Monday, June 4, 2018

It Seems That The Internet Will Just Not Shut Up About This

Okay, this is starting to get pretty ridiculous.

As I posted on May 25 (, the coat of arms for the new Duchess of Sussex had been announced, ending a lot of speculation about what they would look like and to whom they would be granted. I thought that that announcement would end the speculation and controversy.

Boy, was I wrong!

Coat of Arms

People are complaining about the coronet around the neck of her songbird supporter. (

Some are complaining that the arms should have been granted to her father instead. (

The Duchess's half-sister complains that the arms "looks like it was drawn by someone in a kindergarten classroom." (

And then there's this article, whose title says, well actually, overstates, it all: "Meghan Markle's coat of arms is the biggest design crime of 2018." (And to borrow a line from the movie City Slickers, "Year ain't over yet.")

And don't even get me started on some of the comments to be found with some of those articles, and in the on-line groups on some of the social media, like Facebook!

"But couldn't Thomas Markle use his daughter's arms by courtesy, differenced by a label enarched of one point, as described by Sir Thomas Innes of Learney while Lord Lyon?" (Short answer: No. As one commenter put it so well, "what happens in the northern kingdom has no relevance to what happens in Queen Victoria Street." In other words, the College of Arms - on Queen Victoria Street in London - is not bound by the statement of a herald in a different heraldic jurisdiction, in this case, Scotland.)

"Birds as supporters almost always look ridiculous and this, sadly, is no exception."

"The rationale seems a bit underwhelming. 'I value sun rays, Pacific water, and the power of communication' seems like a dating profile. Feels almost civic."

And many discussions about how good/bad/indifferent the official blazon of the arms is.

Do I have my own quibbles with the Duchess's coat of arms? Yes, I do, but they all pretty much relate to the specific depiction as released by Kensington Palace as created by the College of Arms, and I suspect that if the artists had had more time to create the image, all or most of my minor quibbles would have been addressed. And they still could be, in future renditions, as the coat of arms is not a trademarked logo, and so it doesn't have to slavishly match the original depiction every single time.

And finally, as another commenter on a completely different conversation on Facebook noted the other day, 

I suggest we move on to something more substantive, like over-interpreting the social and political significance of the Duchess of Sussex's arms. 

Good advice, I think.

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