Crown of Napoleon

The Crown of Napoleon, called by him the "Crown of Charlemagne".

The Crown of Napoleon was a coronation crown manufactured for Napoleon and used in his coronation as Emperor of the French on December 2, 1804. Napoleon called this crown the "Crown of Charlemagne", which was the name of the ancient royal coronation crown of France that had been destroyed during the French Revolution. This name allowed Napoleon to compare himself to the famed mediaeval monarch Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor.


The French Revolution of the 1790s had led to the destruction of most of the ancient French Crown Jewels, along with the eventual abolition of the French monarchy and the execution of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. When Napoleon declared himself Emperor of the French a decade later, he decided to create new imperial regalia, the centerpiece of which was his "Charlemagne crown".