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June 2011

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THE QUEEN’S CONSENT

In the week before the Royal Wedding took place, all the national newspapers published the story and reproductions of the ‘Instrument of Consent’ shown here.  This document, signed by the Queen herself, gave her consent to Prince William’s marriage to Catherine Middleton.   Without it the marriage would not have been legal.  The beautifully illuminated Instrument has now been sent to the newlyweds for them to keep. 

And the artist who produced it was none other than Ickenham’s own Timothy Noad.  Tim, who has lived in Ickenham all his life and is a Deputy Warden of St Giles’ church, is one of two scribes and illuminators to the Crown Office, and he was commissioned in January to prepare the document for the Queen’s signature. 

The document gives the Monarch’s approval of the marriage between “Our Most Beloved Grandson” and “Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton”.  It is written on vellum and illuminated with decorative artwork chosen by Tim to represent the groom and his bride.  Beneath the prince’s coronet there is a gold cipher of their entwined initials.  A white lily symbolises the bride’s namesake, St Catherine of Siena, whose Saints Day fell on the day of the wedding.  A Welsh leek is surmounted by the official label which pronounces William as second-in-line to the throne and the tiny scallop shell is an emblem from the coat of arms of the Spencer family to which his mother, Diana, belonged.  The red dragon of Wales is present, while the UK is depicted by the emblems of the rose, thistle and shamrock with William’s Order of the Garter belt superimposed. 

Tim said, “All members of the Royal Family descended from George II have to gain the sovereign’s consent to marry, but only senior members receive an illuminated certificate, or ‘Letters Patent’.  It was a privilege to have been chosen to create this historic document and to have contributed in a small but important way to this wonderful occasion.” 

 

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