This collection of Russian state regalia comprises 39 items dating from the late 12th and the first third of the 13th century. Although not large, it is considered to be almost the most valuable and is unique in other Russian museums.
As the residence of the great princes and later the tsars, the Moscow Kremlin has long housed crowns, sceptres, ceremonial collars, orbs, thrones, and other symbols of monarchical power. The origin and historical life of the items are linked to the development and growth of the Russian statehood and the most important political events in Russian history. Anointment and coronation, receptions of ambassadors, royal processions and other state events were strictly regulated and spectacular actions. State regalia played a particularly significant role in glorifying the monarch's grandeur during those ceremonies.
The oldest item in the collection is the "Cap of Monomach". Its name is connected with the Russian legend of the 15th century saying that it was brought to Russia in ancient times as a gift to the Russian rulers from Byzantine Emperor Constantine Monomachus. Since the late 15th till the end of the 17th century the "Cap of Monomach", being the symbol of power was used in the ceremonies of enthronement in Russia. In the first quarter of the 18th century, due to Peter the Great's reforms, the rite of the anointment for raining was replaced by the coronation ceremony with the Imperial crown as its main attribute. The museum collection incorporates the crowns of Empresses Catherine I and Anna Ioannovna.