09 May 2020

Princess Margaret of Connaught's Tiaras

Princess Margaret of Connaught wears the Khedive of Egypt Tiara

This month marks the 100th anniversary of a tragic royal event: the death of Princess Margaret of Connaught. Margaret was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the wife of the future King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden. In May 1920, she died following surgery at the age of 38. When he announced her death, Sweden's prime minister declared that "the ray of sunshine at Stockholm Palace has gone out." To remember Margaret's too-brief life, today we've got a look at some of the remarkable tiaras she wore during her time as Crown Princess of Sweden.


Margaret, in court dress, wears the Connaught Diamond Tiara with the Boucheron Laurel Wreath Tiara as a necklace

Many of Margaret's tiaras were wedding gifts. In this formal court portrait, she wears two of them: the Connaught Diamond Tiara and the Boucheron Laurel Wreath Tiara (as a necklace). She also wears her Irish lace wedding veil. Court portraits like these often confuse modern viewers, because the court dress of Swedish princesses at the time -- especially the pairing of tiaras and veils -- often resembles a wedding ensemble.


Gustaf Adolf and Margaret on their wedding day, 1905

For her actual wedding, held in Windsor in 1905, Margaret didn't wear a tiara at all. She secured her Irish lace veil with flowers instead. This veil has become an important royal heirloom. After Margaret's death in May 1920, it was used to drape her body in her coffin. Before her burial, it was removed and given to her daughter, the future Queen Ingrid of Denmark. Many of Ingrid's descendants have worn the veil for their own weddings. In 2004, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark even loaned it to her daughter-in-law, Crown Princess Mary, to use on her wedding day.


The Connaught Diamond Tiara (SOREN ANDERSSON/AFP/Getty Images)

But back to the tiaras! The Connaught Diamond Tiara was Margaret's wedding gift from her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught. The Connaughts bought the tiara in 1904 from E. Wolff and Co. The piece is endlessly convertible, able to be worn as a tiara or in two different necklace settings.


Margaret's great-granddaughter, Princess Madeleine, wears the Connaught Diamond Tiara (SOREN ANDERSSON/AFP/Getty Images)

After Margaret's death, the tiara was inherited by her eldest son, Prince Gustaf Adolf. It became the favorite tiara of his wife, Princess Sibylla, and the family still sentimentally associates the tiara with Sibylla. Today, it remains in the Swedish royal vaults, and you'll often see it worn by Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Madeleine, and Princess Christina.


The Boucheron Laurel Wreath Tiara (JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

The necklace Margaret wore in that court portrait was the Boucheron Laurel Wreath Tiara taken off its frame and worn as a necklace. The sparkler was also one of Margaret's wedding gifts, presented to her by her new husband's grandmother, Queen Sofia of Sweden. When Margaret died, the necklace-tiara was inherited by her third son, Prince Bertil.


Margaret's great-granddaughter, Crown Princess Victoria, wears the Laurel Wreath Tiara (JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Prince Bertil's wife, Princess Lilian, wore the tiara for decades. When she passed away in 2013, she bequeathed the tiara to her great-niece, Crown Princess Victoria, who has worn it often in the years since.


The King Edward VII Ruby Tiara (Albert Nieboer/DPA Picture Alliance Archive/Alamy)

Margaret was the niece of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom, so it makes sense that she received a particularly grand wedding gift from them. They presented her with the King Edward VII Ruby Tiara, made by E. Wolff and Co. for Garrard. The diamond and ruby tiara can be removed from its frame and worn as a necklace.


Queen Silvia, wife of Margaret's grandson, King Carl XVI Gustaf, wears the ruby tiara (Ole Jensen/Getty Images)

The ruby tiara was inherited by Margaret's second son, Prince Sigvard. The tiara traveled back and forth through the collections of different Swedish royals for years, but it's now owned by the main branch of the family. Queen Silvia has begun wearing it more and more frequently in recent years.


Margaret's great-granddaughter, Princess Madeleine, wears the aquamarine tiara (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Margaret also received the stunning Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik and its accompanying brooch as a wedding gift. The jewels were left to Prince Gustaf Adolf, and today they belong to Margaret's granddaughter, Princess Margaretha of Sweden. She has graciously allowed the tiara to be worn by other family members in recent years, including Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Madeleine, and Princess Christina.


Margaret wears the Cameo Tiara

Margaret wore another Swedish royal tiara during her lifetime -- but this one was a loan. On more than one occasion, she borrowed the Cameo Tiara and its accompanying jewels from Prince Eugen of Sweden, her husband's uncle.


The Cameo Tiara (SVT)

The Cameos have a long royal history: they were a gift from Napoleon Bonaparte to his first wife, Josephine de Beauharnais. They came to Sweden with Josephine's granddaughter, Queen Josefina. Today, they're back in the main line: Prince Eugen gave them to Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla as a wedding present in 1932.


Queen Silvia, wife of Margaret's grandson, King Carl XVI Gustaf, wears the Cameo Tiara (JONAS EKSTROMER/AFP/Getty Images)

The jewels are now worn by Queen Silvia, who wore the tiara as her bridal diadem. It's also served as a wedding tiara for Princess Desiree, Princess Birgitta, and Crown Princess Victoria.


Margaret wears the Khedive of Egypt Tiara

Margaret's collection is also the source of another important royal wedding tiara: the Khedive of Egypt Tiara. The diamond scroll tiara, made by Cartier, was Margaret's wedding gift from Khedive Abbas II of Egypt. The gift was especially sentimental, because Margaret and Gustaf Adolf had fallen in love in Cairo.


Margaret wears the Khedive of Egypt Tiara as a tiara (left) and a corsage ornament (right)

The lovely jewel was able to be worn as a traditional tiara, or taken off the frame and worn as a corsage ornament. In the portrait on the right, pained by Axel Jungstedt, Margaret wears the Khedive of Egypt Tiara on the bodice of her gown (and the Connaught Diamond Tiara on her head!).


The Khedive of Egypt Tiara (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

When Margaret died, the tiara was inherited by her only daughter, Queen Ingrid of Denmark. All three of Ingrid's daughters, as well as three of her granddaughters, have worn the tiara on their wedding days.


Margaret's granddaughter, Queen Anne-Marie, wears the Khedive of Egypt Tiara (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

When Ingrid died in 2000, the tiara was bequeathed to her youngest daughter, the former Queen Anne-Marie of Greece. She continues to wear the jewel (and lend it to other family members) today.


Margaret wears the pearl and turquoise bandeau

Margaret's wedding gifts also included a large collection of turquoise jewelry. In this portrait, Margaret wears the Connaught Turquoise Bandeau, which is likely made of turquoises and pearls. It's also quite likely that the piece converted for wear either as a bracelet or a choker necklace.


Margaret's daughter, Queen Ingrid, wears the turquoise and pearl bandeau (Chronicle/Alamy)

The bandeau was inherited by her daughter, Queen Ingrid. Above, she wears it at the wedding of her cousin, Princess Astrid of Sweden, in 1926.


Margaret's granddaughter, Queen Margrethe II, wears the Turquoise Daisy Bandeau (KELD NAVNTOFT/AFP/Getty Images)

Margaret's turquoise wedding gifts also included the Turquoise Daisy Bandeau, which was also left to Queen Ingrid and now belongs to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. In the portrait above, Queen Margrethe wears the bandeau with additional turquoise and diamond jewels that also belonged to Margaret of Connaught.


Crown Princess Martha wears the Turquoise Daisy Bandeau and Princess Ingeborg wears the Norwegian Emerald Parure (Chronicle/Alamy)

At Princess Astrid of Sweden's 1926 wedding, Ingrid loaned the Turquoise Daisy Bandeau to her cousin, the future Crown Princess Martha of Norway. But this portrait also features another tiara worn by Margaret of Connaught...


The Connaughts at the 1911 coronation; Margaret wears the Norwegian Emerald Parure

...the Norwegian Emerald Parure Tiara! Princess Ingeborg of Sweden loaned the tiara to Margaret to wear at the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary of the United Kingdom in 1911. Margaret posed with the rest of the Connaught family wearing the emeralds during the festivities.


Queen Sonja wears the Norwegian emeralds (Mark Renders/Getty Images)

Princess Ingeborg gave the emeralds to her daughter, Crown Princess Martha of Norway, and today the emeralds are the grandest suite of jewels in the Norwegian royal vault. Queen Sonja wears them often.


Princess Margaret of Connaught, Crown Princess of Sweden (Grand Ladies Site)

Princess Margaret of Connaught wore fantastic tiaras associated today with all three Scandinavian royal families. Which ones are your favorites?