11 June 2015

Tiara Thursday: Queen Sophia's Diamond and Pearl Tiara

The lone tiara belonging to Princess Christina of Sweden, one of the sisters of King Carl XVI Gustaf, was made by Ribbhagen from small old cut diamonds and small pearls. It was a petite diadem, but one with a strong family ties. Along with other pieces such as the Nine Prong Tiara and Queen Sophia's Star and Pearl Tiara, it came from Queen Sophia of Sweden and Norway (1836-1913), the wife of Oscar II. Sophia left the tiara to her granddaughter, Elsa Cedergren (1893-1996). Elsa then returned the tiara to the working royal family by giving it to her goddaughter, Princess Christina, as an 18th birthday present.
Queen Sophia's Diamond and Pearl Tiara
As the only one of King Carl Gustaf's sisters that continues to attend regular royal events, Princess Christina has plenty of tiara opportunities and she regularly wore Queen Sophia's small tiara, alternating it with tiaras borrowed from the family jewel stash. The tiara and the rest of Princess Christina's personal jewels were kept in a safe in the home she shares with her husband near the Royal Palace. In late May 2012, Christina went to the safe and made a startling discovery: the tiara, together with several other jewels, was gone.
The Nobel Prize Ceremony, 1964. Christina is far left in Queen Sophia's tiara, Queen Louise is center in the Baden Fringe Tiara, Princess Sibylla is to the right in the Connaught Tiara.
A couple years prior to that discovery, Princess Christina's husband, Tord Magnuson, had made the acquaintance of a 19-year-old refugee. The boy arrived in Sweden without family, and Tord had become his mentor. The couple welcomed him into their home, even at times inviting him to stay with them. While alone in the apartment in April 2012, he stumbled upon the secret compartment that held the key to their safe.
The theft came in two waves. He first removed a bounty that included a gold bracelet given to Princess Christina by the Emperor of Ethiopia during a 1956 state visit, two rings (an aquamarine from Christina's great-grandmother, Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont, valued at 25,000 SEK, and a large diamond royal heirloom valued at 450,000 SEK), and a pair of gold cufflinks that belonged to Gustaf VI Adolf (30,000 SEK). These items, he later said, were sold for a measly 9,000 SEK (just over $1,000) to a pair of drug dealers apparently intent on melting them down . On May 18th, he was at the home to help serve at a private party the couple were throwing, and used the opportunity to reenter the safe. This time, he took the tiara. He later stopped at a bridge and tossed the tiara - still in its black storage bag - into the water.
Nobel 2010
The theft was discovered a few days later. The thief tearfully confessed his crime to Princess Christina and her husband, but efforts to recover the jewels sold to the drug dealers were unsuccessful, as were all efforts by divers to recover the tiara. The tiara's value was placed at 350,000 SEK, bringing the minimum total value of the theft to 855,000 SEK (over $100,000).
Nobel 2011, the tiara's last big appearance
It was a small tiara that tended to disappear in her hair even with a tall base, but it must have been light and easy to wear and I would imagine Princess Christina misses having it at her disposal. Since it went missing, she has continued her frequent use of the Six Button Tiara (she also happens to be the best wearer of that tiara, so that works out well). She has also begun to borrow her sister Princess Margaretha's tiara, the Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara, and it's been nice to see her with an additional option after losing her own.

Where did this one rank on your list of favorite small tiaras?

Photos:  Kungahuset / via Getty Images