01 October 2014

Riksdag Opening 2014

'Tis the season for state openings of parliament! Following on the heels of Prinsjesdag in the Netherlands recently, the Swedish royals attended the annual opening of the parliamentary session at the Riksdag in Stockholm on Tuesday.

While glittering jewels are the norm at the Dutch state opening, the affair is a bit more subdued in Sweden. That wasn't always the case, however. Until 1975, royal ladies attending the opening of the Riksdag dressed like this:

That's Princess Sibylla, mother of the present king, attending the Riksdag opening in 1960 in full-on court dress, complete with Margaret of Connaught's diamond tiara. Back then, parliament was officially opened by the king in the throne room at the palace in Stockholm. After constitutional reforms, this formal ceremony was discontinued. Today, the royal family gathers at the parliament building for the official opening of the session.

The family does still arrive in style, though -- here's Queen Silvia stepping out of a carriage with the help of her husband, King Carl XVI Gustaf. The royal ladies always wear black, white, and gray at the Riksdag. It's a nod to the colors of the traditional court dress worn by the previous generation.

A black-and-white daytime color scheme means that you see lots of pearls on the royals at the parliamentary opening. Along with her pearl necklace and earrings, though, Silvia has also worn a major piece of heirloom jewelry: a diamond and pearl brooch that once belonged to Victoria of Baden.

Crown Princess Victoria wore much simpler jewelry with her black-and-white ensemble. A delicate necklace, earrings, and bracelets were her accessories of choice.

She's also wearing a watch, which you can see better in this picture, which also shows more of the carriage pomp-and-circumstance. Always a good thing!

And here's something exciting: the Riksdag debut of a princess-to-be! Sofia Hellqvist, who will be Princess Sofia of Sweden when she marries Prince Carl Philip next year, didn't wear much jewelry at all -- but of course all eyes are on her gorgeous diamond engagement ring.

Another perspective gives us a little glimpse of another piece of jewelry that has meaning to Sofia: the green and silver bracelet on her right wrist is from her charity, Project Playground. It features a silver charm in the shape of a puzzle piece.