Meghan Markle’s coat of arms: What does it mean?

Meghan Markle’s coat of arms: What does it mean?


Just days after Meghan Markle‘s royal wedding
to Prince Harry, the newly minted Duchess of Sussex has received a very special gift:
a coat of arms. Coats of arms are traditionally given to the
father of a royal bride-to-be in the days before the wedding. But with Markle’s father
absent from the wedding, Markle was given the coat of arms directly. And unlike most
coats of arms, it does not include Markle’s family name.
Markle worked with the College of Arms to ensure that the design “was both personal
and representative,” according to a statement from Kensington Palace— and there’s more
to it than meets the eye. Here’s what each part of Markle’s coat of arms means. The right half of the shield is filled with nods to California, Markle’s home state.
The shield’s blue background represents the Pacific Ocean while its two golden rays
represent California sunshine. Golden poppies, California’s state flower, are also dotted
across the grass at the shield’s base. Finally, quills printed on the shield are meant to
represent “communication and the power of words,” two things close to Markle’s heart.
Markle’s arms are placed on the shield alongside Prince Harry’s, to symbolize their new union.
This means their arms have been “impaled,” according to Kensington Palace. When a woman marries into the royal family, she is given a “supporter”—one of the
figures on either side of the shield—and takes one of her husband’s, Kensington Palace
explains. “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,”
the statement says. The other supporter, a lion, is one of Prince Harry’s. The crown topping Markle’s coat of arms “is the Coronet laid down by a Royal Warrant
of 1917 for the sons and daughters of the Heir Apparent,” according to Kensington
Palace. The crown is decorated with two crosses patée, two strawberry leaves and four fleurs-de-lys.

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