05 March 2019

Queen Juliana's Aquamarine Pendant

PETER DEJONG/AFP/Getty Images

With one of the most extensive jewelry collections in Europe, it's no surprise that the Dutch royal family owns a large number of excellent aquamarine pieces. Today, we've got a closer look at one of the sparkliest: Queen Juliana's Aquamarine Pendant.




Juliana wears the pendant for a visit to an Amsterdam museum, November 1955 (Nationaal Archief/Wikimedia Commons)

The pendant features a large, pear-shaped aquamarine in a vivid shade of bright blue, surrounded by a thin border of diamonds. The gem was one of the gifts that the future Queen Juliana of the Netherlands received when she married Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld in January 1937.


Juliana wears the pendant as she serves chocolate milk during a Christmas party at Het Loo, December 1958 (Nationaal Archief/Wikimedia Commons)

Juliana usually wore the pendant on a thin white-gold chain, which is studded with additional diamonds. It fit perfectly into her collection of sautoir-length necklaces.


Juliana wears the pendant for a concert in The Hague, November 1964 (Nationaal Archief/Wikimedia Commons)

Although it is a large, glamorous piece of jewelry, Juliana wore it for both casual daytime engagements and more formal evening occasions, often pairing it with other pieces from her aquamarine collection.


Juliana wears the pendant for a gala dinner at Huis ten Bosch, December 1969 (Nationaal Archief/Wikimedia Commons)

She also sometimes layered the piece with additional long necklaces. In 1969, during a visit from President Pompidou of France to The Hague, Juliana paired the aquamarine pendant with pearls.


Juliana wears the pendant during her Prinsjesdag speech, September 1977 (Nationaal Archief/Wikimedia Commons)

The aquamarine continued to be one of her favorite pieces of jewelry throughout her reign. In the image above, she wears it for one of her last Prinsjesdag appearances. Three years later, she wore it for the inauguration ceremony of her daughter, Beatrix.


Irene wears the pendant during the Mexican state visit, April 1963 (Nationaal Archief/Wikimedia Commons)

Even though it was a favorite personal piece, Juliana did occasionally loan the aquamarine pendant out to her second daughter, Princess Irene. Here, you'll spot the aquamarine (worn on a shorter chain) tucked just under the neckline of Irene's gown.


Irene wears the pendant for the premiere of a film about her mother, April 1979 (Nationaal Archief/Wikimedia Commons)

The aquamarine is also easy to spot on Irene here, worn during the premiere of Juliana in Zeventig Bewogen Jaren in Amsterdam near the end of Juliana's reign.


Irene wears the pendant for the water pageant following the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander, April 2013 (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

And during the inauguration festivities for her nephew, King Willem-Alexander, Irene took the aquamarine out for another spin, wearing it for the water pageant that followed the official inauguration ceremony.


Beatrix wears the pendant during a state visit to Turkey, June 2012 (ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)

After her mother's death, Princess Beatrix also began occasionally wearing the pendant, which is now part of the family's jewelry foundation. Here, during a visit to Turkey, she uses the pendant as an enhancer on a classic diamond riviere.


Maxima wears the pendant during a visit to Madrid, September 2013 (CURTO DE LA TORRE/AFP/Getty Images)

And in recent years, Queen Maxima has become the most frequent wearer of the piece, usually suspending it from one of the family's diamond bow or ribbon brooches. She wore the pendant with this delicate bow brooch in Spain in 2013...


Maxima wears the pendant during an official visit from the President of France, January 2014 (Peter Dejong-Pool/Getty Images)

...and with this substantial diamond bow brooch in The Hague in 2014.


Laurentien wears the pendant for the dinner held the night before King Willem-Alexander's inauguration, April 2013 (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

But my favorite appearance of the aquamarine in recent years came in April 2013, when Princess Laurentien wore it for the dinner held the night before her mother-in-law's abdication (and her brother-in-law's inauguration). She wore the pendant suspended from a portion of the grand diamond stomacher that belongs to the Stuart Parure. Inventive and gorgeous!