Tiara Time: Queen Sophia’s Nine Prong Tiara

queen sophie's nine prong tiara

So tonight we discuss a daybreak of dazzlers, Queen Sophie’s Nine Prong Tiara. A sunburst of 500 diamonds, scrolls, scalloped wreaths and the prongs like sunbeams, brilliant and stretching heavenward. Jaw-dropping diamond “crosses” top of each of the nine [I’ll forego my usual ironic exclamation of surprise nor comment on redundancy] prongs.

Queen Sophia of Sweden in the Nine Prong Tiara

Queen Sophia and King Oscar II (inset)

The nomenclature We use here isn’t a canonical mandate. Some people call it this particular diadem the “Nine Prong Tiara” or “Queen Sophia’s Nine Prong Tiara” if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. Personally, I prefer the second because it helps me remember the provenance.

The Nine Prong Diamond tiara was made in Berlin as a gift for Queen Sophia, consort of King Oscar II, whose reign lasted from 1872  to 1907.

This towering tiara is said to be inflexible and can be a literal headache if it doesn’t match the contours of the regal melon! Ouch! A part of the Bernadotte Foundation, it technically belongs to no one person, but it’s definitely a favorite of Queen Silvia’s. One of her favorite places to wear it? The Noble Prizes.

Queen Silvia of Sweden in Nine Prong Tiara

(L to R) Queen Silvia the movie poster?; at the 2009 Nobel Prizes; at the reception of the Monaco Royal Wedding; at the 2011 Nobel Prizes. (Silvia took the Nobel Prize for Bling both years.)

We can all agree upon 2 truths about Queen Silvia (1) she must have the correct contour of noggin or (2) she’s a trooper when it comes to making those solid Bernadotte tiaras look comfortable and weightless. She wears her tiaras in myriad angles and head perches. All the while making the neck-tendon-tweaking weight of piles of gem stones appear light as a feather.

In 1913 Queen Victoria inherited it from her mother-in-law. She never wore it. Sometimes these hand-me-down tiara lists remind me of those long Old Testament passages just listing the lineage of the chosen people. And Abraham begat Issac, that kinda thing. And Sophia bejewelled Victoria, who in turn bejewelled Louise, who bejewelled the Princess Sibylla…you get the idea.

queen louise of sweden in nine prong tiara

Queen Louise of Sweden

The Dowager-Queen Victoria gave it to soon-to-be-queen Louise of Baden. A lovely welcome-to-the-family gift in celebration of King Gustav VI Adolf‘s 2nd marriage in 1923.

1965 Princess Sibylla of Sweden inherited it from her step-mother-in-law Louise Just like her grandmother Queen Victoria, she never wore it.

King Karl XVI Gustaf inherited it from Sibylla (his mother) in 1972. The King gave it to Silvia in 1976 after they were wedded. Why put diamonds on the cow if you can get the milk for free? Nope. Karl Gustaf did the right thing. You gotta lock that down before you dole out the big-girl tiaras.

Since Queen Sophia’s Nine Prong Tiara is part of the Bernadotte foundation, We do see other members of the Swedish Royal family wearing it. King Karl XVI Gustaf’s sisters, the Princesses Margaretha, Birgitta and Christina (L to R, below) have all been spotted in the Nine Prong.

Sweden's Princesses in the Nine Prong TiaraHey, now. Doesn’t that necklace on Princess Margaretha look familiar to anyone? It should! They’re the Napoleonic Amethysts before Queen Silvia converted them into a tiara.

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