What do you get a woman who is about to have everything? A coat of arms, of course.
Michael and Carole Middleton, Kate’s parents, commissioned a family crest to mark their daughter’s April 29 nuptial. Working in conjunction with an artist at the College of Arms—the esteemed institution that makes these sorts of things—the family created a lozenge-shaped coat of arms hanging from a blue ribbon (a symbol that Kate is still a Miss and not a Mrs.). Three acorns represent the three Middleton children (Kate, Pippa and James), and invoke the oak tree—a symbol of west Berkshire, where the family has lived for 30 years. The division down the middle of the crest is a play on the Middle-ton family name, while the gold chevron refers to Carole’s maiden name Goldsmith.
(More on TIME.com: See TIME’s special coverage of the royal wedding)
Thomas Woodcock, the artist who helped the family come up with the crest, says the red and blue coloring was essential: another coat of arms, designed in the 16th century, also features a chevron between three sprigs of oak. “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,” Woodcock says. He’s right. The logo will feature in the souvenir royal wedding program, which will be sold to the public for $3. Artists will later remove the blue ribbon and impale Kate’s shield into the middle Prince William’s coat of arms. How’s that for “two become one”?
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Despite the celebratory nature of the family crest, England’s class system requires cynics to roll their eyes. For those aristocrats looking down their nose at commoner Kate, the coat of arms should probably include balloons and a few streamers. Old-money toffs like to point out that the Middletons made their millions through a homegrown party supplies business. As the guide for the Kate and Wills Royal Wedding Walking Tour recently explained to TIME, Kate and her sister “have been nicknamed, rather unkindly, ‘The Wisteria Sisters.’ Highly decorative, terribly fragrant, with a ferocious ability to climb.”
But sour grapes won’t change history. As the coat of arms shows, the future Mrs. William Windsor really has arrived.
(More on TIME.com: See TIME’s photo essay “Kate & Wills: A Royal Courtship”)