05 April 2014

The Bernadottes Go Dutch

The Royal Palace in Amsterdam [1]
I'm interrupting our regular weekend schedule for a good reason -- official visit jewels galore! Stay tuned tomorrow for a "Sunday Sparkler" post!

This year marks a significant milestone in Swedish/Dutch foreign relations: the 400th anniversary of the opening of the Swedish embassy in The Hague in 1614. To celebrate, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden are making an official visit to King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands this Friday and Saturday. You can read a complete schedule of yesterday and today's events here (in Swedish). Friday's events were especially sparkling -- let's take a look at the queenly jewels on display, shall we?

During the official welcome ceremony for the Bernadottes to the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Queen Maxima and Queen Silvia chose daytime jewels: earrings, bracelets, and brooches (and of course, fabulous hats!).

Queen Max wore the gray pearls that she's been donning frequently over the past few months. Closeups of the diamond and gray pearl brooch that she's wearing are available at John's website; he estimates that the brooch was made some time between 1890 and 1920.

Queen Silvia's butterfly brooch is studded with red and green stones, possibly cabochon rubies and emeralds.

The royal women didn't disappoint in the glitter department at the evening banquet, either. The three ladies present, queens and former queens all, wore major diamonds, including three heirloom tiaras that are more than a century old.

Queen Maxima wore the family's diamond bandeau [2], part of the nation's wedding gift to Queen Emma in 1879. Some blogs on the 'net refer to this one as the "rose-cut bandeau," but in reality, the stones aren't rose-cut at all. Originally a necklace, the bandeau includes more than 100 carats' worth of diamonds. The diamond pendant earrings she wears are also heirlooms, given to Queen Wilhelmina in 1889 by her father, King Willem III [3].

Max also displayed some of her trademark jewelry inventiveness at the event. She took the ribbon-shaped stomacher from the sapphire parure, which is usually set with a large oval sapphire [4], and swapped out the central stone for the large oval citrine from her citrine and diamond brooch.

Queen Silvia chose to wear one of my favorite Swedish tiaras, the Connaught Diamond Tiara. The tiara was a wedding gift from the Duke and Duchess of Connaught to their daughter, Princess Margaret (later Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden), in 1905.

The diamond floral brooch that Silvia used to secure the sash of her order is a part of the Brazilian diamond parure. Originally made in France using Brazilian diamonds, the parure was left to Queen Josefina of Sweden and Norway by her sister, Empress Amelie of Brazil, in 1873. In De Kongelige Juveler, Silvia stated that pieces from the Brazilian parure, especially the tiara, are only used on "very special occasions" [5]. She's also wearing a diamond riviere with a round pendant stone, her diamond floral earrings, and the family order of Carl XVI Gustaf.

Princess Beatrix wore the diamond tiara that Andy Warhol once depicted her in: Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara [6], which dates to 1890. It was ordered by King Willem III for his wife shortly before his death. She also appears to be wearing the diamond pendant earrings made from the corsage brooch from the Stuart parure [7], as well as a diamond riviere necklace [8] and two of the twelve-pointed star brooches [9].

All five of the royals present are wearing the sashes and stars of chivalric orders. The rules of state visiting mandate that a person should wear the highest-ranking order that they have from of the home country of their visitors. Therefore, King Willem-Alexander and Princess Beatrix are wearing the light-blue sashes of the Order of the Seraphim, the highest order of Swedish chivalry, while King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia are wearing the royal blue and orange sashes of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. Queen Maxima doesn't yet have the Order of the Seraphim -- she'll probably receive on her first state visit to Sweden as queen -- so she's wearing the Swedish order that she does have, the Order of the Polar Star.

Also: please feel free to purchase me that giant galaxy carpet for my next birthday. Wow!

1. Cropped version of a photograph available via Wikimedia Commons; source here.
2. See John's website for close-up photographs of the bandeau.
3. More close-ups from John here.
4. Again, see John's website for photos of the stomacher.
5. As of the date of this entry's original posting, the documentary can be seen here on YouTube.
6. Close-ups here.
7. Close-ups here.
8. More information here.
9. Close-ups here.