07 September 2015

Flashback: Official Visit from Norway, 2005

Norway celebrated its 100th year of independence in 2005, and as part of the celebrations, the Norwegian royal family came to the United Kingdom for an official visit in October. Queen Maud, the first queen consort of the newly independent Norway, was the daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, making the trip a perfect highlight for a landmark year.

This visit was not only the first that The Duchess of Cornwall participated in after her marriage to The Prince of Wales, it is the last time (to date) that The Queen has received a fellow European monarch for a visit as big as this one. Since King Harald V brought not only Queen Sonja but also other family members along for the trip, it turned out to be the most sparkly visit of recent years, and this flashback is here for the tiaras.

They pulled out all the stops we usually expect for a state visit even though this was billed as an official visit, including a state banquet at Buckingham Palace. The Queen wore her favorite suite of pearls, which we've seen over and over again in these flashbacks (the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara, the Duchess of Gloucester's Pendant Earrings, Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Necklace, the Dorset Bow Brooch), and the Norwegian Order of St. Olav with her Royal Family Orders.

Video: The state banquet
As you can see in the video above, Princess Alexandra of Kent's copy of the Golden Jubilee necklace was also in attendance, worn with her Ogilvy Tiara. Never one to be shown up in the tiara department, Queen Sonja brought her own big gun, Empress Jos├ęphine's Emerald Tiara with its accompanying emerald and diamond parure.

We don't usually get a posed picture with anyone outside of The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, and their honored guests at banquets like this, but the visiting guests don't usually bring along the heir. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, then pregnant with the couple's second child together, accompanied the sovereign couple, and Mette-Marit wore her Amethyst Necklace Tiara for the palace banquet.

The star of the show, however, was Camilla, at the very first tiara event of her royal career. The Queen loaned her the Delhi Durbar Tiara, and she paired it with her Diamond Flower Pendant Earrings and her Diamond Serpent Necklace. As is often the case, seeing a tiara worn and in action can give an entirely different impression than still pictures can, and the Delhi Durbar at work on video is something different than the Delhi Durbar on display in a photo. It doesn't appear as big and out of place as it looks in some of the shots, and it makes me hope that we see Camilla give it another go some day.

The Norwegian royals had another tiara occasion on this trip, at a banquet at the Guildhall. The Queen  was not present, represented as usual by The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
Once again, Queen Sonja emphasized the importance of the trip with her second big gun, Queen Josephine's Diamond Tiara. This is a gorgeous piece, and I've never figured out why she doesn't wear it more often.

The Duchess of Gloucester wore her Gloucester Honeysuckle Tiara, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit defaulted to her favorite tiara, the reliable Diamond Daisy. (By the way, this pink dress is one of my absolute favorite M-M looks. So very lovely.)
Adding one more carefully selected tiara to the pile, Princess Astrid of Norway wore the striking turquoise and diamond circlet that once belonged to Queen Alexandra. Those types of tiara crossovers are just one of many reasons we need more monarchy-to-monarchy state visit opportunities, don't you think?

Photos: via Getty Images