Announced on 19 April 2011, just over a week before her marriage to HRH Prince William of Wales, these are the armorial bearings of Miss Catherine Middleton. The arms consist of a lozenge suspended from a ribbon (as appropriate for an unmarried woman) showing a design currently being granted as a shield to Miss Middleton's father, Michael Middleton.
The three acorns represent Mr and Mrs Middleton's three children (Catherine, Pippa and James). Acorns were chosen because the area in which the children were brought up - West Berkshire, England - is well wooded with oak trees. Additionally, oak is a long-established symbol of both England and strength.
The gold chevron, which sits at the centre of the design, refers to Mrs Carole Middleton, whose maiden name is Goldsmith. The two narrower chevrons, which sit either side of the gold chevron, allude to hills and mountains and represent outdoor pursuits that the family enjoy together.
Thomas Woodcock, Garter Principal King of Arms, said:
"Mr and Mrs Middleton and their children took enormous interest in this design and, while its purpose is to provide a traditional heraldic identity for Catherine, as she marries into the Royal Family, the intent was to represent the whole Middleton family together, their home and aspects of what they enjoy.
"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. After her marriage, Catherine Middleton will place her father's Arms beside those of her husband in what is known as an impaled Coat of Arms. This will require a Royal Warrant from The Queen."
The Grant of Arms has been made to Michael Middleton and his descendants in accordance with the laws of Arms, so all his three children, including Catherine, are entitled to the Arms. James Middleton (Michael's son and Catherine's brother) will pass the right on to his children.