29 February 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Tiaras at Victoria & Daniel's Wedding

I can't think of a more appropriate way to celebrate the birth of a future tiara-wearing Swedish princess than a festival of tiaras, can you? (As though we needed an excuse in the first place.) Anyway, I thought I'd take this opportunity to fill in a gap in my coverage of the new parents' wedding: we never talked specifically about all the tiaras that attended Victoria and Daniel's wedding in 2010. And seriously, this wedding was quite the tiara battle royale (including some surprises, delights, and rarely seen treasures). Just one of the reasons this event reigns as my current favorite royal wedding...

Left to Right: Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, and Princess Madeleine of Sweden
The Swedish ladies set the bar high for their tiara-wearing guests. Queen Silvia brought out her big gun, the Braganza Tiara. Not only was it an amazing appearance of that tiara, it was an amazing feat of tiara-wearing: that's a heavy beast, and she had it on for hours! Silvia set a trend for other royal ladies who also brought out their big guns, and her daughters set another trend we saw on several other women: the brand-new-to-you tiara appearance. Victoria carried on her family's bridal tradition by wearing the Cameo Tiara for the very first time, and her sister Madeleine wore the Connaught Diamond Tiara for the very first time.

Princesses Margaretha, Désirée, Christina, and Birgitta of Sweden
The Swedish collection is huge and luckily for us, all four of the king's sisters were on hand to display even more gems. Margaretha delighted tiara watchers when she appeared in the aquamarine kokoshnik once worn by her mother Princess Sibylla - it hadn't been seen in so long, many had assumed it was sold! Désirée and Christina both used tiaras that are often passed around in the family (Queen Josephine's Amethyst Tiara and the Six Button Tiara, respectively) while Birgitta scooped up the Nine Prong Tiara that we most often see on Queen Silvia.

Countesses Marianne and Gunilla Bernadotte; Princess Désirée of Hohenzollern
We even got a wee glimpse of some tiaras from the edges of the Swedish royal family, including diamond numbers on Marianne (wife of the king's late uncle Sigvard Bernadotte) and Gunilla (wife of the king's uncle Carl Johan Bernadotte). Meanwhile, Princess Birgitta's daughter Désirée wore one of Birgitta's wedding presents, a pearl tiara.

Queen Sonja, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
Next-door neighbors Norway also turned it out for the occasion by playing a little tiara switcheroo. Sonja followed Silvia's example and brought her big gun, Empress Joséphine's Emerald Tiara, a completely expected choice (though her coral pairing was...well, less expected and also less explicable). But Mette-Marit got to wear Queen Maud's Pearl Tiara for the first time, and Märtha Louise unexpectedly borrowed the Amethyst Necklace Tiara that's been in Mette-Marit's possession for the last few years. Sisters-in-law sharing tiaras, I love it!

Queen Margrethe and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark; Queen Anne-Marie and Princess Alexia of Greece
Denmark brought more big guns for us: Margrethe wore the Pearl Poire Tiara, which is sort of her version of a big gun even though it's not exactly a whopper (comparatively, I mean - not that it's anything to sneeze at), as did Mary with the Danish Ruby Parure. Mary's use of the rubies - the first time she'd worn them outside of Denmark - was a wonderful tribute: the rubies are best known for their time on Queen Ingrid's head, and Ingrid was a Swedish princess who married her Danish crown prince in the very same Stockholm cathedral Victoria and Daniel tied the knot in. (Margrethe's tiara has Swedish connections too, being one of the many pieces of Danish royal jewelry that came over from Sweden.) Anne-Marie also brought her rubies, something of a surprise as she often opts for her emeralds at the biggest occasions, and Alexia wore her diamond tiara which she always wears.

Princesses Benedikte, Alexandra, and Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg; Carina Axelsson
Over in the other arm of the extended Danish royal family, the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburgs emptied out the jewel vault in the fashion they usually do: the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Fringe for Benedikte (this is her version of the big gun), the Floral Tiara with its small central emerald for Alexandra, the Star and Spike Tiara for Nathalie, and the spikey diamond tiara we normally see on Carina.

Queen Sofia, Princess Letizia, Infanta Elena, and Infanta Cristina of Spain
From Spain, we had a slight tiara shakeup as Cristina wore the Cartier Diamond and Pearl Tiara for the first time. As much as I loved it on her, it made me crave more tiara fun from the rest of the ladies who all brought typical tiaras (Sofia in the Mellerio Shell Tiara, Letizia in the Mellerio Floral Tiara, and Elena in the Marichalar Tiara). Wouldn't it have been fabulous if Sofia had gone for one of her bigger ones and shook things up even more down the line? See, you give me a little bit, and I just want more.

Queen Beatrix, Princess Máxima, and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands; Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau
Similarly, I have to say I ended up wanting more from the Dutch ladies too. Beatrix wore the Mellerio Ruby Tiara, Máxima came in the Rose Cut Diamond Bandeau, Laurentien opted for Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara (with a single ruby, which gives it something of a blemished Cyclops look), and Mabel stuck with the tiara she wore on her wedding day and on all of her tiara occasions to date. An impressive show, and yet greedy me wishes the generous lending policy of the family foundation had resulted in some new showings.

Queen Paola, Princess Mathilde, Princess Claire, and Princess Astrid of Belgium
A less impressive collection than the one in the Netherlands actually brought us one of the biggest surprises of the day: a brand new tiara! Belgium used most of what they have, with Paola in Queen Elisabeth's Diamond Bandeau, Mathilde in her one and only Laurel Wreath Tiara, and Astrid in her constant from her husband's family, the Savoy-Aosta Tiara. If I had to guess in advance which of these ladies would pop up in something new, I'd have told you Paola or Mathilde, but no - it was Claire! Her new diamond and pearl tiara made a second appearance in 2011 in Monaco, giving hope that it's here to stay.

The Countess of Wessex, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein
Sophie made do with her usual wedding tiara (I like to think that expression says, "Why, guys? Why do you hate my tiara so?"), but Maria Teresa and the other Sophie delighted with appearances of two tiaras we don't see all that often: the Luxembourg Empire Tiara, a.k.a. the Mother of All Big Guns, and the Habsburg Fringe Tiara, a.k.a. the fringiest fringe that ever fringed.
Queen Rania, Princess Sarvath, and Princess Rym Ali of Jordan
No big guns at all from Jordan, which is sad. Sarvath and Rym both brought tiaras they've worn before, and they're perfectly lovely; my beef is with Rania here. The Boucheron Bracelet Tiara is just what it says - a bracelet! Tiara opportunities are so rare for her, I'm still sad she didn't seize the day and do it up right.
Crown Princess Margarita of Romania, Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, Princess Kelly of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess Anna of Bavaria
Last but not least, some non-reigning royal ladies brought a lovely selection of gems not so often seen for your viewing pleasure: Margarita in the Romanian Greek Key Tiara, Katherine in a diamond tiara which is surprising because she tends to go tiara-less (perhaps she made a one-time loan?), Kelly in a beautiful turquoise tiara that formerly belonged to her husband's great-grandmother, and Anna in a tall sunburst number that belongs to her mother-in-law Princess Ursula.

And so the question is...

Who wins this tiara battle?

Photos: Svenskdam/Billed-Bladet/CTK/Daylife