To honour the memory of his mother, who died in 1997, the prince has included a small red escallop or seashell in the centre of the design. Since the end of the 16th century, the scallop has been the symbol of the Spencer family coat of arms and was also used by Princess Diana. For the first time in royal history, the holder's identifying symbol incorporates the mother's family logo. It is understood William and his brother Prince Harry asked to have a scallop shell on their crests and coats of arms. William's crest of a gold lion standing on a crown will be mounted above his seat in St George's Chapel at Windsor, where he was formally appointed to the elite order by the Queen in a ceremony last month. "It is a really nice gesture that Prince William has acknowledged his late mother in the design. It is also fairly unusual in royal circles," the Telegraph quoted Ian Brennan, the sculptor from Hampshire who worked on the design for four weeks, as saying.
"It is made of lime wood, as is the tradition, and there are several layers of 24 carat gold leaf. They are designed to last 1,000 years. Each crest is unique to each member of the Order of the Garter," he added.
The three scallop shells on the Spencer family Coat of Arms are in white but Prince William's is in red to make it stand out on the white band around the lion's neck.
Peter Gwynn-Jones, garter principal King of Arms at the College of Arms, said: "It is a welcome innovation to incorporate maternal symbols into the Royal Family's arms and it is something that Prince William and his family wanted to do.
"In the fullness of time, Prince William's Arms will change as the Prince of Wales' shall, but a precedent has been set here that others in the Royal Family may well follow," he added.