Now that Meghan Markle is officially the Duchess of Sussex, she needs a coat of arms, naturally. Coats of arms are heraldic images representing people, families, and even institutions like universities.

 

The design for Meghan's arms was approved by the Queen, of course, and Thomas Woodcock, who works as the Garter King of Arms and Senior Herald in England.

 

The College of Arms in London and Queen Elizabeth collaborated to ensure that the heraldic imagery used truly represents the newest member of the royal family.

 

As well, apparently the newlywed was quite fascinated by the process herself. And no wonder - the coat of arms is about to symbolise who she is as a person!

 

"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," Thomas explained, according to the royal family's website

 

 

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"Heraldry as a means of identification has flourished in Europe for almost nine hundred years and is associated with both individual people and great corporate bodies such as Cities, Universities and for instance the Livery Companies in the City of London. "

 

The shield itself features a blue background, which symbolises the Pacific Ocean that hugs the California coast.

 

As well, there's another nod to the Duchess' home state in the two gold rays across the shield, representing sunshine. 

 

In fact, California is so sunny that its nickname is the Golden State!

 

 

The trio of quills on the right-hand side of the shield is meant to show the power of words and communication.

 

The grass below the shield blends both Meghan's new and old homes, as it's adorned with wintersweet, flowers that grow at Kensington Palace, and golden poppies, which is California's state flower.

 

As per tradition, she has been assigned a coronet, or small crown, that appears on her coat of arms. Her particular coronet was laid down by the Royal Warrant of 1917.

 

It features two crosses patée, two strawberry leaves, and four fleurs-de-lys.

 

The figures on the side holding up the shield are aptly known as supporters. Wives of members of the royal family customarily have one of their husband's supporters on one side, with the other supporter is related to their own qualities.

 

 

Meghan's supporter is a songbird, whose wings are open as if prepared to fly. As well, its beak is open - another reference to the power of communication. The emphasis on communication doubtless alludes to the former Suits star's acting career.

 

Because the Duchess is married, her arms (meaning her part of the shield - not the body parts!) are shown side-by-side with her husbands.

 

The left-hand side, therefore, is Prince Harry's coat of arms, and it's placed next to Meghan's (just like the couple stand side-by-side in real life!).

 

It's so sweet how the coat of arms represents not just Meghan's past, but her present and her future together with her husband.

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