The Story Behind Kate Middleton's New Coat of Arms
By Krista Wick
Kate Middleton has just received a new Coat of Arms in advance of her upcoming nuptials to Prince William, and as the Arms mean to represent the lineage of the soon-to-be princess, the entire Middleton family worked closely with the College of Arms to create a design that represents the family's identity and values.
The practice of creating an official Coat of Arms requires approval from the Garter King of Arms and Senior Herald in England, Mr. Thomas Woodcock. He approved of the design, which has been made for Kate's father, and in effect, all of his three children (including Kate) are entitled to the Arms. Kate will receive her Coat of Arms in in the form of a ‘lozenge,’ suspended from a ribbon to indicate that she is an unmarried daughter in the Middleton family. After she weds Prince William on April 29, she will likely merge her coat of arms with that of her husband, or entirely adopt her husband's.
The chosen design includes three acorns to represent Mr. and Mrs. Middleton’s three children (Catherine, Philippa and James). Acorns were chosen because the area in which the children were brought up – West Berkshire, England – is surrounded by oak trees. Additionally, oak is a long-established symbol of both ‘England’ and ‘Strength.’
The gold chevron pattern at the design's center represents Kate, whose maiden name is Goldsmith. The two thinner chevrons allude to hills and mountains and represent outdoor pursuits that the family enjoy together. The blue and red colors represent those of the flag of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Woodcock reports that the entire Middleton family “took enormous interest in this design and, while its purpose is to provide a traditional heraldic identity for Catherine, as she marries into the Royal Family, the intent was to represent the whole Middleton family together, their home and aspects of what they enjoy."