08 December 2019

The Swedish Diamond Arrow Brooch

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The Bernadotte jewel collection is one of the most fantastic in all of Europe, with heirloom pieces dating back centuries. Today, we're looking at one of my favorites of their brooches: their lovely diamond arrow ornament.

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The diamond studded arrow has been used for generations in the family. The ornament appears to be able to be worn either as one solid piece or divided in two, highlighting either the head or the fletching of the arrow.

The size of the brooch becomes apparent in this moving image from the 1953 Nobel Prize Ceremony. Princess Sibylla, the present king's mother, wears the arrow brooch pinned to her order sash. For the occasion, she paired the jewel with the family's grand aquamarine kokoshnik.

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The brooch made another prominent appearance at the Nobel Prize Ceremony in December 1987. Queen Silvia wore the fletching end of the arrow in her hair for the occasion, pairing it with several other important family jewels (including Queen Sofia's Tiara, the Karl Johan Earrings, and the Bernadotte Emeralds).

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The most glamorous appearance for the arrow brooch in recent years, however, came in June 2010. For the gala held on the night before her royal wedding, Crown Princess Victoria wore the brooch in her hair.

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The ornament was an especially romantic choice for a pre-wedding gala, given the association of Cupid, love, and arrows. The ornament also formed a nifty little link with the tiara Victoria wore on her wedding day, which features cameos depicting the myth of Cupid and Psyche.

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Victoria paired the arrow ornament with major earrings from the family collection for the gala. These diamond earrings were once epaulettes worn on a military dress uniform.