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Regalia is a Latin plurale tantum for the privileges and insignia, characteristic of a king or other sovereign.

It stems from the Latin substantivation of the adjective regalis, 'regal', itself from Rex, 'king'.


[edit] Abstract

In origin exclusively royal (lato senso, including imperial) rights, prerogatives and privileges - are enjoyed by any sovereign, regardless of title (emperor, grand duke etcetera), such as the right to mint coins (especially with one's own effigy). In many cases, especially in feudal societies and generally weak states, such rights have in time been eroded by grants to or usurpations by lesser vassals.

[edit] Sovereign insignia

The emblems, symbols, or paraphernalia indicative of imperial, royal or any other sovereign status. Some are shared with divinities, either to symbolize a god(ess)'s role as say king of the pantheon (e.g.Brhaman's sceptre) or rather allowing mortal royalty to resemble divinity or stress a link with it.

For items that are fabricated artistically and using precious materials to lend luster to the occasions (mainly coronation) they are designed for, the term Crown Jewels is commonly used. However, there are no criteria to determine when an item is valuable enough, indeed this may rather be a matter of symbolical and historical value, e.g. used since the start of the dynasty, send as tangible recognition of legitimacy by the pope, an emperor or caliph, etcetera.

Each culture, even each monarchy and/or dynasty, may have its own historical traditions, and some even have a specific name for its regalia, or at least for a (major) set of them, such as :

But some elements occur in many traditions.

[edit] Headgear

1937 Imperial State Crown of King George VI

[edit] Other regal dress and jewelry

  • armillae - bracelets
  • (ermine) crowning mantle
  • barmi (Russian word), a detachable collar in precious materials, as in use in Moscovia
  • ring, symbolizing the Moarch's 'marriage' to the state (in the doagl republic of Venice to its lifeblood, the sea); especially a signet-ring, practical attribute of his power to command legally

[edit] Manipulable symbols of power

Image:Denmark globus cruciger.jpg
Danish globus cruciger. Part of the Danish Crown Regalia.

[edit] Other manipulable symbols

Image:Sanshu no Jingi.gif
A representation of the Imperial Regalia of Japan.

Instead of expressing the Monarch's power, regalia can also stand for virtues, i.e. what is expected from the incumbent.

Thus thee Imperial Regalia of Japan (Jp: 三種の神器; "Sanshu no Jingi", or "Three Sacred Treasures"), also known as the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, represent three primary virtues, connected with Buddhist thought: the sword, Kusanagi (草薙剣) (or possibly a replica of the original; located at Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya) represents valor, the jewel or necklace of jewels, Yasakani no magatama (八尺瓊曲玉; at Kokyo in Tokyo), benevolence, and the mirror, Yata no kagami (八咫鏡), located in the Ise Shrine in Mie prefecture, wisdom. Since 690, the presentation of these items to the Emperor by the priests at the shrine are a central part of the imperial enthronement ceremony. As this ceremony is not public, the regalia are by tradition only seen by the emperor and certain priests, and no known photographs or drawings exist.

[edit] Coronation paraphernalia

In addition to regalia having a symbolic meaning as such, the same and/or other objects are presented and/or used in the formal ceremonial of enthronement/coronation. They can be associated with an office or court sinecure (cfr. Archoffices) that enjoys the privilege to carry, present/or at use it at the august occasion, and sometimes on other formal occasions, such as a royal funeral.

Such objects without intrinsic symbolism can include

  • Anointing utensils:
  • a bible used for swearing in

[edit] Companions' attributes

Apart from the Sovereign himself, attributes, especially a crown, can be used for close relatives who are allowed to share in the pomp, as in Norway both the Queen-consort (often the spouse is the only one assigned a throne) and the crown prince

[edit] Reserved colour etc

  • in the Roman Empire, the colour purple and robes dyed in it (with an extremely expensive Mediterranean mollusk extract) were in principle reserved for the imperial court, but extended to various dignitaries, for whom the term purpuratus was coined as a high aulic distinction.

[edit] Additional display

  • umbrella / canopy
  • fan(s)
  • standard(s) -
  • mace(s)
  • music, such as
    • fanfare, and/or reserved instruments, such as silver trumpets, or in India (especially? Mewar) the nakkara drums
    • the ceremonial nobat orchestra is even a formal requirement for a valid Malaysian coronation (at the federal level and in the state of ...)

[edit] See also

Look up regalia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

for other meanings, such as the generalization to all decorations or insignia indicative of a lower office (such as a chain of office) or of membership of an order or society;

[edit] Other uses

By analogy, the term regalia is also applied, technically improperly, to formal insignia in other contexts, such as academic regalia

[edit] Sources - External link

fr:Regalia it:Regalia nl:Regalia ja:レガリア ru:Регалия sv:Riksregalier


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