The Triregnum (Latin “three crowns”), or Papal Tiara is a triple-tiered crown or headdress historically worn by the Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church on his coronation as Pope.
The original head-dress was of Persian origin, and is related to ceremonial headgear worn by Byzantine dignitaries. The crowns began piling on in the twelfth century, when the Church decided to emphasize its sovereignty. A second crown emerged over another dispute over secular vs. ecclesiastical authority in the fourteenth century, and a third was added to reinforce the theme a few decades later. Today it is generally given out that the three crowns represent thr trinity; in a somewhat more honest explanation, that the three crowns represent(in ascending order) the Church’s temporal, ecclesiastical, and heavenly authority.
The Papal Tiara has not been in use since 1963. Its use was discontinued when
Pope Paul VI, at the end of the Second Vatican Council, laid the headdress on the altar in a rejection of worldly authority.