Meet Victoria, the heiress swapping Swarovski for singing

By Annabel Rackham
Entertainment reporter

Media caption,
Victoria dreams of becoming a star in the UK

Meet Victoria Swarovski, whose list of achievements stretches far beyond being an heir to one of the world's best known jewellery brands.

She was the youngest person to receive a Sony record deal in Germany, has a sell out Bavarian fashion range and a dedicated social media following of over 250,000 people.

Victoria was also the winner of the German Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 and at just 24 years old will take over the role as the show's host.

The Austrian-born heiress's June wedding caught the attention of the British media and has dreams of becoming a star in the UK.

'It's a big last name'

Victoria comes straight off a plane from Germany to meet me, and I am immediately impressed by just how normal she is.

It's hard not to have preconceptions when you're meeting someone whose family owns one of the world's most well-known and iconic brands.

Swarovski has been selling crystal jewellery since 1895, has more than 2,800 stores in 170 countries and last year had a revenue of £2.3bn.

"Having that last name, it's a big last name and everybody knows it - I'm blessed to have it," she tells the BBC.

But despite all of that, she's chosen to turn her back on the business to pursue her own goals.

"It would have been easy for me to sit there and be somebody I'm not," she says.

"For me I've always wanted to do my own thing and wanted to have my own goals - I've always loved entertainment and wanted to be a singer so in Germany I've achieved that for sure, but there is so much more to achieve."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Victoria won Let's Dance! in Germany in 2016

Victoria signed to Sony at 15 and her song Beautiful - which features one of Germany's biggest rappers, Prince Kay One - has had nearly 4 million views on YouTube.

"My mother and father taught me how to be normal and stable and always told me it all could be gone in a second, which is why I started my own career.

"Just the name - people have said, 'Oh that rich little girl, why is she doing this, she's not even talented' and that made it even harder for me to show I am.

"The greatest example was going on Let's Dance - our version of Strictly Come Dancing in Germany.

"I thought people would think I'd bought my way in there and I was afraid I'd be thrown off on the first show! I'm a fighter and I really worked hard for it - it was the right step for me."

Victoria went on to win the show and has just been announced as it's new host for the next series, taking over from model and presenter Sylvie Meis.

"My wedding dress weighed as much as me!"

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Victoria and her sister Paulina wore Michael Cinco designs to the Bambi Awards ceremony in 2017

Despite distancing herself from the family business, Victoria doesn't miss an opportunity to do some good PR.

She works a lot with Dubai-based designer Michael Cinco, who incorporates Swarovski crystals into all the dresses he designs for her.

"He has made dresses for Beyonce, Lady Gaga and the Miss Universe Pageant," Victoria says as she shows me his latest design - a beautiful dark blue gown laced with sparkling crystals, which she wore in Berlin for the Bambi Awards.

Image source, Chris Singer/ Johannes Kernmayer
Image caption,
Victoria had to hire a bus as her dress was too large for a car
Image source, Chris Singer/ Johannes Kernmayer
Image caption,
Victoria and Werner Murz married in June 2017

In June last year, she married her childhood sweetheart Werner Murz in a Cinco dress embellished with over half a million Swarovski crystals and an estimated price tag of £700,000.

Victoria's dress was so big that she had to get a bus and take out all the seats just to get her to the venue in Portopiccolo, northern Italy.

"That dress - it was really heavy - 48kg - I'm 55 [kg], so it was seven less than me, but the moment I walked into the church I didn't feel anything.

"The whole room was filled with the dress. My mother said 'Victoria, you can't go in a normal car', and my father hears that from the side and is like 'Are you nuts? Sure she can go in a normal car' and she says 'you haven't seen the dress yet'.

"So he went up to see the dress and was like, 'Now I know what you mean.'"

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Victoria was previously a judge on Germany's Got Talent

Victoria's wedding was picked up on a large scale by the British media for its lavish nature and was the first time her profile was explored outside of Austria and Germany.

While she didn't expect this to happen, she says she feels at home in London and loves working here.

"What I do most here is go to the studio - I work at the Abbey Road Studios, I guess everyone knows it," she says.

"I do a lot of song-writing and singing here."

She also jokes that the shopping in London is a lot better than in Berlin where she lives, so if that's anything to go by, we could see a lot more of Victoria in the UK.

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