...or do they? When Kate Middleton married Prince William, it became apparent that this family without an aristocratic title, didn't have a crest, or a coat of arms. The appropriate experts were dispatched and a bespoke crest was invented in time for the royal wedding. Those outside the UK may not have even realized it had been hurriedly put together when most crests have been around for centuries. The Cochran crest, for example, dates back to the 1600s.
In our Staffordshire room, we've hung a map delineating the traditional counties of England because guests often ask us about the location of Staffordshire (about 3 hours north of London). It's also interesting to me that so many Americans assume London is in the center of Britain (because after all, it is the center of my universe!) when in fact it's in the Southeast.
This particular map also illustrates that each county has a coat of arms, with a rich history behind it. A quick Google search will tell the story of each one, and your family name too, I'm sure. (You've got to be curious and Google, Sirri, Echo et al has the answer to almost every encyclopedic question)
It's all rather fascinating. It would be a great Thanksgiving project when your family and loved ones gather around the turkey. If you were about to marry Prince William and suddenly needed a family crest or coat of arms, what would it look like? Take up a pencil and get the input of everyone at the table and make a draft. And it can't be a winter jacket with 6 limbs sticking out. (Coat of arms, get it?). To be sure, it'll be an enlightening conversation as each member of the family articulates what it means to be a member of your particular family. Lots of lovehearts will appear, I'm guessing.
Let us know what you come up with. And we'll see if we can't put it to good use by personally introducing you to the next Royal that happens to stay with us and is looking for a spouse. No need to thank us. Just invite us to the wedding.