Today was supposed to be the first day of a state visit by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians to Italy. But because of pandemic concerns, the state visit has been postponed for a second time. To give us a little tiara fix in the meantime, I’ve gathered together a selection of some of the glittering tiaras and jewels worn by Queen Mathilde during previous state visits. Enjoy!
One of the first glittering state dinners of Philippe’s reign took place in March 2014, when President Xi of China visited Brussels with his wife, First Lady Peng Liyuan. The royals hosted a state dinner for their guests at the Palace of Laeken.
With a vibrant blue gown that she’d previously worn for a royal wedding gala in Luxembourg, Mathilde wore the star and purple sash of the Order of Leopold, plus several diamond pieces. She wore the base of the Nine Provinces Tiara, a diadem reserved for the highest-ranking royal lady in Belgium, as a bandeau. She also wore diamond bracelets and her diamond fringe earrings.
In October 2015, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde traveled to Poland, where they were hosted for an official dinner by President Andrzej Duda at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw. The visit was a special one for Mathilde, as her mother, Countess Anna Maria Komorowska, comes from a Polish aristocratic family.
For this official dinner, Mathilde technically wore two tiaras. She wore the Wolfers Tiara, a jewel that originally belonged to Queen Fabiola, as a tiara. She also wore the Brabant Laurel Wreath Tiara, which was one of her wedding gifts, in its necklace setting. She finished off the look with diamond bracelets and Queen Fabiola’s diamond and pearl drop earrings.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde welcomed President Joachim Gauck of Germany and his partner, Daniela Schadt, to Belgium for a state visit in March 2016. The program included a dinner at the Palace of Laeken.
Mathilde wore the star and red, gold, and black sash of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on the lace bodice of her gown. She wore the Brabant Laurel Wreath Tiara, but in a lower setting than usual, perhaps taken off its traditional tiara frame. The look was completed with her white and yellow diamond scroll earrings. The earrings, which were made by the Belgian firm Leysen, were reportedly a gift from King Philippe.
King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan made a state visit to Belgium in May 2016, and the schedule of course included a gala dinner with tiaras galore at the Royal Palace. (Rania’s wearing the Boucheron Bracelet Tiara here.) The royals also exchanged orders as a sign of friendship. Rania is wearing Belgium’s Order of Leopold, while Mathilde is wearing Jordan’s Supreme Order of the Renaissance.
Queen Mathilde wore three pieces of jewelry associated with the late Queen Fabiola for the dinner. She wore the bandeau base of the Nine Provinces Tiara, as well as Queen Fabiola’s diamond and pearl drop earrings. She finished off the look with Queen Fabiola’s diamond and ruby bracelet.
In March 2017, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde made a state visit to Denmark, where they were welcomed by Queen Margrethe II, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, and Prince Joachim and Princess Marie. A state banquet was held in their honor at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen.
Queen Mathilde wore a new Danish order for the evening, the Order of the Elephant. She also wore the full setting of the Nine Provinces Tiara, diamond drop earrings, diamond bracelets, and an elaborate diamond scroll brooch. Queen Margrethe wore the Order of Leopold with the Pearl Poiré Tiara and its accompanying married parure. (Side note: Crown Princess Mary wore the Danish rubies, and Princess Marie wore Princess Dagmar’s Floral Tiara.)
In June 2018, Australia’s Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, made a visit to Belgium with his wife, Lady Cosgrove. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde naturally hosted a dinner for them at the Palace of Laeken.
Queen Mathilde wore diamonds and pearls for the dinner: the Wolfers Tiara, Queen Fabiola’s diamond and pearl drop earrings, and her diamond scroll brooch.
During the Belgian state visit to Portugal in October 2018, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde attended a glamorous state dinner at the Palácio de Ajuda with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
Mathilde wore a new Portuguese order, the Order of Prince Henry, that had been given to her during this visit. She also wore the Brabant Laurel Wreath Tiara and a second pair of diamond fringe earrings, which also have a ribbon detail at the top.
The Belgian royals were back at the Palace of Laeken to host President Emmanuel Macron of France and his wife, Brigitte, for a state dinner in November 2018. The King’s siblings also attended with their spouses. (Princess Astrid wore the Savoy-Aosta Tiara, and Princess Claire wore her diamond and pearl tiara.)
Mathilde wore a dark red velvet gown with the French Order of the Legion of Honour. She sparkled in the bandeau base of the Nine Provinces Tiara, plus her diamond ribbon and fringe earrings.
One of Philippe and Mathilde’s most recent state visits was a glamorous trip to Luxembourg in October 2019. This was a special one, as King Philippe and Grand Duke Henri are first cousins. Appropriately, both of the Luxembourgish royal ladies wore tiaras that belonged to Henri’s Belgian-born mother, Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte. Maria Teresa wore the Belgian Scroll Tiara, while Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie wore the Citrine and Pearl Bandeau.
Queen Mathilde wore her highest Luxembourgish order, the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau. She also wore the full version of the Nine Provinces Tiara (which belonged to King Philippe and Grand Duke Henri’s grandmother, Queen Astrid of Belgium) and Queen Fabiola’s diamond and pearl drop earrings.
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