Meghan Markle, 36, has been given her own coat of arms to cement her role as the Duchess of Sussex.
Kensington Palace shared the design on their Twitter page, and said: “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.
“Her Royal Highness worked closely with the College of Arms throughout the design process to create a Coat of Arms that was both personal and representative.”
The design features many elements that reflect Meghan’s heritage. The Palace explained: “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 bird on the right of the design is a “songbird with wings elevated as if flying and an open beak, which with the quill represents the power of communication”.
A Coronet has also been assigned to the new Duchess. The Palace said: “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.”
In a sweet nod to Meghan’s recent nuptials, there are “arms of a married woman…shown with those of her husband and the technical term is that they are impaled, meaning placed side by side in the same shield.”
Kate Middleton, 36, was given a Coat of Arms along with her husband Prince William, 35, in 2013, and it is likely Meghan will get the same with Prince Harry later in to their marriage.
Unlike Meghan, Kate did not get her own Coat of Arms when she became the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. Instead, her family was given a Coat of Arms before she got married, called the Middleton Coat of Arms.
The design was full of cheeky nods to the family, with a gold chevron referring to Carole Middleton’s maiden name, Goldsmith, and the division down the centre between blue and red a pun on the Middle-ton name.
Symbolism flowed through the rest of the design, with the three acorns represent Michael and Carole Middleton’s three children, Kate, Pippa and James, as well as strength and Englishness.
The narrow, white chevrons represent hills and mountains, a reference to the family’s enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, and the blue and red background refers to the colours of the union flag.
Speaking about the creation of Meghan’s design, Woodcock said: “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 people and great corporate bodies such as Cities, Universities and for instance the Livery Companies in the City of London.”