Here's the Amazing Gift Meghan Markle's Family Might Get from the Queen

If tradition is any indication.

She's living a modern fairy tale, so it makes perfect sense that Meghan Markle could receive her own Royal Coat of Arms before she marries Prince Harry on May 19th, at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Sophie, the Duchess of Wessex (Prince Edward's wife), both received a family crest as a very special—and uniquely royal—gift before their weddings.

Each design, which is customized with colors and symbols, is typically given to the father of the bride just before a royal wedding. Kensington Palace and the College of Arms have both declined to comment on whether a coat of could be gifted to Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, but royal experts say it's a tradition that will likely be followed.

If so, the former actress could receive her own Markle family crest, which would then become part a joint coat of arms with Prince Harry after the royal wedding—known as an impaled Coat of Arms. It requires a Royal Warrant from The Queen.

The Middleton coat of arms, given to Michael Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge's father, right before her wedding to Prince William in 2011, includes three acorns, each representing the three Middleton children: Kate, Pippa, and James Middleton.

One palace insider explained: "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."

"Every Coat of Arms has been designed to identify a person, school or organisation, and to last forever: 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."

Since a coat of arms is a distinctly British tradition, Meghan is American, and it's unclear if Harry has even met Thomas Markle, it's anyone's guess what the coat of arms, if given at all, would look like. And for more on the impending nuptials, learn What Guests Have to Wear to the Royal Wedding.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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