Meghan Markle officially became a member of the royal family last weekend, and now the Duchess of Sussex has received her official coat of arms.
“The Duchess of Sussex took a great interest in the design,” Mr. Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms said in a statement. “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.”
Markle made sure the design was personal and inclusive of many aspects of her royal life. The shield features a blue background and two golden rays across the front, representative of the Pacific Ocean and sunshine in her home state of California, according to Kensington Palace. The quills on the shield represent “communication and the power of words.”
The golden poppies — California’s state flower — beneath the shield are also a nod to her American upbringing, while the wintersweet blooms, which grow in the gardens at Kensington Palace, represent her new life.
“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,” Kensington Palace explained of the design. “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.”
Two crosses patée, four fleurs-de-lys, and two strawberry leaves adorn the crown, or coronet, that has been assigned to Markle. The coronet was laid down by a Royal Warrant of 1917 for the sons and daughters of the Heir Apparent.
Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry is also represented in the shield. “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 palace explained.
Traditionally, the customized design is given to the father of the bride in advance of a royal wedding, and often the bride’s family name is represented in the design. Markle’s father did not attend the royal wedding, and her name is not represented in the design.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will receive their joint coat of arms in the future.
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(photos via Kensington Palace/PA Wire via Getty Images + Jonathan Brady/WPA Pool/Getty Images)