Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Fascinating Fridays (Heraldic Crowns)

No symbolic object embodies the concept of Royalty more than a crown. Yet the singular physical crown is not available to appear at every opportunity as a symbol of its country. Today at least we have photography that can produce limitless images for the enjoyment of and the representation of the nation. In days gone by when photography didn't exist, artistic representation were used in the form of paintings, engravings and flattened sculptures called reliefs that could be hung on the walls of government buildings. Even fully 3-dimensional sculptures were also employed atop carriages and the like. The discipline of depicting the real crown of a monarchy developed into a very stylised skill that we call "crown heraldry". 

Heraldry as a complete artistic discipline involves the design and depiction of a Family or National Crest. These designs can be very intricate and must be extremely accurate as to avoid confusion or faults. In the case of a Royal Crest or Coat of Arms as it is also known, a Heraldic Crown is inevitably included which would be a recognisable yet simplified representation of the actual crown of the monarchy. Let us take a look at some of these Heraldic Crowns and their application in Royal Crests as officially used today. 

This clear depiction of the Heraldic Crown of Swann has many uses in the official correspondence and other "logo" requirements of the monarchy and office of the Duke of Swann. It is most often seen preceding a Royal Statement in newspapers and indeed on this blog. 

One can easily see the resemblance of the Heraldic Crown to the actual Crown of Swann on the cushion next to the Duke. Also note the heraldic representation above the Swann emblem. Heraldic Crowns are not photo realistic depiction of real crowns but rather stylized simplifications that strongly evoke the image of the real crown. They are above all supposed to be easily recognisable, even to an untrained eye. For that purpose simple colours reminiscent of national colours are used. The heraldic Crown of Swann is somewhat of an anomaly as is many other aspects of the Swanobian monarchy. The Heraldic Crown is strictly speaking that of a Grand Duke while the real one is that of a Prince Regent or even a Noble Duke. This is in keeping with the unusuality of the Duke's title. He is in rank and power, a Sovereign Grand Duke. He is by blood a Prince Royal and referred to as Prince Daniel, the Duke of Swann. Yet the office that rules Swann is traditionally called, Duke of Swann, regardless of technicalities with power etc. 

Again the Heraldic Crown in the Royal Crest can be compared to the real one. 

The Heraldic Crown of Swann is also represented on the national flag and Royal Standard. 

Normandia's Royal Crest, like most others includes a heraldic representation of the Crown of Normandy. It is not included in the flag. 

Comparing the two "crowns" is again made posible in this State Portrait of Queen Gloria. 

Royal Crests and heraldic crowns form part of Royal documents as can be seen in the top left of this invitation issued by Queen Gloria of Normandia

The Kingdom of Syldavia's flag includes above the bull's head on the left, what is meant to be the Heraldic Crown of Syldavia. This representation is furthest removed from depicting the real crown than any other heraldic representation but as such strangely triggers the memory in connecting it with Syldavia. The historic records of Syldavian heraldry do not record why the crown isn't more accurately portrayed. 

Compare the real Crown of Syldavia in this photo to its heraldic counterpart and see if you agree with our analysis of its "erroneous" depiction. 

Some monarchies do not employ crown jewels or heraldic representations of crowns. The Islands of Arcwhite is an example of such a country. You will therefor never find crowns used in any way as is the tradition with other monarchies. 

In contrast with Syldavia, the Heraldic Crown of Hispania is quite an accurate representation as can be clearly seen from the Royal Crest and the photo of the Crown below. 

The Royal Crown of the Kings of Hispania.

We will not display every monarchy's Heraldic Crown here today as we hope that now you will enjoy keeping your eyes peeled in order to appreciate this detail of Royal tradition. You may view preceding blogs concerning State Portraits, Royal Statements or invitations to see where these have been employed especially in the monarchies not mentioned in this post. Regardless, you will probably also be far more aware when they pop up in future. happy crown hunting.

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