14 May 2015

Queen Máxima's Wedding Tiara

The year is 2002, and our Magpie of the Month, Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, is preparing to marry the heir to the Dutch throne. If you're a royal bride, you can play the wedding tiara game a few ways: you can opt for a safe choice (like the Duchess of Cambridge), you can wear an heirloom tiara (like Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden), you can go for no tiara at all (never something I'd personally advise), or you can go big. Máxima, being Máxima, went for major sparkle.

Máxima chose something of a frankentiara -- a piece that features elements of two different items of jewelry mixed together to make a new tiara -- for her wedding day. First, she selected the base of one of the Dutch royal family's existing tiaras: the Pearl Button Tiara. There’s a debate about the actual age of the Pearl Button: some think that it was made in the twentieth century, while others argue that its base was a part of a coronet worn by Queen Sophie of the Netherlands, which would make it an earlier creation.

Rather than wearing the tiara with the pearl buttons, Queen Máxima chose to wear it on her wedding day with five of the diamond stars that belonged to Queen Emma. Emma had been given two sets of diamond star brooches when she married King Willem III in 1879. One set has stars with ten points; the other has stars with twelve.

Máxima chose the ten-pointed stars for her wedding tiara. On occasion, she also wears the twelve-pointed stars in other ways, including as pins on order sashes.

So far, only two members of the Dutch royal family have worn the star version of this tiara: Máxima and her husband's aunt, Princess Margriet. It's not a tiara that every princess could pull off -- you need an element of pizzazz about you to make the stars work. But it's practically perfect for Máxima, who absolutely oozes joie de vivre.