Nearly everything about Meghan Markle defies royal family rules and traditions, including her Coat of Arms. Used to distinguish nobles and royals, a Coat of Arms is a heraldic bearing or shield that uses captivating symbols to tell the story of a person or family. That said, Meghan’s Coat of Arms is unlike any other.
Ahead, we share the biggest difference between Meghan’s Coat of Arms and other royal’s (page 5). Plus, the one thing her and Kate Middleton’s shields have in common (page 6), and other surprising details about the powerful symbol.
1. It is deeply personal
One way Meghan’s Coat of Arms is different from other royals is it’s deeply personal. Meghan worked closely with the College of Arms to ensure the entire shield touches every aspect of Meghan’s roots, interests, and her place within the royal family.
Next: Here’s why it’s so personal.
2. It represents her home state
One reason it’s so personal? It pays homage to her home state of California. According to the royal family’s website, “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.”
In addition to her shield, there is a patch of grass below the shield that features a cluster of golden poppies. Golden poppies are the state flower of California.
Next: The palace clearly loves this about Meghan.
3. It pays homage to her interests
Meghan’s Coat of Arms also represents her interests and role within the royal family. “The three quills [on the shield] represent communication and the power of words,” states the royal family’s website.
Prior to joining the family, Meghan ran her own lifestyle blog called The Tig, wrote an essay on period stigma for Time, and advocated for women’s rights. It is expected that she will continue her work as a feminist from her new royal platform.
Next: Her new home is also significant.
4. It has ties to Kensington Palace, too
Meghan made sure to pay tribute to her new home, too. In addition to California poppies, her Coat of Arms features a cluster of wintersweet, which grows on the grounds of Kensington Palace.
Fun fact: Her wedding veil also featured California poppies and wintersweet. She also included wintersweet — from the actual Kensington Palace garden — in her bridal bouquet.
Next: The biggest difference between Meghan’s Coat of Arms and other royal’s.
5. It does not reference her family
Unlike all other royal Coat of Arms, Meghan’s does not reference her family. Instead, it is a personal representation of herself.
The reason for this is unknown. However, we could guess that it has something to do with her relationship with her father (and the drama he caused pre-royal wedding), or the fact that her family does not have British roots.
Next: Meghan and Kate’s Coat of Arms share one similarity.
6. Her Coat of Arms is impaled with Harry’s
One thing that is traditional? Her Coat of Arms is impaled — or side by side on the same shield — as Harry’s. Kate’s Coat of Arms is also impaled with William’s.
In addition to combining her Coat of Arms with Harry’s, she also received a special Coronet that symbolizes she is a daughter (or, in her case, daughter-in-law) to the heir apparent, Prince Charles. According to the royal family’s website, “it is composed of two crosses patée, four fleur-de-lys and two strawberry leaves.”
Next: The biggest difference between Meghan and Kate’s Coat of Arms.
7. Kate did not receive her Coat of Arms
One of the biggest differences between Meghan and Kate’s Coat of Arms? Kate didn’t actually receive her own personal shield. Instead, a Coat of Arms was presented to her father ahead of her royal wedding.
The Middleton Family Coat of Arms represents Kate’s entire family. The background of the shield is red and blue to symbolize England’s Union Jack flag, the three acorns represent Kate and her siblings (as well as their hometown, West Berkshire, England), and the gold chevron is a tribute to Carole Middleton’s maiden name, Goldsmith.
Kate’s personal Coat of Arms is a combination of the Middleton family shield and William’s Coat of Arms.
Next: Will Harry and Meghan also receive this?
8. William and Kate also have a Coat of Arms for their family
A couple of years after their royal wedding, William and Kate received their own family Coat of Arms with the two shields placed side by side (instead of impaled).
Judging by family traditions, Harry and Meghan will probably receive something similar in the years to come.
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