Happy 85th Birthday to Queen Sonja of Norway! To celebrate the milestone, we’ve got a glittering roundup of the royal tiaras that Sonja has worn over the years.
Several of the most important jewels in Norway’s royal vaults come from the collection of Queen Maud. Among these, Queen Maud’s Pearl Tiara is the one most often worn by Queen Sonja. The tiara was made in 1896 and given to Maud as a wedding present by her parents, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom. Here, Sonja wears the original diamond and pearl tiara during the British state visit to Norway in 1981, when she was still Norway’s crown princess.
Sadly, the original diamond and pearl tiara from Maud’s collection was stolen in 1995 and has never been recovered. Garrard made an exact replica of the tiara for the royal family, and Sonja has worn that second version of the tiara ever since. Above, she wears the tiara for a gala performance in Copenhagen during Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s Ruby Jubilee in January 2012.
The diamond and pearl tiara can also be worn in a second smaller setting. This pearl fringe version has also been worn by Queen Sonja on occasion. Here, she wears the smaller tiara to celebrate Queen Margrethe’s 70th birthday in Copenhagen in April 2010.
Queen Maud’s tiara legacy also includes the Vifte Tiara. The delicate fan-shaped diadem, made of delicate diamond floral elements, is convertible for wear as tiara or a necklace. It was given to Maud as a wedding present by members of the Rothschild family in 1896. Queen Sonja has worn the tiara occasionally over the years, including this appearance from 1997.
Queen Maud also inherited the Maltese Cross Circlet from her mother, Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom, in 1925. The diadem came to Maud with a set of Maltese cross toppers. Queen Sonja has worn the circlet both with those cross elements and without them. She wears the diamond base of the circlet here for the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s annual gala in New York in October 2002.
Along with antique pieces, Queen Sonja is also a big fan of modern jewels and tiaras. Her most important new suite of jewels is the Modern Gold Parure. The gold tiara can be worn in a trio of settings, each with coordinating jewels to match. Here, she wears the orange topaz setting for a state banquet at at Bellevue Palace in Berlin in October 2007.
In this photograph, Queen Sonja wears the green tourmaline setting of the Modern Gold Tiara, with its coordinating pieces, during the Brazilian state visit to Norway in September 2007.
And here, in May 2012, she wears the diamond version of the tiara during an official visit to Poland.
On at least one occasion, Queen Sonja borrowed another modern sparkler, King Olav’s Gift Tiara, from her daughter, Princess Märtha Louise. Sonja wears the petite tiara here for a reception at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York in October 1995.
Sonja’s collection also includes several convertible necklaces that can be worn as tiara. One of the most prominent is the convertible tiara/necklace from the Norwegian Amethyst Parure. She has worn the piece in both settings. Here, she wears the necklace version for a dinner on the eve of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s royal wedding in August 2001.
When she was still Norway’s crown princess, Sonja also experimented with her emerald, diamond, and pearl choker necklace, wearing it as a bandeau tiara on at least one occasion.
The grandest tiaras from Sonja’s collection, however, are undoubtedly the jewels that came to Norway with her mother-in-law, Crown Princess Märtha. Through her, the family inherited two incredible tiaras. This one, Queen Josefina’s Diamond Tiara, was an inheritance from Märtha’s uncle, Prince Gustav of Denmark. The 1820s tiara has been worn often by Sonja for gala occasions, including this banquet at the Ajuda Palace in Lisbon in May 2008.
Sonja’s signature tiara, the Norwegian Emerald Parure Tiara, was given to Crown Princess Märtha by her mother, Princess Ingeborg. It made its way from imperial Brazil to Sweden and Denmark before arriving in Norway. Queen Sonja has chosen this for important royal gala moments. Here, she wears the tiara and coordinating jewels for the Ruby Jubilee of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in January 2012.