Monday, 26 September 2016

Sapphires for September: the Netherlands


Queen Maxima of the Netherlands in the sapphire tiara of her royal house on the day her husband ascended the throne
(photo koninklijkhuis.nl)


Sapphires are stunning and the regal blue of the deepest stone has made them a favourite for royals for centuries. The modern royal families of Europe possess some pretty cracking tiaras set with sapphires and among the most striking is the one that belongs to Dutch ruling house. The sapphire tiara of the Netherlands is among the most photographed of recent times after Queen Maxima chose to wear it on the day her husband became monarch. But that historic appearance was just the latest chapter in the tale of this diadem. Her are more sapphires for September.


 



The sapphire tiara worn on April 30th 2013 by Maxima as her husband became the first King of the Netherlands in over a century had made its way into the royal jewellery box via the last woman to hold the title of queen consort in the country, King Willem III bought this sapphire selection for his second wife, Queen Emma, two years into their marriage and not long after they had welcomed their only child together, Wilhelmina.

 


It began life in 1881 as an arc of diamonds (over 650 of them in total) rising above a neat row of huge sapphires and ending with a sparkling three pronged spray reminiscent of a fleur de lys. When Maxima wore it for her husband's accession she had the top altered leaving a more modern design that arcs more gently with the round stones building to a much more gradual point.






This is a tiara fit for a queen with Beatrix using it for some of the biggest events in her reign as well as for state visits. It's been seen on Maxima, Beatrix and her mother Juliana keeping up the queenly beginnings of a tiara bought for a young consort at the end of the 19th century.




It's become a popular piece for Queen Maxima who wore it in its traditional setting for a State Banquest in Copenhagen in 2015. And given that the Dutch Royal House also owns a stunning set of sapphire jewels to complement it, this tiara has a regal air and then some every time it's worn. Let's be glad Maxima loves it so much - these sapphires for September are worth a second glance over and over again.

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