03 August 2019

Princess Sofia's Palmette Tiara

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We're dipping into the Swedish royal vaults for a little sparkle on this Saturday, with a look at a tiara that has proven to be unexpectedly versatile: Princess Sofia's Palmette Tiara.




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We first saw the tiara in public in June 2015, when Sofia Hellqvist married Prince Carl Philip of Sweden. The tiara was a wedding gift to Sofia from her new parents-in-law, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.


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The tiara features petite diamond palmettes set on a slender diamond studded base and interspersed with diamond spikes. Originally, Sofia wore the tiara with a set of emerald toppers. The original setting of the tiara featured a rigid, coronet-style base, which sat perched atop Sofia's head.


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The Swedish press later reported that Queen Silvia had had one of her own emerald and diamond necklaces, a gift from a Thai prince, dismantled to make the new tiara. Press reports added that Silvia had had the necklace sent back to Thailand to be remade as a tiara, partly to keep it a secret surprise ahead of the wedding day. To my knowledge, we don't have a picture of Silvia wearing the necklace that was used to make the tiara.


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Sofia wore the original version of her wedding tiara again later the same year, for the annual Nobel Prize ceremony and banquet in December 2015. On that occasion, she paired the tiara with modern diamond and emerald earrings.


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In late November 2017, however, Sofia surprised us all by debuting a completely new arrangement for the tiara. At a gala dinner that month, she wore the tiara without its emerald toppers, and with a new, more halo-shaped base and frame. She wore the new version of the tiara with a new set of pearl toppers a few weeks later for the Nobel Prize festivities in December 2017.


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Here's a better look at the new arrangement of the tiara, which slopes more gently down the sides of Sofia's head.


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Sofia also wore the new pearl setting of the tiara for the Nobel Prize festivities in December 2018. It's lovely to see a tiara that can be worn in multiple ways, especially for a princess who is part of a junior branch of the royal family. Because the tiara isn't one of the grand Bernadotte heirlooms, but rather a new piece made for Sofia, it will be the perfect sparkler to pass down to the wives of her sons for their use one day.