12 September 2018

Queen Juliana's Turquoise Heart Necklace

Paul Kane/Getty Images

Our glimpse into the bejeweled world of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, our Magpie of the Month, continues today with a unique piece: her Turquoise Heart Necklace.




Wikimedia Commons

Long necklaces were always staples in Juliana's jewelry box, and this necklace, which features a large heart pendant, was one of the many she wore regularly with daywear. An early appearance of the piece came in October 1962, when she wore the necklace for a meeting with Prime Minister Emanuels of Suriname and Prime Minister Williams of Trinidad.


Wikimedia Commons

This closer view from that appearance shows the elaborate design of the necklace's chain. Both the chain and the heart pendant are made of gold set with turquoises, diamonds, and pearls. The complicated pattern of decoration of the pendant doesn't show up accurately in detail in old photographs, often giving the piece a flat appearance (when in reality it's anything but flat).


Wikimedia Commons

The heart pendant is detachable from its coordinating chain, and Juliana also wore it on other, simpler chains. In November 1962, she paired a shorter chain with the pendant for the opening of a university in Tilburg.


Wikimedia Commons

In 1965, she strung the pendant on a longer simple chain for a visit to Utrecht.


Wikimedia Commons

But she also often wore the pendant on its original chain, as she did during this engagement in The Hague in April 1971.


Wikimedia Commons

The pendant remained a part of Juliana's jewelry wardrobe until the very end of her reign. Here, she wears the pendant on a braided chain during a visit from President Rahman of Bangladesh in April 1979.


Wikimedia Commons

The lighting of the black and white photographs taken during the presidential visit in 1979 finally capture the design of the pendant in greater detail. Images taken from various angles help to demonstrate the depth of the design of the piece.


Wikimedia Commons

In 1975, the piece was a romantic addition to the official engagement announcement of Juliana's youngest daughter, Princess Christina, and Jorge PĂ©rez y Guillermo, which took place on Valentine's Day. Juliana loaned her daughter the heart pendant and its matching chain for the occasion.


Paul Kane/Getty Images

More recently, the necklace emerged once more on Queen Maxima, who wore it during a visit to Australia in October 2016.


Paul Kane/Getty Images

During Maxima's engagements in Fremantle, we got several good detail images of the necklace, including this view of the piece's matching chain. You'll note the intricacy of the gold setting, as well as the turquoises, pearls, and diamonds set in the chain.


Paul Kane/Getty Images

Even in today's world of high-res photography, the complexity of the design of the heart pendant makes it difficult to capture its details in a still image -- but Maxima's October 2016 appearance helped us see the pendant in (at least most of) its colorful glory.