Duchess of Sussex designs new coat of arms
Duchess of Sussex designs new coat of arms

For almost a thousand years, they have been badge of royalty and aristocracy in Britain, and now newly-wed American Meghan Markle has joined the elite club.

The Duchess of Sussex has been given her own coat of arms, and it contains memories of her Californian home.

The design, released by Kensington Palace, features golden rays symbolic sunshine from the Duchess’s home state, while three quills represent communication and the power of words.

The crest also has a blue background representing the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.

Beneath the shield on grass sits a collection of golden poppies, California’s state flower as well as wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace, where she now lives with Prince Harry.

The coat of arms includes a songbird with wings elevated as if flying and an open beak, also a symbolic representation of the power of communication.

For wives of members of the Royal Family, it is tradition to also have a symbol relating to their husbands and one personal to themselves.

Opposite the songbird is a golden lion wearing a crown, representing Prince Harry’s royal lineage.

In a statement Kensington Palace quoted Thomas Woodcock, the official Garter King of Arms, representing the most senior role in British heraldry, saying: “The Duchess of Sussex took a great interest in the design.”

“Good heraldic design is nearly always simple and the Arms of The Duchess of Sussex stand well beside the historic beauty of the quartered British Royal Arms,” Woodcock added.

“Heraldry as a means of identification has flourished in Europe for almost nine hundred years and is associated with both individual people and great corporate bodies such as Cities, Universities and for instance the Livery Companies in the City of London,” he said.

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