[ANSTHRLD] Royal Crowns (was Re: arms - your thoughts)

Diane Rudin serena1570 at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 22 14:02:48 PDT 2008

--- Tim McDaniel <tmcd at panix.com> wrote:

> In the context of SCA heraldry: crowns get no difference from
> coronets; I don't yet know of an SCA precedent that differentiates
> a
> royal crown from a spotted or herbaceous crown, though perhaps the
> English definition suggested by Brooke-Little (closed crown, wasn't
> it?) controls; the only crown/coronet details I know of are that
> strawberry leaves imply a ducal coronet and embattling implies a
> comital coronet (from memory).

Aaah, but I wasn't talking about points of difference, I was talking
about blazonry (which your own post proves uses a different word,
coronet, for subordinate ranks, and crown only refers to sovereign
metal), and most especially the terms for what people WEAR, as I was
responding to Alden's use of the terms for what people WEAR.  What
Alden wrote was,

> >> It could also be argued that since former Crowns are considered
> >> "royal family", crowns worn by them would be considered "royal
> >> crowns".

Nobles don't wear crowns, they wear coronets; they don't have crowns
on their achievements, they have coronets.  The habit of putting
crowns on past Crown's personal arms is ahistorical, and therefore
should be actively discouraged.  (Among MANY things that past Crowns
do to their heraldry that are ahistorical and therefore should be
actively discouraged.)  I note that the coronet of strawberry leaves
is, when used in conjunction with a crest, called a "crest coronet",
not a "crest crown".

Friar's *Dictionary of Heraldry*, "Coronet (i) a ceremonial cap,
usually of velvet lined ermine, enfiling an ornamental circlet of
gold, the design of which is indicative of a particular rank or
office. ... (ii) Ornamental circlets of various forms depicted in a
coat of arms in place of, or in addition to, the wreath.  Although
certain types of crest coronet are reserved for specific purposes
they are not indicative of rank and should, therefore, be considered
as integral to the crest.  May crest coronets are erroneously
described as crowns. ... (iii) as (ii) above, but used as armorial
charges in a shield of arms."

Ibid., "Crest Coronet  Not to be confused with CORONETS OF RANK,
crest coronets are ornamental circlets depicted in a coat of arms in
place of, or in addition to, the wreath. ... Disconcertingly, nearly
all crest coronets are termed 'crowns' but may also be found blazoned
'coronet'.  Most are also employed as armorial charges."

Ibid., "Crown (i) An ornamental circlet of gold and gems worn about
the head and depicted in representational form as a symbol of majesty
and sovereignty. ... During the Middle Ages in Western Europe, the
circlet continued in use as a symbol of authority among the nobility,
whilst the true crown became enclosed and arched, and remained the
prerogative of the monarch. In armory both the crown and the CORONET
(the 'open' crown) are used in conjunction with caps of dignity.  In
the medieval period these invariably took the form of the CHAPEAU. 
However, the gradual introduction of the arched crown in the arms of
the late medieval and Tudor kings was accompanied by the use of a
more appropriate rounded cap of red velvet lined with ermine,
essentially that which continues in use today. ... (ii) Several
so-called crowns are depicted as armorial charges, both in shields of
arms and in crests."

What defines a crown is sovereignty.  SCA heraldry has been moving
for years in the direction of more accurate and authentic practice.

I do, however, agree that the term "royal crown" is non-descriptive,
being, as it is, redundant in the extreme.  Perhaps "arched crown"
would be more descriptive?



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