01 September 2018

Princess Birgitta's Pearl Circle Tiara

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The Swedish royal vaults are packed with major sparklers, but one branch of the family still owns a smaller tiara with royal origins: the Pearl Circle Tiara that once belonged to Princess Birgitta.

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Princess Birgitta is the second of the four famed Haga Princesses, elder sisters of King Carl XVI Gustaf. In 1960, she announced her engagement to a German prince, Johann Georg of Hohenzollern. As a wedding present, King Gustaf VI Adolf (her grandfather) and Queen Louise presented her with a new tiara.

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The diadem features seven pearl circles, connected with horizontal pearl-set sections, with pearl and diamond flowers in their centers. Additional diamond flowers are also interspersed between the pearl circles. The tiara is very much of its time, made for the princess by Carlman.

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The pearl circles of the tiara form a sort of modern echo of the pearl-ringed cameos on the Cameo Tiara, the bridal diadem that Birgitta wore for her civil wedding in Stockholm in 1961.

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Birgitta has lived in Spain for decades, where she has few opportunities to use her tiara, and it has been worn more frequently in recent years by other family members. Her daughter, Désirée, wore the tiara for her first wedding in 1990. The tiara was also worn by Uta König at her wedding to Birgitta's younger son, Hubertus, in 2000. At some point, Birgitta reportedly decided to pass the piece along to Désirée for good, and she continues to wear it today. Above, she dons the tiara for the wedding of her cousin, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, in 2013.

Image licensed to The Court Jeweller; do not reproduce

Désirée also made another fairly recent public appearance in the tiara, wearing the sparkler for the wedding of Prince Carl Philip in 2015. On that occasion, she paired the tiara with a pearl, diamond, and sapphire necklace.