10 August 2017

Readers' Favorite Tiaras, The Rematch: #10. The Cameo Tiara

You voted for your favorite tiara, and the results are in! We're counting down your top ten tiaras, beginning with...

The Cameo Tiara
De Kongelige Juveler screencap
Your tenth tiara has a "love it or hate it" reputation, but apparently the scales have tipped over to the "love it" side! Sweden's Cameo Tiara is memorable, it's historical, and its most recent appearance was a particularly great one, so why not?

The Cameo Tiara on Queen Josephine of Sweden (top, both), Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden (bottom, left), and Queen Ingrid of Denmark (bottom, right)
As one of the oldest tiaras still in regular use, it's seen a long history filled with prominent wearers on its path from Empress Joséphine and the French imperial court to the current Swedish royal family. Click here to read its entire history, which we revisited last year.

Cameo brides: (top, L-R) Princess Birgitta, Princess Désirée, (bottom, L-R) Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria
It's an impressive set of jewelry, grouped together with a necklace, bracelet, brooch, and earrings. And while a tiara like this could easily become a niche selection in a royal collection as large as Sweden's, the Cameo's position as a family wedding tiara has kept it in the spotlight.

It's a statement diadem, and as such, it needs to be carefully styled. I love the Cameo myself, but I also find that my own appreciation varies wildly depending on the appearance. That's the big Cameo question, I think: how exactly should this thing be styled?

Embed from Getty Images
Queen Silvia, 1998
Queen Silvia's most frequent solution to that question is to pair the tiara and its parure with like colors, matching the gold tones and the colors of the cameos with gowns from the bronze, coral, and orange families. That's too much for me, though (which I say as one who rarely likes anything in the coral and orange range in the first place). A dress like the one above has so much going on by itself, the Cameo Tiara and its accompanying jewels don't get a chance to shine.

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel's wedding, 2010
By Holger Motzkau 2010, Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa-3.0), CC BY-SA 3.0
Perhaps that's one reason why it's so successful as a wedding tiara. I mean, you can't get a much better canvas than a white dress. I have no doubt that Crown Princess Victoria's excellent wedding appearance swayed a good number of you over to #TeamCameo, and I agree. This was also a superior use of the rest of the Cameo set, using just the earrings and the bracelet without overdoing it.

Embed from Getty Images
Queen Silvia, 2005
One strategy I'd like to see used more often: a little bit of contrast. This unexpected pairing with a blue gown is my very favorite non-wedding Cameo appearance. It's certainly one of the best showcases the parure has had.

Mostly, I'd just like to see the Cameo Tiara used more often. As of this writing, its last appearance was Crown Princess Victoria's wedding.
Crown Princess Victoria wearing the rest of the Cameo parure, 2016
SVT screencap
Although Victoria did taunt me at the Nobel Prize Awards Ceremony in 2016 by wearing the whole Cameo Parure - just minus the tiara. (She substituted the Cut Steel Tiara, which is also a Napoleonic piece.) The Cameo Tiara has been reserved for Queen Silvia except for Victoria's wedding, but my fingers stay crossed that it will be added to Victoria's regular tiara rotation.

How would you style the Cameo Tiara?
Does it make your list of favorites?