U.S. Markets open in 8 hrs 16 mins

Breaking Down All the Hidden Easter Eggs in Meghan Markle's Coat of Arms (There’s a Nod to L.A.!)

Erin Hill

You can take the girl out of California…

Meghan Markle received her official royal coat of arms on Friday, and there are lot of references to her American roots.

In honor of Meghan’s hometown of Los Angeles, the blue background of the shield represents the Pacific Ocean off the California coast. And that’s not the only reference to the Golden State. The two golden stripes represent rays of sun, reflecting Meghan’s sun-filled days growing up in L.A. There is also a scattering of golden poppies, California’s state flower.

Meghan’s passion for activism and love of the written word are also represented. The three quills are especially meaningful to Meghan, who once worked as a calligrapher. She also wrote about her love of handwritten notes on her former lifestyle blog, The Tig: “I think handwritten notes are a lost art form. When I booked my first [TV] pilot, my dad wrote me a letter that I still have. The idea of someone taking the time to put pen to paper is really special.”

  • Can’t get enough of PEOPLE’s Royals coverage? Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
Meghan Markle's coat of arms

The choice of the songbird reflects Meghan’s outspoken nature and passion for activism. Meghan was inspired to change a TV commercial at the age of 11, after having seen a Procter & Gamble commercial that advertised its Ivory dishwashing soap solely to women.

“I don’t think it’s right for kids to grow up thinking these things, that just mom does everything,” the then 11-year-old said during an interview with Nick News.

About 20 years after seeing the commercial, Meghan gave a speech about the moment at the United Nations, saying, “I remember feeling shocked, and angry and also just feeling so hurt. It just wasn’t right and something needed to be done.”

RELATED VIDEO: Royal Wedding Guest on Prince Harry’s ‘Nerves’ and ‘Sheer Sense of Love and Commitment’

Meghan is going to bring that same drive for social change to her new role within the royal family.

“I think what’s been really exciting as we talk about the transition of this out of my career, but into the role, is that, as you said, the causes that have been very important to me I can focus even more energy on,” said the former Suits actress said her first joint interview with Harry in November. “Because very early out of the gate I think you realize once you have access or a voice that people are going to listen to, with that comes a lot of responsibility, which I take seriously.”

The fact that the songbird appears to be in mid-flight could also be a nod to Meghan’s independent nature and reflective of how much she has achieved on her own. She even went solo for the majority of her walk down the aisle to marry Prince Harry. And she isn’t giving up her strong sense of self as she becomes the Duchess of Sussex.

“I’m always going to be Meg,” she told her good friend and wedding makeup artist before walking down the aisle.