With the Royal Wedding now behind us, the newly minted Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has received a special gift from the Royal family. The former actress has been honoured by Kensington Palace by being presented her own coat of arms. This was a bit unusual as the coat of arms is traditionally given to the father of the bride, but this break in royal tradition took place due to Thomas Markle suffering a heart attack, as well as involving himself in multiple controversies. As a result he was unable to attend the wedding and cannot be affiliated with any royal customs and traditions. Kensington Palace gave a statement about the traditional design, which is customized with colours and symbols, saying, “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 blue on one side is meant to represent the pacific Ocean off the California coast and the two golden rays across the shield are symbolic of the sunshine in Los Angeles, Meghan’s hometown. The trio of quills symbolizes communication and the power of words, probably meant to reflect Meghan’s outspoken activism and also her former lifestyle blog, The Tig. Under the shield is green grass with a collection of golden poppies, California state’s flower, along with wintersweet, which grow at Kensington Palace, right outside the newly wed’s Nottingham cottage.
The palace stated in its official description:
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.
We will also see the royal couple receive their own ‘conjugal coat of arms’ which will likely be released a couple of years later, as Will and Kate got theirs in September of 2013, which is almost three years after their wedding.
"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.
"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." said Mr. Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms.
We praise the Royal family for breaking tradition and changing with the times!
- Rubaina Bilgrami
Picture Courtesy – Kensington Palace Instagram