01 May 2014

Tiara Thursday: Queen Sophia's Star and Pearl Tiara

Princess Benedikte turns 70 this week! In celebration, we're covering the last of the three tiaras she uses regularly (previously: her floral, and her fringe):
Queen Sophia's Star and Pearl Tiara
So many of the tiaras worn in Denmark today have a Swedish past, and today's tiara is another for the club. Made of a diamond base surmounted by twelve-pointed stars alternating with upright drop pearl spikes, this tiara was originally a wedding gift to Sophia of Nassau (1836-1913) from her half brother Adolphe, who later became the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Sophia married the future King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway in 1857, and the tiara came with her to Sweden. It stayed in Sweden for a while, passing to Queen Victoria of Sweden (1862-1930), wife of Sophia and Oscar's son Gustaf V.
Left to Right: Queen Sophia, Queen Ingrid, a young Princess Benedikte, Queen Anne-Marie
The tiara left Sweden for a home with a Swedish princess in Denmark: Princess Ingrid (1910-2000), daughter of King Gustaf VI Adolf and granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Ingrid married the future King Frederik IX of Denmark, and eventually became Queen Ingrid. As Queen, she had more grand pieces at her disposal to use, but she did loan this tiara to her daughters. When she passed away, Queen Ingrid left the tiara to her middle daughter, Princess Benedikte.
L to R: Princess Alexandra, Princess Nathalie, Carina Axelsson
Benedikte married a German prince - Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg - but is still a working Danish royal, and she wears the Star and Pearl Tiara for plenty of tiara events. And just as her mother once did for her, Princess Benedikte now loans the tiara to her own daughters, Princesses Alexandra and Nathalie. She has also once loaned it to Carina Axelsson, the partner of her son Gustav.
Princess Benedikte
Star tiaras are a class of their own in tiara design, and there are others out there in this basic design, including a lookalike worn by the Marchioness of Cambridge. This one works particularly well on Benedikte; she has a separate set of diamond stars (as you see on her sash above) that she can wear with it for a coordinated look. You can see it in action and hear Princess Benedikte talk about it in Part 1 of the documentary De Kongelige Juveler.

Is this your favorite star tiara?

Photos: De Kongelige Juveler/DR1/Corbis/Getty/Scanpix/AllOverPress/Wikimedia Commons, Frankie Fouganthin