06 October 2020

Scandi Sparkler Spectacular: Leuchtenberg Sapphires vs Khedive of Egypt

This match pairs up two tiaras with Swedish royal history!

JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images, Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure Tiara vs. The Khedive of Egypt Tiara


One of several important suites of heirloom jewelry in the Bernadotte collection, the Leuchtenberg sapphires began their journey in Germany. They were a gift from Empress Josephine of France to her daughter-in-law, Princess Augusta, Duchess of Leuchtenberg. Augusta passed them to her daughter, Queen Josefina of Sweden and Norway, and they've been in the Swedish vaults ever since. In 1930, Queen Victoria of Sweden bequeathed them to the family jewel foundation, which means they cannot be sold. Today, they're typically worn by the most senior woman in the royal family: presently, that's Queen Silvia. The flexible diadem has been one of her favorite jewels throughout her decades as Sweden's queen consort.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The diamond scroll tiara, made by Cartier, was Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden's wedding gift from Khedive Abbas II of Egypt. The gift was especially sentimental, because Margareta and her husband, the future King Gustaf VI Adolf, had fallen in love in Cairo. The lovely jewel was able to be worn as a traditional tiara, or taken off the frame and worn as a corsage ornament. 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. 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.