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.

Tiara Time! A Gala Dinner in Sweden means tiaras on VIDEO!

Oh yeah! A tiara event! Before I blow all the fun, I’ll let you ogle for yourselves.

This past Monday the King & Queen of Sweden hosted a gala dinner in honor of Abdullah Güll, the President of Turkey‘s state visit. I’m certain you got a good look at Silvia wearing Queen Sophia’s Nine Prong Tiara, made with over 500 diamonds. These brilliants peak into spires that look like they could scratch a cloud, given the right altitude. Indeed, she was stunning.

queen silvia in the Nine Prong tiara with Ahmet Davutoglu

Queen Silvia chats with Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu

What puzzled me was the bandeau type headgear the Crown Princess was wearing. No, I don’t mean that I disapprove fashionably, I just can’t seem to pinpoint it.

Crown Princess Victoria at 3/11/13 state dinner

It was described on the Swedish Royal Family’s official webpage as a “steel tiara” but it was too low to be THE Napoleonic Steel-Cut Tiara…unless it has a detachable piece! Ooh, tiara mystery! No time for tiresome Scooby-Doo allusions. On with the tiaras!

If you smell 2 Tiara Time posts barreling down the pike, you’ve got one helluva nose!

Tiara Time! Aquamarine Bandeau II: the Cyclops!

the Aquamarine Bandeau (of Sweden) aka Cyclops TiaraYes, it’s true. The “other” aquamarine bandeau tiara has been dubbed “the Cyclops” most likely because it was made in the 20s and it was intended to be worn low on the forehead as was the style at the time. A whopping aguamarina like that one could definitely give a “third eye” vibe to whomever had to look at it.

princess madeleine in aquamarine bandeau

It’s currently owned by the the Duchess of Hälsingland aka Princess Madeleine of Sweden. King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia gave her this simple “starter tiara” for her 18th birthday. Since then, she’s certainly worn it a lot, considering she’s got plenty of others from which to choose. For such a simple tiara it’s done much breezing about from state affair to royal wedding with big sis’ Victoria (seen below in the Six-Button tiara left and the Steel-Cut tiara right). The bandeau also seems to get incrementally further away from Madeleine’s forehead with the years.

sweden's princesses victoria and madeleine

It was first seen in the 1920s, worn by then-Crown Princess Louise (née Mountbatten). It’s been speculated that maybe the future Queen brought it with her to Sweden when she married future-King Gustav VI Adolph. crown prince gustav adolph and louise of mountbatten weddingIt’s not completely outlandish to believe that a Battenberg princess might posses her own tiara, now is it?

She apparently wore the Cyclops frequently in the 20s and 30s, when art deco was all the rage but taking photos of the Swedish Crown Princess wearing said bandeau was not. (Yep. Sorry, again no photo. You can make do looking at Princess Louise of Battenberg and Crown Prince Gustav Adolf’s wedding photo.)

I have a theory that aquamarines were all the rage too. The Luxembourg Aquamarine Bandeau is Art Deco as well AND Ena’s Aquamarine Tiara is from the 1920s as well. Actually, there are gads of aquamarine tiaras and parures out there. Gads. To list them is nothing short of ridiculous…and time-consuming.

Yet another vexingly nebulous tiara history, two days in a row! Supposedly, Carl XVI Gustav’s sisters wore the swedish princess wearing the Aquamarine Bandeau tiaraAquamarine Bandeau tiara in the 1960s. Don’t you hate it when you right-click something only to forget what it was later on? Well, exhibit Q left…which princess is this? Is it Birgitta, Desiree? It can’t be a young Crown Princess Louise, can it? I just assume it’s one of Carl Gustav’s sisters based on the placement of the tiara: just above the forehead.

Anybody know which of King Carl Gustav’s sisters this is? You have a one in four chance. It’s either Princess Margaret, Birgitta, Désirée or Christina.  A low curtsey for whomever can solve this mystery…