09 March 2019

Queen Louise's Diamond Tiara

Princess Margaretha wears Queen Louise's Diamond Tiara, May 1957 (Keystone Pictures USA/Alamy)

We've talked at length here on the blog about the magnificent gems owned and worn by the Bernadotte family in Sweden. But they have a few petite royal tiaras in their jewelry boxes, too, including the diamond scroll tiara worn by the king's sisters.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo/Alamy

The tiara, which is made of diamonds, originally belonged to another Swedish royal lady: Queen Louise. Born as Princess Louise of Battenberg, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, she became Lady Louise Mountbatten when her family renounced their German titles in 1917. The renunciation didn't affect her royal prospects. At St. James’s Palace in 1923, she married Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, the widower of her cousin, Princess Margaret of Connaught. When her husband ascended to the throne as King Gustaf VI Adolf, Louise became a queen.

Louise wears her diamond tiara, ca. 1920s (Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo/Alamy)

Specific provenance information about Louise's diamond scroll tiara has proven tough to come by, but I’d wager that it was made around the time she was married, judging by the Art Deco-esque style of the tiara. During her lifetime, she wore the tiara both atop her head and across her forehead in '20s bandeau style.

Margaretha (escorted by Prince Wilhelm) wears the tiara for a state banquet in Stockholm in honor of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, May 1957 (Keystone Pictures USA/Alamy)

Later in her life, Louise loaned the tiara to her husband's four granddaughters. All four of the Haga Princesses -- Margaretha, Birgitta, Desiree, and Christina -- have been photographed wearing the tiara.

Desiree (with Nobel laureate Sir John Eccles) wears the tiara for the Nobel Prize Banquet, December 1963 (Keystone Pictures/Zuma Press)

But Desiree was ultimately the one who received the tiara as a personal gift. In 1964, the year before Louise died, Princess Desiree married Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld. It’s said that the tiara was a wedding gift to Desiree from her grandfather and step-grandmother.

Desiree (with Niclas) wears the tiara for the annual King's Dinner in Stockholm, December 1991 (Roger Tillberg/Alamy)

Desiree has worn the tiara at major royal occasions, including the wedding of her cousin, Princess Benedikte of Denmark, in 1968, and the wedding of her sister, Princess Christina, in 1974. More recently, she chose the tiara for her brother's 70th birthday celebrations in Stockholm in 2016.

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