Crowns of Frederick and George, Princes of Wales

On display in Tower of London, there are ten crowns made for, and used by, a variety of kings, queens and princes since 1661.

So why do kings and queens wear crowns? Throughout world history, leaders have worn special headdresses to mark them out from their peers. Christian rulers in Europe in the Middle Ages borrowed from biblical and classical traditions and wore crowns to show their power.

The design of the Crowns

Made from the most precious materials available, these golden circlets were status symbols demonstrating the monarch’s wealth and position at the top of society. The designs of the crown also showed the monarch’s devotion to God, with the fleur-de-lys (stylised lilies) and crosses on the band representing the Virgin Mary and Christ.

The Imperial State CrownAs crowns developed, arches were added over the top of the band to support the ‘monde’ - a miniature version of the orb, the monde is a small ball topped with a cross, representing Christ’s power over the earth.

These arched or imperial crowns showed that the king or queen was sovereign in their country, only God wielded greater power.

Exhibition: Crowns Through History

As well as the Crown Jewels themselves there is another exhibition 'Crowns Through History' in the Martin Tower at the Tower of London. Here you can find out more about the development of crowns, and study the frames of four beautiful, retired, crowns.

Entrance to the Crown Jewels exhibition is included in your Tower of London admission ticket and is free for members.

Buy tickets online

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