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Need A Coat Of Arms? It’s A Balancing Act

Robert Parsons sketches a coat of arms

In honor of the royal wedding that is taking place tomorrow, a story about the “science” that goes into creating a coat of arms. There’s actually a bit of a formula involved (so maybe the “Math” of a coat of arms?), as well as history and politics:

It takes a lot to prepare for a wedding and even more when you’re marrying royalty.

Because Kate Middleton is a commoner she needed to get herself an official coat of arms before she could marry Prince William.

So, Middleton and her family went to see Thomas Woodcock, Garter Principal King of Arms at the College of Arms in London.

But, not just anyone gets a coat of arms. For starters, you have to be a subject of the British crown. And then there’s a test — the test of eminence — that determines if you deserve one. To pass, you basically just need an important job or a university degree.

more via the podcast “How To Do Everything” on Need A Coat Of Arms? First Pass The Test Of Eminence : NPR.

Interesting how Kate Middleton’s coat of arms is being created, only to be merged almost immediately with her husband’s. I also like the idea of having a dinosaur on my coat of arms; too bad I’m not a subject of the royal crown.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.