10 December 2017

Jewels in Motion: Nobel Prize Ceremony (1953)

Today, our weekly Jewels in Motion post takes us back more than half a century, to the 1953 Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm. This particular Nobel ceremony got major press attention because Sir Winston Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Here's a peek at some of the sparkly ceremony -- in motion!

The royal family arrives, led by King Gustaf VI Adolf. Note that they used to sit in the front row at the ceremony, while now the king, queen, and the crown princely couple sit on the stage

We get a good view of the major jewels worn by the Bernadotte ladies here. Princess Ingeborg wears an all-diamond tiara with fleur-de-lis motifs and strands of pearls. Princess Sibylla wears the aquamarine kokoshnik with a diamond riviere and the family's diamond arrow brooch (famously worn by Crown Princess Victoria as a hair ornament at her pre-wedding gala concert in 2010). Queen Louise wears the Leuchtenberg Sapphires. Princess Margaretha, who had recently turned 19, did not wear a tiara for the occasion.

Prince Bertil, the king's son, was also in attendance; you can spot him here between Princess Margaretha and Queen Louise.

Churchill was unable to attend the ceremony -- he was attending an international conference in Bermuda called by President Eisenhower following the death of Stalin -- so he was represented by his wife, Clementine. Lady Churchill was accompanied by her youngest daughter, Mary Soames, to Stockholm. During the banquet following the ceremony, Clementine read out a speech written by her husband for the occasion, and a choir of hundreds of Swedish students serenaded her with "Clementine."

Clementine wore a complete suite of jewelry, reportedly set with diamonds and emeralds, for the presentation. (I'm not sure about the provenance of this set -- it's possible, given Clementine's history of borrowing jewels, that the parure was on loan for the occasion.) Mary wore a pearl and diamond tiara that was also worn by her mother; this is the same tiara that Clementine wore for her husband's farewell dinner at Downing Street, attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1955

The entire assembly, including the Swedish royals, rose for the presentation of the prize

Princess Ingeborg and Princess Sibylla were visibly amused by the movements of one photographer

King Gustaf Adolf acknowledged Clementine with a bow, and Clementine reciprocated with a deep curtsey as the assembly applauded

The ovation was so lengthy that Clementine wasn't sure whether to sit or stand!