There was exciting tiara news out of Norway at the end of last week! We now know which tiara Princess Ingrid Alexandra received as an eighteenth-birthday gift in January…
The go-to source for all things about Norway’s royal jewelry is Trond Norén Isaksen, who has produced several books about the Norwegian royal family and writes often for magazines like Majesty. In an article for the magazine Se og Hør, he reveals that there was indeed a tiara among Princess Ingrid Alexandra’s 18th birthday gift haul: the Boucheron Pearl Circle Tiara.
The tiara has a long history in the family. In his new article, Isaksen confirms that it was likely purchased by Prince Carl of Sweden from Boucheron, following the firm’s showing of the tiara at the Exposition Universelle, held in 1900 in Paris. The tiara originally featured just interlocking diamond circles set in platinum, and a set of pearl button-style elements was later added to the piece.
Above, Prince Carl’s wife, Princess Ingeborg of Sweden, wears the circle tiara in a portrait of the Swedish royal family taken in 1947. Ingeborg is standing in the second row beside Princess Sibylla, who wears the Connaught Diamond Tiara. (The other royal ladies in the picture are Queen Louise, wearing the Braganza Tiara and the Napoleonic Amethysts, and Queen Ingrid, wearing the Pearl Poiré Tiara.)
Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg had four children: Princess Margaretha of Denmark, Crown Princess Märtha of Norway, Queen Astrid of Belgium, and Prince Carl Bernadotte. They are ancestors of today’s Norwegian, Belgian, and Luxembourgish rulers. They remained important royal figures in the extended family tree of European royals during the 20th century.
In the formal photograph above, Princess Ingeborg wears the circle tiara in February 1958, just before her death, for the 21st birthday celebrations of her grandson, Crown Prince Harald of Norway. (They’re pictured with her son-in-law, King Olav V of Norway, and her granddaughter, Princess Astrid, who wears Queen Josefina’s Diamond Tiara.)
During her lifetime, Princess Ingeborg was generous with her tiaras, often loaning them to her daughters and daughter-in-law. Here, Crown Princess Märtha of Norway wears the circle tiara during the royal visit to America in 1939. The occasion was a banquet held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
Princess Ingeborg died in March 1958, and the tiara was inherited by her granddaughter, Princess Ragnhild of Norway (the elder daughter of King Olav V and Crown Princess Märtha). Ragnhild, who had married the wealthy businessman Erling Lorentzen in 1953, wore the tiara often for family events for the rest of her life.
Here’s a close-up selection from the 1968 official wedding portrait of Crown Prince Harald and Crown Princess Sonja (now King Harald and Queen Sonja). Standing in the back row of the picture are Erling Lorentzen, Princess Ragnhild (wearing the circle tiara), Princess Astrid (wearing the Vasa Tiara), and Astrid’s husband, Johan Martin Ferner.
Princess Ragnhild also wore the circle tiara in 2001 at the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. (She’s standing behind King Albert II of Belgium and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in the official photo.) She attended the wedding in bejeweled splendor—even though she would later criticize the spouses chosen by her nephew and her niece in a television interview.
Princess Ragnhild and Erling Lorentzen made their home in Rio de Janeiro, so her tiara appearances were rather infrequent, especially near the end of her life. She’s pictured here with her brother, King Harald, in 2005, during a trip to the United States celebrating a century of the American-Norwegian diplomatic relationship. After her death in 2012, the circle tiara was reportedly inherited by Ragnhild’s children.
But, according to Isaksen, the circle tiara has now found its way back to Oslo, where it will be worn by Norway’s future queen. Princess Ingrid Alexandra’s birthday gala celebration at the Royal Palace has been rescheduled for June 17, so I think we can expect to see her wear the tiara for the first time in public on that occasion. It will be the first tiara appearance of many for this young woman!