In the spring of 1961, the Dutch royal family welcomed the President of Austria to the Netherlands for a state visit. During the trip, the Dutch princesses brought out a whole lot of sparkle. Today, our Sparkling Spotlight shines on aquamarine jewels worn by Princess Irene during the visit.
The Dutch royals attended a gala dinner at the Austrian Embassy as a part of the state visit program in May 1961. Queen Juliana, Prince Bernhard, Princess Beatrix, and Princess Irene were all in attendance. Queen Juliana and Princess Beatrix wore diamonds and pearls, while Princess Irene opted for a parure of aquamarine jewels.
With a Grecian-inspired gown, Princess Irene wore pieces from her mother’s suite of aquamarine and diamond jewels. She also wore an Austrian order of chivalry, the Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria.
Princess Irene placed the Art Deco tiara from the aquamarine suite low across her forehead for the dinner. The tiara, which features briolette-cut aquamarines set upright on a diamond base, was Queen Juliana’s 18th birthday present from her parents, Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Henry.
She also wore other pieces from the married parure, which Juliana had acquired over the years through gifts from various family members. The long necklace with the aquamarine pendant, also worn by Irene for the gala, was a gift from Prince Bernhard.
And Princess Irene finished off the aquamarine look by wearing the briolette drop earrings from the set, which were a gift to Juliana from Bernhard’s mother, Princess Armgard of Lippe-Biesterfeld. (Beside her, you’ll spot Beatrix in her gala attire for the evening, including the Antique Pearl Tiara.)