Happy 50th Birthday to Queen Maxima of the Netherlands! Maxima, who is one of the best and most innovative royal jewelry wearers around today, is one of the lucky people with access to the enormous Dutch royal jewelry collection. Today, we’ve got a look at all of the tiaras she’s worn since she announced her royal engagement way back in 2001. (Spoiler: it’s a LOT of tiaras!)
On Willem-Alexander and Maxima’s wedding day—February 2, 2002—the new Dutch princess wore a reworked version of a classic tiara from the family vaults. The Dutch Star Tiara combines the base of the Pearl Button Tiara with five ten-pointed diamond stars that belonged to Queen Emma of the Netherlands. Maxima wore this tiara often in the early years of her marriage, but it’s rarer to see her wear it now.
More than ten years after her wedding, Maxima finally debuted the original setting of the Pearl Button Tiara. This tiara, first worn in the 1960s, features a set of nineteenth-century pearl buttons that belonged to Queen Sophie of the Netherlands. Maxima wears it here for a banquet in Brunei in January 2013.
The Antique Pearl Tiara, which dates to the year 1900, was made for Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. The classic sparkler features seven pear-shaped pearl toppers affixed to a diamond base with a fleur-de-lis and festoon design. Maxima has worn this tiara often over the years. This appearance, from April 2009, came during a state banquet in The Hague honoring King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.
Maxima has also worn the base of the Antique Pearl Tiara without its pearl toppers—in fact, this smaller setting was the very first tiara she wore in public. She debuted the small diamond sparkler way back in August 2001, when she was still Maxima Zorreguieta, at the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. The photo above was taken in March 2003, during a state visit from President Ciampi of Italy to the Netherlands.
The whimsical Dutch Aquamarine Parure Tiara, which originally belonged to Queen Juliana, has been worn by Maxima numerous times. The tiara’s Art Deco design incorporates diamond baguettes and aquamarine briolettes. This photograph, from April 2006, was taken during Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg’s state visit to the Netherlands.
One of Maxima’s signature tiaras, the Dutch Diamond Bandeau features old-mine cut diamonds the size of gumballs (!). Originally a necklace, this piece was set on a tiara frame in the 1930s. Maxima has worn it often throughout the years, including this memorable appearance at the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden in June 2010.
This dazzling sparkler, the Dutch Diamond Festoon Tiara, was also originally a necklace (and can still be taken off its frame and worn in necklace form). The piece was part of a suite of diamond jewels presented by King Willem III of the Netherlands to his daughter, Queen Wilhelmina, on her ninth birthday in 1889. Above, Maxima wears the tiara for a state banquet in honor of President Vike-Freiberga of Latvia in January 2005.
Maxima dazzled in Queen Emma’s Diamond Tiara for a dinner in New Zealand in November 2016. The tiara, made in 1890, was a posthumous gift from King Willem III of the Netherlands to his wife, Queen Emma. She sometimes wore it topped by several of her diamond stars.
You’ll have to pardon the fuzzy image here—it’s the best one I could legally license!—but here’s a rare look at Maxima wearing the family’s tiara with three graduated rows of diamonds, made by Mellerio and purchased by King Willem III of the Netherlands. I generally call this one Princess Mabel’s Wedding Tiara, as it was worn by Mabel on her wedding day, and worn almost exclusively by her in the years since. But Maxima has worn this one very occasionally in the past, including this appearance in Thailand during the Diamond Jubilee of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in June 2006.
This petite diamond tiara is Queen Wilhelmina’s Diamond Hair Comb. Maxima has worn it both as a tiny tiara and as an ornament nestled in the back of an updo. Above, she wears it for a state banquet at Istana Palace in Singapore in January 2013.
One of the more versatile tiaras in the Dutch royal vaults is the tiara from the Dutch Emerald Parure. In this photograph, Maxima wears the main emerald setting of the tiara in June 2014 for dinner with Prince Albert II of Monaco at Apeldoorn.
Maxima has also worn the second pearl setting of the Emerald Parure Tiara. This version of the tiara features five pear-shaped pearls placed upright on the sparkler. In January 2003, Maxima wore the pearl tiara for dinner with President Fox of Mexico in The Hague.
One of the most fun tiaras in the Dutch collection is, without a doubt, the Ruby Peacock Tiara. The diamond and ruby tiara features a removable center element designed to resemble a peacock’s tail. Here, Maxima wears the tiara with its coordinating brooch for a dinner at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam in November 2018 in honor of President Yacob of Singapore.
The family also owns a second magnificent diamond and ruby tiara. The Mellerio Ruby Parure Tiara was made in 1889 and given to Queen Emma as a Christmas gift by King Willem III. Maxima has worn this tiara often throughout her marriage, including a stunning appearance in June 2015 at the wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden.
The family also has a pair of diamond and sapphire tiaras. This one, the Dutch Sapphire Necklace Tiara, was made by combining elements from two different sapphire necklaces: one given to Queen Emma by King Willem III, and the second presented to Queen Wilhelmina as a wedding gift by the Dutch people in 1901. Maxima wears the tiara here in April 2010 for a gala in honor of the 70th birthday of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
The family’s main sapphire tiara, the Dutch Sapphire Parure Tiara, is one of the grandest in the entire collection. (I’ve compared it in the past to a Gothic cathedral.) It was made in 1881 and presented to Queen Emma by King Willem III. Maxima memorably wore a smaller version of the tiara for King Willem-Alexander’s inauguration in 2013. Above, she wears the full version of the tiara in Oslo in May 2017 for the 80th birthday celebrations for King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway.
In June 2014, Maxima debuted the Württemberg Ornate Pearl Tiara, a large diamond and pearl tiara that has been in the family since at least 1897. The tiara can be worn in several different configurations. Maxima has yet to wear the complete tiara.
Perhaps the grandest Dutch royal tiara of all is the Stuart Tiara, made in 1897 as a showcase for the famous Stuart Diamond. Maxima initially wore a smaller version of the tiara in public, but in October 2018, during a state visit to the United Kingdom, she wore the full tiara for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.
Which of Queen Maxima’s tiaras is your favorite?