The Nobel Tiaras of 2016 - part one

Princess Madeleine dazzles in diamonds at the Nobel Prize ceremonies for 2016

It's Nobel Prize time and that means tiaras. Two days of tiaras. And celebrating some of the biggest achievements in the world this year but let's start with the tiaras. The Nobel Prize giving ceremony in Stockholm is when the women of the royal house of Sweden get to bring out all the jewels and this time round they haven't disappointed. Sapphires, cameos and a whole load of diamonds and that's just day one. Welcome to the Nobel Tiaras of 2016.

Let's start with Silvia as she is the source of all tiara-tasticness. Not only does this queen consort know how to wear gems, she also shares out the sparklers ahead of the big events as the royal lady in charge of the family jewel box. And this year, she chose one of her really epic tiaras for the Nobel prize giving.

The Leuchtenberg tiara is one of Silvia's go to Nobel pieces, worn every other year in recent times with its last outing in 2014. The diamond and sapphire tiara came to Sweden with Queen Josefina in the 19th century - she had inherited it from her mother, Augusta of Leuchtenberg (you see, the name makes perfect sense now). The diadem is said to have been given to Augusta when she married Eugene de Beauharnais by his new stepfather, Napoleon. 

Since 1976, this tiara has only been worn by Silvia who - as she usually does for its Nobel appearances - added in plenty of the parure that came with it. But when that includes a knockout necklace, enviable earrings and a bedazzling brooch, why wouldn't she? The sapphires are always stunning plus in a year when she's got herself two new grandsons, blue for a boy seems almost compulsory.

You know you can really wear a tiara when you pop on a piece with no diamonds at all and still sparkle. Crown Princess Victoria did just that with her family's Cut Steel Tiara. Yes, that's right. A diadem with no diamonds that has a name that wouldn't be out of place in a welders catalogue. And Victoria still looks amazing.

This tiara is also believed to have arrived in Sweden in the suitcase of Queen Josefina. It was made at the time of Napoleon for his other stepchild, Eugene's sister Hortense, who became Queen of Holland by marrying her stepfather's brother. So far, so very complicated. Maybe that's why she kept this tiara simple by not adding any stones. Instead, it's made of a plume of feathers constructed in metal. And with no daughter of her own to leave it to, her diadem ended up with her niece in time.

Just to keep the Napoleonic theme going, Victoria wore the tiara with the Cameo necklace, earrings and brooch - part of the Swedish Royal Family's most unusual collection of jewels which includes the tiara worn by Victoria and Silvia at their weddings. The cameos were given to Napoleon to the Empress Josephine at the time of her coronation and ended up with her granddaughter, Josefina. And let's not forget that Josefina ended up as a member of the Swedish Royal Family through her marriage to the country's then Crown Prince, a man who later became King Oscar I.

Think you're done with Josefina yet? Oh no, here's another family heirloom that started its Swedish royal journey with the Empress Josephine's granddaughter. Princess Sofia teased us all by wearing bright green and not adding her emerald tiara but then as a fully fledged Swedish royal she now has to alternate diadems like everyone else.  And her go to piece this time round was another steel cut special from the Napoleon collection.

This smaller piece, without the gold settings of the grand tiara worn by Victoria. is also believed to have belonged to Hortense of Holland and ended up with her magpie niece. It's a small bandeau shaped tiara that packs a sparkle punch despite the lack of gems.

Sofia kept the rest of hew jewels simple with a pair of diamond and emerald earrings that, as far as anyone an tell, had nothing to do with Josefina at all and a discreet diamond brooch. 

One of Princess Madeleine's middle names may be Josephine but that doesn't mean she was going to stick with the whole history theme on this one. Madeleine went historic but from a more recent era with one of her favourite tiaras - the Connaught.

She also bucked the no diamonds here trend of her sister and sister-in-law - the Connaught is packed with sparklers. It was given to Madeleine's great grandmother, Margaret, by her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, when she married, Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, in 1905. The couple became Crown Prince and Princess two years later but Margaret was never queen - she died in 1920, thirty years before her husband's accession.

There was no necklace for Madeleine but then when you're wearing what can only be described as the ultimate fairytale princess gown in palest pink with a neckline like that, any more diamonds would be overkill. Instead, this pretty diadem with lots of family history (it was a popular piece with Madeleine's granny, Princess Sybilla, added the perfect sparkling sign off from the royal ladies of Sweden for the first part of their tiara laden weekend. Part two takes place at the Royal Palace tonight at the Nobel Banquet held there. Take a deep breath and possibly a lie down. This is a diamond studded weekend.


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