18 June 2015

Tiara Thursday: Princess Sofia's Emerald and Diamond Tiara

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.

The royal court stated that the tiara was a gift from King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia to Princess Sofia at the time of the wedding. In 2016, Svensk Damtidning reported 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.

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. The family does have other emerald pieces, including an emerald demi-parure, which seems to be a piece only selectively loaned out, and a few sets of modern emerald jewels in Queen Silvia's collection (such as this one).

In 2017, Princess Sofia wore the tiara for the first time with the frame opened up and the emeralds removed; she also replaced the emeralds with pearls temporarily, demonstrating the flexibility of the tiara. With this many options, it will be interesting to see how her use of the tiara develops in the years to come.

As a bridal tiara: yay or nay?

This entry was updated in 2016 and 2017 with more information.

Photos: via Getty Images, SVT, Kungahuset