Historically, circlets are a small crown with no arches or internal fabric covering. These include the crowns of many nations. Examples are St. Edward’s Crown, the coronation crown of England until it was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell. Two more contemporary designs are the crowns of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, which were designed with detachable arches.

The wives of many kings, called queen consorts developed a tradition of wearing their consort crowns without the arches after their husbands’ deaths. Alexandra of Denmark ~ widow of Edward VII, Mary ~ widow of George V, Elizabeth ~ widow of George VI, all followed this tradition.

In modern times, they differ from tiaras or crowns in that they are smaller and less dramatic. They are less showy, even though they can be elaborately bejeweled. They often ride lower on the forehead, but it can be placed within the hairline. When designed to be adjustable, they’re secured with ties or a clasp in back.

The weight of a crown or tiara is often too much for a girl or young lady. Imagine a young flower girl in a full tiara. Then think how much more relaxed and comfortable she would without a full-blown tiara balanced atop her head.


Fabric Circlets

This Orle, or Italian fabric circlet, is fashioned of silk. The information says it was fashioned of two colors from his crest. Two colors from a tartan or a tartan plus one predominant color could be used to fashion a Medieval hair adornment fitting for a Scottish theme bridal gown.

Image courtesy R. Turner Wilcox,
The Mode in Hats and Headdress

Recycled Mink

This 16th century portrait of Markgraf Casimir von Brandenburg offers another idea, only this time in mink.Though this is actually a Renaissance cap, with a woven or netted crown, an open circle would also work. Just make sure there are combs or loops for attaching the circle to your hair, in case of winds and because “stuff” happens.

It could be offset like this portrait, lying low on the forehead, or set back on the crown to emphasize a braided hairdo. As this portrait suggests, hairbraiding and a clan badge or a sprig of white heather would complete the image.

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