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Britain's Prince William and Catherine get new 'conjugal' coat of arms

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 9:26 AM EDT, Fri September 27, 2013
The new Conjugal Coat of Arms for Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge of the UK.
The new Conjugal Coat of Arms for Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge of the UK.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • William and Catherine have a new coat of arms to represent them as a married couple
  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married in 2011
  • Catherine's father, Michael Middleton, was granted a coat of arms ahead of the wedding
  • The new coat of arms places William and Catherine's respective shields side by side

London (CNN) -- A new coat of arms to represent Prince William and his wife, Catherine, as a married couple was unveiled Friday, more than two years after their televised wedding was watched by people around the globe.

The new conjugal coat of arms will "represent them in heraldic terms as a married couple," Kensington Palace said in a news release.

The coat of arms was approved by William's grandmother, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, earlier this year but was shown publicly for the first time Friday.

It follows the tradition for conjugal arms in showing the separate shields for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge side-by-side, the palace said.

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Prince William's shield was given to him on his 18th birthday by the queen and shows various royal emblems from different parts of the United Kingdom, while Catherine's shield is from the Middleton family's coat of arms.

That coat of arms was granted to Catherine's father, Michael Middleton, in March 2011, ahead of the couple's April wedding, the palace said.

According to the College of Arms, its three sprigs of oak, or acorns, refer to Michael Middleton's three children and echo the oak trees that ring the area where they grew up.

After her marriage, Catherine was granted her own coat of arms by the Queen -- made by placing her father's arms beside those of her husband in what is known as an "impaled" coat of arms.

If any British citizens living in England, Northern Ireland or Wales want to follow in the Middleton family's footsteps, they can also apply to the College of Arms in London for their own coat of arms, according to the body's website, while Scots can apply in Edinburgh.

The heraldic records held by the College of Arms stretch all the way back to the 12th century, it says.

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