In 1637 the Virgin Mary was crowned Queen of Genoa. This all stemmed from who gave way to whom during the processions and parades of the embassies from different states.
The Republic was made to give precedence to the large monarchies, and so had to wait until last. To resolve this issue, the Madonna was crowned Queen of Genoa, giving the state a monarch much more important than all the others. The Virgin Mary was therefore depicted with a crown, sceptre and the keys of the city, and featured on the Republic's coins.
The Doge remained head of the Republic, and he too was shown with the same symbols, along with an ermine cloak.