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Queen Silvia’s most sparkling Nobel moments

Queen Silvia of Sweden
Anna-Lena Ahlström/

December usually means a great big dollop of diamonds coming at us from Sweden as the Royal Family oversee the Nobel Prizes and the glittering ceremonies that go with them. Of course, all of that is off because of the coronavirus pandemic meaning we’ll have to make do with memories for our pre-Christmas glitz fix. All eyes in recent years might be on the princess picks at this special evening but Queen Silvia still reigns supreme when it comes to dazzle.

While she tends to stick to the same couple of tiaras for the Nobels, the evening provides another opportunity for Silvia to show just how well she has tended the Bernadotte bling. Her reputation for reviving long lost treasures continues to grow and the Nobels have provided the perfect opportunity to showcase some of the more unusual necklaces in her royal jewellery box. So while we might miss a dose of dazzle this December, let’s hope for another shiny surprise in 2021 and make the most of the pause and enjoy Silvia’s most sparkling Nobel moments.

Gorgeous Green

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In 2018, Queen Silvia emerged in emeralds for the Nobel ceremony, choosing a necklace with an unusual history as the centrepiece of her look. This chunky piece actually began life as a belt, worn by King Carl XIV Johan, and was well used by the mother in law that Silvia never met, Princess Sybilla. Under Silvia’s guidance, the piece has been altered to make it sit closer to the wearer’s throat. The matching brooch was once Carl Johan’s buckle. Silvia uses these gems sparingly at the Nobels but their appearance in combination with this green lace dress was a winner all round.

Pretty in Pink

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Silvia went all out in pink for the Nobels in 2003 and found the perfect foil for that bubble gum dress in a set of topazes with plenty of history. This collection features a brooch and earrings that no one really notices because of all the jewels on show in the necklace. The whole set ended up in Stockholm thanks to Victoria of Baden, consort to King Gustaf V, but it’s Silvia who has turned them into a modern showstopper. She chose the gems for her first official portrait as Queen of Sweden and, seven years after this pink fest, she wore them for the wedding of her own little girl, Crown Princess Victoria.

Classic Cameos

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For her own wedding, Silvia had worn the famous Cameo tiara belonging to her husband’s family and in 2005, she gave the matching necklace a relatively rare outing for that year’s Nobels. The cameos are set on three strands of pearls and while they don’t have the dazzle of diamonds, they are so unusual that it’s hard not to be struck by them. The tiara itself first belonged to the Empress Josephine and in the 20th century, it’s become the go to marriage accessory for the Bernadottes. It’s Silvia who has made it a star and here, she matches it with a sky blue gown so that the creaminess of the cameos adds the hint of gold needed for a nod to Sweden’s flag.

Daring Diamonds

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Queen Silvia brought it all to play in 2007 when she attended the Nobels in a red dress with cape effect and the diamond pendant necklace belonging to her Royal Family. It’s a formidable piece, not to everyone’s taste, but it has a special place in Silvia’s Nobel history as she wore it to her very first ceremony as Queen of Sweden in 1976.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.