Meghan Markle’s Coat of Arms Is Another Big Departure From Royal Tradition

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: Meghan Markle stands at the altar during her wedding in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Well, if it doesn’t get more official than this, we don’t know what to say. Meghan Markle, now known as the Duchess of Sussex, was gifted her official coat of arms by Queen Elizabeth II on Friday, May 25.

“A Coat of Arms has been created for The Duchess of Sussex,” Kensington Palace announced in a statement on Friday, May 25. “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 way it was presented was another significant departure from royal tradition. Typically, the coat of arms is presented to the father of the bride, or in this case Thomas Markle. However, as the narrative went, drama surrounding Thomas before the wedding ultimately resulted in a restructured walk down the aisle for the bride. (He was originally announced to walk her down the aisle.) Instead, the bride walked herself down halfway and was symbolically met by Prince Charles as she was ushered into her new family.

meghan markle duchess of sussex coat of arms

(Credit: Kensington Palace)

As for Markle’s coat of arms, the Queen sought to design something that was equal parts traditional, symbolic and rather personal. According to the palace, the shield’s blue background is representative of the Pacific Ocean, which lines Markle’s home state of California.

The palace added that the two golden rays that strike the shield represent the sunshine in California, and the three quills specifically nod to Markle’s personal qualities. The quills are representative of the poor of words and communication.

Another portion of the shield includes golden poppies, which are the state flower of California. But interestingly enough, poppies and wintersweet grow at Kensington Palace.

“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 statement reads. “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 Garter King of Arms, Mr. Thomas Woodcock, also added in his statement: “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.”

About the Author

Esther Lee
Esther Lee
Esther is the Senior News Editor at The Knot. A self-proclaimed pop culture enthusiast, she appreciates a good celebrity interview just as much as she adores Nancy Meyers movies. You can find her kicking off her mornings with barre and a green juice, traveling and exploring new cultures, and rapidly scrolling her feed for the latest and greatest news. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @theestherlee.