A New Coat of Arms for HRH Duchess of Sussex

Happy Friday everyone!

What a lovely surprise from Kensington Palace today with the announcement of a new coat of arms for Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.

From Kensington Palace Instagram —

The design was agreed and approved by The Queen and Mr. Thomas Woodcock who is based at the College of Arms in London.

The Duchess worked closely with the College of Arms and Mr. Woodcock throughout the process in order that the design be personal and representative of herself.

The College of Arms, also known as Heralds’ College is located in the City of London and is the official heraldic authority for the UK and most of the Commonwealth, including Australia and New Zealand.

The College consists of 13 officers appointed by the Sovereign and are members of the Royal Household. It’s one of the few “official heraldic authorities” or institutions established by a reigning monarch or a government to deal with heraldry in the country. Heraldry meaning, in the broad term, coat of arms, for those unfamiliar.

Mr. Woodcock began his career with the College of Arms in 1975 as a research assistant and is currently the senior King of Arms, and the senior Officer of Arms.  You may remember him when the Duchess of Cambridge’s Coat of Arms was announced.

We now take a closer look at Meghan’s new Coat of Arms:

From the Royal.uk site, the breakdown of the color and symbols used —

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 white bird, a songbird, we see in the image to the right of the shield is referred to as The Supporter relating to the Duchess of Sussex. The lion being The Supporter relating to the Duke of Sussex.

More from Royals.uk

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 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.

A Coronet has also been assigned to The Duchess of Sussex. 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.”

The song bird and coronet (crown) above showing the described details.

The side by side placement of both Harry and Meghan’s arms in the same shield is referred to in the technical term as being “impaled”.

Mr. Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms 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.”

UPDATE: Also released was HRH Duchess of Sussex official cypher from Kensington Palace letterhead —

Below we show HRH Duke of Sussex – Prince Harry’s cyper —

 

LINKAGE:

    • The College of Arms site can be found here.
    • Additional History on The College of Arms and the Coat of Arms Visit: The Heraldry Society

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8 Comments

  1. Lauren May 29, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    I’m really struck by the bold, graphic design of Meghan’s coat of arms and love the punchy impact of the striking blue background separated into three parts (the gold bars remind me of sluices, which fit hand-in-glove with the representation of Pacific Ocean). I’m also loving the quills and their iconographic meaning of communication. I’ve been wondering for quite some time whether Meghan would resurrect her blogging and writing skills and release periodic essays on causes near and dear to her heart. I really hope she does it!

  2. LadyLeah May 27, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    What a beautiful coat of arms depicting a really dynamic couple. I think it will be fascinating to see how Meghan uses her voice to promote causes close to her heart. I know some are wondering how she will communicate now that she’s shut down her social media account, but Meghan has a new platform, and new social media presence on the BRF official website. I think when she attends meetings, participates in round-table discussions, and meets people from various communities across the Commonwealth, her voice will be used for positive change.

  3. Daisy F. May 27, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Does anyone know if Meghan is left-handed? I ask because of the angle of the quills are the correct angle for a lefty and usually no detail is left unminded.

    I’m fascinated by how much emphasis there is on communication from someone who recently had to give up her social media accounts! This should be interesting.

  4. ElizaMo May 26, 2018 at 9:49 am

    I think that’s a wonderful coat of arms and I’m so intrigued by how the symbols are created to sum up so much about our new Duchess. It’s a treat to see how such a thoroughly modern life can be represented in this historic manner and this design is refreshingly light, like Meghan, with that sunny blue, and not like some dark forbidding warrior insignia.

  5. Bex May 26, 2018 at 1:49 am

    Does anyone have any knowledge of heraldry and can explain why Meghan’s supporter is “gorged” with a coronet, rather than wearing the coronet (like Harry’s supporter is)? Is to the difference between been born into the family and marrying into the family?

    1. WhatMeghanWore May 26, 2018 at 11:01 am

      The Duchess of Cambridge’s coat of arms also has the coronet around the neck of her Supporter. As a matter of fact a number of coat of arms have Supporters with coronets around the neck.

  6. valerie lowther May 25, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    very interesting!

  7. vicki May 25, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Simply splendid – on so many levels.

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