The curious case of the White Hart instead of the Lupton Wolf
10 days ahead of his daughter Catherine's wedding to HRH Prince William, Mr Michael Middleton was granted Arms on 19th April 2011. These included a Crest which his daughter, now HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, obviously does not use and is therefore rarely seen.
The blazon for the Crest is as follows:
A Rock argent, thereon a Wolf sejant azure, gorged with a Collar of Roses argent, barbed and seeded proper, supporting in the dexter Forepaw a Caduceus or, Serpent gules.
Argent, on a Chevron sable between three Wolf's Heads, Necks erased sable. three Lilies of the Field, on a Chief gules a Tau Cross between two Escallops or.
But why the significance to warrant the use of a Lupton Wolf in the Middleton Crest?
The connection comes through Olive Lupton who married solicitor Richard Noel Middleton on 6th January 1914. She had been accepted to study at Cambridge University circa 1900 but chose to remain in Leeds and study locally whilst looking after her widowed father. In 1915, during the First World War, the newly-married Olive Middleton volunteered to be a VAD nurse at Gledhow Hall, near Leeds, the home of her second cousin Florence, Baroness Airedale. The Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) was a unit of civilians providing nursing care for military personnel, including longer-term recuperation back in Britain. All three of Olive's brothers died in the First World War and, as the eldest daughter, she inherited the family textile firm of William Lupton & Co, in 1921 of which her husband Richard became a director and through which trust funds were set up for the Middleton family. Her daughter-in-law, Valerie Middleton, served as a VAD nurse in World War Two. The Duchess of Cambridge stated that her patronage of the Nursing Now campaign meant a lot to her personally. Olive also served on the Leeds branch of the Ladies Association for the Care of Friendless Girls with her cousin, Baroness von Schunck, née Kate Lupton, who was invited to the Coronation of King George V in 1911.
If the Lupton family were such a "political and business dynasty" that they are represented in Mr Middleton's Arms, it does make you wonder why a white Hind was chosen as the Duchess of Cambridge's Supporter and not the blue Wolf of the Luptons. Neither of the fathers of both the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge qualify for Supporters themselves as 'only' being Gentlemen, but the Duchess of Cornwall took a Boar from her father's Arms and changed the colour from white to blue.
It would seem a shame that the Lupton Wolf didn't likewise enter the British Royal Family from Mr Middleton's Arms. It would have been simple to replace the Collar of white Roses with the Coronet of Rank and both Duchesses would have had a blue Supporter. The case for the white Hind, that it is a forest-dweller and was the Badge of Joan of Kent, wife of the Black Prince and herself, as Catherine will be, later a Princess of Wales, seems somewhat weak compared to the Lupton connection.