23 December 2018

Queen Silvia's Tiaras

Queen Silvia wears Queen Sofia's Tiara at the Nobel Prize banquet, December 2018 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Happy Birthday to Queen Silvia of Sweden, who celebrates 75 sparkling years on the planet today! To mark the milestone, we're rounding up all the tiaras she's worn since becoming Sweden's queen consort in 1976. Enjoy!




Queen Silvia wears the Connaught Diamond Tiara at the Nobel Prize banquet, December 2003 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

The first tiara Queen Silvia ever wore in public was the Connaught Diamond Tiara, which given to Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden as a wedding gift in 1905 by her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught. Later, the tiara became such a favorite of Princess Sibylla, the current king's mother, that the royal court often simply refers to it as "Princess Sibylla's Tiara." Silvia Sommerlath wore the tiara during the concert the night before her wedding -- where ABBA played "Dancing Queen" in her honor.  The versatile piece can also be worn as a necklace, and the diamond drops can be worn separately as pendants.


Queen Silvia wears the Cameo Tiara at the Nobel Prize ceremony, December 2005 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

On her wedding day, Queen Silvia wore the Cameo Tiara. The unusual diadem almost certainly belonged to Josephine de Beauharnais, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. The cameos made their way to Sweden via Empress Josephine's granddaughter, Josephine of Leuchtenberg. During the 20th century, Swedish royal brides started a new tradition by wearing it as a bridal tiara. It's been worn by so far by four Bernadotte brides: Princess Birgitta, Princess Désirée, Queen Silvia, and Crown Princess Victoria.


Queen Silvia wears the Leuchtenberg Sapphires at the Nobel Prize ceremony, December 2004 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

The historic set of Leuchtenberg Sapphires has become one of Queen Silvia's favorite parures. She often wears the flexible tiara for state banquets and Nobel Prize ceremonies. The set was likely given to Princess Augusta, Duchess of Leuchtenberg as a wedding gift by her new stepfather-in-law, Napoleon Bonaparte. The sapphires were brought to Sweden by her daughter, Josephine of Leuchtenberg, and in 1930, they were bequeathed by Queen Victoria to the Bernadotte family's jewel foundation. The set is traditionally worn by the highest-ranking royal lady in the country.


Queen Silvia wears the Braganza Tiara for a gala dinner celebrating King Carl XVI Gustaf's 60th birthday, April 2006 (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Also known as the Brazilian Tiara, the grand Braganza Tiara was originally made in France using diamonds that belonged to the Brazilian imperial family. It was either made or altered in the 1820s for Amelie of Leuchtenberg, the second wife of Emperor Pedro I of Brazil. In 1873, it arrived in Sweden when Amelie bequeathed it to her sister, Josephine of Leuchtenberg. Queen Silvia, who is half Brazilian, selected this tiara for her first formal portrait as queen. She also wore it at the wedding of her daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, in 2010.


Queen Silvia wears the Napoleonic Cut Steel Tiara for a gala dinner in Stockholm, March 1996 (Roger Tillberg/Alamy)

The remarkable Napoleonic Cut Steel Tiara manages to sparkle without a single diamond; it is made of highly polished steel set in gold. The tiara was once owned by Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Empress Josephine of France. The piece was apparently given at some point to Hortense's niece, Josephine of Leuchtenberg. It languished forgotten in a cupboard in the Royal Palace in Stockholm until Queen Silvia rediscovered it. Today, Crown Princess Victoria is the tiara's most frequent wearer.


Queen Silvia wears the Napoleonic Amethyst Parure Tiara at the wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, May 2004 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Legend has it that the Swedish royal family's suite of amethysts was given by Josephine de Beauharnais to her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Leuchtenberg, as a wedding present in 1806. Like so many other jewels, the parure then made its way to Sweden with the duchess's daughter, Josephine of Leuchtenberg. The set didn't originally include a tiara. After becoming queen, Silvia had a tiara frame made for the large necklace from the set. Since then, a number of Swedish royal ladies have worn the sparkler, and it has become a favorite of Crown Princess Victoria.


Queen Silvia wears the King Edward VII Ruby Tiara for a state banquet in Tokyo, March 2007 (EVERETT KENNEDY BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Like the Connaught Diamond Tiara, the King Edward VII Ruby Tiara was one of Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden's wedding gifts in 1905. As the name suggests, it was a present from her uncle and aunt, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom. After Margareta's death, the tiara, which can also be worn as a necklace, was inherited by her son, Sigvard. After a bit of wrangling and back-and-forth arguments about ownership, his descendants eventually sold it to King Carl XVI Gustaf, and Queen Silvia wears it today.


Queen Silvia wears the Baden Fringe Tiara for a banquet in Berlin, October 2016 (Clemens Bilan/Getty Images)

Victoria of Baden, wife of King Gustaf V of Sweden, received the Baden Fringe Tiara from her parents, Grand Duke Friedrich and Grand Duchess Louise of Baden, as a wedding present in 1881. She wore it as a necklace on her wedding day, and then brought it with her to Sweden, eventually bequeathing it to the Bernadotte family's jewel foundation. Queen Silvia wore this tiara during the early years of her husband's reign, and later it became primarily associated with her daughter, Crown Princess Victoria. In recent years, though Silvia has begun to wear the tiara again more frequently.



The diamond rosettes that sit atop the Six Button Tiara were affixed to the coronation crown of King Carl XIV Johan of Sweden in 1818, making them a significant part of Swedish jewel history. The buttons were mounted atop this tiara in the 20th century. Queen Silvia doesn't often wear this one; you'll see it more frequently on either her daughters (and daughter-in-law) or the king's sisters.


Queen Silvia wears the Modern Fringe Tiara at a 70th birthday gala for Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, April 2010 (Patrick van Katwijk/DPA Picture Alliance Archive/Alamy)

The Modern Fringe Tiara is described by the royal court only as "personal property," but most believe it was probably a given to Queen Silvia by  her husband, King Carl XVI Gustaf. She wore the piece both as a tiara and as a necklace, but it was later given to Princess Madeleine, who wore it as her wedding tiara in 2013.


Queen Silvia wears Queen Sofia's Tiara at the wedding reception for Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco, July 2011 (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Queen Sofia's Tiara, which is also sometimes called "the Nine-Prong Tiara," originally belonged to Sofia of Nassau, the wife of King Oscar II of Sweden. The tiara is reportedly a very difficult piece to wear, as it is inflexible with a rigid base, but it has become one of Queen Silvia's favorite tiaras. She even selected it for the wedding of her younger daughter, Princess Madeleine, in 2013, and she often chooses it for the annual Nobel Prize ceremony and banquet.

Note: This is an updated and expanded version of an earlier post.