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Crown – Meaning and Symbolism

When you think of a crown, you probably imagine someone with royal blood – a king, queen, a prince, or a princess. This doesn’t come as a surprise because this traditional head adornment has been worn by monarchs as a symbol of honor and power for thousands of years. In fact, the crown symbol has become an instantly recognizable symbol of power and dominance. Read on to learn how this piece of headgear became a mainstay in monarchies and royal families across the world.

The Evolution of the Crown

Different types of headgear were worn in antiquity to denote the status of the wearer.  Some of the earliest crowns from prehistoric times have been found in India. Historical records show that the first version of the crown was called the diadem, a headband that was worn by Achaemenid Persian emperors. Constantine I, the Roman Emperor who ruled from 306 to 337, adopted the diadem and passed it on to all subsequent rulers. Since then, numerous types of crowns have been made to commemorate royalty.

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In ancient Egypt, the Hedjet, Deshret, and Pschent were tall crowns worn by Egyptian pharaohs. Eventually, the association between crowns and pharaohs stuck, making it a distinct and timeless symbol of power.

Statue of liberty crown

Other popular crowns in history include the radiant crown, otherwise known as the solar crown. Its most well-known version sits on top of the iconic Statue of Liberty. Interestingly, when the statue was being designed, the initial plan was to crown it with either a pileus or a helmet. The radiant crown featured seven rays that form a halo, which symbolizes the sun, the seven continents, and the seven seas.

Crown designs have also rapidly evolved over the years, being as diverse as the cultures of the many civilizations that find value in them. Rare and precious metals are commonly used, with gold and jewels most prevalent in Western and Asian civilizations. Such crowns have been made as luxurious as possible, making them certainly fit for a king. A notable example is the crown of Georgia’s King George XII, which was not only made of pure gold but was also decorated with gems like diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and even amethysts.

Crown Symbolism

Now that you know how crowns evolved over time, you’re probably wondering if they symbolize nothing but royalty. This beautiful ornament may be interpreted differently in various contexts. Here are some of the most common meanings that are associated with a crown.

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  • Power and Dominance – One obvious interpretation of the crown is power and dominance. This symbolism is also made apparent in coronation ceremonies, where kings and queens officially become rules as soon as crowns touch the top of their heads. This explains why a lot of thought and attention goes into coronation ceremonies.
  • Monarchy – Many monarchies use a crown as a national symbol. The most popular one is the British Monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II who has been on the throne since 1952 becoming its face. Commonwealth countries even use the word itself as a name for the monarchy and to refer to the jurisprudence of the state itself.
  • Pain and Suffering – A crown does not always have a positive interpretation. It could be seen as a symbol of suffering since some people associate it with the crown of thorns that Jesus wore during his crucifixion. The way Jesus’ captors used it to mock his claim that he was the King of the Jews.
  • Glory and Achievement – A crown has also become a symbol of achievement. In fact, in the English language, idioms like crowning achievement and crowning glory are used to refer to someone’s most excellent accomplishment. Moreover, the Bible verse Proverbs 4:9 speaks of it as something that is worn by people who are glorious and righteous.
  • Immortality – A literary metaphor called the Crown of Immortality is traditionally represented as a wreath of laurel. During the Baroque period, it has been used in several allegorical artworks to represent the immortality of the wearer. Ancient gods and goddesses were also depicted wearing flower crowns in art and literature.
  • Strength and Bravery – A crown may also be used to depict one’s valor and strength. This association may have come from the fact that kings are expected to be strong and brave. After all, a great ruler is expected to always stand up for the people he represents and to use his power to the benefit of his people.
Crown symbolism

Crowns in Dreams

If you have dreamt about a crown, your subconscious mind might be trying to tell you something. Some say that it could be a symbol of success and that dreaming of it might mean that you have to acknowledge your achievements. So, if you dream of yourself wearing a crown, it could be a sign that you deserve a pat on the back for something that you’ve successfully done. Even better if you see a gold crown because it’s an indication of succeeding in something.

When trying to understand why you have dreamt of a crown, you should consider several things. Think about how others see you, the emotions you were feeling while you were dreaming, and any recent accomplishments that you’ve made. If you were happy in your dream and you’ve recently succeeded in any aspect of your life, it’s surely a sign that positive changes in your life are in store for you.

Crowns Today

Girl wearing flower crown

Crowns may represent royalty, but it doesn’t mean that it’s purely reserved for kings and queens. From Coachella outfits to accessories of boho brides, flower crowns have become a staple because of their timeless appeal. This trend may have stemmed from it being a symbol of celebration and victory.

Since crowns are associated with glory, strength, and triumph, popular celebrities have also had this symbol tattooed on their bodies.

One example is pop singer Justin Bieber, who has a small crown tattooed on his chest. Some of his fans believe that he had this tattooed to pay tribute to one of his idols – the King of Pop Michael Jackson. Lily Collins also has a crown tattoo with angel wings, which she said represents her being British.

Wrapping Up

While crowns are almost always associated with the monarchy, the way it’s been used over the years have added a layer of complexity to its meaning. Whether you’re thinking of having a crown symbol tattooed or you’re just plain curious about what it means, understanding how it’s used in different contexts will surely help.

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Dani Rhys
Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education, and has also studied Political Science, Ancient History and Literature. She has a wide range of interests ranging from ancient cultures and mythology to Harry Potter and gardening. She works as the chief editor of Symbol Sage but also takes the time to write on topics that interest her.