Time for the voting to commence in round two of our Nobel Tiara Prize tournament, everybody! In our race for the ultimate Nobel Tiara laureate, we’re considering two bejeweled looks this morning worn by the elegant Queen Silvia.
Our first winning look from round one of the tournament is Queen Silvia’s 2004 Nobel Prize appearance in the grand Leuchtenberg Sapphires.
For the Nobel Prize ceremony and banquet on December 10, 2004, Queen Silvia selected a shimmering gown by the couturier Jacques Zehnder. The color often reads “white” to me, but it’s apparently actually a very pale, icy green.
With the dress, she wore a parure of sapphire and diamond jewels that was almost 200 years old. The Leuchtenberg Sapphires, as they are known, were given to Princess Augusta, Duchess of Leuchtenberg by her mother-in-law, Empress Joséphine of France, in the winter of 1810-11. The sapphires were a gift to mark the birth of Augusta’s son, Prince Auguste. The set came to Stockholm with Augusta’s daughter, Queen Josefina of Sweden and Norway.
The set includes a fabulous diamond tiara with sapphire and diamond clusters arranged across the top of the piece. It’s a flexible diadem: it folds flat for storage, and it can be worn in various degrees of openness. The tiara is considered one of the most important jewels in the Swedish royal vaults, and it is currently reserved for Queen Silvia’s exclusive use.
Silvia also wore the grand necklace from the set, plus the large diamond and sapphire cluster brooch. She also added the suite’s earrings, a later addition made by repurposing a set of hair pins. (The original earrings from the parure were discarded during the reign of King Gustaf V of Sweden.)
She finished off the look with several bracelets and rings and an evening watch.
Queen Silvia’s 2005 Nobel appearance in the Cameos was victorious in round one of our tournament, but can it come out on top in round two?
Queen Silvia was a vision in blue as she attended the Nobel Prize festivities on December 10, 2005, wearing a gorgeous, textured ballgown from Jacques Zehnder.
She accessorized with one of the oldest and most delicate suites of jewelry in the Bernadotte vaults: the antique cameos, which originally belonged to Empress Josephine of France.
The Cameo Parure was made for Empress Josephine around 1810, not long before she was divorced by Napoleon Bonaparte. He loved cameos (and anything that reminded him of the ancient world of Greece and Rome), and the set features numerous pieces carved by some of his favorite cameo-makers. The brooch in the parure even features a cameo portrait of Napoleon himself.
The entire suite came to Sweden with Josephine’s granddaughter, Queen Josefina of Sweden and Norway, in the 1820s. The set features a grand tiara, a necklace, a pair of earrings, a bracelet, and a brooch.
Queen Silvia wore all of the pieces from the set for the Nobels in 2005. The tiara is particularly special to Silvia, who wore it on her wedding day in 1976.