Coat of Arms is created for the new Duchess of Sussex: Meghan Markle

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has had a coat of arms created for her.

The 36-year-old former actress became a member of the royal family over the weekend when she tied the knot with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and she has now received her official Coat of Arms, featuring a design which is both personal and representative.

According to a statement released on the website, several parts of the Coat of Arms are meant to represent Meghan’s home state of California, such as the blue background on the shield - which stands for the Pacific Ocean off the California coast - the golden rays across the shield to represent sunshine, and the golden poppies beneath the shield which are California's state flower.

The Duchess of Sussex's coat of arms.
The Duchess of Sussex's coat of arms. Source: Twitter/Kensington Palace

The design also features wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace, and the three quills on the shield are meant to represent communication and the power of words.

Meghan is said to have worked closely with College of Arms throughout the design process to create the design, which has been formally approved by Her Majesty The Queen and Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms and Senior Herald in England.

Speaking about the Coat of Arms, Thomas said: "The Duchess of Sussex took a great interest in the design. Good heraldic design is nearly always simple and the Arms of The Duchess of Sussex stand well beside the historic beauty of the quartered British Royal Arms.

"Heraldry as a means of identification has flourished in Europe for almost nine hundred years and is associated with both individual people and great corporate bodies such as Cities, Universities and for instance the Livery Companies in the City of London.”

Meghan’s Coat of Arms also features Prince Harry’s design along one side of the shield, as it is customary for a married woman to have both her and her husband’s designs on the same shield.

Meghan Markle's official coat of arms features wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace, and the three quills on the shield are meant to represent communication and the power of words. Source: Supplied

Kiwi companies revise email mailing lists as new European Union privacy laws kick-in

You may have noticed your inbox being inundated with emails from companies asking you to review their privacy policies, or asking you to re-subscribe to their mailing lists.

It’s a reaction to a new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force tomorrow, after being passed by the European Parliament two years ago.

The laws aim to give consumers better control of their own data, including the chance to 'opt-in' to sharing that data.

Among the key changes are:

  • The right to be forgotten, meaning all data about someone can be deleted.
  • The right to data portability, so any information companies store about customers can be demanded, and moved elsewhere.
  • And the right to be notified of any data breach as quickly as possible.

Privacy commissioner John Edwards says Kiwi businesses could be caught up in the far-reaching rules, "if they've got a place of business in Europe, if they're targeting European customers with European languages, if they're over 250 employees or they're collecting particularly sensitive sorts of data from European citizens".

"A New Zealand business that's doing business in Europe will have to be cognisant of these. We still don't know exactly of the application of the laws in New Zealand, so that's something we're going to find out more as the law's applied."

Entertainment organisation Auckland Live is among those who have sent out emails giving customers the opportunity to opt-in or out of their mailing list.

“Within the hundreds of thousands of people we have in our database, we will have patrons that are based in the European Union," Auckland Live’s David Bavage says.

“To protect them, and meet our obligations, we want to make sure that all our patrons are aware of the new [GDPR] legislation.”

AUT computer scientist Dave Parry says most businesses with a web presence will have to be wary of the new rules.

"It changes the relationship in some ways between the company and the consumer, in that the consumer then is seen very much as the owner of that data. And that you're giving it to the company for particular reasons," he said.

The dangers of privacy breaches, cybercrime and misuse of persona data had led to beefed-up laws in the EU. Source: 1 NEWS


Kansas teen who tried to sell his high school on Craigslist for $20k gets unintended payback

An 18-year-old who put his suburban Kansas City high school for sale on Craigslist has been banned from graduation after the senior prank went awry.

The Kansas City Star reports Kylan Scheele listed Truman High School in Independence, Missouri, for the bargain price of $20,000 last week.

Problems arose when someone reported the posting as a possible threat because of Scheele's choice of wording.

He wrote that the reason for the sale was "the loss of students coming up."

Scheele says he was describing the loss of the graduates and has apologised.

But he's still been booted from Sunday's commencement.

File image of an empty classroom.