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The romantic tiara that helped create a fairy tale princess

The stunning aquamarine and diamond diadem of Sweden’s royal family is an unusual jewel and it has a rather poignant history to go with it. But it’s become most famous in recent years as the tiara that a popular princess wore to create a modern day fairytale.

Princess Madeleine has a soft spot for the aquamarine tiara held in her family vaults. She’s worn it several times at the Nobel celebrations in Stockholm and it’s become synonymous with her. However, it was her decision to wear it, along with a princess style gown, to a tea party for ill children held at the royal palace that really put it in the royal gem spotlight.

Princess Madeleine of Sweden wears her family’s aquamarine tiara for a party for ill children in 2016 (Photo Kate Gabor, The Royal Court, Sweden)

The tiara itself has a very special place in the Swedish royal story and links Madeleine to her own great grandmother, a woman she never met. That ancestor was Princess Margaret of Connaught who became married the future king, Gustaf Adolf, in 1905. She became hugely popular during their fifteen year marriage but her tragic death, in 1920, plunged the family into mourning. Many of her jewels were distributed among her young children, for future use, and the aquamarine tiara ended up with her firstborn son, another Gustaf Adolf.

In a sweet gesture, he gave it to his fiancée, Sybilla, to wear before their wedding. And after his own early death, in a plane crash in 1947, his widow continued to use it. It passed to her daughter, Margaretha, who was also rather fond of this pretty piece of jewellery. It is now kept in the Swedish royal family vault for anyone to access although it still belongs to Margaretha, eldest sister of King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Crown Princess Victoria in the aquamarine tiara for an official portrait of three generations of Swedish royals destined for the throne (Photo: Thron Ullberg/Royal Court, Sweden)

She’s been seen in it regularly and it’s also been used by Crown Princess Victoria who wore the tiara for an official portrait with her father, King Carl Gustaf, and her own eldest child and heir, Princess Estelle.

But it is Madeleine who has made this one of the most talked about tiaras in Europe. The princess often wears it with a dove grey gown that suits the pale blue stones to perfection. The tiara is in the kokoshnik style, based on a traditional Russian headdress, and it also features hundreds of smaller, sparkling diamonds dotted amongst the huge aquamarines.

And as well as providing a link to the past, it’s helped one princess create a present day fairytale.

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