A sure-fire way to get across that you are important is to wear a Cool Crown. It's the headgear of choice for Kings, Queens and Princesses alike, and no Requisite Royal Regalia would be complete without it.
Cool Crowns come in many sizes and shapes but a few have distinct associations:
- Tiaras are the iconic crown of the Princess Classic and heavily associated with fairytales. Perched directly on top of the head, usually with heart or flower designs worked in, they are dainty and sparkly and make great hair accessories. It's almost solely women who wear tiaras, and usually not worn by High Royalty, like Queens or Empresses. Not if they want to be taken seriously, anyway.
- Frill-like Diadems, often seen being worn by Pageant Queens also tend to have the same connotations as tiaras despite having more robustness, similar to a heavy circlet.
- Circlets are the staple of Modest Royalty. Who wants to wear a heavy, clunky crown everywhere? These Royals need to be able to move and get things done. The circlet is usually a ribbon-like strand of metal that wraps around the forehead, sometimes with a simple jewel on the front, or a heavier band that perches atop the head that may have other decorations, but no hoops or caps. They are worn by both genders, and Elves seem to like the really thin across-the-forehead kind, for some reason.
- Hoop Crowns, with arches, jewels and velvety-cloth caps or ermine-edging are the coolest crowns of them all and usually only Kings, and the occasional Queen, get to wear them. They are big and in your face and anyone wearing one is really important, or seems to want you to think he is. Even most Royalty don't like to wear them all the time, though. During everyday royal activities such a crown may be exchanged for a circlet.
- Laurel Wreaths are associated with the Roman Caesars and despite being less obnoxious than the typical crown, resembling circlets more in their modesty, they tend to indicate someone who is at the top, in terms of importance. Emperors and Greek Gods really like them. The wreath is usually gold, but occasionally may be made of actual leaves.
- In high school settings, the King and Queen of the Prom (or Homecoming Queen and King) get crowns for the occasion.
- In Bleach, Baraggan Louisenbairn has a bone-like protrusion out of his head that resembles a crown. Fitting, as prior to encountering Aizen, he was the king of Hueco Mundo. His Resurreccion form had a more normal crown on his head, made of gold and encrusted with all sorts of jewels.
- When seen in animation, Aquaman, who is king of Atlantis, is rarely to never seen with his crown on. His wife, Mera, however, is rarely to never seen without hers.
- In Anastasia, the titular Russian princess wears a very sparkly diadem with her princess dress.
- Averted in Star Wars. Despite having royalty, no one ever sports a crown.
- In Robin Hood (2010), King Richard's helmet has a crown built into it.
- Rapunzel has a tiara in Tangled. Her parents have hoop crowns.
- In the Heralds of Valdemar series, the Valdemaran royals wear understated circlets to go with their Modest Royalty and indicate they don't think they are better than their subjects. Other royals in neighboring countries either copied them or came up with the idea independently (probably the latter).
- The Awesome Moment of Crowning scene in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe makes a special point of mentioning that the crowns given to the Pevences aren't the heavy, gaudy, over-emblished sort (like the British Crown Jewels) but elegant circlets. The royal lines of Narnia all tend to fall in the Royals Who Actually Do Something camp.
- The Wheel of Time book A Crown of Swords is named after the Laurel Crown of Illian. The crown is of a laurel wreath design, but between the leaves are tiny daggers alternately pointing up and down; the intention in the design is that the wearer can never wear it comfortably, reminding him of the obligation and danger it represents. After he notices this, Rand gives the Laurel Crown its other name.
- The crown of the dragons in The Enchanted Forest Chronicles is a heavy circlet made of iron. When, after her first day as King, Kazul exhaustedly hurls it against the wall, Cimorene chides that she shouldn't treat the crown that way. Kazul responds, "Of course I should. It's expected. That's why we made it out of iron and not something soft and pliable like gold."
- In Lord of the Rings the first crown of Gondor was and actual war helm that belonged to Isildur, and the second (Aragorn was crowned with it), was a more pimped-up, crown-like helm. And in the other Numenorean kingdom, Arnor, a simple circlet with a single diamond was used.
- In the Deryni works, there's a number of these:
- The Haldanes have the State Crown of Gwynedd, bejeweled and with intertwined gold leaves and crosses, worn at coronations and state occasions. Even Kelson wears this when duty calls for it, though he prefers a "simpler circlet of gold" like the hammered gold circlet he wears when addressing the bishops at Valoret in The Quest for Saint Camber.
- Also in The Quest for Saint Camber, Kelson wears "the oldest and plainest of Kelson's official crowns: a band of hammered gold two fingers wide, chased with a design of Celtic interlace and set with small, round cabochon rubies in some of the interstices."
- Caitrin Quinnell, soi-disant Queen of Meara, has a regal crown of gold set with sapphires and rubies. This one is notably heavy; it creases Caitrin's brow (the marks are visible when she takes it off), Ithel flinches under its weight when Caitrin briefly sets it on his head, and Kelson complains of its weight after wearing it at the surrender ceremony in Laas.
- Matyas brings a crown from Torenth's treasury when he comes to Rhemuth to escort Liam-Lajos back for his investiture: "a handsome circlet of beaten gold, nearly the width of a man's three fingers, set round with smoky balas rubies, baroque pearls, and chunky rough-polished emeralds the size of a man's thumbnail." Liam receives a newer traditional Torenthi crown at the ceremony: "a golden diadem studded with rubies and emeralds and pearls, with great jeweled pendants hanging just short of his shoulders at either side.".
- Exiern King Urtica has the circlet (emblazoned with a stylised sun) style of crown, which is in keeping with his status as a hard-working (albeit in a Magnificent Bastard cum Chess Master kind of way) monarch.
- In Wyrd Sisters Lancre doesn't have a flashy crown, well not compared to the crowns a group of actors have. It's lampshaded by Granny Weatherwax that imitation crowns are always cool and flashy looking, because that is what people expect crowns to be. Real crowns are just an impractical hat and badge of office so aren't that impressive.
- In the Elenium, the sapphire rose Bhelliom once adorned the Crown of Thalasia, until the loss of both crown and the king who wore it in circumstances very similar to Isildur's loss of the One Ring.
- The Super Mario series subverts the association of Princesses with tiaras by giving Princess Peach a heavy gold circlet decked out in sparkly jewels. Her crown is also a treasure in Pikmin Two (the first region, pretty much as far away as you can get from the landing site).
- In Angry Birds, some of the bigger and tougher Pigs wear crowns. Such attire is usually switched with whatever headgear is appropriate for the level's theme, however.
- In Super Mario Bros. enemy bosses have these.
- In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Rarity wore a tiara with her dress for the Galloping Gala and Rainbow Dash wore a Laurel Wreath. Twilight also has a tiara-thing that she wears when the ponies must use the Elements of Harmony. Both Princess Celestia and Princess Luna also wear tiaras.
- All fairies on Fairly Oddparents wear "floaty crowny things".
- The Fire Lord and his family of the Fire Nation in Avatar: The Last Airbender all have a hair ornaments that stand in as crowns.
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