18 October 2014

Saturday Sparkler: Crown Princess Mette-Marit's Daisy Bandeau

At the state banquet in Norway this week, Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore a tiara that has been her signature piece of jewelry since her wedding day more than a decade ago: a delicate bandeau tiara featuring daisy designs studded with diamonds.

Mette-Marit wears the tiara at the Danish royal wedding, 2004

The tiara, which fits in perfectly with Mette-Marit's minimalist Nordic style, was made in 1910. Exactly how the family got their hands on the sparkler has never been made clear. Some think they may have bought the piece from Garrard in London, but the family has never released any information on the maker or the means by which it was acquired. (I have always seen a major resemblance between this tiara and another Scandinavian sparkler: Queen Margrethe's turquoise bandeau.)

Mette-Marit wears the tiara at Princess Martha Louise's wedding, 2002

Some have speculated that the bandeau is actually the same tiara worn by Cate Blanchett in the 1999 film An Ideal Husband. It's certainly possible that the pieces could be the same: film companies often borrow real jewels for productions. Either the film features an extremely similar piece (or a copy), or Cate's movie tiara ended up on an actual princess shortly after the movie was released.

Mette-Marit on her wedding day, 2001

Regardless of the way that the tiara made it into the Norwegian vaults, we know for sure that it was a wedding gift to Mette-Marit from her new in-laws, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, in 2001. She wore the tiara on her wedding day, and although she's worn two other tiaras since (the family's amethyst tiara and their copy of Queen Maud's pearl tiara), this is the tiara that she's worn most frequently since then.

Mette-Marit wears the tiara at the Luxembourg royal wedding, 2012

The bandeau is undoubtedly easier to wear than most grand tiaras, so comfort is probably a factor, along with sentimental wedding/family reasons. It would not surprise me even a little bit, though, if this tiara is eventually passed along to her daughter, Princess Ingrid Alexandra. It seems like a perfect first tiara for a future queen.