18 June 2015

Tiara Thursday: Princess Sofia's Emerald & Diamond Palmette Tiara

Princess Sofia's Emerald and Diamond Palmette 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.

Sofia on her wedding day

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).

The original emerald format (left), with the emeralds removed (center), and with pearls in place of the emeralds (right)

After wearing the tiara for her first few post-wedding tiara occasions in its original form, the tiara was altered. In November 2017, Princess Sofia wore the tiara for the first time with the frame opened up and the emeralds removed, creating an all-diamond format that fit her head in a more natural shape. At the Nobel Prize Awards ceremony the next month, she demonstrated even more of the tiara's flexibility when she replaced the emeralds with pearls.

Embed from Getty Images

At the Nobel Prize Awards ceremony in 2019, Sofia surprised once again by debuting turquoise stones on top of the tiara. She wore the new arrangement with natural turquoise and diamond earrings custom made for her by LWL Jewelry. Princess Sofia continues to use the original emerald toppers as well.

Switching out stone options has turned this tiara into one of the most flexible diadems around. With this many options, it will be interesting to see how her use of the tiara develops in the years to come.

This entry has been updated multiple times with additional information. It was originally called the Emerald and Diamond Tiara, and is also often called Sofia's Palmette Tiara.

Photos: via Getty Images, SVT, Kungahuset