A Coat of Arms has been created for The Duchess of Sussex, and just like the Royal wedding, the coat of arms is infused with transatlantic symbols.
A spokesman for Kensington Palace said the Duchess of Sussex’s coat of arms was “both personal and representative”, and had involved the newlywed working closely with experts at the College of Arms over its design.
“The blue background of the shield represents the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, while the two golden rays across the shield are symbolic of the sunshine of The Duchess’s home state.”
“The three quills represent communication and the power of words. Beneath the shield on the grass sits a collection of golden poppies, California’s state flower, and wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace.”
The lion supporting the shield relates to her husband, the Duke of Sussex, which includes both his Royal family lineage and the small, red escallops of his mother’s family, and dates back to the House of Stuart’s ascent to the throne in 1603.
The arms of a married woman are shown with those of her husband- the technical term is that they are impaled, meaning placed side by side in the same shield.
The songbird supporting the shield on the right relates to the Duchess of Sussex.
While most royal brides have two “supporters of the shield” represented on their coats of arms, one from their husband and one relating to themselves, the Duchess has a “songbird with wings elevated as if flying and an open beak which, with the quills represents the power of communication”.
The Duchess, who helped to design the image, holds the coat of arms in her own right with no input from her father, who as an American does not have his own coat of arms.
Instead, she has chosen her own symbols, with a white songbird as her “supporter” to stand opposite the lion representing her husband and his family.
Mr Markle’s American citizenship meant that he could only be granted an honorary coat of arms- had he applied for one and been able to prove descent from a subject of the British Crown. Even then, a source suggested, it could not have been used by the Duchess by virtue of being honorary.
The design of the Duchess’ arms was agreed and approved by the Queen And Thomas Woodcock- Garter King of Arms and Senior Herald in England, who is based at the College of Arms in London:
“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 pople and great corporate bodies such as cities, universities and, for instance, the livery companies in the City of London.”
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.
The Garter Principal King of Arms is the senior King of Arms, and the senior Officer of Arms of the College of Arms- the heraldic authority with, jurisiction over England Wales and Northern Ireland. The position has existed since 1415.
He is the principal adviser to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom with respect to ceremonial and heraldry, with specific responsibility for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and, with the exception of Canada, for Commonwealth realms of which the queen is Sovereign.
On the death of the British monarch it is the Garter’s duty to announce the new monarch. Initially, the Accession Council meets to declare the new monarch from the deceased monarch’s line. Once the monarch makes a sacred oath to the council, the Garter King of Arms steps into the Proclamation Gallery which overlooks Friary Court to announce the new monarch.