Meghan Markle is no stranger to breaking royal tradition.
From walking herself halfway down the aisle at the royal wedding to doing her own speech at the wedding reception, Meghan continues to break traditions in one of the world’s most traditional institutions.
And now, just days after her royal wedding to Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex has received a very special coat of arms.
Normally, it is the royal tradition for the father of the bride to receive a coat of arms, but as Thomas Markle did not attend his daughter’s wedding, Meghan was instead given her own coat of arms.
In another break in tradition, Meghan’s surname is not represented in the design.
Instead, the coat of arms represents Meghan personally.
Kensington Palace said in a statement that the Duchess of Sussex “worked closely with the College of Arms throughout the design process to create a Coat of Arms that was both personal and representative.”
As Meghan was born and raised in Los Angeles, the coat of arms features multiple symbols for California. The shield’s blue background represents the Pacific Ocean off the California coastline while the two golden rays represent the ‘sunshine state’.
Beneath the shield are golden poppies, the official state flower of California and wintersweet, which grows in the grounds of Kensington Palace.
Both the golden poppies and wintersweet were also embroidered into her wedding veil, alongside distinctive flowers from every single country – 53 in total – in the Commonwealth.
Ms. Markle expressed the wish of having all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey through the ceremony. Ms. Waight Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country united in one spectacular floral composition.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 19, 2018