We can’t let January go by without paying tribute to the glittering tiaras of a woman who celebrated a milestone birthday this month! To mark the recent 85th birthday of Princess Birgitta of Sweden and Hohenzollern, sister of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, we’ve got a look at some of the many tiaras she’s worn throughout her royal life.
Princess Birgitta is the second of five children born to Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden (son of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and Princess Margaret of Connaught) and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. She and her three sisters are collectively often called the “Haga Princesses,” after the royal residence in which they were raised. In the late 1950s, Birgitta began wearing tiaras from the family collection for gala events, including this one, Queen Louise’s Diamond Tiara, which was borrowed from her step-grandmother. (The tiara now belongs to another of Birgitta’s sisters, Princess Désirée.) She was also photographed in another of Queen Louise’s tiaras, the Aquamarine Bandeau.
Early on, Princess Birgitta also began wearing a petite diamond bandeau made from a bracelet that belonged to her mother, Princess Sibylla. Birgitta evidently inherited this jewel at some point, as she wore it later on as well (and has also worn it in bracelet form).
In 1959, Princess Birgitta met her husband, Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern. She and the German prince became engaged in 1960. At the ball held before their royal wedding in 1961, Birgitta wore a new pearl and diamond tiara with circle and flower designs. The tiara was a gift from her grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf. Today, it’s worn by Birgitta and Johann Georg’s daughter, Princess Désirée of Hohenzollern.
Prince Johann Georg and Princess Birgitta were wed in a pair of glittering ceremonies. Their civil wedding was held at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on May 25, 1961. For the civil ceremony, Birgitta wore her wedding gown with the Cameo Tiara, which she borrowed from her mother, Princess Sibylla, for the occasion. She started a trend: three more Bernadotte brides have subsequently worn the tiara for their weddings, including both Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria.
Princess Birgitta converted to Catholicism to marry her prince. For their religious wedding ceremony, a Catholic wedding in Johann Georg’s hometown of Sigmaringen on May 30, 1961, Birgitta wore her wedding dress with the Hohenzollern Clover Coronet. (She’s escorted here on the way to the ceremony by her uncle, Prince Bertil of Sweden.) Throughout her marriage, Birgitta wore several other tiaras from Johann Georg’s family collection as well, including the sapphire tiara that belonged to Grand Duchess Stephanie of Baden and the sapphire tiara that belonged to Queen Maria II of Portugal. Johann Georg and Birgitta had three children (Prince Carl Christian, Princess Désirée, and Prince Hubertus) before separating in 1990. Though separated, they remained married, and continued to occasionally attend gala events together until Johann Georg’s death in 2016.
For the wedding of her youngest sister, Princess Christina, in June 1974, Princess Birgitta (on the far right here, beside her uncle Bertil) wore the family’s Diamond Four Button Tiara with the sapphire and diamond necklace that belonged to her late mother, Princess Sibylla.
Because she married another royal, Princess Birgitta was the only one of King Carl Gustaf’s sisters who did not lose her Swedish title on her marriage. (The rules about that have since been changed.) Birgitta and her husband lived in Germany during their marriage, and after their separation, she moved to Spain. But throughout her life, she has continued to join her family in Stockholm for important gala events. Above, she and her sister, Princess Margaretha, attend the concert held the night before the wedding of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia in June 1976. Princess Birgitta wore the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara and its coordinating jewels for the concert, while Princess Margaretha wore Queen Sofia’s Tiara and the Napoleonic Amethysts.
In April 2006, Birgitta and Johann Georg attended the celebrations in Stockholm for King Carl Gustaf’s 60th birthday. For a gala dinner at the Royal Palace, she wore the family’s Diamond Six Button Tiara with her own diamond earrings.
Princess Birgitta wore the earrings again four years later in Stockholm for another grand royal celebration: the wedding of her niece, Crown Princess Victoria, and Daniel Westling in June 2010. Birgitta borrowed Queen Sofia’s Tiara from the royal vaults for the occasion. She also wore Princess Sibylla’s Sapphire Necklace. And on her left wrist, below her watch, you’ll spot Princess Sibylla’s diamond bracelet (the one that can also be worn as a bandeau tiara).
For the wedding of Princess Madeleine and Christopher O’Neill in June 2013, Princess Birgitta wore a tiara that was a beloved jewel of her late mother: the Connaught Diamond Tiara. (The family even calls it “Princess Sibylla’s Tiara.) She wore the tiara with Princess Sibylla’s Sapphire Necklace for the occasion.
And for the wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia in June 2015, Princess Birgitta wore another family jewel, the Baden Fringe Tiara. (Two of her sisters are also in the photo. Behind her, Princess Désirée wears the Napoleonic Cut Steel Tiara, and beside her, Princess Margaretha wears the Aquamarine Kokoshnik and its matching brooch.)