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Wills includes tribute to Diana in Garter crest with Spencer shell

July 22, 2008
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Prince William has had a touching tribute to his late mother the Princess of Wales incorporated into a crest marking his appointment as the 1,000th Knight Of The Garter. The carving, which will sit above William's seat in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, features a small scallop shell - a symbol which formed part of Princess Diana's coat of arms.

Although it's unusual for maternal symbols to be added to a royal coat of arms, the sea shell - which has been a Spencer family emblem for over 400 years - was included at the 26-year-old Prince's specific request.

The design features a roaring lion perched on a crown, with a three-pronged plaque - a symbol showing William is the first-born son - on its chest bearing a tiny red shell motif.

While the shells on the Spencer coat of arms are white, the one on Wills' crest is red, making it especially eyecatching.

The shell, which has been the symbol of pilgrims travelling to Spain's Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela since the 12th century, will be removed when he becomes Prince of Wales.

Crest carvings date from 1348 when Edward III founded the Order of the Garter. Each is still carved from light, strong and durable lime wood - a legacy from medieval times when a version was worn atop a knight’s helmet in battle - and is coated with 24 carat gold leaf designed to last for 1,000 years.

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Photo: ©
The pilgims' scallop from the Spencer coat of arms has been added to the wooden crest which will sit above the new Knight of the Garter's seat in St George's Chapel, WindsorPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
The carved lion, which was created by the official sculptor to the British royal household, Ian Brennan - pictured - is coated with 24 carat gold and designed to last a thousand yearsPhoto: © Ian G Brennan
Photo: ©
It will join the crests of William's fellow Garter Knights atop the carved stalls in the Castle chapelPhoto: © Ian G Brennan

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