Friday, May 07, 2010

Royal Focus: Swedish Cameo Tiara

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - JUNE 19: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden attends her wedding banquet at the Royal Palace on June 19, 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)On her wedding day, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will continue a Bernadotte royal wedding tradition by wearing the Cameo tiara, one of the oldest jewels in the Swedish royal family's collection . UPDATE: Victoria wears the tiara at left

The tiara was made for Empress Josephine, first wife of Napoleon I, by the French Crown Jeweller Marie-Etienne Nitot in Paris in 1811. The gold and seed pearl tiara is set with seven portrait cameos.  The centre oval depicts Venus and cupid. On either side is a portrait of a man and on the other side a portait of a woman, both facing the centre cameo. The hardstone cameos are believed to have been supplied by the jeweller to the Empress Josephine in 1809. Napolean himself was fascinated by cameos and the diadem is an example of the revival of the antique style popular in France in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

In 1823 the diadem became part of the dowry of Josephine of Leuchtenberg, who received it from her grandmother and namesake, Empress Josephine, upon her marriage to the future King of Sweden, Oscar I. She is wearing it in the portrait at right.

Carl Gustav  XVI Weds
After the death of Queen Josefina of Sweden in 1876, her jewelry collection was divided up and the cameo diadem was bequethed to King Oscar II of Sweden who gave it to his wife, nee Princess Sophie of Nassau. Queen Sophie gave the cameo diadem to her youngest son, Eugene, who in turn gave it to Princess Sibylla, mother of King Carl XVI. She lent the tiara to her daughter Princess Birgitta who wore the tiara as her bridal crown for her wedding with Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern in 1961.Thus starting a tradition.  It has since been worn by royal brides Princess Désirée in 1964 and Queen Silvia, pictured on her wedding day in 1976.
© Marilyn Braun 2010

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Anonymous said...

Is it certain Victoria will wear this tiara? How's hideous. I can't imagine her wearing it, it wouldn't suit her style at all.

Marilyn Braun said...

I'm not a huge fan of the tiara myself but it is mentioned on the official site as being part of royal wedding tradition.

Her mother wore the tiara on her wedding day, Victoria is getting married on the same date as her parents - June 19th, a date which has a lot of significance for other royal weddings.

It looks like Victoria is going with tradition. That's the sense that I get from the official site. But who knows, she could change her mind. It's her day after all!