Why Was Meghan Markle's Coat of Arms Used on New Website Instead of Her Joint Crest with Prince Harry?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quietly launched Sussex.com, which also features their royal cypher

<p>Getty Images</p> Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games on Sept. 12, 2023

Getty Images

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games on Sept. 12, 2023

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's new website came with a few royal touches.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quietly launched Sussex.com on Monday, providing a nucleus for information on the couple's charitable work through the Archewell Foundation, creations through Archewell Productions and other appearances. The homepage is filled with nods to the couple's time as working members of the royal family before they stepped back from those roles in 2020 and relocated to Meghan's home state of California.

Over a photo of Harry, 39, and Meghan, 42, at the 2023 Invictus Games closing ceremony in September is text reading, "The office of Prince Harry & Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex," under Meghan's coat of arms. Shortly after the pair's May 2018 wedding, the palace revealed Meghan's new coat of arms.

Meghan worked closely with the College of Arms to create the design, which included a number of personal elements. The blue background of the shield represents the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, while two golden rays across the shield are symbolic of the sunshine in Meghan’s hometown of Los Angeles. The three quills represent communication and the power of words, a possible reflection of Meghan’s outspoken activism and her defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig.

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Related: Prince Harry Makes Surprise Appearance at NFL Honors Hours After Returning from U.K. to See Dad King Charles

Prince Harry also has a coat of arms and the pair's symbols can be combined into a "conjugal coat of arms" — however, their combined version was never officially revealed by the palace. That may have been due to timing — Prince William and Kate Middleton's combined crest wasn't shared until two years after their wedding.

It's possible that they chose Meghan's design because it already incorporates her husband's. The arms of a married woman are also shown with those of her husband and the technical term is that they are "impaled," meaning placed side by side in the same shield. While the right side of the coat of arms represents Meghan, the left side is a reflection of Prince Harry's.

However, royal fans online have pointed out that the crest is in need of an update following King Charles' accession to the throne in 2022. Now that Prince Harry is the son of the monarch rather than the son of the heir, a different coronet should be used while the five points of the lapel should be changed to three points, according to Gert's Royals.

In addition to the coat of arms and their royal titles as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which were bestowed by Queen Elizabeth on their wedding day, Harry and Meghan's new website also features another element from their royal life.

On the bottom right of the homepage, the couple's titles appear under their joint cypher. The design features an intertwined “H” and “M” in the same cursive style as both Harry and Meghan’s individual cyphers. Sitting atop the initials is a coronet, which features two crosses pattee (a type of Christian cross), four fleurs-de-lys and two strawberry leaves.

The couple's former website, SussexRoyal.com, now redirects to the new Sussex.com address. A pop-up message on the webpage reads: "This site was established in 2020 and sets out the work streams of Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex prior to their move to the United States. To learn more about the Royal couple and their philanthropic endeavours, click here."

After Meghan and Harry married in 2018, news about their royal work appeared on the @KensingtonRoyal accounts alongside updates about Prince William and Princess Kate. The following year, the couple launched a separate Instagram page, @SussexRoyal, as part of the plan to establish a separate office from William and Kate.

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<p>Chris Jackson/Getty Images</p> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games in Germany on Sept. 15, 2023

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games in Germany on Sept. 15, 2023

The @SussexRoyal Instagram account stopped being updated after Harry and Meghan stepped back from their senior royal roles in 2020, and its final post was shared in March 2020.

The couple has not had a social media presence since, but Meghan has hinted that a return to Instagram might be in their future. In a 2022 interview with New York magazine's The Cut, the Duchess of Sussex said: "Do you want to know a secret? I'm getting back…on Instagram." Although Meghan "would relay she was no longer sure she would actually return to Instagram" later in the interview, she appeared to be considering the move amid the launch of her Archetypes podcast.

Meghan shut down her social media profiles (including her Instagram page with 3 million followers) and lifestyle blog The Tig after getting engaged to Prince Harry.

"It was a big adjustment — a huge adjustment to go from that kind of autonomy to a different life," she said in the interview.

Related: Meghan Markle Joins a Night of 'Cooking and Storytelling' Inspired by Her First Project as a Royal

<p>Marcus Ingram/Getty Images</p> Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend the premiere of 'Bob Marley: One Love' in Jamaica on Jan. 23, 2024

Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend the premiere of 'Bob Marley: One Love' in Jamaica on Jan. 23, 2024

This week, Meghan and Prince Harry are scheduled to travel to Canada for the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025's One Year to Go celebrations. Over their three-day visit, the couple will join members of the participating nations' Winter Training Camp, which provides an opportunity for members of the International Invictus Community, including team managers, coaches and competitors, to experience winter adaptive sports ahead of the Games next year.

Prince Harry, a former captain in the British Army, founded the international adaptive sports tournament for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans in 2014.

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