Picture: Meghan Markle receives royal coat of arms
Design features golden rays to represent Californian sunshine, golden poppies and three quills to represent 'the power of words;
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has had a coat of arms created for her.
The 36-year-old former actress became a member of the royal family over the weekend when she tied the knot with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and she has now received her official Coat of Arms, featuring a design which is both personal and representative.
According to a statement released on the Royal.uk website, several parts of the Coat of Arms are meant to represent Meghan’s home state of California, such as the blue background on the shield - which stands for the Pacific Ocean off the California coast - the golden rays across the shield to represent sunshine, and the golden poppies beneath the shield which are California's state flower.
The design also features wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace, and the three quills on the shield are meant to represent communication and the power of words.
Meghan is said to have worked closely with College of Arms throughout the design process to create the design, which has been formally approved by Her Majesty The Queen and Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms and Senior Herald in England.
Speaking about the Coat of Arms, Thomas said: "The Duchess of Sussex took a great interest in the design.
Good heraldic design is nearly always simple and the Arms of The Duchess of Sussex stand well beside the historic beauty of the quartered British Royal Arms. Heraldry as a means of identification has flourished in Europe for almost nine hundred years and is associated with both individual people and great corporate bodies such as Cities, Universities and for instance the Livery Companies in the City of London.”
Meghan’s Coat of Arms also features Prince Harry’s design along one side of the shield, as it is customary for a married woman to have both her and her husband’s designs on the same shield.