Tuesday, 21 February 2017

State Dinner Sparklers: Canada in Sweden

Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine sparkle as they prepare to join the Governor General of Canada in a toast at the State Banquet at the start of his State Visit to Sweden
(photo Governor General of Canada Twitter grab)

State Visit alert. The Swedish Royal Family has been welcoming the Governor General of Canada and his wife as the week gets under way. David and Sheila Johnston are in Sweden for four days and we all know what the start of a State Visit means. Yes, State Banquets. It was glitter as far as the eye could see at the Royal Palace on February 20th 2017 as King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia hosted a gala dinner in honour of their guests. Three royal ladies, three tiaras. Enjoy.

Queen Silvia opted for the Queen Sophia Diamond Tiara which is packed with gems and hard to miss from any angle. The diadem was first worn by Sophia of Sweden, wife of King Oscar II and queen between 1872 and 1907. Until 2011, she was Sweden's longest reigning consort when she was overtaken by Silvia. The tiara is a bit of a favourite of the modern record holding queen and it certainly packs a regal punch. There are over 500 diamonds arranged into scrolling motif that works its ways out into nine prongs.  There's height, there's sparkle, there's history. It's a wow of a diadem and you can really see it glitter in the videos of the evening.

The lighting might be set to mood but you still can't miss those huge amethysts on top of Princess Sofia's updo

Princess Sofia is still in that early part of a tiara wearing career where just about every state event provides a chance for a diadem debut and we got another at the Canada State Banquet when she went all February on us and chose to wear the birthstone of the month, the amethyst. Sofia opted for the striking Swedish Amethyst tiara which features stones said to have belonged to the Empress Josephine of France and which found their way to Sweden via her granddaughter, another Josephine, wife of King Oscar I. They started life as a necklace and as a diadem they form an almost crown like shape which wraps around the wearer's head. Every royal lady in Sweden has been seen in this set os sparklers so Sofia is well and truly in the club now.

Princess Madeleine doesn't actually own the Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara which she wore again for the State Banquet but she has made it her signature piece in the last fifteen months. It's been the sparkle of choice for the sixth in line to the throne for a series of memorable wears including her tea party for seriously ill children last year which remains one of the loveliest royal events in recent memory. The tiara itself first belonged to Princess Margaret of Connaught who married Prince Gustaf Adolf in 1905. It was also used by King Carl XVI Gustaf's mother, Princess Sybilla, and ended up with her eldest daughter, Princess Margaretha, who wore it to Crown Princess Victoria's wedding in 2010 and who's been lending it to Madeleine quite a bit since then.

Madeleine in the Aquamarine Kokoshnik which she has worn many times in the last year and a bit

Talking of Crown Princess Victoria, you'll have noticed that she's missing from the list. There's been a bit of chat in recent days about her absence - she is on an extended holiday with her family, saying she wants to spend as much time with her children before school starts. Despite the absence of the Crown Princess who was born to wear tiaras (like her mum, she has an almost 100% hit rate on making any diadem look fantastic), we still got a sparkling evening all round. State Visit Sparklers are well and truly under way for 2017.

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