In the end, it’s pretty inevitable: how could a tiara tournament that ends in September have any other champion than a sapphire sparkler? Read on for the full results of our Nobel Tiara Prize, including a fascinating retrospective of the tiara’s Nobel appearances over the past five decades.
It was a close final, but it was by no means a runaway! Queen Silvia’s 2004 Nobel appearance in the Leuchtenberg Sapphires won with 56.32% of the vote, but an impressive 43.68% of voters favored Princess Madeleine’s 2015 Nobel appearance in the Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik. A fittingly close competition for two truly spectacular Swedish royal tiara moments!
So it’s the magnificent Leuchtenberg Sapphires, as worn by Queen Silvia for the Nobel Prize ceremony and banquet on December 10, 2004, that is crowned as our Nobel Tiara Laureate. The historic sapphire parure was gifted in 1810 to Princess Augusta, Duchess of Leuchtenberg (daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria) by her mother-in-law, Empress Josephine of France. The jewels were a present to celebrate the birth of Augusta’s son, Prince August.
Later, the sapphires were inherited by Augusta’s daughter, Queen Josefina of Sweden and Norway, and they’ve been in the Swedish royal collection ever since. Queen Silvia has been the exclusive wearer of the tiara since her royal wedding in 1976, and she’s made a whopping fifteen appearances in the sapphires at the Nobel Prize ceremony and banquet. In honor of the sapphires’ competition win, let’s have a look at all of them, shall we?
Silvia first wore the Leuchtenberg Sapphires at the Nobel Prize ceremony and banquet on December 10, 1978, two and a half years after her grand royal wedding in Stockholm. For this first outing, she paired the jewels with a purple chiffon evening gown by Olga Persson.
She selected the sapphires for the Nobel celebrations again in December 1981, wearing them with a champagne-colored chiffon gown with satin stripes, again by Olga Persson.
In December 1984, Queen Silvia arrived for the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm wearing the sapphires and an elegant Jørgen Bender gown, made of tulle and silk with elaborate silver embroidery.
The voluminous yellow ballgown that Queen Silvia wore with the sapphires for the Nobels in December 1985 was also made by Jørgen Bender.
Queen Silvia paired the sapphires with a bright raspberry pink gown, again by Jørgen Bender, for the Nobel ceremony and banquet in December 1988.
For the next few years, Queen Silvia made numerous appearances in the sapphires at the Nobels. In December 1990, she wore them with a dramatic blue velvet and white lace gown from Ateljé Felicitas. The upped the drama even more by pinning the family’s large diamond oval brooch (also worn here) at her neckline.
She also wore the sapphires for the Nobels in December 1991. This time, she wore a bright red Jørgen Bender gown, made of duchesse silk and embroidered with pearls and rhinestones.
In December 1993, she wore the sapphire for the Nobels once more, this time with an elaborate black-and-white striped Nina Ricci ballgown. She also added additional diamonds, including one of the family’s diamond rose brooches and Queen Sofia’s Diamond Lattice Bracelet.
Silvia chose Nina Ricci as her Nobel dress designer again in December 2001, wearing a white ballgown, with a bodice encrusted with pearls and crystals and a tulle skirt, with the sapphires for the ceremony and banquet. (Fun fact: twelve years later, Princess Madeleine borrowed this dress from her mother’s archives to wear at her wedding reception.)
And you all know that Silvia wore the sapphires with a pale green beaded gown by Jacques Zehnder for the Nobels in December 2004!
In December 2006, Queen Silvia reached for the sapphires once more, wearing them (and Queen Sofia’s Diamond Lattice Bracelet) for the Nobel ceremony and banquet with a pleated white silk dress designed by Yuki (Gunyuki Torimaru).
Four years later, in December 2010, Queen Silvia paired the sapphires with an emerald green gown for the Nobel ceremony and banquet.
During this period, Queen Silvia alternated between the sapphires and Queen Sofia’s Tiara annually for the Nobels. In December 2012, it was the sapphires’ turn, paired with a blue embroidered gown.
She also went for a blue pairing in December 2014, wearing the sapphires for the ceremony and banquet with a turquoise silk gown.
Queen Silvia’s most recent Nobel appearance in the Leuchtenberg Sapphires took place seven years ago, for the ceremony and banquet in December 2016. She wore the jewels on that occasion with a striking gown embroidered with silver sequins.
PS: Stay tuned later today for an afternoon post, where we’ll have a look at the jewels worn by the British royals at the Braemar Gathering!