Meghan Markle’s coat of arms released: what does the emblem mean?

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding Portraits Released

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Less than a week after becoming the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle has received an official coat of arms approved by Queen Elizabeth II.

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According to Kensington Palace, the Duchess of Sussex is represented in the emblem by a songbird, with its wings elevated as if it is flying. The bird also has an open beak, with three quills that represent communication and the power of words.

The blue background represents the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California and two golden rays across the shield also represent the Sunshine State, Kensington Palace said.

Beneath the shield on the grass is a collection of golden poppies, California’s state flower. It also includes wintersweet, which grows on the grounds of Kensington Palace.

In the emblem, the arms of a married woman are shown with those of her husband, a representation of their union side by side in the same shield.

Markle also picked those flowers to be featured in her wedding veil.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange vows during their wedding ceremony in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

Credit: Owen Humphreys, WPA Pool, Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange vows during their wedding ceremony in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

Credit: Owen Humphreys, WPA Pool, Getty Images

Combined ShapeCaption
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange vows during their wedding ceremony in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

Credit: Owen Humphreys, WPA Pool, Getty Images

Credit: Owen Humphreys, WPA Pool, Getty Images

Explore>>Read: Meghan Markle selects Givenchy dress for royal wedding

The coat of arms was designed by the College of Arms in London.

Thomas Woodcock, the Garter of Arms who helped craft the design, said Markle was active in the design process.

"The Duchess of Sussex took a great interest in the design. Good heraldic design is nearly always simple and the Arms of The Duchess of Sussex stand well beside the historic beauty of the quartered British Royal Arms," said Woodcock in the statement from Kensington Palace. "Heraldry as a means of identification has flourished in Europe for almost nine hundred years and is associated with both individual people and great corporate bodies such as Cities, Universities and for instance the Livery Companies in the City of London."

Markle also represented her California roots in her royal wedding invitations, which were printed with American ink.

Now that Meghan has received her coat of arms, she and Harry can get their own "conjugal coat of arms," which will likely be officially unveiled in a couple years, PEOPLE reports.

William and Kate's conjugal coat of arms debuted in September 2013, just over two years after their wedding in April 2011.

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