On display in the Treasury today, 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 adopted crowns, rather than helmets or any other headgear, to show their power.
The design of a crown is important.
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.
As 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.