Today marks the 90th Anniversary of the Birth of the late Princess Ragnhild of Norway, who was born on this day in 1930. The elder sister of King Harald, who married her former bodyguard and moved to Brazil, Princess Ragnhild possessed a variety of heirloom jewels, like today’s piece, Queen Maud’s Diamond Tiara.
A gift to Princess Maud of Wales from “Lady and Gentlemen Friends” when she married Prince Carl of Denmark in 1896, this Diamond Tiara features an intricate design on a base of collets between two rows of diamonds with diamond uprights, that are interchangeable with turquoises. The Tiara was worn at the Coronation of her father, King Edward VII, in 1902 and for a series of official portraits after becoming the first Queen Consort of Norway, though it remained publicly unworn in the years afterwards. In 1938, Queen Maud brought her jewels with her to England while she was having an operation, and where she passed away of heart failure. Queen Maud’s jewels remained in England, throughout the Norwegian Royal Family’s exile during WWII, and were only reclaimed during a visit for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. Soon afterwards, her daughter-in-law, Crown Princess Martha passed away, and the Tiara remained in the vaults for years until the Norwegian Royal jewellery collection was divided up following the wedding of then Crown Prince Harald in 1968.
Queen Maud’s Diamond Tiara passed to Princess Ragnhild, who began wearing it in the 1980s, though she preferred Princess Ingeborg’s Boucheron Pearl Circle Tiara for most occasions. After her death in 2012, Queen Maud’s Diamond Tiara is one of the family hierlooms that is said to pass back into the collection of the main Royal Family, though it has remained unworn. Lets hope we see the Tiara soon, hopefully on Crown Princess Mette Marit or Princess Ingrid Alexandra.