Meghan Markle's Father Is Getting a Very Special Gift Ahead of the Royal Wedding
First comes love, then comes a coat of arms!
The traditional design, customized with colors and symbols, is typically given to the father of the bride just ahead of a royal wedding. Though Kensington Palace and the College of Arms declined to comment on whether or not a coat of arms will be gifted to Meghan’s dad, Thomas Markle, in honor of the royal bride-to-be’s May 19 wedding, it’s a tradition that will likely be followed.
Kate Middleton‘s father, Michael Middleton, received his coat of arms just over a week before her 2011 wedding. It featured three acorns, which represented the family’s three children — Kate, Pippa and James — and a gold stripe across the middle in honor of Kate’s mother, Carole, whose maiden name is Goldsmith.
After Meghan’s family receives their coat of arms, she and Harry can get their own “conjugal coat of arms,” which will likely be officially unveiled a few years after they marry. William and Kate’s made its debut in September 2013, just over two years after their April 2011 wedding.
“Every Coat of Arms has been designed to identify a person, school or organization, and is to last forever,” Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms at the College of Arms, told PEOPLE of the coat of arms creation process in 2011. “Heraldry is Europe’s oldest, most visual and strictly regulated form of identity and it surrounds us in Britain, giving clues to our history and surroundings.”