Crowning Wisdom: Heaven's Arches Rang

The crown of Scotland, which was last used in the late Queen’s funerary procession through Scotland, is the oldest crown in the United Kingdom. It dates back to 1503, though King James V added arches in 1532, rendering it an ‘imperial crown’. His southern uncle, Henry VIII, had done the same to the English crown. By having those imperial arches, the crown’s wearer was declaring himself the absolute ruler in his realm, subject to none but God. Henry’s arches demonstrated his refusal to yield to papal law; James’ demonstrated his refusal to yield to Henry’s. Medieval crowns typically consisted of a gold circlet studded with jewels; sixteenth-century monarchs, especially from the Reformation, wanted more.

It is remarkable the Christ the King, cosmic Emperor, Creator and Sovereign Lord, the one Being in the universe for whom no number of arches on His crown would be sufficient- should come to earth and be born in a stable. Golden crowns bespeak monarchical splendour and royal esteem, but Christ is worthier than all of them put together.

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem's home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

Heaven's arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth,
And in great humility.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

-E.S Elliot, 1864