This week, we’re talking all about the tiaras worn by Princess Margaret of Connaught, the British princess who is also the ancestor of today’s Swedish and Danish royals. Today, we’re chatting about a tiara that she borrowed during her time in Sweden: the Cameo Tiara.
Our spotlight today shines on the Cameo’s appearance at the Nobel Prize celebrations in Stockholm on December 10, 2005. The Swedish royal family gathered at the Concert Hall for the ceremony. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were joined by Crown Princess Victoria (wearing the Baden Fringe Tiara and the Processional Jewels), Prince Carl Philip, Princess Madeleine (wearing the Modern Fringe Tiara and the drops from the Connaught Diamond Tiara), and Princess Lilian (wearing the Diamond Four-Button Tiara and the Diamond Lozenge Brooch).
For the 2005 Nobels, Queen Silvia wore a stunning dress of blue brocade. The fabric of the gown had a metallic sheen and was scattered with crystals. She wore matching shoes and carried a gold clutch bag. The lighter blue sash of the Order of the Seraphim and the lighter blue ribbon of her husband’s Royal Family Order stood out against the gown.
With the dress, Queen Silvia wore one of the most delicate and interesting suites of jewelry in the Bernadotte collection. The Cameo Tiara was likely made for Empress Josephine of France as a gift from Napoleon Bonaparte around 1809. The gold and pearl tiara features no diamonds. Instead, it is decorated with intricately-carved cameos depicting scenes from Greco-Roman mythology.
The tiara was inherited by Empress Josephine’s granddaughter, Queen Josefina of Sweden. She bequeathed the cameos to her daughter, Princess Eugenie; in turn, Eugenie bequeathed the set to her nephew, Prince Eugen. He’s the one who loaned the tiara to Crown Princess Margareta, and eventually he left the jewels to Princess Sibylla, the present king’s mother. Since then, the tiara has been worn by a quartet of family brides, and the entire set now belongs personally to King Carl XVI Gustaf.
In December 2005, Queen Silvia wore the Cameo Tiara with all of the other coordinating pieces from the parure. Here, you get a good look at the earrings and necklace from the suite. These pieces feature cameos set in clusters of diamonds.
She secured the Seraphim sash with the brooch from the set, which features a cameo portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte himself.
She also wore the bracelet from the set stacked with her Cartier Love Bracelet on her right wrist. (The cameo bracelet is beneath her hand in this image.) She finished off the look with a second pearl bracelet on her left wrist.
The wonderful thing about the Cameo Tiara is the way that it manages to be impressive without a single diamond to add sparkle. Under candlelight, it doesn’t throw light like diamond jewels. Instead, it glows.