01 August 2015

Saturday Sparkler: The Mellerio Ruby Tiara

The Dutch tiara collection is so large that it includes not one but two major ruby tiaras. Today we’re going to look at the bigger of the two: the grand ruby tiara made for the family by Mellerio.

Mellerio dits Meller is a major French jewelry firm with a seriously glittering history. They’ve been making pieces for centuries, and this tiara is only one of several Mellerio tiaras in royal collections today.

The Dutch ruby tiara was made by the company for Queen Emma in 1889 as a part of a larger ruby parure. The pieces were a gift from Emma’s husband, King Willem III. (The parure even includes a ruby-encrusted fan. How Victorian!)

All four of the Dutch queens since Emma have worn the tiara and at least parts of the rest of the parure; the piece has also been worn by many Dutch princesses. Queen Juliana reportedly loved this parure, so much so that she even chose the brooch to wear on the day she was inaugurated as queen.

The piece has a very classic tiara shape, with rows of diamonds suspended between the larger elements; that shape fits well with both Princess Beatrix’s retro bouffant and Queen Máxima’s sleeker hairstyles.

Máxima even chose the tiara for her first official portrait as queen. And since it’s a part of the family’s jewel foundation, it will sit atop various Dutch royal hairstyles for years to come.