Kate reveals new coat of arms for royal wedding
For a commoner who is soon to become a princess it is the crowning glory: Kate Middleton unveiled Tuesday a new coat of arms created for her wedding to Prince William.
The blue and red crest was commissioned by her father Michael from London's College of Arms and features a design of three acorn sprigs which symbolise Kate and her two siblings, royal officials said.
The crest, which cost the Middletons £4,400 (5,000 euros, $7,160) signifies not only the practical need for a future queen to have one but also the growing social status of the Middletons, who are self-made millionaires.
"The Middleton family particularly wanted acorns or oak and I think Catherine Middleton in particular was responsible for the idea of these oak sprigs," said Thomas Woodcock, Garter Principal King of Arms at the college.
He said the Middletons, who previously had no family coat of arms of their own, "took enormous interest in this design."
"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," said Woodock.
Kate, whose parents made their fortune from a party planning business, has her own coat of arms based on the new family crest but they both incorporate the same elements, said Clarence House, Prince Charles' official residence.
The Middletons chose acorns because the area where Kate, her sister Pippa and brother James were brought up in Berkshire, England, is surrounded by oak trees, said Clarence House, Prince Charles' official residence.
Oak is also "a long-established symbol of both England' and Strength,'" it said.
The crest features the three acorns on a half blue, half red background, chosen as they are the principal colours from the British flag.
A gold chevron represents Kate's mother Carole, whose maiden name is Goldsmith while two white chevrons "allude to hills and mountains and represent outdoor pursuits that the family enjoy together", said Clarence House.
Kate's lozenge-shaped crest is shown suspended from a ribbon, which shows she is an unmarried daughter, and will feature on a souvenir programme for the April 29 wedding at London's Westminster Abbey.
After the wedding Kate will place it beside William's coat of arms.
© 2011 AFP