In modern American culture, crowns have become an object of fairy tales, alongside knights in shining armor, princesses in towers, and prince charmings. It’s easy to forget that kings, queens, and crowns actually exist and have existed throughout history! Here’s a short narrative of crowns and their symbolism spanning from the middle ages to modern day.
Crowns are ceremonial headwear usually worn to signify a ruler or a noble or religious authority. Many crowns have employed the elegance of precious metals, jewels, and bright colors to symbolize the importance and sovereignty of the wearer.
Ancient crowns have been found all over the world; some of the oldest include the Egyptian crowns and Indian diadems. The iconic European-style metal crown has existed for thousands of years too. One of the oldest ever discovered is the Iron Crown of Lombardy from the Roman Empire.
While there are many countries which keep crowns for their historical symbolism, the British Monarchy is the only European line to continue the tradition of coronation ceremonies and the placing of the crown on the head of every new leader.
Uses and Meanings
As an adornment of the head, crowns represent the discerning judgement, decision-making skills, and excellent reason of appointed leaders. In many cultures in which kings and queens acted as religious leaders, the crown is a symbol of divine right and holiness.
Since the 1800s, when many classic fairy tales were collected by the Brothers Grimm, crowns have become symbols of evil queens, virtuous princesses, and noble princes—imagery that has become even stronger through the popular retellings by Walt Disney.
Today, crowns represent the power and royal authority that exists inside all of us—the right of every person to take action and stand up for justice and goodness.