The following is an excerpt from Burke's General Armory, page xvii-xviii
Crowns were not originally marks of sovereignty, but were bestowed on those who gained a prize at the Olympic games, and at the first were only bands or fillets, but subsequently they assumed various forms according to the peculiar feat of valour the person to whom they were granted performed.
The CROWN, a distinctive badge of Royalty, was anciently made open, but is now closed at the top with four arches and is usually called the Imperial Crown. That used at the coronation of the sovereigns of England is made in imitation of the Crown supposed to have been worn by Edward the Confessor. The pressent imperial Crown has the rim adorned with four crosses patée, and as many Fleurs-de-lis alternately. From each cross rises an arched diadem closed at the top under a mound supporting a cross. The cap within the Crown is of the purple velvet (Heraldically represented crimson), and turned up with ermine. See p. xlix.
The CORONET of the prince of Wales is according to a warrant of Charles II. dated 19 February, 1660, composed of a circle or fillet of gold, adorned with four crosses patée, and as many fleurs-de-lis alternately; the two centre crosses rises an arched diadem, closed at the top under a mound supporting A cross, one arch only from the centre cross appearing in the presentation. The cap is of crimson velvet, lined with white sarsnet, and turned up with ermine. The Prince of Wales also bears as a badge a plume of three ostrich feathers, encircled by a coronet adorned with crosses and fleurs-de-lis; the motto peculiar to this badge being "Ich dien."
The CORONET of the Prince of the Blood Royal is similar to that of the Prince of Wales, without the arched diadem. The cap is of crimson velvet, boarded with ermine, with a tassel of gold.
The PRINCESSES bear a similar Coronet, but instead of the four crosses and as many fleurs-de-lis, is is adorned with three strawberry leaves alternately, with a similar number of fleurs-de-lis and crosses.
The Arms and Coronets of the members of the Royal Family are always assigned by the Sovereign to them individually.
The Coronet of a DUKE is composed of a circlet of gold, chased as jewelled, having on it eight golden strawberry leaves, five of which are seen in representation. The cap is of crimson velvet, turned up ermine, thereon a golden tassel. It is sometimes used as a charge in armorial bearings, when it is called a Ducal Coronet, and is represented with only three strawberry leaves and without the cap,tassel or ermine.
The Coronet of a MARQUESS is a circlet of gold, chased as jewelled, charged with four strawberry leaves and as many large pearls alternately; when represented, only two pearls and three leaves appear. The cap is similar to that of a Duke.
An EARLS Coronet is a circlet of gold, chased as jewelled, upon which rise eight pyramidical points gold, each of which supports a large silver ball, the spaces between the points being filled up at the bottom with strawberry leaves of gold, not rising as high as the balls. Only five of the balls will appear when heraldry displayed. the cap is the same as the Dukes and Marquess.
A VISCOUNTS Coronet is a circlet of gold, chased as jewelled, supporting sixteen silver balls, seven of which appear in the representation.
The Coronet of a BARON is a plain circlet of gold, thereon six balls, four of which are seen in the representation.
The two last-named Coronets have the crimson velvet cap with the tassel, and the edging of ermine, the same as those as those of a Duke, Marquess, and Earl.
The Coronet of a King OF ARMS is a silver gilt, formed of a circle, upon which is inscribed part of the first verse of the 51st Psalm,viz, Miserere mei Deus secundum magnam misericordiam tuam The rim is surmounted with sixteen leaves, in shape resembling the oak leaf, every alternative one being somewhat higher than the rest, nine of which appear in the profile view of it the cap is of crimson satin, closed at the top by a gol;d tassel, and turned up with ermine. See p. xxxiv.
A crest- coronet or ducal coronet, on which, or issuing from which crests are often bourne, is composed of a circlet of gold chased and jewelled, having raised on it four strawberry leaves, three of which appear in representation.
As the crown of Sovereign of England is not exactly similar to those borne by other potentates, so most of the Coronets of foreign noblemen are different from those of British peers.
Archbishops and Bishops bear the arms of their Sees impaled with their own family arms, without crest or motto, and with a mitre over the shield.
The Helmet, helme, casque, or, morion, varied in shape in different ages and countries. See p. xxxiii.
The Mantle was named from the French word "Manteau", and served as a protection (being spread over and pendent from the helmet) "to repel the extremity of wet, cold, and heat, and withal to preserve the accoutrments from rust."
The Chapeau (cap of maintenance or dignity) is of crimson velvet, lined with ermine, turned up into points at the back. It was formerly a badge of high dignity, and is now borne under the crest of several eminent families, instead of the the wreath.
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