29 September 2020

Scandi Sparkler Spectacular: Josefina's Diamond vs Norwegian Emerald

Will it be the intricate diamonds or the impressive emeralds?

MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images, Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Queen Josefina's Diamond Tiara vs. The Norwegian Emerald Parure Tiara

MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images

One of the grandest and most intricate tiaras in the Norwegian royal vaults, this early nineteenth-century sparkler first belonged to Queen Josefina of Sweden and Norway, a granddaughter of Empress Josephine. The tiara took an interesting path to Norway: Queen Josefina left it to her granddaughter, Queen Lovisa of Denmark, who willed it to her son, Prince Gustav. In turn, he bequeathed the tiara to his niece, Crown Princess Martha of Norway. Today, it is worn exclusively by Queen Sonja.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The most historic set of jewelry in the Norwegian vaults, this diamond and emerald parure has its roots in the earliest part of the nineteenth century. They were handed down from Princess Augusta, Duchess of Leuchtenberg, to her daughter, Empress Amelie of Brazil. She in turn bequeathed the set to her sister, Queen Josefina of Sweden and Norway, who left them to her daughter-in-law, Queen Sofia of Sweden. In 1931, Sofia passed the emeralds down to her own daughter-in-law, Princess Ingeborg of Sweden. She gave them to her daughter, Crown Princess Martha of Norway, to use as an insurance policy during her World War II exile. Happily, the family survived the war, and the emeralds remain with the main branch today, worn exuberantly by Queen Sonja.