Our journey through the decades’ worth of gorgeous tiaras worn by Queen Silvia of Sweden arrives in the 1990s today, with one of her very favorite tiaras to wear at the annual Nobel Prize celebrations.
On December 10, 1995, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia led the royal party at the annual Nobel Prize awards ceremony in Stockholm. For the first time, they were joined by their elder daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, at the celebrations. She wore the tiara she had received as an eighteenth-birthday gift for the event. Princess Lilian (not pictured here) was also seated on the stage for the ceremony, wearing the Six Button Tiara.
But it was Queen Silvia who made the biggest bejeweled splash of the night, wearing dazzling heirloom diamonds with a strapless, color-blocked ballgown from Nina Ricci.
With the dress, Silvia wore Queen Sofia’s Tiara, a towering diamond jewel that originally belonged to Queen Sofia of Sweden, the wife of King Oscar II. The jewel was inherited by Sofia’s son, King Gustaf V, who appears to have given it to his daughter-in-law, Queen Louise, as a wedding gift in 1923. Queen Silvia has been wearing it since the earliest days of her royal marriage, though she has occasionally shared it with other members of the family, including Princess Lilian and several of her sisters-in-law.
The tiara dates to the middle of the nineteenth century, and it features a distinctive design with diamond crosses sitting atop a cascade of diamond festoons. A large diamond is also set in the center of the tiara, surrounded by scroll and sunburst elements. I’ve speculated previously that the tiara represents sunrise at sea, with the stars drawing back the curtain of night above the rising sun over the waters.
For the 1995 Nobels, Silvia paired the tiara with several other diamond pieces from the Bernadotte collection. The large diamond earrings come from the Braganza Parure. She also wore two diamond necklaces, adding a pendant to the longer of the two.
She secured her Order of the Seraphim sash with a large oval brooch from the family collection, and she wore diamond bracelets on both wrists. The large bracelet on her left wrist also belonged to Queen Sofia of Sweden.
Queen Silvia’s 1995 Nobel look was an iconic one—so much so, in fact, that her daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, wore the same Nina Ricci gown for the Nobels 23 years later in December 2018. She wore different diamond jewels with the dress: the Connaught Diamond Tiara and the family’s diamond floral earrings and brooch.
Queen Sofia’s Tiara has continued to be worn primarily by Queen Silvia, and she’s made numerous appearances in the tiara at the Nobels during her almost five decades as Sweden’s queen consort. Most recently, she wore the tiara with pieces from the Russian Topaz Suite for the Nobel Prize ceremony and banquet in December 2023.