Queen Désirée’s Lava Parure

Today marks the 145th Anniversary of the Birth of Queen Désirée/Desideria of Sweden, who was born on this day in 1777! The daughter of a silk manufacturer and merchant who was a former fiancée of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte before marrying his leading general, who became King Charles XIV John of Sweden, making her the first Bernadotte Queen of Sweden. We have already covered Queen Désirée’s Ruby Parure and her Ears of Wheat Tiara, so today, we are featuring her striking Lava Parure!

Danish Ruby Parure | Ears of Wheat Tiara | Lava Parure

Composed of carved Lava Cameos in ornately wrought gold, the Parure features a Tiara, a Necklace, a Pair of Earrings, a large Corsage Brooch and two Bracelets, with the maker unknown but it was probably made in France in the Napoleonic Era for Queen Désirée, though she was not depicted in the Parure. The Lava Parure was either left to her great-granddaughter, Queen Lovisa of Denmark, or granddaughter-in-law, Queen Sophia of Sweden, passing to Princess Ingeborg of Sweden, daughter of the former and daughter-in-law of the latter, who gave it to her elder daughter, Princess Margaretha of Sweden and Denmark.

While a similar Malachite Parure was given to the Nordic Museum, Princess Margaretha retained Queen Désirée’s Lava Parure though was not pictured in it instead loaning the Parure to her daughter-in-law, Princess Anne of Denmark, for some Gala Event in the 1960s, a rare change from her own Diamond Tiara. 

Princess Margaretha also loaned Queen Désirée’s Lava Parure to her other daughter-in-law, Countess Ruth of Rosenborg, for a Gala in the late 1960s, likely during the lavish celebrations for Queen Margrethe II in 1967.


In 1973, Princess Margaretha gave Queen Désirée’s Lava Parure as an 18th Birthday gift to her only granddaughter, Countess Désirée of Rosenborg, the namesake of her great-great-great-great-grandmother, Queen Désirée. Countess Désirée wore the Parure at a Gala in the 1990s, photographed by Stig. 


More recently, for Countess Désirée wore the Lave Parure at Queen Margrethe’s Golden Jubilee Gala at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen in September (where I saw her arrive, though she did not try towards me much, so h/t to Arjan). There is no doubt we will continue to see these historic heirlooms worn for years to come!

Danish Ruby Parure | Ears of Wheat Tiara | Lava Parure


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