Crown (headgear)

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The Papal tiara is worn by the popes to symbolize their authority within the Catholic Church Papal Tiara with silver gems pearls.jpg
The Papal tiara is worn by the popes to symbolize their authority within the Catholic Church
Imperial State Crown of the United Kingdom Imperial State Crown.png
Imperial State Crown of the United Kingdom
Imperial Crown of Russia, 2012 replica. Imperial Crown of Russia (copy by Smolensk Diamonds company, 2012) - photo by Shakko 01.JPG
Imperial Crown of Russia, 2012 replica.
Vajracarya's Ritual Crown, Ancient Nepal MET DP-1041-001.jpg
Vajracarya's Ritual Crown, Ancient Nepal
Crown of Boleslaw I the Brave from Poland. Replica made between 2001 and 2003 after the original 1000-year-old crown was destroyed in the late 18th century. Crown jewels Poland 10.JPG
Crown of Bolesław I the Brave from Poland. Replica made between 2001 and 2003 after the original 1000-year-old crown was destroyed in the late 18th century.
The Seobongchong Golden Crown of Ancient Silla, which is 339th National Treasure of South Korea. It is basically following the standard type of Silla's Crown. It was excavated by Swedish Crown Prince Gustaf VI Adolf in 1926. seobongcong geumgwan geumjedeurigae.jpg
The Seobongchong Golden Crown of Ancient Silla, which is 339th National Treasure of South Korea. It is basically following the standard type of Silla's Crown. It was excavated by Swedish Crown Prince Gustaf VI Adolf in 1926.

A crown is a traditional symbolic form of head adornment worn by a monarch or by a deity (as distinct from a hat), for whom the crown traditionally represents power, legitimacy, victory, triumph, honor, and glory, as well as immortality, righteousness, and resurrection. In art, the crown may be shown being offered to those on Earth by angels. Apart from the traditional form,[ clarification needed ] crowns also may be in the form of a wreath and be made of flowers, oak leaves, or thorns and be worn by others, representing what the coronation part aims to symbolize with the specific crown. In religious art, a crown of stars is used similarly to a halo. Crowns worn by rulers often contain jewels.

Contents

As an emblem

A crown is often an emblem of the monarchy, a monarch's government, or items endorsed by it. The word itself is used, particularly in Commonwealth countries, as an abstract name for the monarchy itself, as distinct from the individual who inhabits it (see The Crown). A specific type of crown (or coronet for lower ranks of peerage) is employed in heraldry under strict rules. Indeed, some monarchies never had a physical crown, just a heraldic representation, as in the constitutional kingdom of Belgium, where no coronation ever took place; the royal installation is done by a solemn oath in parliament, wearing a military uniform: the King is not acknowledged as by divine right, but assumes the only hereditary public office in the service of the law; so he in turn will swear in all members of "his" federal government.

Terminology

Three distinct categories of crowns exist in those monarchies that use crowns or state regalia.

Crowns or similar headgear, as worn by nobility and other high-ranking people below the ruler, is in English often called a coronet; However, in many languages, this distinction is not made and the same word is used for both types of headgear (e.g., French couronne, German Krone, Dutch kroon). In some of these languages the term "rank crown" (rangkroon, etc.) refers to the way these crowns may be ranked according to hierarchical status.

Crown of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Kroon van Nederland.jpg
Crown of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

In Classical antiquity, the crown (corona) that was sometimes awarded to people other than rulers, such as triumphal military generals or athletes, was actually a wreath or chaplet, or ribbon-like diadem.

History

Crown of King of Persis Ardashir II, 1st century BC. King of Persis Ardashir II with crown 1st century CE.jpg
Crown of King of Persis Ardashir II, 1st century BC.
The Iron Crown of Lombardy, probably the most ancient royal insignia of Europe, used by the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy, kept in the Cathedral of Monza. Iron Crown.JPG
The Iron Crown of Lombardy, probably the most ancient royal insignia of Europe, used by the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy, kept in the Cathedral of Monza.
Crown of King George XII of Georgia made of gold and decorated with 145 diamonds, 58 rubies, 24 emeralds and 16 amethysts. It took the form of a circlet surmounted by ornaments and eight arches. A globe surmounted by a cross rested on the top of the crown. Crown of George XII of Georgia.jpeg
Crown of King George XII of Georgia made of gold and decorated with 145 diamonds, 58 rubies, 24 emeralds and 16 amethysts. It took the form of a circlet surmounted by ornaments and eight arches. A globe surmounted by a cross rested on the top of the crown.

The precursor to the crown was the browband called the diadem, which had been worn by the Achaemenid Persian emperors. It was adopted by Constantine I and was worn by all subsequent rulers of the later Roman Empire.

Numerous crowns of various forms were used in antiquity, such as the Hedjet, Deshret, Pschent (double crown) and Khepresh of Pharaonic Egypt. The Pharaohs of Egypt also wore the diadem, which was associated with solar cults, an association which was not completely lost, as it was later revived under the Roman Emperor Augustus. [3] By the time of the Pharaoh Amenophis III (r.1390-1352c) wearing a diadem clearly became a symbol of royalty.

The corona radiata, the "radiant crown" known best on the Statue of Liberty, and perhaps worn by the Helios that was the Colossus of Rhodes, was worn by Roman emperors as part of the cult of Sol Invictus prior to the Roman Empire's conversion to Christianity. It was referred to as "the chaplet studded with sunbeams” by Lucian, about 180 AD. [4]

Perhaps the oldest extant Christian crown in Europe is the Iron Crown of Lombardy, of Roman and Longobard antiquity, later again used to crown modern Kings of Napoleonic and Austrian Italy, and to represent united Italy after 1860.

In the Christian tradition of European cultures, where ecclesiastical sanction authenticates monarchic power, when a new monarch ascends the throne, the crown is placed on the new monarch's head by a religious official in a coronation ceremony. Some, though not all, early Holy Roman Emperors travelled to Rome at some point in their careers to be crowned by the pope. Napoleon, according to legend, surprised Pius VII when he reached out and crowned himself, although in reality this order of ceremony had been pre-arranged (see coronation).

Today, only the British Monarchy and Tongan Monarchy, with their anointed and crowned monarchs, continue this tradition, although many monarchies retain a crown as a national symbol. The French Crown Jewels were sold in 1885 on the orders of the Third French Republic, with only a token number, their precious stones replaced by glass, retained for historic reasons and displayed in the Louvre. The Spanish Crown Jewels were destroyed in a major fire in the 18th century while the so-called "Irish Crown Jewels" (actually merely the British Sovereign's insignia of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick) were stolen from Dublin Castle in 1907, just before the investiture of Bernard Edward Barnaby FitzPatrick, 2nd Baron Castletown.

Special headgear to designate rulers dates back to pre-history, and is found in many separate civilizations around the globe. Commonly, rare and precious materials are incorporated into the crown, but that is only essential for the notion of crown jewels. Gold and precious jewels are common in western and oriental crowns. In the Native American civilizations of the Pre-Columbian New World, rare feathers, such as that of the quetzal, often decorated crowns; so too in Polynesia (e.g. Hawaii).

Coronation ceremonies are often combined with other rituals, such as enthronement (the throne is as much a symbol of monarchy as the crown) and anointing (again, a religious sanction, the only defining act in the Biblical tradition of Israel).

In other cultures, no crown is used in the equivalent of coronation, but the head may still be otherwise symbolically adorned; for example, with a royal tikka in the Hindu tradition of India.

Numismatics

Because one or more crowns, alone or as part of a more elaborate design, often appear on coins, several monetary denominations came to be known as 'a crown' (see Crown (British coin)) or the equivalent word in the local language, such as krone. This persists in the case of the national currencies of the Scandinavian countries and the Czech Republic. The generic term "crown sized" is frequently used for any coin roughly the size of an American silver dollar.

See also

Related Research Articles

Crown jewels objects of metalwork and jewellery in the regalia of a current or former monarchy

Crown Jewels are the objects of metalwork and jewellery in the regalia of a current or former monarchy. They are often used for the coronation of a monarch and a few other ceremonial occasions. A monarch may often be shown wearing them in portraits, as they symbolize the power and continuity of the monarchy. Additions to them may be made, but since medieval times the existing items are typically passed down unchanged as they symbolize the continuity of the monarchy.

Papal tiara crown worn by popes of the Roman Catholic Church

The papal tiara is a crown that was worn by popes of the Catholic Church from as early as the 8th century to the mid-20th. It was last used by Pope Paul VI in 1963 and only at the beginning of his reign.

Coronation ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or his or her consort with regal power

A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. The term generally also refers not only to the physical crowning but to the whole ceremony wherein the act of crowning occurs, along with the presentation of other items of regalia, marking the formal investiture of a monarch with regal power. Aside from the crowning, a coronation ceremony may comprise many other rituals such as the taking of special vows by the monarch, the investing and presentation of regalia to the monarch, and acts of homage by the new ruler's subjects and the performance of other ritual deeds of special significance to the particular nation. Western-style coronations have often included anointing the monarch with holy oil, or chrism as it is often called; the anointing ritual's religious significance follows examples found in the Bible. The monarch's consort may also be crowned, either simultaneously with the monarch or as a separate event.

Tiara head ornament

A tiara is a jeweled, ornamental crown traditionally worn by women. It is worn during formal occasions, particularly if the dress code is white tie.

Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom British royal regalia

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Imperial State Crown One of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom

The Imperial State Crown is one of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and symbolises the sovereignty of the monarch.

Mitre liturgical headdresses worn by Christian bishops and abbots

The mitre or miter, is a type of headgear now known as the traditional, ceremonial head-dress of bishops and certain abbots in traditional Christianity. Mitres are worn in the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, as well as in the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, and also bishops and certain other clergy in the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church also wears a mitre during important ceremonies such as the Episcopal Consecration.

Coronet small crown consisting of ornaments fixed on a metal ring

In English, a coronet is a small crown consisting of ornaments fixed on a metal ring. By one definition, a coronet differs from a crown in that a coronet never has arches, and from a tiara in that a coronet completely encircles the head, while a tiara does not. By a slightly different definition, a crown is worn by an emperor, empress, king or queen; a coronet by a nobleman or lady. See also diadem.

Diadem Ornamental headband worn by monarchs and others as a badge of royalty

A diadem is a type of crown, specifically an ornamental headband worn by monarchs and others as a badge of royalty. The word derives from the Greek διάδημα diádēma, "band" or "fillet", from διαδέω diadéō, "I bind round", or "I fasten".

Regalia privileges and the insignia characteristic of a sovereign

Regalia is a Latin plurale tantum word that has different definitions. In one rare definition, it refers to the exclusive privileges of a sovereign. The word originally referred to the elaborate formal dress and dress accessories of a sovereign, but now the word usually refers to any type of elaborate formal dress and dress accessories.

<i>Globus cruciger</i> orb topped with a cross; Christian symbol of authority

The globus cruciger, also known as "the orb and cross", is an orb surmounted by a cross. It has been a Christian symbol of authority since the Middle Ages, used on coins, in iconography, and with a sceptre as royal regalia.

Enthronement

An enthronement is a ceremony of inauguration, involving a person—usually a monarch or religious leader—being formally seated for the first time upon their throne. Enthronements may also feature as part of a larger coronation rite.

Imperial crown a crown used for the coronation of emperors

An Imperial Crown is a crown used for the coronation of emperors.

Circlet diadem

A circlet is a piece of headgear that is similar to a diadem or a corolla. The word circlet is also used to refer to the base of a crown or a coronet with or without a cap. Diadem and circlet are often used interchangeably, and "open crowns" with no arches, have also been referred to as circlets. In Greek this is known as stephanos and in Latin as corona aperta, though Stephanos is associated more with laurel wreaths and the crown of thorns said to have been placed on the head of Jesus.

Cap of maintenance

A cap of maintenance, known in heraldic language as a chapeau gules turned up ermine, is a ceremonial cap of crimson velvet lined with ermine, which is worn or carried by certain persons as a sign of nobility or special honour. It is worn with the high part to the fore, the tapering tail behind. It may substitute for the torse in the heraldic achievement of a person of special honour granted the privilege by the monarch. It thus appears in such cases on top of the helm and below the crest. It does not, however, feature in the present royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, which shows the royal crest upon the royal crown, itself upon the royal helmet.

Regalia of Spain Coat of arms

The Spanish Royal Crown may refer to either the heraldic crown, which does not exist physically; or the crown known as the corona tumular, a physical crown used during proclamation ceremonies since the 18th century.

Crown (heraldry) the symbol of power as part of Heraldry

A crown is often an emblem of a sovereign state, usually a monarchy, but also used by some republics.

Elizabeth IIs jewels Historic collection of jewels

The monarch of the Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II, owns a historic collection of jewels – some as monarch and others as a private individual. They are separate from the Gems and Jewels and the coronation and state regalia that make up the Crown Jewels.

Coronations in antiquity

Historical ceremonies of introducing a new monarch by a ceremony of coronation can be traced to classical antiquity, and further to the Ancient Near East.

Coronations in Asia

Coronations in Asia in the strict sense are and historically were rare, as only few monarchies, primarily in Western Asia, ever adopted the concept that the placement of a crown symbolised the monarch's investiture. Instead, most monarchies in Asia used a form of acclamation or enthronement ceremony, in which the monarch formally ascends to the throne, and may be presented with certain regalia, and may receive homage from his or her subjects. This article covers both coronations and enthronement.

References

  1. Itsios, Alex. "Gold of Ancestors - Ayala Museum". www.ayalamuseum.org.
  2. "12 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Ancient Philippines". 4 July 2018.
  3. Al-Azmeh, Aziz (2001). Muslim Kingship: Power and the Sacred in Muslim, christian and Pagan Politics. London: I.B. Tauris Publications. p. 12. ISBN   1-86064-609-3.
  4. in Alexander the false prophet)