The Crown

St Edward's Crown

This is probably the most recognised symbol of monarchy anywhere in the world.

Crowns come in various sizes and shapes but the one which we in Australia are connected with is the ‘double arched crown’ i.e. two cross-over pieces which meet at the apex and which symbolises unity and sovereignty. Only the Sovereign or the representative of the Sovereign can use an image of the double arched crown. The Heir-Apparent uses a single arched crown.

Representations of the crown in the Governors’ and Governor-General’s case are always of St Edward’s Crown as this is the crown with which the Sovereign is crowned during the coronation.

The picture to the left shows St Edward's Crown. It was made in 1660 for the coronation of Charles II. The older mediaeval version was sold and broken up during the interregnum but it is believed that fragments were rescued and in due course incorporated into the version we have today. As an aside it is ironic that Cromwell ensured that the symbol of the crown be used in the coat of arms of the protectorate thus ensuring that the crown continuously remained a uniting symbol from its earliest days.