Queen Elizabeth II has given her formal consent to Prince William’s marriage to Catherine Middleton. The monarch’s imprimatur is required under the terms of the Royal Marriage Act of 1772 whereby the sovereign must grant his or her consent to before a member of the Royal Family can marry. The Instrument of Consent in vellum, declares: “NOW KNOW YE that We have consented and do by these Presents signify Our Consent to the contracting of Matrimony between Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G., and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.” A red wax seal, the Great Seal of the Realm is attached to the bottom of the historic document. The beautifully executed document contains the Queen’s signature, “Elizabeth R,” and is decorated with the following, as reported by The Daily Telegraph:
“There is a gold cipher of the couple’s entwined initials beneath the prince’s coronet, but St James’s Palace said this was not the couple’s official symbol.
A white lily represents St Catherine of Siena, whose feast day falls on April 29th and with whom Kate Middleton shares her name.
Beneath it is a Welsh leek surrounded by William’s white three-pronged second in line to the throne label and a tiny red escallop from the Spencer family Arms.
There is also a red dragon – the heraldic symbol of Wales, the UK’s floral emblems – the rose, thistle and shamrock – and the Garter belt, William’s blue and gold Order of the Garter belt, as well as a large gold E for Elizabeth.”