The Forgotten Story of Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden and Her Crown Jewels

Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden

It's quite surprising that some modern royal fans did not know anything about Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden who was born a British princess. 

Perhaps because she died young and didn't become a Queen Consort. However, her memories continue to be kept alive by her tiaras prominently worn by her descendants - the Swedish, Danish, and Greek royals.

Swedish Royals
Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden

Here's an interesting story of Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden, her extensive collection of tiaras, and the descendants who inherited her stunning head sparklers after she passed away.

Swedish royals
Crown Princess Margareta wearing the Connaught Tiara

She was born Margaret Victoria Charlotte Augusta Norah on January 15, 1882, as the eldest child of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught - the third son of Queen Victoria of Britain - and Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia. As a granddaughter of the British Sovereign in the male line, she was styled HRH Princess of the United Kingdom.

Swedish Royals

The Connaught family lived in Bagshot Park in Berkshire, (now the country residence of the Earl and Countess of Wessex) and Clarence House (now the London residence of The Prince of Wales).

When she was still a young lady, her paternal uncle, King Edward VII, wanted her and her younger sister, Princess Patricia, to marry royal princes. So in 1905, Edward VII authorized the Connaught to tour overseas so that Margaret and Patricia can meet eligible royal princes.

In 1905, they began their foreign visit to Portugal. Princesses Margaret and Patricia were introduced to Portuguese royals, Prince Manuel and Prince Luis Felipe. But nothing happened during the meeting as the Portuguese princes wanted to marry Catholic princesses.

Swedish royals
Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and Princess Margaret of Connaught on their wedding day

They continued their journey to Egypt where they met Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, the eldest son of the future King Gustaf V of Sweden. 

Princess Margaret and the Swedish prince instantly fell in love. The prince proposed to her following the dinner hosted by the British Consulate in Cairo. And Princess Margaret gladly accepted.

It was considered a perfect royal match because the future groom was a future monarch while the future bride was a royal princess. Their wedding was set right away that year in London. On June 15, 1905, Princess Margaret and Prince Gustaf Adolf got married in St. George's Chapel, Windsor. 

Crown Princess Margaret's Extensive Collection of Tiaras

However, unlike other royal brides in the continent, Princess Margaret did not wear a tiara during the wedding. Instead, she held her Irish lace veil with flowers formed like a bandeau.

The Connaught Diamond Tiara

The King Edward VII Ruby Tiara

Khedive Egypt Tiara

But she received an array of precious jewelry and tiaras as wedding gifts. The Connaught Diamond Tiara was given by her parents, Prince Arthur and Princess Louise, the Boucheron Laurel Tiara and the Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik were presented to her by her mother-in-law, the future Queen Victoria of Sweden (born Princess Victoria of Baden), 

The King Edward VII Ruby Tiara was given by her uncle, King Edward VII, and the Khedive Egypt Tiara, a gift from the King of Egypt, Khedive II. She also received several pieces of turquoise jewelry, and she made one tiara out of it, the Connaught Turquoise Bandeau.

Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha wearing the Connaught Tiara. She was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the mother of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

In 1907, King Oscar II of Sweden died. He was succeeded by his son, King Gustaf V, making Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Margaret, the Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden. She also started using the Swedish version of her name - Margareta.

The Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden had five children: 

  1. Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Vasterbotten
  2. Prince Sigvard, Duke of Uppland
  3. Princess Ingrid
  4. Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland
  5. Prince Carl Johan, Duke of Dalarna
She was well-loved in Sweden because of her reserved personality and dedication to royal duties. She also quickly adapted to Swedish life and learned the language in a short period of time.

Unfortunately, Crown Princess Margareta died at the young age of 38 on May 1, 1920, as a result of the complications she suffered after undergoing ear surgery. 

Later, the doctors declared she died from sepsis. At the time of her death, she was heavily pregnant with her sixth child. The doctors were not able to save the baby.

Swedish royals
Crown Princess Margareta wearing the Khedive Egypt Tiara

Her eldest son, Prince Gustaf, Duke of Vasterbotten, got married in 1932 to Princess Sibylla, the daughter of her first cousin, Prince Charles, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Her only daughter, Princess Ingrid, got married in 1935  to the future King Frederik IX of Denmark.

Her husband remarried in 1923 to Lady Louise Mountbatten, whose mother, Princess Victoria of Hesse, and by Rhine was also her first cousin.  Lady Louise was the maternal aunt of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the one who became Queen consort of Sweden in 1950.

Two of her sons - Sigvard and Carl Johan - were stripped of their royal titles and inheritance when they married commoners. They were created Count of Wisborg by Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg. 

Her third son, Prince Bertil, also had a commoner lover, Lilian Daves, a British divorcee. But he was wise enough to wait until his father's death to secure permission to marry Lilian in 1976. 

Prince Bertil was already 65, and Lilian was 61 when they wed in 1976, thus, giving up having children just to ensure he would retain his royal titles and inheritance. 

Lilian was given the title Princess of Sweden and Duchess of Halland. When King Carl XVI Gustav succeeded his grandfather in 1973, he moved to relax the restrictions on royal marriages, approving royals who will marry commoners, because he too, married a German commoner, Silvia Sommerlath.

Princess Lilian of Sweden, the wife of Prince Bertil of Sweden. She wore the Boucheron Laurel Tiara

Who inherited Crown Princess Margareta's jewelry collection?

Unlike the British royal jewelry collection, which can only be passed to the reigning Sovereign, Crown Princess Margareta's head sparklers and other precious possessions were distributed to her children.

Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine wearing the Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara

The Connaught Diamond Tiara and the Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara were inherited by her eldest child, Prince Gustaf who died in 1947 in a plane crash. The Connaught Tiara was frequently worn by his wife and widow, Princess Sibylla. 

Princess Madeleine wearing the Connaught Tiara
Crown Princess Victoria wearing the Connaught Tiara

The Edward VII Ruby Tiara was inherited by her second son, Prince Sigvard, but when he married a commoner in 1934 and was stripped of his royal titles and inheritance, this tiara was returned to his father, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf.

Queen Silvia wearing The Edward VII Ruby Tiara

The Boucheron Laurel Wreath Tiara was inherited by Prince Bertil and was regularly worn by his wife, Princess Lilian following their wedding in 1976. When the latter died in 2013, she bequeathed the tiara to Crown Princess Victoria.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden inherited the Boucheron Laurel Wreath Tiara from her great-uncle, Prince Bertil

Crown Princess Margareta's wedding veil - the Irish lace veil, and two other toppers - the Khedive of Egypt Tiara, and the Connaught Turquoise Bandeau were inherited by her only daughter, Princess Ingrid, who became Queen Ingrid of Denmark in 1947. 

Crown Princess Mary wore the Irish lace veil originally owned by Crown Princess Margareta

This Irish lace veil was loaned by Queen Margrethe II to Ms. Mary Donaldson when she married Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark in 2004.

Queen Anne-Marie (left) on her wedding day to King Constantine II of Greece. Right photo: Queen Anne-Marie wearing the same tiara in a royal event.

While the Khedive of Egypt Tiara, also known as Cartier Wreath Scroll Tiara, was inherited by Queen Ingrid's youngest daughter, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, in 2000. She also wore this tiara on her wedding to King Constantine II of Greece in 1964. 

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg wearing the Khedive Egypt Tiara on her wedding day

Other royal brides who wore this tiara were Princess Benedikte of Denmark, and her two daughters - Princesses Alexandra and Nathalie.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark wearing the Connaught Turquoise Bandeau

The Connaught Turquoise Bandeau was given to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark which she often wore during special occasions. 

The Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara is now part of the collection of Princess Marghareta, one of the four older sisters of King Carl XVI Gustaf, but she would occasionally loan it to members of the Swedish royal family.

Princess Marghareta wearing the Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara

The most romantic of all her tiaras

Royalists would agree that the most romantic head sparkler owned by Crown Princess Margareta is this - The Khedive Egypt Tiara, also known as Cartier Wreath Scroll Tiara.

Khedive Egypt Tiara

The Governor of Cairo commissioned Cartier to create a tiara as a wedding gift to Princess Margaret and Prince Gustaf Adolf and to mark the start of their romance that began in Egypt. The tiara was designed according to Princess Margaret's wedding motif.

Thus, this tiara symbolizes romance. Margareta would wear it in style during her short tenure as Sweden's Crown Princess, either as a topper or a garment embellishment.

However, it's surprising that Queen Anne-Marie didn't loan this romantic diadem to any of the women who married her sons. 

She loaned an Antique Corsage Tiara to Marie-Chantal Miller who wed Crown Prince Pavlos in 1995, to Tatiana Blatnik in 2010 when she married Prince Nikolaos, and just in October 2021, Nina Flohr also donned the Antique Corsage Tiara for her wedding to Prince Philippos.

Constantine II, ex-King of Greece, walked his eldest child, Princess Alexia, on her wedding day. She wore the khedive Egypt Tiara

Queen Ingrid, however, loaned the Khedive of Egypt Tiara to Princess Alexia, Queen Anne-Marie's eldest daughter, during her wedding in 1999.

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