Thursday, May 31, 2018

Arms, Meghan Markle's Coat of

Royal weddings are not on my A-list of topics to follow, though Prince Harry's recent marriage to an American made it even harder to avoid the massive information on the internet, here in the USA.
One article, appearing some time after the wedding did interest me though.

Royal Wedding 2018: Meghan Markle coat of arms revealed

A coat of arms created for the Duchess of Sussex that reflects her Californian background has been unveiled.

It includes a shield containing the colour blue, representing the Pacific Ocean, and rays, symbolising sunshine.

The duchess worked closely with the College of Arms in London to create the design, Kensington Palace said.

The lion supporting the shield relates to her husband, the Duke of Sussex, and dates back to the House of Stuart's ascent to the throne in 1603.

The songbird supporting the shield on the right relates to the Duchess of Sussex.

Traditionally wives of members of the Royal Family have two - one of their husband's supporters on the shield and one relating to themselves.

Beneath the shield is California's state flower - the golden poppy - and Wintersweet, a flower that grows at Kensington Palace and was also depicted on the duchess' wedding veil.

As I wrote in a post in 2009, headed "Astrology & Heraldry", "I've had a passing interest in heraldry since my very early working life, as an archivist's assistant back in England. My boss had studied the subject in depth as part of his training, and would often pass on tid-bits of information to his interested young helper. Heraldry is a more complex and strictly disciplined subject than it might at first appear. It hadn't struck me until the other day that astrology could have had a part to play in the way heraldry developed, back in the Middle Ages, 12th century onwards." Much more at the link.

To clarify how the word 'heraldry' connects to coats of arms, and College of Arms:
Heraldry is the system by which coats of arms and other armorial bearings are devised, described, and regulated.
A herald, in this context is an official employed to oversee state ceremonial, precedence, and the use of armorial bearings, and (historically) to make proclamations, carry official messages, and oversee tournaments.

In connection with Prince Harry's side of this coat of arms, the Lion of England, my 2016 post on The Queen's Beasts has more information on this.

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