14 May 2016

The Dutch Aquamarine Parure Tiara

Princess Laurentien wears the aquamarine tiara (Photo: Robin Utrecht - Pool/Getty Images)

Today’s tiara is one of the more modern pieces in the Dutch royal collection: the family’s aquamarine tiara.

The sparkler was given to then-Princess Juliana in 1927 as an eighteenth birthday present by her parents, Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Henry. The art deco-style tiara, which is made up of pear-shaped briolette and square-cut Brazilian aquamarines (and some diamonds), was made by Dutch jewelers van Kempen, Begeer and Vos.

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

More pieces of Juliana’s aquamarine parure have been added over time, including two necklaces (a sautoir from her grandmother, Queen Emma, and a pendant from her husband, Prince Bernhard), a pair of earrings (from Juliana’s mother-in-law, Princess Armgard), and a brooch (again from Prince Bernhard). Because the set is made of pieces collected over time, rather than pieces made at the same time specifically as a set, the suite is known as a "married" parure.

Photo: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images

Nearly all of the Dutch queens and princesses since Juliana have worn pieces of the parure, including the tiara. At the gala held the night before King Willem-Alexander's inauguration, Princess Laurentien wore the tiara low across her brow, paying tribute to its 1920s roots. Today, both Princess Beatrix and Queen Máxima wear the tiara occasionally, though Máxima is much more likely to step out in nearly the entire parure. And all Dutch queens will also have access to the family’s aquamarines in the future — the tiara has been a part of the family’s jewel foundation since 1960, which means that it cannot be sold.