Sunday, February 24, 2013

Swedish Royal Jewels: Crown Princess Victoria's Epaulette Earrings

One of the most beautiful pieces of jewellery Crown Princess Victoria owns (other than tiaras of course - nothing beats tiaras) are her Epaulette Earrings.
Victoria's Epaulette Earrings
Victoria first wore this pair for her pre-wedding gala, sparkling a bit of a debate. Since they had never been seen before, most people assuming that they are a new acquisition. The Court, however, confirmed the earrings were in fact diamond epaulettes. Victoria subsequently wore this pair of earrings to the 2011 banquet for the Nobel Laureates.

Epaulette is a type of ornamental shoulder piece or decoration used as insignia of rank by armed forces and other organizations. Epaulettes first appeared on Swedish uniforms in the second half of the 18th century. It was officially incorporated into Swedish uniform regulations in 1792, although foreign recruited regiments had had them earlier.
Victoria wearing Epaulette Earrings for her pre-wedding gala (left) and Nobel Laureates Banquet
Epaulettes were discontinued when they were removed from the general issue dress uniform in the 1930s. They are however still worn by the Royal Lifeguards and by military bands when in ceremonial full dress. Based on this information, it is likely the earrings (in their epaulette form) pre-date 1930s since afterwards it would be rare to commission diamond pieces even for a court uniform. 

I really do love these earrings, they are massive but not overpowering. And I also admire the inventiveness of the Swedish Royals: using an insignia as earrings? Pretty smart! 

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