The Cameo Tiara The Braganza Tiara The Nine Prongs Tiara The Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara The Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara The Connaught Tiara The Baden Fringe Tiara Queen Josephine’s Amythest Tiara The Modern Fringe Tiara
Leuchtenberg sapphire tiara, necklace and earrings
This diamond and sapphire parure (set) was a wedding gift from French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte to his adopted son’s wife, Princess Augusta Amalia of Bavaria. The Duchess of Leuchtenberg (as she was known after her marriage) gave the set to her daughter Josephine when she married the future King Oscar I of Sweden in 1823.
The parure is now in the family foundation in Sweden and has been worn mostly by queens and those acting as first ladies of the country.
One of my absolute favourite tiaras ever, second only to The Cameo Tiara, is The Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara. This beautiful diadem features eleven large sapphires framed by diamonds, mounted on a large diamond base, no wonder its a favourite of Swedish Queens.
This tiara was a wedding gift from Napoleon I to Princess Augusta Amalia of Leuchtenberg on the occassion of her wedding to Napoleon’s step son Eugene de Beauharnais in 1806. Augusta and Eugene’s daughter, Josephine married Oscar I of Sweden and took the Sapphire set with her to Sweden where it has stayed ever since.
This is another tiara that has be reserved for the first lady of the Kingdom since its arrival to Sweden. The only exception to this was when Princess Brigitta wore this tiara to Carl Gustaf and Silvia’s pre-wedding concert.
The Sapphire Parure is one most complete parures still in the world! The original set came with four hair pins, a pair earrings, a broach, a necklace and of course the tiara. At some point in time the original earrings were lost or given away, so new ones were fashioned out of two of the hairpins.
The original tiara actually had pearl attachments that could be used instead of the sapphire, but those are also missing. It is still possible to take out the sapphires and attach something new to the tiara. I would kill to see Silvia or Victoria get new pearl attachments or some other gemstones (I’m thinking rubies) for this tiara, probably pearls though since the Swedes don’t have a really good pearl tiara.
Another interesting feature about this tiara is that it can be taken off of its frame and laid completely flat, Queen Silvia says “its very practical, you can lay it flat so its easy to transport it” which is a fantastic feature in a tiara for a Queen who needs to go on state visits abroad! The tiara is made up of 11 separate sections (one section for each mounted sapphire) which can be taken apart, so if the wearer has a smaller head they can choose to only wear 9 of the 11. Silvia has said “Its easy to wear, its no heavy, you can close it or have it half open. so you have lots of possibilities."
This is a tiara I definitely think we will see on Victoria a lot when she becomes Queen. In the future however I would love to see Silvia or Victoria take advantage of the attachment feature and get some pearls for this piece.
The Cameo Tiara is honestly my personal favourite, I love its uniqueness, I love its history and the story it tells is actually my favourite Greek Myth (hell I even have a tattoo dedicated to it!)
Nowadays the style is quite unusual for a tiara, it is more like a crown. The tiara is made of delicate gold wire work and hundreds of beautiful pearls. What gives it its name are the delicate seashell cameo scenes that depict the love story of the God Eros (Cupid) and the mortal Psyche. The diadem is part of a parure which also includes a brooch, a bracelet, a necklace, and a pair of earrings.
The tiara is one of the oldest tiaras still in use today. Its
first owner was Empress Josephine, who received the tiara as a gift from her
husband Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1809. Josephine handed the tiara down to
her daughter Queen Hortense of Holland. Hortense left the tiara to her daughter
Josephine of Leuchtenberg (pictured above), who we all know did the Swedish Jewel Vault a huge
favor when she married the future King Oscar I of Sweden! (See: The Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara, The
Amethyst Set, The Cut Steel
Tiara, and The Braganza
For such a stately diadem there haven’t been many rules surrounding
it as there are with some of the other tiaras in the Swedish collection. In
fact this tiara has been worn by so many Swedish Queens and Princesses that it’s hard to keep track of the line to took to get into the
hands of the current King! But now the elegant historical tiara is safe in the
hands of the Bernadotte Jewel Foundation.
Queen Silvia has worn the Cameo several times at State
Visits and to the Nobel Prize Ceremony in her time as Queen, and frankly no one
can rock it quite like her. However recently she’s been keeping it in storage,
which honestly I can’t say I hate. The tiara is my favourite and I feel it has a better impact
when only worn on the most special occasions.
My personal favourite (semi) tradition with The Cameo is the
use of it as a Wedding Tiara for the Swedish Royal Family. The tiara is so
grand that a wedding seems perfect place for it in my opinion. Plus its gold makes
it really pop when worn with a beautiful white gown, any other colour just
doesn’t do it justice.
This “tradition” started with two of King Carl XVI Gustaf’s
sisters wearing it at their weddings, Princess Birgitta in 1961 and Princess
Désirée in 1964. Queen Silvia
also wore the tiara at her wedding to the King in 1976, and thirty-four years
later their daughter Crown Princess Victoria carried on the tradition.
I was very disappointed (but not too surprised) when
Princess Madeleine decided to forgo the tradition at her 2013 wedding to
Christopher O’Neill. I really hope in June 2015, we’ll see Miss. Sofia
Hellqvist cement this tiara as the Bridal Tiara of the Swedish Royal Family. If
not I’m sure in 20-30 years we’ll see Princess Estelle in it at her wedding.