Our favourite royals, Kate and Wills have a new conjugal Coat of Arms, which will represent them in heraldic terms as a married couple.
Designed by The College of Arms in London, Conjugal Arms traditionally show the separate shields of a royal husband and wife, side by side and must be approved by the reining monarch.
William’s shield (left) is his version of the Royal Coat of Arms granted to him by the Queen on his 18th birthday. On the right, Kate’s shield is from the Middleton family Coat of Arms, which was granted to her family in 2011 shortly before her wedding.
The Conjugal Arms will be theirs forever, however as their circumstances and roles alter, elements of the accoutrements around the shields may change. In addition to their Conjugal Arms, Kate and wills will retain their own Coats of Arms to represent themselves as individuals.
Kate was granted her own Coat of Arms by the Queen after marriage to William. This was made by placing her father’s Arms beside those of her husband in what is known as an impaled Coat of Arms.
Wills’ Coat of Arms shows the various royal emblems of different parts of the United Kingdom: the three lions of England in the first and fourth quarters, the lion of Scotland in the second and the harp of Ireland in the third.
It is surrounded by a blue garter bearing the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense (‘Shame to those who think evil of it’), which symbolises the Order of the Garter, of which The Duke is a Knight Companion.
Kate’s shield on the right shows the Middleton family Arms, granted to her father, Michael Middleton, for the Middleton family in March 2011, prior to her marriage. Kate’s shield is surrounded by a wreath of oak, to balance out the Duke’s garter. This is traditional for royal spouses who are not themselves entitled to surround their Arms with an order of chivalry.
Both shields are supported by The Duke of Cambridge’s Supporters of the Royal Lion and Unicorn wearing a three pointed collar, known as a label. The label has a red escallop shell derived from the Spencer Coat of Arms which has been used by The Duke’s ancestors on his mother’s side for many centuries.