circular head ornament worn by sovereigns. (The coronet is worn by nobles.) In ancient Greece and Rome crowns were merely wreaths, sometimes made of leaves, awarded in athletic or poetic contests, or in recognition of public service.
The use of the crown as a symbol of royal rank is of ancient tradition in Egypt and E Asia. The medieval and modern crown, an elaboration of the DIADEM, is usually made of metal, often gold, inlaid with gems. Famous historic crowns include the Lombard iron crown (Monza, Italy), the crown of Charlemagne (Vienna, Austria), and the crown of St. Stephen of Hungary. The triple crown of the pope, known as a tiara, dates from the 14th cent.
Why haven't recent popes worn the triple crown?
I have been told that Popes Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI did not adorn the triple crown of St. Peter. Is this true? What was their reason?
Re: Why haven't recent popes worn the triple crown?
Paul VI did wear a triple crown — there has been more than one — at his coronation but sold it later and gave the proceeds to the poor. Subsequent popes chose not to have coronations but installations, and thus did not receive a triple crown at their installations. The triple crown remained part of the papal coat of arms through the reign of John Paul II, but Benedict XVI chose to replace it on his coat of arms with a bishop's miter. Although the pope has traditionally been considered a monarch, recent popes have chosen to forego many of the outward trappings of monarchy such as the triple crown and focus instead on their pastoral and episcopal roles.