Catherine Middleton Receives Family Coat of Arms

  April 19, 2011 at 10:07 am by

Dating back to the 12th century when lords and knights displayed them on their shields during battle as a form of identification, coats of arms today have a different meaning and in most countries are not widely used by the general public. However, when you’re British and marrying the second-in-line to the throne, a coat of arms is a reflection on your family and becomes a part of your history.

View the image at The Daily Mail

And with her wedding less than two weeks away, Catherine Middleton has received her own coat of arms – commissioned by her father Michael, the new arms are a Middleton family arms and can be used by the immediate Middleton family. News outlets are reporting that the arms will feature on the official wedding program, as will Prince William’s.

There are differences in the make-up of the family coat of arms (as there are in all arms, based on gender). The coat of arms used by Miss Middleton between now and the wedding are of a lozange-shaped body, signifiying a female (males, such as Mr Middleton and Miss Middleton’s brother James, would have a shield instead). Another indicator that this arms is specifically for Miss Middleton is the tied blue ribbon at the top of the arms, signifying that the bearer is an unmarried woman – therefore the younger Middleton sister, Pippa, can use the arms as well.

Elements which will be common in both male and female arms, and which can be seen on Miss Middleton’s arms are three acorns which represent the three Middleton children, and represent the oak tree, common in the family’s home county of Berkshire. The inverted ‘V’ in the centre of the arms represents Middleton mother Carole, in gold to reflect her maiden name ‘Goldsmith’. Two white stripes border the ‘V’, and reflect the family’s fondness of mountains and skiing.

The coat of arms was designed by the Garter Principal King of Arms, Thomas Woodcock, who works at the College of Arms in London. He met with the Mr and Mrs Middleton, who said the idea of three acorns was their eldest daughter’s.

Miss Middleton will marry Prince William of Wales on Friday April 29th, at Westminster Abbey.

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