The President of Portugal, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, and his wife Maria yesterday began a state visit to Sweden and at the state banquet at the Royal Palace in Stockholm last night Prince Daniel and Prince Carl Philip wore what appears to be the neck-bagde of the Order of the Polar Star, which I am almost sure they have never worn before.
The royal website does not say anything about when they were awarded this second highest order, but what makes it all more peculiar is that the two princes wore it from the black riband that was exchanged for a blue one with yellow edges (like the Swedish flag) at the time of the order reform in 1975.
King Carl Gustaf habitually wears the Polar Star in its black riband when in civilian dress (and the now defunct Sword Order when in uniform), but this is because he was awarded the order before 1975. Christopher O’Neill, on the other hand, who was given the order on 6 June this year, two days before he married Princess Madeleine, wears it in the modern blue and yellow riband.
The only possible explanation I can think of for why the two princes have been given the old version must be that King Carl Gustaf has decided that members of the royal house (who are, since 1995, excluded from the rule which prohibits the award of Swedish orders to Swedish citizens) shall wear the old version. But if so, that is a new invention, given that the late Princess Lilian always wore the modern version of the grand cross from 1976 until she was given the higher Seraphim Order in 1995. (On the other hand, Princess Lilian received it just before the wedding when she was still a British subject).