Kate's simply the crest
A COAT of arms has been created for Kate Middleton and will be featured on a souvenir programme of the Royal Wedding which, it emerged today, is to be streamed live on YouTube at the request of the couple.William and Kate are keen the wedding reaches out to as many people as possible with updates on the big day on other social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
The Middleton family's crest was commissioned by Kate's father Michael in time for the marriage of his daughter to Prince William.
The design, released today, incorporates three acorn sprigs — one for each of the Middletons' children — an idea suggested by Kate.
The move signifies the growing social status of Kate's parents - made millionaires by their successful mail order business Party Pieces - and also the practical need for Kate, a future Queen, to have a coat of arms.
But it can only be used by Kate up until her wedding day, while she remains a Middleton spinster.
It will be printed on the back of 150,000 official souvenir programmes to go on sale on the day of the Royal Wedding.
William's coat of arms will be on the front.
The booklet, handed out by a team of military cadets and Explorer Scouts, will also contain a personal message of thanks from the couple and a never-before seen snap by fashion photographer Mario Testino.
Following the wedding, the coat of arms of William and his fiancee will be combined — something known as "impaled arms".
Kate's brother James will be able to pass down the coat of arms to his children but her sister Pippa, as a woman, will not but she can use it during her lifetime.
Kate's coat of arms features a tied ribbon to show she is an unmarried woman and the overall shape is an elaborate lozenge, rather than a shield which is a shape reserved for men.
The acorns were chosen as the oak tree is seen as a traditional symbol of England and strength, and is a feature of west Berkshire where the family have lived for more than 30 years.
The gold bar in the centre represents Kate's mother Carole whose maiden name was Goldsmith.
The white inverted V shape above the bar symbolise peaks and mountains, reflecting the family's love of the Lake District and skiing.
Thomas Woodcock, Garter Principal King of Arms, from the College of Arms in the City of London, sat down with Kate's parents to create the design which cost £4,400.
He said: "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."
Meanwhile, Regent Street turned into a sea of red, white and blue today.
Union Jack flags were raised along the famous central London street early this morning as police launched a massive security operation along the Royal Wedding procession route.