31 December 2018

The Best Royal Jewels of 2018: #1 (The Stuart Tiara Returns)

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In a year of truly astonishing royal jewelry moments, one stands out as the most sparkling of all...

#1: The Stuart Tiara Returns




Queen Juliana wears the Stuart Tiara and the accompanying necklace and corsage ornament from the parure, 1962 (Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Stuart Tiara, part of the grandest diamond parure in the Dutch royal vaults, is a century-old sparkler that houses one of the family's prized possessions: the incredible Stuart Diamond. The gem was once owned by King William III and Queen Mary II. The imposing tiara dates to the turn of the twentieth century, and it was a favorite of the current king's grandmother, Queen Juliana. (Much more on the tiara's extensive history over here!)


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But the previous Dutch monarch, Princess Beatrix, didn't wear the tiara in public, and it hadn't been seen since the 1970s -- until this year! Queen Maxima brought out the historic diadem in stages, starting with an appearance at a state banquet in Luxembourg in May.


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For this occasion, Maxima chose to wear a smaller setting of the grand tiara, demonstrating its versatility. In this form, the largest diamonds (including the Stuart) from the top of the tiara are removed. The large round diamonds were repurposed as a truly astonishing pair of earrings.


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And then, in October, Maxima stunned us all by finally wearing the complete tiara, Stuart Diamond and all, for a grand state banquet at Buckingham Palace. Wearing the full diadem in Britain was a very appropriate choice, as the diamond once resided in the British royal vaults.


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She also wore the complete corsage ornament from the parure for the banquet. We all knew it was only a matter of time before Queen Maxima, one of the best jewel wearers in today's royal world, would take the biggest diamonds from the vaults out for a spin. Lucky us!