Meghan's coat of arms pays tribute to California roots

Friday, May 25, 2018

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LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Prince Harry's wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, received a new tailor-made official coat of arms on Friday that pays homage to her Californian roots.

The crest has a blue background that "represents the Pacific Ocean off the California coast," Kensington Palace, the couple's residence, said in a statement.

Two golden rays on the shield "are symbolic of the sunshine of The Duchess's home state" and 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," it said.

The coat of arms includes a songbird "with sings elevated as if flying and an open beak" — also a symbolic representation of the power of communication.

"The Duchess of Sussex took a great interest in the design," Thomas Woodcock, whose official title of "Garter King of Arms" represents the most senior role in British heraldry, said in the statement.

Meghan's tradition-defying wedding to Harry last Saturday included elements of her African-American heritage and she walked part of the way up the aisle on her own in what was seen as a feminist statement.

In her biography on the royal family's website, Meghan emphasised her commitment to women's empowerment and stated: "I am proud to be a woman and a feminist".

Meghan Markle was born in Los Angeles on August 4, 1981 and attended Hollywood's Immaculate Heart High School before studying at Northwestern University and launching her film career.

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