The Duchess of Sussex's official coat of arms has been unveiled, with Kensington Palace revealing the news on Instagram Friday, less than a week after her wedding.
"A Coat of Arms has been created for The Duchess of Sussex. 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 palace said in a statement.
Featuring plenty of nods to Markle's home state of California, the coat of arms was gifted directly to Markle rather than to her father, which is a break in royal tradition. Kate Middleton's father, Michael Middleton, received his family's coat of arms just over one week before Kate's 2011 wedding.
Markle worked closely with the College of Arms to create a design that was both personal and representative, with the Duchess combining several elements of her character to create a meaningful display.
The shield's blue background represents the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, while the two golden rays across the shield are symbolic of the state of California. The three quills represent communication and the power of words, something Markle has displayed throughout her time in the spotlight, notably through her activism and her now-shuttered lifestyle blog, The Tig.
On the grass beneath the shield sit an array of golden poppies, California's state flower, and wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace. Both plants were also incorporated in the design of Markle's wedding veil, which also featured the flora of all 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
In addition, 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 representing Markle is a songbird with wings elevated as if in flight and an open beak, which further represents communication.
The coat of arms of a married woman is traditionally shown with that of her husband and the two arms are technically termed to be impaled, which means that they are placed side by side in the same shield.
Markle also received a Coronet, with the Duchess having been assigned 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.
As Markle has now received her own coat of arms, she and Harry will next receive their "conjugal coat of arms," though that is not expected to happen for several years. Prince William and Kate Middleton married in 2011, and their joint coat of arms was revealed in 2013.
Photo Credit: Getty / Max Mumby / Indigo