Slaidburn man designs coat of arms for Kate Middleton

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton

A RIBBLE Valley man has played a key role in the forthcoming royal wedding – designing Kate Middleton’s new coat of arms.

Thomas Woodcock, who grew up in Hurst Green and now lives in Slaidburn, has helped the Middleton family create the coat of arms to mark her wedding on Friday to Prince William.

As Garter Principal King of Arms and head of London’s College of Arms, he was commissioned by Kate’s father, Michael.

The design features three acorn sprigs, as the oak tree is a traditional symbol of England, explained Mr Woodcock, who spent his childhood in Hurst Green after his parents moved there in 1950, with education first at Miss Cam’s in Whalley, then Aysgarth in Newton-le-Willows before going to Eton.

He said: “The oak sprigs denote the three Middleton children as the oak tree is also a feature of West Berkshire, where the family has lived for 30 years, and the gold chevron in the centre signifies Miss Middleton’s mother, Carole, whose maiden name was Goldsmith.”

Royal experts say the coat of arms – which cost £4,400 to make – marks the increased social status of her parents and her potential as a future queen. It includes a tied ribbon, showing she is an unmarried woman, and features the acorn sprigs, the gold inverted “V” reflecting her mother Carole’s maiden name, and white chevronels symbolising mountains, representing the family’s love of the Lake District and skiing.

There’s more on this story in this week’s Clitheroe Advertiser & Times