crowns and diadems
History of the Crown
The diadem was the precursor to the crown. Usually jeweled, diadem were originally worn by the first Persian emperors in 550–330 BC. The look caught on and were then adorned by Constantine I (272-337 AD) and by all subsequent rulers of the later Roman Empire.
Rulers wore crowns throughout ancient times in a variety of forms.There were white crowns, red crowns, and the cloth or leather blue crown ("khepresh") from the time of the Pharaohs in Egypt.
One of the most familiar crowns is the corona radiata ("radiant crown") made famous by Lady Liberty on the Statue of Liberty. This corono radiata is worn by Hilios, god of the sun in Greek mythology and was the headgear of choice for Roman emperors before the conversion to Christianity.
The Iron Crown of Lombardy, dating from the Middle Ages, is perhaps the oldest Christian crown in Europe.This same crown was again used to crown modern kings in Napoleonic times and by rulers of Austrian Italy to represent united Italy after 1860.
Decorative Crowns Used Around the Globe
The adornment of special headgear to designate rulers dates back to prehistory and is a practice that took place in many separate civilizations around the globe. Oftentimes, rare and precious materials were incorporated into the crowns, including the gold and precious jewels that are common in western and oriental crowns. In the Native American civilizations of the pre-Columbian New World, rare feathers, such as that of the quetzal, often decorated crowns.
The Nuptial Crown
The nuptial crown, sometimes called a coronal, is worn by a bride and sometimes the bridegroom. This crown has been commonly worn at weddings in many European cultures since ancient times. In the present day, it is most common in Eastern Orthodox cultures. In fact, the Eastern Orthodox marriage service has a section called the "crowning" during which the bride and groom are crowned as "king" and "queen" of their future household.
In Greek weddings, the crowns are usually diadems made of white flowers, frequently adorned with silver or mother of pearl. They are placed on the heads of the newlyweds and are held together by a ribbon of white silk. Long after the wedding, couples will keep these crowns as keepsakes to remember their special day. In Slavic weddings, the crowns are usually made of ornate metals designed to resemble an imperial crown. The best men will hold these crowns above the newlyweds' heads during the ceremony.
In modern times, these crowns and diadems can be worn on special occasions and for life events, or just as a reminder to you of how special you are!!