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Crown (heraldry)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The coat of arms of Norway, with the royal crown displayed atop the escutcheon
The coat of arms of Norway, with the royal crown displayed atop the escutcheon

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

A specific type of crown 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 atop the shield to signify the status of its owner, as with the coat of arms of Norway.

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Physical and heraldic crowns

Sometimes, the crown commonly depicted and used in heraldry differs significantly from any specific physical crown that may be used by a monarchy.

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, and often above the crest (if any) in Continental heraldry.

In this case, the appearance of the crown or coronet follows a strict set of rules. A royal coat of arms may display a royal crown, such as that of Norway. A princely coat of arms may display a princely crown, and so on.

Naval, civic, mural and similar crowns

A mural crown is commonly displayed on coats of arms of towns and some republics. Other republics may use a so-called people's crown or omit the use of a crown altogether. The heraldic forms of crowns are often inspired by the physical appearance of the respective country's actual royal or princely crowns.

Ships and other units of some navies have a naval crown, composed of the sails and sterns of ships, above the shield of their coats of arms. Squadrons of some air forces have an astral crown, composed of wings and stars. There is also the Eastern crown, made up of spikes, and when each spike is topped with a star, it becomes a celestial crown.[1]

Whereas most county councils in England use mural crowns, there is a special type of crown that was used by Scottish county councils. It was composed of spikes, was normally shown vert (green) and had golden wheat sheaves between the spikes.[2] Today, most of the Scottish unitary authorities still use this "wheat sheaf crown", but it is now the usual gold.

Commonwealth usage

The coat of arms of the Barons Hawke displays a baronial coronet
The coat of arms of the Barons Hawke displays a baronial coronet

In formal English, the word crown is reserved for the crown of a monarch and the Queen consort, whereas the word coronet is used for all other crowns used by members of the British royal family and peers of the realm.

In the British peerage, 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 peerage baron or (in Scotland) lord of parliament has six "pearls". Between the 1930s and 2004, feudal barons in the baronage of Scotland were granted a chapeau or cap of maintenance as a rank insignia.[citation needed] This is placed between the shield and helmet in the same manner as a peer's coronet. Since a person entitled to heraldic headgear customarily displays it 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 they may wear physical versions 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 they vary depending upon the holder's relationship to the monarch. Occasionally, additional royal warrants vary the designs for individuals.

In Canadian heraldry, special 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.


Continental usages

Precisely because there are many traditions and more variation within some of these, there are 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 Ancien Régime, where coronets of rank did not come into use before the 16th century, is the vidame, whose coronet (illustrated) is a metal circle mounted with three visible crosses. (No physical headgear of this type is known.)

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


Crown of Andorra (Heraldic).svg


Bulgarian Crown.svg
Crown of Bulgarian Queen.svg
Crown of a Prince of Bulgaria.svg
Crown of a Princess of Bulgaria.svg
Older Princesses
Crown of a Younger Princess of Bulgaria.svg
Younger Princesses


Mural Crown of a French Capital.svg
Mural Crown of a French City.svg
Department Capital[b]
Mural Crown of a French Commune.svg

Ancien Régime

Royal Crown of France.svg
Crown of the Dauphin of France.svg
Heir to the throne (Dauphin)
Crown of a Royal Prince of the Blood of France (variant).svg
Children and grandchildren of the sovereign
(Fils de France)
Crown of a Prince of the Blood of France (variant).svg
Prince of the Blood
Crown of a Duke of France.svg
Duke and Peer of France
Crown of a Duke of France (variant).svg
Crown of a Marquis of France.svg
Marquis and Peer of France
Crown of a Marquis of France (variant).svg
Crown of a Count of France.svg
Count and Peer of France
Crown of a Count of France (variant).svg
Old Crown of a Count (France & Belgium).svg
Count (older)
Crown of a Viscount of France (variant).svg
Crown of a Vidame of France.svg
Crown of a Baron of France.svg
Crown of a Chevalier of France.svg
Knight's crown
Torse of a Chevalier of France.svg
Knight's tortillon

Napoleonic Empire

Heraldic Crown of the First French Empire.svg
(1st Empire)
Imperial Crown of Napoleon Bonaparte.png
(2nd Empire)
Crown of a Napoleonic Prince Souverain.svg
Biret prince.png
Biret duc.png
Biret comte.png
Biret baron.png
Orn ext chevalier de l'Empire.svg
Bonnet d`honneur.png

July Monarchy

Crown of Orléans.svg
King of the 


Iberia-Georgia Royal Crown.svg
Georgian Royal Crown, also known as the "Iberian Crown"

German-speaking countries

Holy Roman Empire

Heraldic Imperial Crown (Oldest design).svg
Older Imperial Crown
Heraldic Imperial Crown (Gules Mitre).svg
Newer Imperial Crown
Heraldic Royal Crown of the King of the Romans (c.1433-1486).svg
Oldest Crown of the King of the Romans
Heraldic Royal Crown of the King of the Romans (1486-c.1700).svg
Older Crown of the King of the Romans
Heraldic Royal Crown of the King of the Romans (18th Century).svg
Newer Crown of the King of the Romans
Crown of St. Wenceslas.svg
Crown of the King of Bohemia
Archducal Coronet.svg
Archducal hat
Ducal Hat of Styria.svg
Ducal hat of Styria
Oldest Electoral hat.svg
Oldest Electoral hat
Older Electoral hat.svg
Older Electoral hat
Ducal Hat.svg
New Electoral hat & new Ducal hat
T09 Herzog.svg
Ducal crown
T11 Erbherzog.svg
Crown of an heir to a duchy
Princely Hat.svg
Princely hat
T12 Fürst.svg
Princely crown
T10 Landgraf.svg
Crown of a Landgrave
Rangkronen-Fig. 15.svg
Older crown of a Count
Rangkronen-Fig. 18.svg
Newer crown of a Count
Rangkronen-Fig. 50.svg
Older crown of a Baron/Freiherr
Rangkronen-Fig. 27.svg
Newer crown of a Baron/Freiherr
Rangkronen-Fig. 38.svg
Older Crown of Nobility
Rangkronen-Fig. 37.svg
Newer Crown of Nobility


Princely Hat.svg
Prince of Liechtenstein


Mural crown (Bundesadler).svg
Mural crown of the coat of arms of Austria
Mural crown (Lower Austria).svg
Mural crown of the State of Lower Austria

Austrian Empire

Imperial Crown of Austria (Heraldry).svg
Crown of the Emperor of Austria
Crown of St. Wenceslas.svg
Crown of the King of Bohemia
Archducal Coronet.svg
Archducal hat
T08 Grossherzog.svg
Archducal crown
Ducal Hat of Styria.svg
Ducal hat of Styria
Ducal Hat.svg
Ducal hat
T09 Herzog.svg
Ducal crown
Princely Hat.svg
Princely hat
T12 Fürst.svg
Princely crown
Rangkronen-Fig. 18.svg
Crown of a Count
Rangkronen-Fig. 27.svg
Crown of a Baron/Freiherr
Rangkronen-Fig. 37.svg
Crown of Nobility


People's Crown (Germany).svg
Volkskrone (People's Crown)
Mural crown of the coat of arms of the Berlin boroughs.svg
Mural crown of the arms of the Berlin boroughs

German Empire

Imperial State Crown of the German Empire.svg
Crown of the German Emperor
Crown of the German Empress.svg
Crown of the German Empress
Crown of the German Crown Prince.svg
Crown of the German Crown Prince
Crown of Wilhelm II of Germany.svg
Crown of the King of Prussia
Bavarian Royal Crown.svg
Crown of the King of Bavaria
Crown of Württemberg.svg
Crown of the King of Württemberg


Crown of the Kingdom of Greece.svg
Crown of the King of the Hellenes
Royal Crown of Denmark.svg
The Crown as it appears on the Royal Coat of Arms of Greece


Crown of Saint Stephen.svg
Holy Crown of Hungary


Crown of Zvonimir (Croatia).svg
Crown of Zvonimir


Crown of Italian Province.svg
Mural Crown of Italian City.svg
Mural Crown of Italian Comune (New Variant).svg

Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946)

Corona Reale italiana.svg
King (crown of Savoy)
Corona di principe ereditario italiano.svg
Heir to the throne (Prince of Piedmont)
Italian Crown of Savoy-Aosta Princes.svg
Royal prince[c]
Coronet of a Prince-ss of Savoy.svg
Prince of the blood
Corona normale di duca italiano.svg
Corona normale di marchese italiano.svg
Corona normale di conte italiano.svg
Corona normale di visconte italiano.svg
Corona normale di barone italiano.svg
Corona normale di nobile italiano.svg
Corona normale di cavaliere ereditario italiano.svg
Hereditary Knight
Corona normale di patrizio italiano.svg
Crown of Italian Province (Variant).svg
Mural Crown of Italian City.svg
Mural Crown of Italian Comune (New Variant).svg

Kingdoms of Naples, Sicily, Two Sicilies

Heraldic Royal Crown of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.svg
King of Naples
Heraldic Crown of Heir to the Throne of the Two Sicilies.svg
Heir to the throne (Duke of Calabria)
Heraldic Coronet of Princes and Princesses of the Two Sicilies.svg
Prince and princess

Grand Duchy of Tuscany

Restitution of the physical crown of Cosimo I de' Medici.svg
Medici Grand Dukes of Tuscany
T08 Grossherzog.svg
Habsburg-Lorraine Grand Dukes of Tuscany

Other Italian states before 1861

Crown of San Marino.svg
Crown of San Marino
Crown of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.svg
Crown of Napoleonic Italy
Corona ferrea monza (heraldry).svg
Iron Crown of Lombardy
Heraldic Papal Tiara.svg
Papal Tiara
Doge of Venice
Doge's Crown.svg
Doge of Genoa
Crown of Parma.svg
Duke of Parma

Low Countries


Heraldic Imperial Crown (Spanish National Arms Design).svg
Holy Roman Emperor
Royal Crown of the Netherlands (Heraldic).svg
Royal Crown of the Netherlands (Heraldic).svg
(Members of the Royal House,
children of the Monarch)
Coronet of a Grandchild of the Dutch Monarch (Heraldic).svg
(Members of the Royal House,
grandchildren of the Monarch)
Rangkronen-Fig. 04.svg
(nobility, for titles granted after 1815)
Rangkronen-Fig. 10.svg
Rangkronen-Fig. 15.svg
Rangkronen-Fig. 23.svg
Rangkronen-Fig. 27.svg
(alternative style)
Rangkronen-Fig. 38.svg
Rangkronen-Fig. 18.svg
Rangkronen-Fig. 34.svg
Hereditary Knight
Rangkronen-Fig. 34.svg


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

Royal Crown of Belgium (Heraldic).svg
Princely Crown of Belgium (Heraldic).svg
Prince of the Royal house
Crown of a Prince (Netherlands and Belgium).svg
(nobility, for titles granted after 1815)
Princely Hat.svg
(nobility, for titles granted during the Ancien Régime)
Rangkronen-Fig. 04.png
Rangkronen-Fig. 15.png
Crown of a Count of France (variant).svg
Old Crown of a Count (France & Belgium).svg
Count (older)
Crown of a Count of the Low Countries (Ancien Regime).svg
Count (oldest)
Rangkronen-Fig. 25.png
Crown of a Baron (Low Countries, Holy Roman Empire, Russia).svg
Old Crown of a Baron of the Low Countries.svg
Baron (older)
Rangkronen-Fig. 34.png
Hereditary Knight


Crown of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.svg
Grand Duke


Crown of Monaco (Heraldic).svg

Poland and Lithuania

Crown of Bolesław I the Brave
Ducal Hat.svg
Grand Duke
Princely Hat
Rangkronen-Fig. 38

Portuguese-speaking countries


Mural Crown of Capital - Portugal.svg
Capital city (Lisbon)
Mural Crown of City - Portugal.svg
Mural Crown of Town - Portugal.svg
Mural Crown of Civil Parish - Portugal.svg
Civil Parish
Mural Crown of Administrative Regions of Portugal.svg
Overseas province

Kingdom of Portugal (until 1910)

Heraldic Royal Crown of Portugal - Eight Arches.svg
Crown of the Heir Apparent of the Kingdom of Portugal.svg
Heir to the throne (Prince Royal)
Crown of the Prince of Beira.svg
Prince of Beira
Coronet of an Infante - Kingdom of Portugal.svg
Coronet of a Duke - Kingdom of Portugal.svg
Coronet of a Marquess - Kingdom of Portugal.svg
Coronet of Count - Portugal.svg
Coronet of a Viscount - Kingdom of Portugal.svg
Coronet of Baron - Portugal.svg
Coronet of Knight - Portugal.svg
Knight / Fidalgo


Brasilian Mural Crown - Capital.svg
Brasilian Mural Crown - City.svg
Brasilian Mural Crown - Town.svg
Brasilian Mural Crown - Village.svg
Capital of State of the Federation[b] City[b] Town[b] Village[b]

Empire of Brazil

Brazilian imperial crown.svg
Coronet of the Imperial Prince of Brazil.svg
Heir to the throne (Prince Imperial)
Hráldica Príncipe do Brasil.png
Prince of Grão-Pará
Coronet of a Prince of Brazil.svg
Coronet of a Duke of Brazil.svg
Coronet of a Marquess of Brazil.svg
Coronet of a Count of Brazil.svg
Coronet of a Viscount of Brazil.svg
Coronet of a Baron of Brazil.svg


Romanian Mural Crown - Capital.svg
Romanian Mural Crown - City.svg
Romanian Mural Crown - Town.svg
Romanian Mural Crown - Village.svg
Capital City Town Village

Kingdom of Romania

Steel Crown of Romania.svg
King (The Steel Crown of Romania)


Heraldic Imperial Crown of Russia.svg
Finnish grand ducal crown.svg
Crown of the Grand Duchy of Finland
Monomakh hat.svg
Monomakh's Cap
Russian Princely hat.svg
Crown of a Count of France (variant).svg
Rangkronen-Fig. 27.svg
Rangkronen-Fig. 30.svg
Baron (alternative style)
Rangkronen-Fig. 38.svg
Crown of Nobility

Nordic countries


Royal Crown of Denmark.svg
Crown of the Crown Prince of Denmark.svg
Crown Prince
Crown of a Prince of Denmark.svg
Prince (royal family)
T02 Danish Duke.svg
T03 Danish Marquis.svg
T04 Danish Count.svg
T05 Danish Baron.svg
T06 Danish Nobility.svg
Crown of Nobility


During the Swedish reign, Swedish coronets were used. Crowns were used in the coats of arms of the historical provinces of Finland. For Finland Proper, Satakunta, Tavastia and Karelia, it was a ducal coronet, for others, a comital coronet. In 1917 with independence, the coat of arms of Finland was introduced with a grand ducal crown, but it was soon removed, in 1920. Today, some cities use coronets, e.g. Pori has a mural crown and Vaasa a Crown of Nobility.

Heraldic grand princely crown (Finland).svg

Generic grand ducal crown

used in late 19th to early 20th c.

Suuriruhtinaan kruunu.svg

Grand ducal crown used in

the state coat of arms in 1917-1920.

Herttuan kruunu.svg

Ducal coronet

Comital coronet

Mural crown


Corona Norvegica.svg

Heraldic crown of the King
Crown of the King of Norway (fictional).svg

Physical crown of the King
Crown of the Queen of Norway (fictional).svg

Physical crown of the Queen
Crown of the Crown Prince of Norway.svg
Crown Prince
Crown of Princes and of Princesses of Norway.svg
Prince or Princess
T02 Danish Duke.svg
T03 Danish Marquis.svg
T04 Danish Count.svg
T05 Danish Baron.svg
T06 Danish Nobility.svg
Crown of Nobility


Royal crown of the King of Sweden.svg
Heraldique Suede Couronne Prince Héritier.svg
Crown Prince/Crown Princess
Heraldique Suede Couronne Prince.svg
Prince/Princess (aka Duke/Duchess)
Grevlig rangkrona.svg
Friherrlig rangkrona.svg
Obetitlad adel.svg
Untitled Nobility


Serbian medieval crown.svg
King (medieval)
Crown of Serbia.svg
King (after 1903)

Spanish-speaking countries


Heraldic Royal Crown of Spain.svg
King (National arms design)
Heraldic Royal Crown of Spain (Version of the Royal Arms).svg
King (Monarch's arms design)
Royal Crown for the Aragonese Terriories.svg
King (Aragon, Catalonia, Balearics, Valencia)
Heraldic Crown of the Prince of Asturias.svg
Heir to the throne (Prince of Asturias)
Heraldic Crown of the Spanish Heir Apparent as Prince of Girona.svg
Heir to the throne (Prince of Girona) (Aragon, Catalonia, Balearics, Valencia)
Heraldic Crown of Spanish Infantes.svg
Crown of Spanish Infantes for the Aragonese Terriories.svg
Infante (Aragon, Catalonia, Balearics, Valencia)
Heraldic Crown of Spanish Grandee.svg
Grandee of Spain
Heraldic Crown of Spanish Dukes (Variant 1).svg
Heraldic Crown of Spanish Marqueses (Variant 1).svg
Heraldic Crown of Spanish Count.svg
Heraldic Crown of the Spanish Viscounts.svg
Heraldic Crown of Spanish Barons.svg
Heraldic Crown of Spanish Lords.svg
Señor/Don (Lord)
Heraldic Crown of Hispanic Hidalgos.svg
Hidalgo (Nobleman)
Torse of a Chevalier of France.svg
Knight's burelete


Crown of Mexico (I).svg
Emperor (1st Empire)
Crown of Mexico (II).svg
Emperor (2nd Empire)
Prince Crown 1.svg
Prince (1st Empire and 2nd Empire)


Chilean Mural Crown (Commune).svg
Municipal Mural Crown
Heraldic Royal Crown of Easter Island.svg
Royal Crown of Easter Island

Non-European usages


Royal Crown of Bahrain (Heraldic).svg


Raven Crown.svg
'Raven Crown' of the Kingdom of Bhutan


Royal Crown of Cambodia (heraldry).svg
Crown of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Central African Empire

Imperial Crown of Bokassa I.svg


Imperial Crown of Qing Dynasty.svg

Egypt before 1953

Crown of the Khedive of Egypt.svg
Khedive (-1914) and Sultan (1914-22)
Heraldic Royal Crown of Egypt.svg
King (1922-53)


Royal Crown of Jordan.svg
Crown of Jordan


Crown of Morocco 1.svg
Heraldic Crown of Morocco


Crown of Oman.svg
Crown of Oman

Siam and Thailand

Great Crown of Victory (heraldry).svg
Great Crown of Victory of the Kings of Siam and Thailand
Phra Kiao Colored.svg
Phra Kiao (princely coronet, also the emblem of King Chulalongkorn)


Royal Crown of Tonga.svg
Crown of Tonga

Other examples

Imperial Crown of Ethiopia.svg
Imperial Crown of Ethiopia
Crown of Tahiti.svg
Royal Crown of Tahiti
Royal Crown of Hawaii.svg
Royal Crown of Hawaii
Kiani Crown of Imperial Iran (heraldry).svg
Crown of the Shah of Persia
Pahlavi Crown of Imperial Iran (heraldry).svg
Crown of the Shah of Iran
Congo crown.svg


Ecclesiastical Hats

Anglican Communion

Catholic Church

Eastern Orthodox Church


Astral Crown.svg
Astral crown
Heraldic vallary crown.svg
Camp crown
Celestial Crown.svg
Celestial crown
Heraldic eastern crown.svg
Eastern crown
UK Mural Crown (Common).svg
Mural crown
Corona Navalis.svg
Naval crown

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 eagles) and sometimes human heads also appear crowned. Animal charges gorged (collared) of an open coronet also occur, though more often as supporters than as charges.

See also


  1. ^ Currently, besides the grandchildren of the present King Charles III, the living grandchildren of a former sovereign are granted the privilege to use the crown of a Sovereign's Grandchild.
  2. ^ a b c d e f This standard has many exceptions.
  3. ^ The dukes of Genoa were granted the privilege to use the crown of a royal prince though they were only princes of the blood


  1. ^ Mackinnon of Dunakin, Charles (1968). The Observer's Book of Heraldry. Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd. p. 73.
  2. ^ Moncreiffe, Iain; Pottinger, Don (1953). Simple Heraldry Cheerfully Illustrated. Thomas Nelson and Sons. p. 58.
  3. ^ Cox, Noel The Coronets of Members of the Royal Family and of the Peerage. Archived 2018-01-04 at the Wayback Machine Originally published in (1999) 22 The Double Tressure, the Journal of The Heraldry Society of Scotland 8-13. Acceded 8 April 2017
  4. ^ Boutell, Charles (1914). Fox-Davies, A.C. (ed.). Handbook to English Heraldry, The (11th ed.). London: Reeves & Turner. pp. 104–156.
  5. ^ Ströhl, Hugo Gerard (1899). Heraldischer Atlas. Stuttgart.

This page was last edited on 26 January 2023, at 06:43
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