A headband is a clothing accessory worn in the hair or around the forehead, usually to hold hair away from the face or eyes. Headbands generally consist of a loop of elastic material or a horseshoe-shaped piece of flexible plastic or metal. They come in assorted shapes and sizes and are used for both practical and fashion purposes.
Horseshoe-shaped headbands are sometimes called Alice bands after the headbands that Alice is often depicted wearing in Through the Looking Glass.
Traditionally the Tiara is a form of headgear that is similar to a crown. The Tiara is usually worn by female members of a royal family. The literal translation of the world tiara means high crown. However unlike a crown the tiara is not a completely circular. Although circular in shape it does not meet at the back of the head. In ye olden times they were made out of leather or other fabric and were decorated with fine jewels and made to look beautiful. They were worn by the most dignified and prestigious members of the society such as the kings or emperors.
There were a wide variety of different variations on the theme and many different societies found innovative ways of decorating the tiara to show how prestigious it was. It is noted that the Assyrian people around the 15th to 20th century BC used bull horns as a symbol of authority and these were also decorated with feathers. The tiara was also popular in Persian times but differed slightly in that they featured more jewels and less feathers. The Persian version was also a little more like a crown as it had a tall cone like peak at the top and was more like a closed hat than the more modern open version.
Another common place where you might see a Tiara is in the Roman Catholic Church. The Papal tiara is a hat that is worn by the Pope. It is a ceremonial piece of headwear that comprises of three crowns that bear a globe and it is seen as an indicator of authority. This has not been worn for a while and it has been removed from the Pope’s Holy See coat of arms but it still plays a large symbolic role.
The modern tiara is a semi circle design that sits on the top of the head. It is usually a metal band that is more often than not decorated with jewels. Nowadays it is not used as much as a mark of rank or authority but more so as a form of adornment. Women usually wear them at very formal occasions to supplement a beautiful dress. They are often seen in events such as beauty pageants and are used to show which of the contestants have won and it is seen as a regal symbol. It is synonymous with head wear that would be worn by a princess and is as a result a very feminine item. Many women choose to wear them at their wedding. It is an extremely prestigious adornment.
The queen owns the most valuable collection of them in the world and people travel for miles to see her collection. They are property of the royal family and the queen is regularly seen wearing them at large occasions. It is said that the tiaras that she owns personally are priceless. She received the majority of these priceless items as heir looms but she has also received a number as gifts from foreign dignitaries. She was given a beautiful aquamarine tiara as a present from Brazil and Queen Alexandra has given her many of these gifts.