17 November 2016

Tiara Thursday: Countess Gunnila Bernadotte's Tiara

Countess Gunnila Bernadotte af Wisborg's Tiara
Courtesy of Bukowskis
The Swedish royal house lost a member of their extended family in September, when Countess Gunnila Bernadotte af Wisborg passed away at the age of 93. Gunnila Bernadotte was the second wife of the late Count Carl Johan Bernadotte af Wisborg, who was the youngest child of King Gustaf VI Adolf and was King Carl XVI Gustaf's uncle. Carl Johan had to relinquish his Swedish royal titles due to his morganatic first marriage, as the rules dictated at the time. He was later granted the title of Count af Wisborg, a noble title also used by others who lost their Swedish titles in similar situations.

Countess Gunnila Bernadotte
By Frankie Fouganthin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
The couple still attended some of the larger Swedish royal events, and Countess Gunnila had this intriguing tiara to wear when the occasion called for it. She wore it for the weddings of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel in 2010 and for Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill in 2013, as well as on other occasions.

All tiara photos: courtesy of Bukowskis
Back side of the main motif
The tiara features a tall central motif depicting a spray of lily of the valley. It's made of diamonds and cultured pearls set in platinum, and is stamped with French hallmarks. The floral centerpiece can also be removed from the tiara and worn as a brooch.

The floral motif as a brooch
This is an interesting version of a floral tiara, with a flower that we don't often see depicted in tiara format. (It reminds me a little bit of a different nature theme tiara, actually: Princess Noriko's Wave Tiara.) It's also a piece that was very well suited to its late owner; most of the tiara can be worn as a brooch, which is quite an efficient design, and she had just the right hair to showcase this tall centerpiece.

The tiara in its case
It was Countess Gunnila Bernadotte's signature piece, and now it's ready to be someone else's signature piece. Following her passing, her family is offering the tiara for sale at Bukowskis. It will be on display at the auction house's Berzelii Park home in Stockholm from December 6-12, and the auction will be held on December 13.