11 August 2018

Princess Mabel's Tiaras

Princess Mabel arrives for her wedding in Delft, 24 Apr 2004 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Happy birthday to Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau! Mabel, who is a daughter-in-law of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and a sister-in-law of King Willem-Alexander, celebrates her milestone 50th birthday today, and we're marking the occasion with a look at the sparkling tiaras she's worn since becoming a princess.

Princess Mabel and Prince Friso on their wedding day, 24 Apr 2004 (Michel Porro/Getty Images)

Mabel married Prince Friso, the second son of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus, in 2004. (Mabel's previous relationships -- which included a narcotics trafficker -- made the match a controversial one, and Friso gave up his succession rights when to marry her.) For her big day, Mabel wore a lovely diamond tiara from the royal vaults. The piece features three rows of diamonds cascading from a central point. It was made by Mellerio in 1888, and the top row of diamonds are also used in the family's grand sapphire tiara. (You can read more about the diamond tiara's history here!)

Prince Friso and Princess Mabel attend the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, 19 June 2010 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Because Mabel was a member of the Dutch royal family, but not a member of the Dutch royal house, her tiara-wearing opportunities have been a bit limited. She dons a diadem for more personal events, like birthday or wedding celebrations, not diplomatic galas or official banquets. For the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in 2010, she wore her diamond wedding tiara...

Princess Mabel attends Queen Beatrix's pre-abdication dinner, 29 April 2013 (Robin Utrecht - Pool/Getty Images)

...and she also wore her wedding tiara in 2013 for the dinner given by her mother-in-law in Amsterdam on the night before she abdicated the throne. Tragically, this event happened the same year that Prince Friso died; he'd been dealing with complications from a ski accident for more than a year. He died the day after Mabel's birthday, and tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of his passing.

Anne-Marie of Greece and Princess Mabel attend the birthday celebrations for King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, 9 May 2017 (HAAKON MOSVOLD LARSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Today, Mabel is still a central part of the royal family, and in 2017, we finally got to see her dig a bit more into the extensive family jewel vaults. For the joint 80th birthday celebrations for King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, Mabel wore the Pearl Button Tiara. The tiara is a particularly significant one in the family. Princess Beatrix wore it on her inauguration day in 1980, and Princess Margriet wore it on her wedding day in 1967. More recently, Queen Maxima used the base of the tiara as part of her own wedding diadem. (Read about the tiara's history here!)

Which Dutch royal tiara would you like to see Mabel wear next?