Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dutch Royal Jewels: Queen Emma’s Diamond Tiara

Queen Emma’s Diamond Tiara was commissioned by King William III of the Netherlands for his second wife, Queen Emma in 1890.
Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara
It was created by Royal Begeer and specifically designed to be able to incorporate the five of the six 12-pointed stars Queen Emma had received as a wedding gift in 1879 from her new relatives, the Von Wieds. The sixth star was left to be used as a brooch. 

Work on the tiara was finished shortly after the King’s death so the first occasion it was worn to was King Williams funeral. The original tiara consisted of three large centrepieces which could be topped with the star ornaments. At some point some minor adjustments were made and the large diamond buttons in the centre of each piece were made detachable. Usually, only the central stone is replaced with a ruby; however, Queen Beatrix is known to have swapped diamonds for rubies in all three.
Queen Emma (left), Queen Wilhelmina (2nd from left), Princess Margriet (3rd from left)  and Princess Irene (right) wearing the tiara. Queen Wilhelmina is wearing the tiara with stars. 
Despite the fact the tiara was specifically created to incorporate her stars, Queen Emma never actually worn the star version. When she died in 1934, her daughter Queen Wilhelmina inherited the tiara – and she did wear it adorned with the stars. 

Queen Beatrix started wearing this tiara from a very young age and it has since become one of her favourite pieces. She isn’t the only one to have had a good use of it: Princess Irene and Princess Margriet have both worn this tiara as well, although not nearly as often as their sister. Queen Emma’s Diamond Tiara has become such a trademark piece of the Queen that in 1984 Andy Warhol made a portrait of Queen Beatrix wearing the tiara; it is now in the Amsterdam State Museum. 
Queen Beatrix wearing the all-diamond version of the tiara (left), the three rubies version (middle) and in Andy  Warhol's portrait
Although it’s her favourite piece, the Queen lends the tiara to her daughters-in-law. Princess Laurentien wore it for Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding, while Princess Maxima debuted the tiara during state visit to Qatar in 2011. 

Queen Emma’s Diamond Tiara – like most important pieces in the Dutch Royal Collection, it was purchased by the Orange-Nassau Family Foundation set up by Queen Juliana in the 1960s; that means the tiara is essentially a crown property that belongs to the Monarch and cannot be sold or gifted to anyone.
Princess Laurentien wearing the tiara with a ruby (left) and Princess Maxima wearing the all-diamond version (right)
This is one of my top favourite tiaras out there; it’s beautiful, neat and styling, and happens to be a pretty versatile too, although I could live without the star version. I can see why Queen Beatrix is so fond of it; if I had that in my collection, I’d wear it for grocery shopping.

Credit:, Royal-Magazine 

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