17 December 2017

Jewels in Motion: Nobel Prize Festivities (1974)

The Swedish royals attend the 1974 Nobel Prize Festivities (screencapture)

In 1974, the Swedish royal family looked quite a bit different than it does today. At the end of one era and the dawn of another, the family gathered to celebrate the Nobel Prize recipients of 1974 -- and they brought along an extra queen to help with the reception!

Only three Swedish royals sat on the stage during the Nobel Prize ceremony in 1974: King Carl XVI Gustaf, Princess Margaretha, and Prince Bertil.

Carl Gustaf, who was only 28, had been King of Sweden for a little over a year, following the death of his grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf. In 1974, a new Instrument of Government had largely stripped the monarch of his political power, making Carl Gustaf a mainly ceremonial and representative king. He had already met his future wife, Silvia Sommerlath, but it would be another year and a half until they announced their engagement

The king's uncle, Prince Bertil, was the only other living male member of the family to hold royal status. At the age of 62, he was also heir to the throne, and he was an important adviser and supporter of his nephew. He was living with his longtime companion, Lilian Craig; in 1976, after King Carl Gustaf's own marriage, Bertil and Lilian were finally granted permission to marry themselves

Seventy-five-year-old Princess Margaretha of Sweden, the widow of Prince Axel of Denmark, was a granddaughter of King Oscar II and Queen Sofia of Sweden. Her sisters, Queen Astrid of Belgium and Crown Princess Martha of Norway, had both died, but her many nieces and nephews populated the palaces in both countries. For this Nobel Prize ceremony, she wore the turquoise star tiara that she had inherited from her mother, Princess Ingeborg

In the audience, one of the king's sisters also watched the proceedings. Thirty-one-year-old Princess Christina had lost her royal status earlier the same year when she'd married a commoner, Tord Magnuson, but her continued residence in Sweden (and the diminished size of the royal family) meant that she often still attended royal events like the Nobels. For this particular ceremony, she borrowed the Diamond Four Button Tiara from the family vaults

For the annual King's Dinner the following day, another member of the extended family was recruited to help fill out the ranks

Sixty-four-year-old Queen Ingrid of Denmark, who was born Princess Ingrid of Sweden, was an aunt of King Carl Gustaf and the elder sister of Prince Bertil. Almost three years earlier, she'd been widowed when King Frederik IX of Denmark had died after suffering cardiac arrest. Her eldest daughter had become Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Less stable was the dynastic fate of her youngest daughter. Only three days before this reception, a referendum in Greece had officially abolished the monarchy, finally depriving King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of their throne for good

If she had any lingering concerns about the Greek referendum, the always-professional Queen Ingrid didn't let it show. She arrived for the occasion dressed in a fine suite of diamond and ruby jewels that had once belonged to Sweden's first Bernadotte queen, Desiree Clary. Desiree had worn portions of this parure in Paris at the imperial coronation of her former fiancee, Napoleon Bonaparte

The youthful king seemed please to have his aunt along to perform the role of first lady; it would be two more years before Carl Gustaf's wife, Silvia, would attend her first Nobel festivities

Prince Bertil and Princess Margaretha also attended the reception, though, unfortunately, the angle of the footage makes it nearly impossible to identify Margaretha's jewels, but I think she may be wearing a diamond tiara later worn by her daughter-in-law, Princess Anne of Denmark

Princess Christina and her new husband, Tord Magnuson, also attended the reception. She wore the small diamond and pearl tiara given to her by her godmother, Elsa Cedergren; this heirloom from Queen Sofia is the tiara that was later stolen and discarded. She paired the tiara with diamond and pearl drop earrings and a single-stranded pearl necklace. She also had another surprise: she would soon reveal that she was expecting her first child, a son named Gustaf, who would be born in August 1975