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Spain

Queen Letizia shines in her best tiara for State Banquet in Sweden


© Casa de SM el Rey

The first day of King Felipe and Queen Letizia’s State Visit to Sweden ended with a glittering State Banquet. 

Shortly after 8 pm local time, the royals emerged donning their best clothes and jewels, before lining up in the White Sea Hall to receive the salutation line of 90 guests invited for the occasion. 

Queen Letizia pulled out all the stops to show the importance this State Visit has for her and for Spain. 

Her Majesty sported a midnight blue dress by H&M’s Conscious line, and if it looks familiar, it’s because Crown Princess Victoria sported a modified version of the frock (she added sleeves) in one of the portraits the Court released for her and Prince Daniel’s 10th wedding anniversary in 2020. 

Queen Letizia also borrowed a page from her mother-in-law’s book, and, like Queen Sofía had done in the State Visit with the Swedes in Madrid in 1983, she donned the Fleur de Lys Tiara, also known as La Buena, because it is the biggest tiara in the Spanish vault. 

The tiara was created by Court Jeweller Ansorena as a wedding present from King Alfonso XIII for his wife Queen Victoria Eugenia (or, as she was informally known, Ena) in 1906. Queen Victoria Eugenia wore it on her wedding day and took it with her during her exile. In her will, she expressed her desire for this tiara to be passed down from Queen to Queen; together with a handful of other jewels, this tiara became part of the joyas de pasar.

© Casa de SM el Rey

Queen Ena’s wishes have been respected ever since, with Queen Sofía establishing this as the main tiara in the family; she carefully selected the occasion on which it was worn, reserving it mostly for State Visits to or from other monarchs. Queen Letizia has respected this tradition, waiting almost three years after King Felipe’s proclamation to debut the pieces in February of 2017 for the Argentinian State Visit. 

The tiara wasn’t the only piece from the joyas de pasar that made its appearance. Queen Letizia also sported the earrings and the bracelets from the set. The earrings were also a wedding present from King Alfonso XIII and are described in Ena’s will as “a pair of earrings with a large diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds.” Like the rest of the joyas de pasar, they have been worn many times by Queen Sofía and Queen Letizia, who also wore them without the tiara, for example, when she accompanied King Felipe at the Order of the Garter ceremony in 2019. 

The bracelets are described as “two matching diamond bracelets”; they have a continuing motive of a ribbon displayed through the two of them when stacked. While Queen Sofía often opted to wear them separately, mostly one on each wrist, Queen Letizia prefers to wear them stacked, showcasing the continuing motive. As with the earrings, Her Majesty has also worn the bracelets separately from the rest of the joyas de pasar, mostly for gala and evening occasions. 

Pinning her sash of the Swedish Order of the Seraphim was the central piece of another tiara with another interesting, albeit more current, story. Spanish jeweller Ansorena created a piece that they named “Princess Fleur de Lys tiara” for the then-Princess of Asturias, reportedly as a gift from Felipe. The jeweller commented on it, and pictures were circulating, but for at least five years we only saw the central portion of the tiara in brooch form. Then, finally, at the gala dinner for Queen Margrethe of Denmark’s 75th birthday in 2015, the full tiara made its only appearance to date. Queen Letizia has never worn the full tiara again, but she has sported its central element, the flour de lys, as a brooch countless times, especially for state banquets and anytime she has to wear a sash. 

King Felipe and Queen Letizia will conclude their State Visit tomorrow with a “return banquet,” a reception that they will hold at the Spanish Embassy in Stockholm as a thank you for King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia for their hospitality.