Queen Maud’s Pearl Tiara 

Happy Birthday to Queen Sonja of Norway, who turns 85 today! The artistic commoner who became the first Norwegian-born Queen of Norway, Queen Sonja’s jewellery collection includes a nice mix of heirloom jewels and modern acquisitions, though today’s piece is a modern replica of a historic royal heirloom which was dramatically stolen: Queen Maud’s Pearl Tiara!

The Norwegian Emerald Parure | Queen Josefina’s Diamond Tiara | Queen Maud’s Pearl Tiara | Diamond Circlet | Diamond Chandelier Earrings | Drapers’ Company Brooch | Emerald Bead Suite | Diamond Filigree Brooch | Norwegian Royal Tiaras

When Princess Maud of Wales married Prince Charles of Denmark in 1896, she received a plethora of glittering jewels, including this Garrard Pearl and Diamond Tiara from her parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, which could be worn in two separate settings, both with and without the large central element.

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Princess Maud was often photographed wearing her Pearl and Diamond Tiara in the years after her marriage, wearing it for many events and official portraits, though it does not seem to have been worn as often as her Diamond Tiara.

Princess Maud also loaned her Pearl and Diamond Tiara to her sister, Princess Victoria, who wore the Tiara for the legendary Devonshire House Ball in 1897 and the Coronation of her father, King Edward VII, in 1902.

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The Pearl and Diamond Tiara made its was over to Norway when Prince Carl and Prince Maud were made King Haakon VII and Queen Maud of Norway in 1905, though was not often photographed.  In 1938, Queen Maud brought all her jewels with her to England to be cleaned while she was having an operation, and where she passed away of heart failure (also on this day). 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 brooch 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 Pearl and Diamond Tiara was inherited by Crown Prince Harald and began to be worn by Crown Princess Sonja soon afterwards, for the Iceland State Visit to Norway in 1971, the Swedish State Visit to Norway in 1974, the British State Visit to Norway in 1981, and the Spanish State Visit to Norway in 1982.

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The third most important Tiara in the Norwegian Royal Collection after the Emerald Parure and Queen Josefina’s Diamond Tiara, Queen Maud’s Pearl and Diamond Tiara was was not worn too often after the Accession of King Harald V in 1991, with notable appearences during the Norwegian State Visit to Denmark in 1991, and for King Harland and Queen Sonja’s Silver Anniversary in 1993. However, in 1995, Queen Maud’s Pearl Tiara and some other Jewels were sent to the crown jeweller Garrard’s in London, where they had been cleaned and restored, ready to be sent back to Norway when they were stolen by three armed robbers. While the original Tiara was never recovered, Garrard’s created a replica tiara, which was ready by the Norwegian State Visit to The Netherlands in 1996, and was later worn for King Harald and Queen Sonja’s 60th Birthday in 1997, and Queen Margrethe’s 60th Birthday in 2000.

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In 2002, the smaller version of the replica of Queen Maud’s Pearl and Diamond Tiara was worn by Princess Martha Louise for her wedding to Ari Behn in 2002, and a few years later, she wore the tiara again, at the Wedding of Princess Madeline of Sweden in 2013.

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The smaller version of Queen Maud’s Pearl and Diamond Tiara has also been worn by Crown Princess Mette-Marit, who was loaned the Tiara for the Wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in 2010, along with Queen Maud’s Drapers’ Company Brooch.

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The replica of Queen Maud’s Pearl and Diamond Tiara has become a favourite of Queen Sonja over the past decade, being worn for the majority of her gala events, including the Norwegian Independence Centenary Gala in Copenhagen in 2005, the Norwegian Centenary Ball at the Royal Palace of Oslo in 2005, the Norwegian State Visit to Italy in 2016, the Norwegian State Visit to Finland in 2016, the Icelandic State Visit to Norway in 2017, the Finland Centenary Banquet in 2017, the Slovakia State Visit to Norway in 2018, the Diplomatic Banquet at the Royal Palace of Oslo in 2019, and the Slovenia State Visit to Norway in 2019. There is no doubt we will continue to see this spectacular Tiara for years to come!

The Norwegian Emerald Parure | Queen Josefina’s Diamond Tiara | Queen Maud’s Pearl Tiara | Diamond Circlet | Diamond Chandelier Earrings | Drapers’ Company Brooch | Emerald Bead Suite | Diamond Filigree Brooch | Norwegian Royal Tiaras

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