14 July 2016

The Processional Jewels

Crown Princess Victoria wears the Processional Jewels (Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Happy Victoriadagen, everyone! Today is Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden's birthday, and to celebrate, we're looking at one of my favorite pieces of Swedish royal jewelry: a necklace that the family calls the "Processional Jewels."

Princess Madeleine wears the necklace (Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

In Swedish, this necklace's precise name is intågssmycket, or "processional jewelry." The piece's unusual name is linked to its original purpose: it was a gift for a brand new Swedish crown princess, to celebrate her arrival in her new country. Close-ups of the necklace (see below) show that the piece includes little knotted ribbons of diamonds, almost like festoons. How appropriate is that for a jewel celebrating an arrival?

Close-up of the necklace (Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

The recipient of this astonishing necklace, which is made of gold, diamonds, pearls, and pale blue Ceylon sapphires, was Victoria of Baden. She was the daughter of Friedrich I, the Grand Duke of Baden, and Princess Louise of Prussia (who was a sister-in-law of Princess Vicky, the eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert).

Close-up of the necklace (Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

But although she was a thoroughly German princess, Victoria of Baden also had Swedish roots. Her paternal grandmother was born Princess Sophie of Sweden, a daughter of King Gustaf IV Adolf of Sweden. When Victoria married Crown Prince Gustaf of Sweden in 1881, the Swedish people were thrilled about her links to the old Swedish royal dynasty, proclaiming her "the Vasa princess."

Queen Silvia wears the necklace (Photo: Lex Lieshout/AFP/Getty Images)

Sweden's newest princess needed a special piece of jewelry to welcome her into her new home country. After Gustaf and Victoria were married in Germany, she was given the intågssmycket to wear on her procession into Stockholm. Since then, the necklace has been an important part of the Bernadotte jewel collection. It's been worn by both of the subsequent queens of Sweden, Louise and Silvia.

Crown Princess Madeleine wears the necklace (Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

But the necklace isn't just reserved for queens. The piece has also been worn by other Swedish princesses, including Princess Christina, Princess Lilian, and Princess Madeleine, who memorably donned the necklace at her sister's wedding in 2010, pairing it with the Connaught Diamond Tiara.

Crown Princess Victoria wears the necklace (Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Crown Princess Victoria has also worn her namesake's necklace. In one of her most memorable appearances in the necklace, Victoria paired it with another of Victoria of Baden's jewels, the Baden Fringe Tiara, at the Nobel Prize ceremony in 2005.

Note: This is an updated version of an earlier post, with new text/images.

What are your favorite pieces of jewelry from the Bernadotte collection?