A Dress to Buy. Invitations to Send out. How Is a Royal Bride Meant to Find Time to Select Her Coat of Arms?

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), January 30, 2011 | Go to article overview

A Dress to Buy. Invitations to Send out. How Is a Royal Bride Meant to Find Time to Select Her Coat of Arms?


Byline: Katie Nicholl ROYAL CORRESPONDENT

ROYAL bride Kate Middleton is so busy with wedding plans she has yet to apply for her own coat of arms, the College of Arms confirmed yesterday.

Although not a legality, an insignia is a prerequisite for those marrying into the Royal Family.

Unlike the late Princess of Wales, whose paternal Spencer family Coat of Arms was used when she married Prince Charles, Kate's middle-class background means she does not have one.

In order to be granted one, her father Michael will have to lodge a petition - or a 'memorial' as it is correctly known - with the College, which would then approve the application before a bespoke insignia can be designed.

Arms and crests are granted by letters patent. Applicants must get a warrant from the Earl Marshal agreeing to the granting of the arms.

Yesterday Clive Cheesman, officer of arms at the College of Arms, told The Mail on Sunday: 'We have not received any application thus far. For normal applicants the process can take up to eight months from first consultation to the completed process.

However in this instance it could be arranged in two weeks.' Last night, Palace sources said the Middleton family would be applying for a Coat of Arms, but this could be postponed until after the wedding on April 29.

Once awarded, the crest could also be used by Kate's father, her mother Carole, her sister Pippa and her brother James.

'Catherine has rather a lot to think about,' a senior courtier said. 'I expect she will have a coat of arms; it would be surprising for her not to. I suspect she has not got around to having it done yet. She might not get around to it until after the wedding.' A source at the College of Arms added: 'Miss Middleton is likely to use her Coat of Arms more than any other grantee because she is marrying into royalty and they tend to use theirs more than others.

'However, it's likely that her arms will be in keeping with the heraldic tradition. …

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