Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tomorrow, April 27 is my 80th birthday. I look on every day as a bonus. I doubt anyone will ever name a rose after me.

Kate has had a rose named after her, the Catherine of course, pink and scented. William already has one. His is red. It is estimated that over two billion people will be watching the wedding. Two billion! Has there ever been an audience that size? She has also been granted a coat of arms. It’s rather soppy looking as though designed by some art school student and I’m not sure if the College of Arms didn’t devise it with tongue in cheek though, heavens to Betsy, let’s not even think that!

Thomas Woodcock, Garter Principal King of Arms, explains the Middleton coat of arms Kate’s father Michael commissioned and which will feature on a souvenir royal wedding programme. It features three acorn sprigs, one for each of the Middleton’s children: an idea Miss Middleton suggested. Royal experts say the coat of arms - which cost £4,400 to make - marks the increased social status of her parents and her potential as a future queen. Thomas Woodcock helped the Middletons with the design. He said the oak tree was a traditional symbol of England and a feature of west Berkshire, where the family have lived for 30 years. The gold chevron in the centre of the coat of arms signified Miss Middleton's mother, Carole, whose maiden name was Goldsmith and the coat of arms includes a tied ribbon, showing she is an unmarried woman. Katherine that is, not Carole.

Woodcock said Miss Middleton could have been granted her own heraldic design but her father wanted the whole family to be able to use it. A version of the coat of arms, which can only be used by Kate or her sister Pippa as it denotes a Middleton spinster, will be printed on the back of the souvenir programme. Prince William's will be on the front. Overall, it is designed like an elaborate lozenge rather than a shield, a shape reserved for men. She will be able to use the coat of arms up until her wedding day, after which it will be combined with that of Prince William. A hundred and fifty thousand copies of the official souvenir programme booklet will go on sale on the day of the wedding. The booklet will be handed out along the processional route by a team of military cadets and Explorer Scouts. The cost will be £2, with proceeds to go to the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. But it will also be available to download for free the day before the wedding from the official Royal Wedding website.

Now were it up to me to design the coat of arms I would keep the inverted V ( just to keep Carole happy) but instead of the acorns I would have three Davy lamps, or maybe two pickaxes and a Davy lamp, Or maybe a Davy lamp, a pickaxe, and a quill pen for those ancestors who escaped from coal mining and labouring to become solicitors, bank managers and business types. Which brings me to a couple of questions before signing off and not mentioning this subject ever again. Kate Middleton could not be more common. I don’t say this in a derogatory sense, it just happens to be a fact. Does the marriage mean that once she is a member of the Windsor family her blood automatically becomes blue? And what title or titles will she hold? Eventually if ever she becomes queen, it will be Her Maj of course but until then? Her Highness? Her Royal Highness? This was a title denied to Wallis Simpson for the simple reason that she wasn’t royal, not a drop of blue blood in her veins, but will it be allowed in the case of common or garden Kate no matter how sweetly scented her rose?

I might be wrong but I have a feeling the monarchy will never be the same again.


Lewis said...

I think you're right about the monarchy's never being the same again. A bloody cheek the whole family's getting arms!
I believe Wallis Simpson didn't get the title, because she was a divorced woman.
A "survey" has shown that 79% of the populace is not interested in the whole kafuffle; but I don't know how big the target group was.

Anonymous said...

More great reading on the history of the throne. Please write more.

Anonymous said...

As for a title, what about:

"Your Highny" ....?
Your Royal Highny"