23 August 2014

Saturday Sparkler: The Württemberg Ornate Pearl Tiara


One of the fanciest tiaras in the entire Dutch collection is the Württemberg Ornate Pearl Tiara. It makes sense, then, that so far this tiara (unlike most of the other Dutch sparklers) has only been worn by reigning queens.


Wilhelmina wears the tiara (source)

The tiara was almost certainly made by Schürmann for Queen Wilhelmina in 1897, a year before the young queen was enthroned. However, there’s a second provenance story for this piece floating around, too. That story suggests that the tiara is much older, made for Sophie of Württemberg (hence the tiara’s name) in 1839, the same year that she married King Willem III.




Wilhelmina wears the tiara (source)


That second theory claims that Schürmann altered the tiara in 1897 instead of creating it. Either way, one thing is for sure: the pearls in this tiara have been in the family since before Schürmann’s involvement with the piece.



When Queen Juliana inherited the tiara from Wilhelmina, she placed it in the family’s jewel foundation, making it a permanent part of the Dutch collection. Its importance in the family was cemented in 1966, when Princess Beatrix wore the tiara at her wedding to Claus van Amsberg (pictured above). This was one of the rare occasions where she wore the tiara in its complete version, including the pearls that sit at the very top of the piece.



Beatrix has continued to wear the tiara fairly frequently, but often without those extra pearls. (Taking those away makes this piece more casual, obviously. Ha!) But she brought out the pearl toppers again at the gala held the night before her official abdication — her last tiara appearance as a queen (pictured above).



So here’s the big question: now that Máxima is queen, how long will we have to wait to see this fabulous piece on her? Or will Princess Beatrix continue to wear this one exclusively for now? We’ll have to wait and see…