Delicate, lacy, and possessing an impeccable provenance, Norway’s grand diamond tiara is one of my favorite jewels from the family’s royal collection. Today, we’ve got a look at Queen Sonja’s fabulous appearance in the jewel in London several years ago.
On the second day of the Norwegian state visit to the United Kingdom in October 2005, King Harald V and Queen Sonja attended the traditional Guildhall banquet in London. They were escorted by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester (who wore Queen Mary’s Honeysuckle Tiara) for the occasion. The Norwegian and British royals are close cousins: Harald is the grandson of Queen Maud of Norway, who was born Princess Maud of Wales. Both royal families, therefore, are direct descendants of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom.
Queen Sonja arrived for the banquet wearing an elegant gray gown with diamonds and the red sash of the Order of St. Olav. (Sonja doesn’t have a British order, which isn’t as unusual as it sounds; neither do any of the other European royal consorts, if my calculations are correct. The Brits only offer the Garter to heads of state.)
For the dinner, Queen Sonja chose Queen Josefina’s Diamond Tiara, a nineteenth-century jewel that originally belonged to Josephine of Leuchtenberg. The tiara passed through the royal families of Sweden and Denmark before arriving in the jewelry collection of Crown Princess Martha of Norway in 1929. It’s been with the Norwegian royal family ever since. On this occasion, the floral designs of the tiara perfectly echoed the floral applique work on Sonja’s dress.
With the diamond tiara, Queen Sonja wore even more diamond jewels: a pair of diamond riviere necklaces, diamond drop earrings, and a lovely oval-shaped diamond brooch.