Monarchies have been considered a cornerstone of their respective societies since their inception, both for their role in governance and as a symbolic demonstration of power. Many civilizations around the world have used a special headdress to designate a ruler. The precursor to modern crowns were diadems worn by Persian and Roman emperors. The word “diadem” derives from the Greek word “διάδημα” or “diádēma” meaning “band,” “I bind” or “I fasten.” This is particularly fitting as symbolically, kings are meant to unite.
Over time, diadems evolved from ephemeral silk ribbons to metal crowns. Since gold and gemstones were established as a luxury long ago, royals began adorning themselves in opulence as a demonstration of their power and wealth.
This trend became especially popular during colonial times. As empires developed, crowns became an emblem of the state, which was placed on items they endorsed. The most elaborate crowns, headpieces and tiaras were worn for special ceremonies and state events.
As the concept of republics gained momentum, royals were ousted across Europe and its colonial empire. Of the monarchies that remain today, many serve a symbolic purpose rather than that of political ruler. Regardless, the legacy of dazzling jewelry collections from monarchies past continues to captivate modern audiences. Scroll through to see the styles of monarchs through the ages.
The popularity of headpieces continue to blossom, literally. Flower crowns are having a moment as they appear atop trendsetters the world over. Much like their metal counterparts, they too symbolize status and accomplishment. Whether walking down the aisle, attending a black tie event or simply looking to convey elegance, a crown in any form can help elevate and convey class without saying a word.