01 December 2014

Royal Jewel Rewind: Nobel Prize Ceremony 2009

In ten days, the Swedish royal family will gather in Stockholm for the presentation of the majority of this year's Nobel prizes. (The peace prize is presented separately in Oslo.) In the lead up to this year's ceremony, we're going to be looking back to the jewels worn at Nobels past, starting with the ceremony held five years ago in 2009.

The three senior Swedish ladies all attended the Prize ceremonies in 2009. It was a big year for the Bernadottes: Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine both made engagement announcements (though Madeleine would call hers off the following spring), Daniel Westling received a successful kidney transplant, and Prince Carl Philip celebrated his 30th birthday.

For the prize ceremony, Queen Silvia chose the large diamond tiara known by the Bernadottes as "Queen Sofia's tiara" -- and generally called the "Nine-Prong" by royal jewel lovers. It was made around 1860 for Sofia of Nassau, the wife of King Oscar II; today it's a part of the Bernadotte jewel foundation.

Silvia paired the tiara with a collection of diamond and pearl jewelry. Her necklace, a single strand of pearls, is a major Bernadotte heirloom. The necklace, which features a diamond clasp, was a part of the collection of King Carl XIV Johan. The diamond and pearl drop earrings are equally important; they have been in the family since the early nineteenth century and were reportedly worn by Joséphine of Leuchtenberg. Silvia often wears the necklace and the earrings together as a set.

The brooch that Silvia has used to secure the sash of the Order of the Seraphim is the diamond floral brooch from the Brazilian (or Braganza) parure. The brooch was a part of the grand diamond set left in 1873 to Joséphine of Leuchtenberg by her sister, Amélie, the widow of Emperor Pedro I of Brazil. Opposite the brooch, Silvia wears the diamond-studded family order of her husband, King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Thanks to the inventive work of one of the photographers covering the event, we can also see that Silvia wore a diamond bracelet on her right wrist, plus the three rings she usually wears on her left hand: her diamond engagement ring, her wedding band, and a diamond and ruby ring.

Crown Princess Victoria also selected a diamond tiara for the 2009 Nobels: the family's diamond six-button tiara. The six diamond buttons on this tiara are floral, featuring ten small round diamonds hugging a larger floral cluster of seven additional diamonds. These buttons are the same diamond rosettes that were attached to the coronation crown of King Carl XIV Johan in 1818; the tiara itself was apparently assembled during the second half of the twentieth century for the use of Princess Lilian. Victoria wore the piece at this event with two additional rows of diamonds at the base.

With the button tiara, Victoria wore a set of jewels from the family's nineteenth-century diamond and amethyst parure. These diamond and amethyst pieces are said to have belonged to Empress Joséphine, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Victoria wears the parure's earrings, the necklace made of two bracelets, and one of the brooches.

Victoria also wore two bracelets, plus her diamond engagement ring, the Order of the Seraphim, and her father's family order.

Victoria wasn't the only Bernadotte to pick a button tiara for the ceremony. Her younger sister, Princess Madeleine, wore the family's diamond four-button tiara for the first time in public. While the other tiara features diamond rosettes, these diamond buttons feature seven round diamonds encircling a central diamond in a sunburst design. The Bernadotte women have been wearing this simpler button tiara since the mid-twentieth century.

Madeleine's necklace is actually the converted version of another tiara: it's the modern diamond fringe tiara from her mother's private jewelry collection. In 2013, Madeleine wore this piece as her wedding tiara. She also wore a simple pair of diamond drop earrings.

Madeleine used a small round diamond brooch to secure the sash of the Order of the Seraphim. She's also wearing her father's family order, plus a piece of jewelry that has long since left her jewelry box: the diamond engagement ring given to her by Jonas Bergström.

On her right wrist, Madeleine appears to be wearing another gift from Jonas: a Cartier love bracelet. Like the engagement ring, it's long gone; she hasn't been seen wearing this piece in public since 2010. (From this angle, it also appears that Madeleine has used a second small diamond brooch to secure the back of her sash, something royal ladies frequently do.)

 Stay tuned later today for the first of our holiday wishlist posts!