15 July 2017

The Swedish Six Button Tiara

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Today's tiara is one of the sparkliest -- but most divisive -- diadems in the Swedish royal vaults. Even though many find the sparkler not quite to their taste, the history behind the Six Button Tiara makes it an incredible Bernadotte heirloom.




Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The buttons that make up this tiara are more properly called "diamond rosettes." They have an untouchable provenance: they were attached to the crown worn by King Carl XIV Johan, who was born Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, at his coronation in 1818. He was the first king of the Bernadotte dynasty, and his legacy remains central to the family today.


Left: The Four Button Tiara; Right: The Six Button Tiara (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

The rosettes are fairly simple in their composition; they're made of a double cluster of diamonds. Above, you can see a comparison between the central rosettes and the floral buttons on the piece's sister tiara, the Four Button. From afar, the buttons look almost identical, but up close, the design differences are very apparent. (You can read more about the history of the Four Button Tiara over here!)


JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

You'll also note that not all of the buttons used in the Six Button Tiara are the same; the two buttons on either end of the tiara are different. The difference is clear in the photo of Crown Princess Victoria above; note the row of small diamonds around the button on the left side of the image.


HENRIK MONTGOMERY/AFP/Getty Images

Although the diamond rosettes have a 200 year history in the family, the Six Button Tiara is a relatively new creation. It was assembled around the time that Princess Lilian married Prince Bertil, and it was apparently intended initially for her use.


Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Lilian wore the tiara during her lifetime, but it's also been worn by other members of the family, including Queen Silvia. Crown Princess Victoria has worn both button tiaras, but she's made multiple, memorable appearances in the grander, taller Six Button. The Six Button's frame helps it to sit higher on the head than the Four Button does, and it's sometimes worn with multiple extra rows of diamonds at the base. In the early appearance pictured above (the 2007 Nobel Prize ceremony), the tiara's base is still wrapped with gray velvet for Lilian.


Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

In recent years, the tiara has become a favorite of Princess Christina, sister of the king and youngest of the Haga Princesses. Christina's own tiara was stolen several years ago, and she's since gravitated toward the Six Button for gala occasions. She's recently been in treatment for cancer, so here's hoping that her health continues to improve and we see her in the Six Button again soon!