25 May 2015

Queen Máxima's Inauguration Jewels

As we wrap up our month-long look at the jewels of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, we're going to explore the history of the jewels that she wore on one of the most important days of her royal life: the inauguration of her husband, Willem-Alexander, as king.

The majestic sapphire and diamond tiara worn by Máxima at the inauguration has been in the Dutch royal collection for more than a century. It was made by Maison van der Stichel, a Dutch jewelry firm, around 1881. That's the year that King Willem III ordered the tiara and its coordinating parure from Vita Israël, a jewelry broker based in Amsterdam. The sapphires in the tiara were sourced from Sri Lanka.

Queen Wilhelmina (left) and Queen Emma at Wilhelmina's inauguration, 1898 [source]

Máxima wasn't the first Dutch queen to wear the sapphire tiara at an inauguration. In 1898, Queen Emma wore the tiara at the inauguration ceremony for her daughter, Queen Wilhelmina.

The tiara as worn by Máxima at the inauguration wasn't actually the largest setting of the piece. In the picture above, you can see Máxima wearing the tiara during a recent state visit to Denmark. Note that the tiara is just a bit taller: there's an additional grouping of diamonds at the tiara's peak.

The earrings worn by Máxima were made for the king's aunt, Princess Margriet, using gemstones from the sapphire and diamond tiara given to Queen Wilhelmina as a wedding present by the Dutch people in 1901.

Máxima also wore a magnificent sapphire and diamond brooch pinned to her cape. The piece features a large sapphire pendant, surrounded by diamonds, suspended from a diamond bow brooch. It's also from the family's sapphire parure. The large sapphire pendant is also sometimes worn in a setting that includes another large sapphire and a pair of diamond wings; Máxima chose this setting of the brooch for the recent Danish state visit.