Games.
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Prince Harry reportedly spent time with Meghan’s mother Doria while at the Games too.
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The couple indulged in some PDA at the closing ceremony.
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Prince Harry was photographed kissing Meghan.
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In an interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan referred to Harry as her boyfriend numerous times, saying: ‘We’re a couple. We’re in love. I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people understand is that this is our time.’
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In late September 2017, it was reported that Meghan had met the Queen, prompting speculation that the relationship was getting serious.
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In early November 2017, it was reported that Meghan Markle was leaving Suits after seven series.
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In mid-November 2017, bookies suspending betting on an impending royal engagement, as speculation grew that an announcement was about to be made.
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On November 27th 2017, Prince Charles announced the engagement of his younger son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after 15 months of dating.
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The couple later appeared at a photocall, with Markle wearing a white dress coat by Canadian brand Line The Label. The website has subsequently crashed.
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The engagement ring, by Cleave and Company, was reportedly designed by Prince Harry himself, using two stones that belonged to Princess Diana.
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When asked by waiting photographers if the proposal was romantic, Harry joked ‘of course!’
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