How Duchess Meghan’s new coat of arms breaks royal tradition

A very special coat of arms has been created for Duchess Meghan after her wedding to Prince Harry.

“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,” Kensington Palace said in a statement on Friday, May 25.​

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The decision to give Meghan (née Markle) her own coat of arms breaks royal tradition as it is typically given to the father of the bride, but Thomas Markle was unable to attend his daughter’s May 19 nuptials due to a recent heart surgery. It also does not include the Markle family name. (Duchess Kate’s coat of arms honored the Middleton family name as well as her mother Carole’s maiden name, Goldsmith.)

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Meghan Markle's first appearance as a royal
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Meghan Markle's first appearance as a royal
The Duchess of Sussex at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London which she is attending as her first royal engagement after being married.
The Duchess of Sussex at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London which she is attending as her first royal engagement after being married.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London which they are attending as their first royal engagement as a married couple.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London which they are attending as their first royal engagement as a married couple.
The Duchess of Cornwall (left) the Duchess of Sussex at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London which she is attending as her first royal engagement after being married.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London which they are attending as their first royal engagement as a married couple.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London which they are attending as their first royal engagement as a married couple.
The Duchess of Sussex at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London which she is attending as her first royal engagement after being married.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with the Duchess of Sussex (right) at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London which she is attending as her first royal engagement after being married.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London which they are attending as their first royal engagement as a married couple.
The Duchess of Cornwall (left) the Duchess of Sussex at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London which she is attending as her first royal engagement after being married.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (front centre right) Stand with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall (front centre left) and guests during a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London, which they are attending as their first royal engagement as a married couple.
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The palace said that Meghan, 36, worked closely with the College of Arms to ensure that the design was both personal and representative. The blue background of the shield represents the Pacific ocean off the coast of her home state of California. It also features two golden rays to symbolize sunshine, in addition to golden poppies, the official state flower.

The coat of arms also includes wintersweet (which grow at Kensington Palace), a songbird with elevated wings and an open beak as well as three quills, the latter of which represent the power of communication. Both poppies and wintersweet were stitched onto the Suits alum’s wedding veil, in addition to ones from each of the 53 counties in the Commonwealth.

Meghan has also been assigned a coronet.

“The Duchess of Sussex took a great interest in the design,” Woodcock said in a statement. “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.”

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The best photos from Meghan and Harry's royal wedding
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The best photos from Meghan and Harry's royal wedding

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and the Duchess of Sussex hold hands in the Ascot Landau Carriage as their carriage procession rides along the Long Walk, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex emerge from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Ben Birchall / POOL / AFP) 

Ms. Meghan Markle walks down the aisle at the start of her wedding to Prince Harry in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Ben STANSALL - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the steps of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle following their wedding ceremony in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and The Duchess of Sussex leave St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle after their wedding ceremony on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Princess Charlotte sticks out her tongue as she rides in a car to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex kisses his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as they leave from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Danny Lawson / POOL / AFP)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wave from the Ascot Landau Carriage during their carriage procession on Castle Hill outside Windsor Castle in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP) 

US actress Meghan Markle, accompanied by Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales walks down the aisle toward her husband-to-be Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 during their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP)

Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, are driven along the Long Walk as they arrive for her wedding ceremony to marry Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018.

(Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP) 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their wedding service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Princess Charlotte on the steps of St George's Chapel after the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex emerge from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP) 

Meghan Markle is driven to St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle along with her page boys Brian and John Mulroney at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Toby Melville- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, stand together at the altar in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 during their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP)

Prince Harry, arrives with his best man Prince William, Duke of Cambridge for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Odd Anderson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive back at Windsor Castle in the Ascot Landau Carriage after their wedding ceremony and after their procession in Windsor, on May 19, 2018.

(Photo by Steve Parsons / POOL / AFP)

Meghan Markle's mother Doria Ragland, Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall leave the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle.

(Photo by Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP) 

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