The main use is now actually not on the head (indeed, many people entitled to a coronet never have one made; the same even applies to some monarchs' crowns, as in Belgium) but as a rank symbol in heraldry, adorning a coat of arms.
In the peerages of the United Kingdom, the design of a coronet shows the rank of its owner, as in German, French and various other heraldic traditions.
- The coronet of a duke (a silver-gilt circlet, chased as jewelled but not actually gemmed) has eight strawberry leaves of which five are seen in two-dimensional representations;
- that of a marquess has four strawberry leaves and four silver balls (known as "pearls", but not actually pearls), slightly raised on points above the rim, of which three leaves and two balls are seen;
- that of an earl has eight strawberry leaves (four visible) and eight "pearls" raised on stalks, of which five are visible (an example of one actually being worn can be seen here );
- that of a viscount has sixteen "pearls" touching one another, nine being seen in representation; and
- that of a baron or Lord of Parliament in the Scots peerage (a plain silver-gilt circlet) has six "pearls" of which four are visible.
Since a person entitled to wear a coronet customarily displays it in his or her coat of arms above the shield and below the helm and crest, this can provide a useful clue as to the owner of a given coat of arms. In Canadian heraldry, descendants of the United Empire Loyalists are entitled to use a Loyalist military coronet (for descendants of members of Loyalist regiments) or Loyalist civil coronet (for others) in their arms.
Members of the British Royal Family have coronets on their coats of arms and may wear them at coronations. They were made, according to regulations made by King Charles II in 1661, shortly after his return from exile in France (getting a taste for its lavish court style; Louis XIV started monumental work at Versailles that year) during the Restoration. They vary depending upon the prince's relationship to the monarch. Occasionally, additional royal warrants vary the designs for individuals. The most recent (and most comprehensive) royal warrant concerning coronets was the 19 November 1917 warrant of George V.
Rather than a coronet, the heir apparent receives a crown with a single arch.
There is evidence to support the wearing of coronets amongst the Welsh royalty and nobility, particularly in the Kingdom of Gwynedd. Llywelyn's coronet was for a while kept with the English crown jewels.
Read more about this topic: Coronet
Other articles related to "commonwealth usage, commonwealth":
... In the peerage of the United Kingdom, the design of a coronet shows the rank of its owner, as in German, French and various other heraldic traditions ... The coronet of a duke has eight strawberry leaves, that of a marquess has four strawberry leaves and four silver balls (known as "pearls", but not actually pearls), that of an earl has eight strawberry leaves and eight "pearls" raised on stalks, that of a viscount has sixteen "pearls", and that of a baron has six "pearls" ...
... In Commonwealth realms, such as Canada and Australia where they share a common head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, a Governor-General is appointed to represent the Queen during her absence ... of the individual states that make up the Commonwealth of Australia, making them head of state in each of their own territories ...
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