6

In House of the Dragon, the crown Aegon II wears during his coronation ceremony is not the one his father wears.

Is there an explanation for this?

Viserys I's crown

Aegon II's crown

6
  • 3
    According to wikipedia : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Jewels_of_the_United_Kingdom#Crowns there are a lot of crown for england, so why not for the 7 kingdoms
    – dna
    Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 6:51
  • 4
    a) Why wouldn't there be multiple crowns? b) They literally say in the crowning that they're using the crown from Aegon the conqueror. c) Watch next week's episode.
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 6:51
  • And if you want to get spoiled: awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Crown .
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 6:53
  • I thought a crown would be as unique as the imperial seal, if there is one.
    – Yu Zhang
    Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 11:11
  • @Yu Zhang Even though an answer has been given and acccepted, I have added an answer about the crowns of medieval european kings, explaining why a medieval king would sometimes be seen wearing a different crown than his father was seen wearing. Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 4:00

2 Answers 2

11

Some Targaryen kings preferred to wear a crown other than the one that their immediate predecessor wore.

In House of the Dragon and in Fire & Blood (the book that the show was based on), Viserys I Targaryen was wearing the crown of his grandfather, Jaehaerys I Targaryen "the Conciliator", rather than the crown of Aegon I Targaryen "the Conqueror". This is presumably because Viserys wants to be associated with Jaehaerys' peaceful and prosperous reign.

In Aegon II Targaryen's case, it can be inferred that Alicent wants her son to be associated with his martial namesake, Aegon I "the Conqueror", the first king to sit on the Iron Throne, and conqueror of six of the Seven Kingdoms. Alicent wanted Aegon II to be associated with the "ancient strength" of House Targaryen, harkening back to the time when the Targaryens were warriors and conquerors. Basically, the Greens are warning their rivals, the Blacks, that the gloves are now off.

Alicent: He will assume authority. There will be no more dithering.
My son will take the crown of his namesake, the Conqueror, and carry Blackfyre, his sword.
Let the people remember the ancient strength of House Targaryen.

In Fire & Blood, it was Aegon II himself that decided that he will wear Aegon I's crown, presumably for the same reason as in the TV show. Related passage:

Aegon II had suffered his first defections the night before, when Ser Steffon Darklyn of the Kingsguard had slipped from the city with his squire, two stewards, and four guardsmen. Under the cover of darkness they made their way out a postern gate to where a fisherman’s skiff awaited to take them to Dragonstone. They brought with them a stolen crown: a band of yellow gold ornamented with seven gems of different colors. This was the crown King Viserys had worn, and the Old King Jaehaerys before him. When Prince Aegon had decided to wear the iron-and-ruby crown of his namesake, the Conqueror, Queen Alicent had ordered Viserys’s crown locked away, but the steward entrusted with the task had made off with it instead.

- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens

0

The idea that every king would wear on one occasion the same crown that another king of that kingdom would wear on a different occasion is a misconception.

The question was asked by someone who knowns even less about medieval monarchs than I hope the creators of the program would. I don't know whether the creators of House of the Dragon know enough about medieval monarchs to justify a king wearing a different crown than his father wore. But since the Game of Thrones universe is based more or less closely on Medieval Europe, there is real life justification for a King wearing a different crown than his father was shown wearing.

In medieval European kingdoms there was usually one coronation crown that was used for the coronations of monarchs. For example, Hungary had the Holy Crown or the Crown of Saint Stephen, Bohemia had the Crown of Saint. Wenceslaus, and France the Crown of Charlemagne, though those crowns were made after the life times of those monarchs.

In England the coronation crown was Saint Edward's Crown.

Edward the Confessor wore his crown at Easter, Whitsun, and Christmas.[1] In 1161, he was made a saint, and objects connected with his reign became holy relics. The monks at his burial place of Westminster Abbey claimed that Edward had asked them to look after his regalia in perpetuity for the coronations of all future English kings.[2] Although the claim is likely to have been an exercise in self-promotion on the abbey's part, and some of the regalia probably had been taken from Edward's grave when he was reinterred there, it became accepted as fact,[2] thereby establishing the first known set of hereditary coronation regalia in Europe.[3] A crown referred to as St Edward's Crown is first recorded as having been used for the coronation of Henry III in 1220, and it appears to be the same crown worn by Edward.[4]

Wikipedia: St Edward's Crown / Origin

After the Monarchy was Abolished in 1689, the Parliamentarians broke up and melted down the royal regalia and sold the jewels and gold. When the monarchy was reestablished in 1660, a new set of regalia was made for the coronation of Charles II.

After the coronation of William III in 1689, monarchs chose to be crowned with a lighter, bespoke coronation crown (e.g., the Coronation Crown of George IV)[25] or their state crown, while St Edward's Crown usually rested on the high altar.[26]

Wikipedia: St Edward's Crown / Restoration

Edward VII intended to revive the tradition of being crowned with St Edward's Crown in 1902, but on coronation day he was still recovering from an operation for appendicitis, and instead he wore the lighter Imperial State Crown.[27]

Jewels were hired for use in the crown and removed after the coronation until 1911, when it was permanently set with 444 precious and semi-precious stones. Imitation pearls on the arches and base were replaced with gold beads which at the time were platinum-plated.[7] Its band was also made smaller to fit George V, the first monarch to be crowned with St Edward's Crown in over 200 years, reducing the crown's overall weight from 82 troy ounces (2.6 kg) to 71 troy ounces (2.2 kg).[27]

It was used to crown his successor George VI in 1937, and Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, who adopted a stylised image of the crown for use on coats of arms, badges, logos and various other insignia in the Commonwealth realms to symbolise her royal authority. In these contexts, it replaced the Tudor Crown, which had been instated by Edward VII in 1901.[28] Use of the crown's image in this way is by permission of the monarch.[24]

Wikipedia: St Edward's Crown / 20th to 21st century

St Edward's Crown, the centrepiece of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom

The Imperial State Crown of the UK is worn by the monarch on other ceremonial occasions.

St Edward's Crown, used to crown English monarchs, was considered to be a holy relic,[6] kept in the saint's shrine at Westminster Abbey and therefore not worn by monarchs at any other time. Instead, a "great crown" with crosses and fleurs-de-lis, but without arches (an open crown), was a king's usual headgear at state occasions until the time of Henry V, who is depicted wearing an imperial crown of state with gold arches (a closed crown).[8]

Upon the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, a new state crown was made for Charles II by Sir Robert Vyner. About 10 versions of the crown have existed since the Restoration.[1] The one made for Queen Victoria in 1838 is the basis for today's crown. Made by Rundell and Bridge in 1838 using old and new jewels, it had a crimson velvet cap with ermine border and a lining of white silk. It weighed 39.25 troy ounces (43.06 oz; 1,221 g) and was decorated with 1,363 brilliant-cut, 1,273 rose-cut and 147 table-cut diamonds, 277 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 4 rubies, and the Black Prince's Ruby (a spinel).[2] At the State Opening of Parliament in 1845, the Duke of Argyll was carrying the crown before Queen Victoria when it fell off the cushion and broke. Victoria wrote in her diary, "it was all crushed and squashed like a pudding that had sat down".[3] The empty frame of Victoria's imperial state crown survives in the Royal Collection.[4]

A new crown was made for the coronation of George VI in 1937 by Garrard & Co.[14][10] The crown was adjusted for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953, with the head size reduced and the arches lowered by 25 mm (1 inch) to give it a more feminine appearance.[11]

It is expected that the crown will be remade for the coronation of Charles III in 2023, with the arches being raised to their original height and the head size being adjusted.[12]

Wikipedia: Imperial State Crown / Restoration to present day

The crown is worn by the monarch on leaving Westminster Abbey at the end of his or her coronation.[21] It is usually also worn at State Openings of Parliament, although Elizabeth II wore a hat in March 1974, June 2017 and December 2019 after snap general elections, and in May 2021; and, in October 2019 she wore the State Diadem, while the Imperial State Crown was carried beside her.[22] Usually, it is taken to the Palace of Westminster under armed guard in its own carriage and placed in the Robing Room, where the monarch dons the Robe of State and puts on the crown before giving the speech to Parliament. If a State Opening occurs before a coronation, the crown is placed on a cushion beside the monarch. In 1689, one week after being proclaimed king, William III wore his crown in Parliament to pass the Crown and Parliament Recognition Act 1689.[23] When not in use, the Imperial State Crown is on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.

The crown is worn by the monarch on leaving Westminster Abbey at the end of his or her coronation.[21] It is usually also worn at State Openings of Parliament, although Elizabeth II wore a hat in March 1974, June 2017 and December 2019 after snap general elections, and in May 2021; and, in October 2019 she wore the State Diadem, while the Imperial State Crown was carried beside her.[22] Usually, it is taken to the Palace of Westminster under armed guard in its own carriage and placed in the Robing Room, where the monarch dons the Robe of State and puts on the crown before giving the speech to Parliament. If a State Opening occurs before a coronation, the crown is placed on a cushion beside the monarch. In 1689, one week after being proclaimed king, William III wore his crown in Parliament to pass the Crown and Parliament Recognition Act 1689.[23] When not in use, the Imperial State Crown is on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.

Wikipedia: Imperial State Crown / Usage

Imperial State Crown of the United Kingdom

Some crowns were the personal property of the monarch and not part of the Crown Jewels belonging to the state.

The Small Diamond Crown of Queen Victoria is a miniature imperial and state crown made at the request of Queen Victoria in 1870 to wear over her widow's cap following the death of her husband, Prince Albert. It was perhaps the crown most associated with the queen and is one of the Crown Jewels on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.

The crown had belonged to Queen Victoria personally rather than to the Crown and thus was not a part of the Crown Jewels. Victoria left it to the Crown in her will. It was subsequently worn on occasions by the queen consort, Alexandra of Denmark (1901–1910) and after her by the next queen consort, Mary of Teck (1910–1936). After the death of Mary's husband, George V, she stopped wearing the crown. When the new queen consort, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1936–1952), decided not to wear the Small Diamond Crown, it was deposited by Queen Victoria's great-grandson, George VI, in the Jewel House at the Tower of London, where it remains on public display.[7]

Wikipedia: Small Diamond Crown of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria, 1887

Queen Victoria's Small Diamond Crown 1870

King Richard II of England (reigned 1377-1399) had eleven crowns listed in the inventory of his treasure.

Eleven gold crowns open the list of Richard II's treasure. Several probably dated from earlier reigns. One must have been very small. It weighed little, had no gems and had perhaps belonged to a reliquary image. The others were intended to be worn either by a king or by a queen. Much of their value was in the gems, which are minutely enumerated.

Institute of Historical Research and Royal Holloway: Richard II's Treasures / Crowns

Two of the crowns were brought from Paris by Richard's second queen, the young French Princess Isabella, and she returned to France with them in 1401 after Richard's death.

One of the crowns is the only object in Richard II's inventory which certainly survives today. It now consists of a circlet of twelve hinged plaques and six large and six small fleurons. Each of the twelve fleurons fits into a separate plaque. The larger fleurons have two prongs like a tuning fork, the smaller a single prong. It could have been dismantled for travelling or storage. As described in Richard II's inventory and again in November 1399, it was incomplete. There were only eleven plaques in the circlet, although there were twelve fleurons. Twelve fleurons need twelve plaques. To achieve a symmetrical effect, large and small fleurons must alternate. The crown seems therefore to have been unwearable in 1399.

Institute of Historical Research and Royal Holloway: Richard II's Treasures / Crowns / The surviving crown

The evil usurper Henry IV sent it to Germany with his daughter Princess Blanche.

The Crown of Princess Blanche, also called the Palatine Crown or Bohemian Crown, is the oldest surviving royal crown known to have been in England, and probably dates to 1370–80.

It is made of gold with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, enamel and pearls. Its height and diameter are both 18 centimetres (7.1 in). The crown has been a property of the House of Wittelsbach since 1402, when it came with Princess Blanche of England, daughter of King Henry IV of England, on her marriage to Louis III, Elector Palatine.[5]

After the junior Bavarian branch of the house became extinct in the male line in 1777, the senior Palatine branch replaced the former as the country's rulers. Today, the crown is displayed in the treasury of the Munich Residenz, where it has been kept since 1782. It has been described as "one of the finest achievements of the Gothic goldsmith".[6]

Wikipedia: The Crown of Princess Blanche

The Crown of Princess Blanche

One other medieval English Crown survives, the crown of Margaret of York, sister of King Edward IV of England, who married Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy & other lands in 1468 and presented it to Aachen cathedral during a visit in 1475.

Crown of Margaret of York & Crown of Princess Blanche

Crown of Margaret of York at the Treasury of Aachen Cathedral

Medieval kings sometimes wore crowns over their helmets in battle.

The Black Prince's Ruby is a large red spinel currently on the front of the Imperial state crown of the UK, right above the Cullinan II Diamond.

During his campaign in France, Henry V of England wore a gem-encrusted helmet that included the Black Prince's Ruby.[6] In the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415, the French Duke of Alençon struck Henry on the head with a battleaxe, and Henry nearly lost both the helmet and his life. The battle was won by Henry's forces and the Black Prince's Ruby was saved. Richard III is supposed to have worn the gemstone in his helmet at the Battle of Bosworth, where he died.

Wikipedia: Black Prince's Ruby / A wartime adornment

But Henry V and Richard III probably wore the ruby on one of their private crowns placed on top of their helmets, and not directly attached to their helmets.

Although he claimed[126] fourth-generation, maternal Lancastrian descendancy, Henry seized the crown by right of conquest. After the battle, Richard's circlet is said to have been found and brought to Henry, who was proclaimed king at the top of Crown Hill, near the village of Stoke Golding. According to Vergil, Henry's official historian, Lord Stanley found the circlet. Historians Stanley Chrimes and Sydney Anglo dismiss the legend of the circlet's finding in a hawthorn bush; none of the contemporary sources reported such an event.[1] Ross, however, does not ignore the legend. He argues that the hawthorn bush would not be part of Henry's coat of arms if it did not have a strong relationship to his ascendance.[127] Baldwin points out that a hawthorn bush motif was already used by the House of Lancaster, and Henry merely added the crown.[128]

Of course Henry VIII's official coronation was months later with Saint Edward's Crown in Westminster Abbey.

At the Council of Lyon of 17 July 1246, Sinibaldo Fieschi, the evil rebel antipope who called himself Pope Innocent IV and his followers declared Emperor Frederick II deposed. And there is story that when Frederick heard about he called for all his crowns that he traveled with to be brought to him, and counted them, and said that they were all still there despite the empty words of the antipope.

So I hope this shows that medieval kings often were crowned with the same crown which their ancestors had been crowned with, but never got to wear that again since it was usually a holy relic stored in the coronation church, and would wear one of several privately owned crowns of theirs on various occasions.

Thus there is no reason to expect to see two successive kings of the same country wearing the same crown in difference scenes, unless both scenes were of coronations.

And it was common for a king to take off the coronation crown immediately after the coronation and wear one of his other crowns in the following banquets and festivities.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .