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Heraldic crown

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Heraldic crown

A Crown is often an emblem of the monarchy, a monarch's government, or items endorsed by it; see The Crown. A specific type of crown (or coronet for peerage in the British Isles) 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.

Crowns are also often used as symbols of religious status or veneration, by divinities (or their representation such as a statue) or by their representatives, e.g. the Black Crown of the Karmapa Lama, sometimes used a model for wider use by devotees.

A crown can be a charge in a coat of arms, or set upon the shield to signify the status of its owner.

As a display of rank

If the bearer of a coat of arms has the title of baron or higher (or hereditary knight in some countries), he or she may display a coronet of rank above the shield, usually below the helm in British heraldry, often above the crest (if any) in Continental heraldry.

In this case the appearance of the crown follows a strict set of rules. A royal coat of arms may display a royal crown such as that of Norway. Princely coats of arms display a princely crown and so on right down to the mural crown which is commonly displayed on coats of arms of towns and some republics. These forms of crowns are often inspired by the actual appearance of the respective country's royal and princely crowns.

Ships and other units of some navies have a naval crown above the shield of their coats of arms.

Commonwealth usage

In formal English the word crown is reserved for the crown of a monarch whereas the word coronet is used for all other noble crowns.

In the peerage of the United Kingdom, the design of a coronet shows the rank of its owner, as in German, French and various other heraldic traditions. The coronet of a duke has eight strawberry leaves, that of a marquess has four strawberry leaves and four silver balls (known as "pearls", but not actually pearls), that of an earl has eight strawberry leaves and eight "pearls" raised on stalks, that of a viscount has sixteen "pearls", and that of a baron has six "pearls". Since a person entitled to wear a coronet customarily displays it in their coat of arms above the shield and below the helm and crest, this can provide a useful clue as to the owner of a given coat of arms.

Members of the British Royal Family have coronets on their coats of arms, and may wear them at coronations. They are according to regulations made by King Charles II in 1661 shortly after his return from exile in France (getting a taste for its lavish court style; Louis XIV started monumental work at Versailles that year) and Restoration, and vary depending upon the prince's relationship to the Monarch. Occasionally additional royal warrants vary the designs for individuals.

In Canadian heraldry, coronets are used to designate descent from United Empire Loyalists. A military coronet signifies ancestors who served in Loyalist regiments during the American Revolution, while a civil coronet is used by all others. The loyalist coronets are used only in heraldry, never worn.

Sovereign - St. Edward's Crown Sovereign - Crown of Scotland Sovereign - Imperial/Tudor Crown Heir Apparent
Prince or Princess - brother, sister, son or daughter of a sovereign Prince or Princess - children of the Heir Apparent Prince or Princess - children of other sons of the Sovereign. Other princes or princesses. Prince or Princess - Children of a daughter of the sovereign.
Old ducal hat Duke Marquess Earl
Viscount Baron Loyalists military coronet (Canadian) Loyalists civil coronet (Canadian)
[1]

Continental usages

Precisely because there are many traditions and more variation within some of these, there is a plethora of continental coronet types. Indeed, there are also some coronets for positions that do not exist, or do not entitle use of a coronet, in the Commonwealth tradition.

Such a case in French heraldry of the coronet (illustrated) is a metal circle mounted with three visible crosses (no physical headgear of this is type known).

Helmets are often substitutes for coronets, and some coronets are worn only on a helmet.

Bulgaria

King Queen

Egypt

King (Dependent Egypt) King (Independent Egypt)

France

Ancient Regime

King (Roi de France) Dauphin of France Royal Prince of the Blood Prince of the Blood
Duke and Peer of France Duke Marquis and Peer of France Marquis
Count and "Peer of France" Count Count (older) Viscount
Vidame Baron Knight's crown Knight's tortillon

Napoleonic Empire

Emperor Prince Imperial Prince Duke
Count Baron Knight Bonnet
d'honneur

July Monarchy

King of the
French

German-speaking countries

Holy Roman Empire

Imperial Crown Older Crown of the
King of the Romans
Newer Crown of
the King of the Romans
King of Bohemia
Archducal hat Oldest Electoral hat Older Electoral hat New Electoral hat & New Ducal hat
Ducal hat of Styria Ducal crown Princely hat Princely crown
Crown of a Landgraf Crown of a Landgraf Older crown of counts Newer crown of counts
Older crown of a Baron/Freiherr Newer crown of a Baron/Freiherr Older Crown of Nobility Newer Crown of Nobility

Liechtenstein

Prince of Liechtenstein

Austrian Empire

Emperor Prince Duke Marquess
Count Viscount Baron Crown of Nobility

German Empire

German State Crown Empress Crown Prince
King of Prussia King of Bavaria Crown of Württemberg

Greece

Monarch

Hungary and Croatia

Hungary

Holy Crown of Hungary

Croatia

Crown of Zvonimir (crown of King Dmitar Zvonimir)

Italy

Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946)

King Crown Prince (Prince of Piedmont) Duke of Aosta, Duke of Genoa Prince of Savoy
Duke Marquess Count Viscount
Baron Noble Hereditary Knight Patrician
Province City Municipality

Kingdoms of Naples, Sicily, Two Sicilies

King of Naples Heir to the throne Prince and princess

Grand Duchy of Tuscany

Medici Grand Dukes of Tuscany

Other Italian states before 1861

Crown of San Marino Crown of Napoleonic Italy Iron Crown of Lombardy
Papal Tiara Doge of Venice Doge of Genoa

Low Countries

Netherlands

King Prince
(royal family)
Prince
(nobility)
Duke
Marquess Count Count
(alternative style)
Viscount
Baron Hereditary Knight
(Erfridder)
Jonkheer

Belgium

The older crowns are often still seen in the heraldry of older families.

King
(and princes of
the royal family)
Prince Prince (old) Duke
Marquess Count Count (older) Count (oldest)
Viscount Baron Baron (older) Hereditary Knight
(Chevaliér/Erfridder)

Luxembourg

Grand Duke

Monaco

Prince

Poland and Lithuania

King Prince Nobleman

Portuguese-speaking countries

Portugal

King Prince Infante Duke
Marquess Count Viscount Baron

Brazil

Emperor Prince Imperial Prince Duke
Marquess Count Viscount Baron

Romania

King The Steel Crown of Romania

Russia

Emperor Monomakh Crown Prince Count Baron Baron (alternative style) Crown of Nobility

Scandinavia

Denmark

King Crown Prince Prince
(royal family)
Count Baron Crown of Nobility

Norway

King Crown Prince Count Baron Crown of Nobility

Sweden

King Crown Prince Duke Count Baron Crown of Nobility

Serbia

Monarch

Spain

King King (Aragon, Catalonia, Balearics,
Valencia)
Crown Prince Crown Prince (Aragon, Catalonia, Balearics,
Valencia)
Infante Infante (Aragon, Catalonia, Balearics, Valencia) Grandee of Spain Duke
Marquess Count Viscount Baron
Señor (Lord) Knight's burelete

Catholic Church

Further Examples

Royal Crown of Tonga Royal Crown of Hawaii Royal Crown of Tahiti Eastern crown
Imperial Crown of Ethiopia Shah of Persia Great Crown of Victory
of the Kings of Siam and Thailand
Crown of Georgia
[2]

As a charge

In heraldry, a charge is an image occupying the field of a coat of arms. Many coats of arms incorporate crowns as charges. One notable example of this lies in the Three Crowns of the arms of Sweden.

Additionally, many animal charges (frequently lions) and sometimes human heads also appear crowned. Animal charges gorged (collared) of an open coronet also occur, though far less frequently.

See also

References


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