03 June 2017

The Dutch Emerald Parure Tiara

Queen Maxima wears the emerald setting of the tiara, 2014 (Michel Porro/Getty Images)

The Dutch royal family has one of the most versatile jewel collections in the world. They're able to be creative and clever with their jewels, wearing them in various settings and forms. One of the most convertible diadems in the collection is the family’s emerald parure. And, in an unusual twist, the second setting of the tiara is actually larger and even more regal than its original form.

Princess Maxima wears the pearl setting of the tiara, 2004 (Michel Porro/Getty Images)

The parure was made using emeralds that the family already owned by Schürmann in 1899. It was ordered by Queen Emma, who gave it to her daughter, Queen Wilhelmina, as a present. Although there are only four emeralds in the current version of the tiara, originally there were six; two set toward the center were taken off in the 1950s to make a pair of earrings. (You can imagine their positioning by looking at the pearl version.)

Detail of the emerald setting of the tiara (Michel Porro/Getty Images)

Queen Juliana wore this tiara quite frequently — including sometimes wearing it upside-down across her forehead. (Princess Irene copied this look with the tiara later, too). Juliana carefully preserved the parure by having it placed in the family’s jewel foundation, and it has been worn by many members of the family since.

Princess Annemarie wears the pearl setting of the tiara on her wedding day, 2010 (Mark Renders/Getty Images)

The second version of the sparkler swaps out the central emerald for a diamond and the rest of the diamonds for a set of five upright pearls. Princess Annemarie wore this pearl and diamond setting for her wedding to Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Parma (Princess Irene’s elder son), and all of the other senior Dutch royal ladies have worn the tiara this way, too.

Princess Margriet wears the all-diamond setting of the tiara, 2006 (Michel Porro/Getty Images)

These days, Queen Maxima tends to wear the tiara most frequently in its emerald form. But -- as the icing on the cake -- the tiara has actually been worn in a third setting, too: all diamonds, no pearls or emeralds. So creative with their tiaras, those Orange-Nassau ladies!