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Posted at 2:10 PM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Kate needs a coat of arms

By Autumn Brewington

Sarah Ferguson, the former wife of Prince Andrew, had her coat of arms emblems embroidered on the train of her wedding dress in 1986. (AP)

It's not easy marrying an heir to the throne. Amid reports that anarchists plan to wreak havoc around Westminster Abbey for a month leading up to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding, the royal bride-to-be has to keep her dress (and presumably its designer) hidden from the world's media, sort out a 2,000-person guest list ... and come up with a coat of arms.

According to the Daily Mail, "Although not a legality, an insignia is a prerequisite for those marrying into the Royal Family."

Previous royal brides have faced this hurdle. Prince William's mother, Lady Diana Spencer, descended from one of England's oldest families and had an established crest. But when Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew in 1986, she applied for a coat of arms (emblems from which were seen embroidered on the train of her wedding gown).

To be granted one, Kate's father will have to lodge a "memorial" (petition) with Britain's College of Arms. The Mail reports that it was told by an officer at the College: "We have not received any application thus far. For normal applicants the process can take up to eight months from first consultation to the completed process. However in this instance it could be arranged in two weeks."

The paper, citing "palace sources," said the Middleton family "would be applying for a Coat of Arms, but this could be postponed until after the wedding on April 29."

By Autumn Brewington  | February 1, 2011; 2:10 PM ET
Categories:  Ceremony, Kate Middleton, Monarchy, Prince William  | Tags:  Autumn Brewington  
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