The Middleton family Coat of Arms has been unveiled in London this week ahead of Kate’s upcoming royal nuptials to Prince William of Wales. Altho Wills got his own Coat of Arms at birth (it has a unicorn on it!!!), the Middleton family did not procure their own Coat of Arms until it became necessary … seeing that Kate is about to marry into the royal family. Check out Kate’s new family Coat of Arms and see what the official program for the Royal Wedding will look like below.
Kate Middleton today joined the ranks of nobility as her very own coat of arms was unveiled… and that could prove profitable for the family business. The growing social status of the bride-to-be’s parents has been reflected in the new insignia which will feature on the Royal Wedding souvenir programme. In a canny move by her father, Michael Middleton, Kate’s family will all be able to use the crest ‘as he sees fit’ including for their Party Pieces business as it was he who commissioned it. The design released today incorporates an acorn sprig – one for each of the Middletons’ three children – an idea suggested by Kate. The oak tree is a traditional symbol of England and strength, and is a feature of west Berkshire where the family have lived for more than 30 years. At the centre of the coat of arms is an inverted ‘v’ or chevron coloured gold which represents Kate’s mother Carole Middleton whose maiden name was Goldsmith. Above and below this feature are white chevronels to symbolise peaks and mountains, reflecting the family’s love of the Lake District and skiing. But there are no references to the ancestors of the Middletons, made millionaires by their successful mail order business Party Pieces. The forebears of Michael, an ex-flight dispatcher, feature successful Leeds solicitors, while his wife, a former air hostess, is descended from a long line of labourers, carpenters and Durham coal miners. The design can be used by the Middletons howsoever they wish and if someone else uses it they can sue them at the Court of Chivalry which, apart from a case in 1954, hasn’t been convened since 1732. Thomas Woodcock, Garter Principal King of Arms, from the College of Arms in the City of London, sat down with Kate’s parents to create the design which cost £4,400. He said: ‘It’s not compulsory but as their daughter is marrying into the Royal Family she will have a need probably to use a coat of arms.’ He added that Miss Middleton could have been granted her own heraldic design but her father commissioned the College in his name so all the family could use it. Mr Woodcock added: ‘The Middleton family particularly wanted acorns or oak and I think Catherine Middleton in particular was responsible for the idea of these oak sprigs. The idea is that great trees grow from small acorns and the part of Berkshire in which the Middletons brought up their children there are a great many oak trees so it’s something they associate with the upbringing of their children. And in the centre you have what is known as a chevron and that has been made gold as Catherine Middleton’s mother’s maiden name was Goldsmith – so that’s a suitable reference to her in the centre of the family.’ A version of the coat and arms which can only be used by Kate or her sister Pippa, as it denotes a Middleton spinster, will be printed on the back of the souvenir programme while William’s will be on the front. The booklet will include the wedding order of service and be available on the day of the nuptials.
Oooooh, everything is getting all official. I have to say, altho we don’t use this Coat of Arms business here in the US, there is something romantic and intriguing about the whole concept. This is the sort of stuff we read about in fairytales and, yet, it actually exists in real life. Despite the fact that there are many naysayers who claim to be totally uninterested in the upcoming Royal Wedding, I can’t help but be excited about the whole thing. It really does feel like a fairytale come to life.