Are you a princess, the king of your castle, queen of all you survey, or a prince among men? If so, the crown tattoo might be your symbol. Although just metal headgear set with precious stones, the crown is an incredibly versatile symbol whose meanings are based in the emblems of royalty. In fact, in the tattoo art of countries where the monarchy survives it can be found in combination with patriotic imagery, symbolizing the nation. It can be used with irony as well, worn by jesters, fools and pretenders. Other times hearts are crowned or even luck symbols, such as a seven or a horse shoe. The crowns shine and glimmer as they hover over these other symbols, setting a seal of importance and even transcendence upon them, not unlike the halo symbol.
In general the crown is a symbol that, when combined with others, elevates their meaning above the common, associating them higher spheres of authority, even linking what is above with what is below. Many cultures have used crowns of enormous variety to mark not only their leaders but their gods as well, from the laurel of Apollo to the gold of the Virgin Mary, the Queen of Heaven. Other tattoo symbols use the crown much more literally, for a club or group with the word ‘king’ in the name, for example. From heirs to the throne to those who have already established their mastery, the crown tattoo can express anything from camaraderie to dominance. Or, maybe you just rule.