Difference Between Crowns and Tiaras
By Andrew Parker - January 25, 2022

Whether it’s worn by a bride or the Queen, a tiara can make quite an impact on someone’s look. Or is that a crown? Are crowns always pointy and adorned with precious gems like the ones we used to see in cartoons? There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the definition of these two terms – so hopefully this explanation will clear things up a little bit.

Table Summary

Traditionally, only sovereigns can wear crownsTraditionally, any bride or married woman can wear tiaras
Always a full circleSometimes only a semi-circle
Queen Elizabeth II wearing a crown

Getty Images / Getty Images Entertainment / Sean Gallup


Crowns are traditionally worn only by sovereigns, although other members of royalty and nobility sometimes wear coronets (smaller, less elaborate crowns). Crowns are always a full circle and tend to be larger and taller than tiaras. They are also usually more colorful and ostentatious than tiaras but don’t always include gems like we expect them to.

According to tradition, tiaras can be worn by brides and married women. But there is an exception: they can also be worn by single women who were born a princess, like Queen Elizabeth II’s daughter, Princess Anne, who was seen wearing her mother’s tiara a few years before she got married. For this reason, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, who were not born princesses, could only wear a tiara from the day of their weddings.

Crown VS Tiara

The main difference between a crown and a tiara, according to tradition, is who gets to wear them. While only the Queen can wear a crown, any bride, married woman, or single princess can be seen in a tiara. Besides, crowns are always full circles, while tiaras can sometimes be semi-circles. Crowns are also larger and can include gemstones.