18 June 2015

Tiara Thursday: Princess Sofia's Emerald and Diamond Tiara

There were plenty of rumors flying around that Sofia Hellqvist would get a new tiara for her wedding to Prince Carl Philip of Sweden. Those types of rumors are not uncommon before a big event, but it is uncommon that they turned out to be true. Sofia joined the ranks of brides in colorful tiaras as she walked down the aisle wearing a diamond and emerald tiara never before seen on the Swedish royal scene. Designed in the Art Deco style, it includes a series of graduated diamond palmette motifs topped by a set of graduated pear-shaped emeralds.
Princess Sofia's Emerald and Diamond Tiara
The royal court stated that the tiara was a gift from King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia to Princess Sofia. Unfortunately, no other information was given, and further questions about the tiara’s history - was it newly made for Sofia? An older piece purchased by the King and Queen? - remain unanswered. There has been much speculation, but opinions still differ. (Additionally, many wondered if the emeralds could be removed from the top and possibly replaced by other stones; from what we can see of the back, it doesn’t look like it is set up that way right now.)
A new tiara for a royal bride is an unusual thing these days, but this acquisition made a lot of sense in the context of the Swedish royal family’s tiara collection. In addition to the tiaras that belong to the family foundation and are available to borrow, most of the ladies in the family have tiaras of their own, whether they were eighteenth birthday gifts, inheritances, or pieces given to or designated for them otherwise. Sofia now has the same. And even though the court's statement indicates that it belongs to Sofia and not the family foundation, this is now the only emerald tiara in the family – something that was a notable omission for such a large collection.
Needless to say, I’m very curious to see how Sofia wears the tiara in the years to come. I’m also interested to see if any additional emerald pieces will be worn with it. The family has an emerald demi-parure, which seems to be a piece only selectively loaned out, but Queen Silvia also has a few sets of modern emerald jewels that would make a nice pairing (such as this one). As always, we also remain hopeful that more information about the tiara will come to light some day.

Update, 2016: Svensk Damtidning reports that the necklace was a private gift from a Thai prince to Queen Silvia, and that it was sent to a Thai jeweler for conversion to a tiara (so that the gift would remain a secret) before being gifted to Sofia. (With thanks to several of you that sent this update to me!)

As a bridal tiara: yay or nay?

Photos: via Getty Images and SVT