The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a new coat of arms to represent them as a married couple, Kensington Palace has announced.
The Conjugal Coat of Arms, shown publicly for the first time today, was approved by the Queen this year and combines William’s coat of arms and Kate’s shield from the Middleton family coat of arms.
Designed by the College of Arms in London, conjugal arms traditionally show the separate shields of a royal husband and wife, side by side.
William’s shield, on the left of the coat of arms, is his version of the Royal Coat of Arms granted to him by the Queen on his 18th birthday.
It sits alongside Kate’s shield from the Middleton family coat of arms, granted to the family in 2011 ahead of her marriage.
The Conjugal Arms will be the couple’s coat of arms forever, but parts of it could change as their own circumstances and roles change.
They will also keep their own coats of arms to represent themselves as individuals, Kensington Palace said.
The duchess was granted her own coat of arms by the Queen after her marriage to William in 2011. It was made by putting her father’s arms next to her husband’s, in what is known as an impaled coat of arms.
The left shield on the Cambridges’ new conjugal coat of arms is taken from the coat of arms given to William by his grandmother on his 18th birthday and shows the various royal emblems of different parts of the United Kingdom: the three lions of England, the lion of Scotland and the harp of Ireland.
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 he is a Knight Companion.
Kate’s shield on the right shows her family arms, granted to her father Michael in March 2011 before the royal wedding. It is divided vertically with one half blue and the other half red, and includes a gold chevron across the centre with white “cotises” either side.
It also includes three acorns with gold stalks and leaves.
In the couple’s arms, the Duchess of Cambridge’s shield is surrounded by a wreath of oak, to balance out her husband’s garter - a tradition for royal spouses who are not themselves entitled to surround their arms with an order of chivalry.
Both shields are supported by the royal lion and unicorn, each 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 William’s ancestors on his mother’s side for many centuries.