Today’s Wedding Tiara Wednesday article is dedicated to a bride who celebrates both her birthday and her wedding anniversary in the month of January: Princess Margriet, aunt of the King of the Netherlands.
Princess Margriet, the third daughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, married her college sweetheart, Pieter van Vollenhoven, in The Hague on January 10, 1967. He became the first commoner to become a member of the Dutch royal family. Here, Margriet and Pieter pose for a formal portrait on their wedding day with their parents and members of the bridal party.
The couple’s marriage was solemnized in a pair of ceremonies. The first was a civil ceremony, held at the town hall in The Hague.
Next, the couple were wed in a religious ceremony at St. James’ Church, one of the oldest buildings in The Hague. It has often been the site of royal marriages and baptisms for members of the House of Orange. Margriet’s parents, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, were married in the church in January 1937, and her grandparents, Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik, were married there in February 1901.
Here’s one of the few color photographs I was able to source of the religious ceremony inside the Great Church. During the wedding, the celebrant, the Rev. Dr. Hendrikus Berkhof, encouraged the young couple to “love each other so that you may live in the sight of God with an untroubled mind.”
For both ceremonies, Princess Margriet wore a white silk wedding gown with special embroidery connected to the meaning of her name. Margriet was born in Canada in the middle of World War I, and she was named after the daisy (marguerite) fields back home in the Netherlands. The daisy was an important symbol of Dutch patriotism and resistance during the war. Her grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina, wrote in her memoirs that Juliana and Bernhard chose baby Margriet’s name specifically to pay tribute to “the flower we wore as a symbol of our resistance” to the German occupation.
Accordingly, daisies were embroidered on Princess Margriet’s wedding gown, and she carried a bouquet of daisies to continue the theme.
Her jewelry extended the same theme, too. Princess Margriet chose to be married in the Pearl Button Tiara, which features five pearl and diamond buttons set on a diamond festoon base. The floral buttons themselves were originally brooches worn by Queen Sophie of the Netherlands (1818-1877), the first wife of King Willem III. They were first worn on the base of the tiara in the 1960s, just a few years before Margriet’s wedding.
The floral design of the buttons also mimicked the daisy flowers found throughout Margriet’s wedding ensemble. Another family bride would later also embrace the tiara: Queen Máxima used the base of the tiara for her bridal diadem in 2002, though she replaced the pearl buttons with diamond stars. Queen Beatrix would later wear the pearl button setting of the tiara for her inauguration in 1980, and in 2022, Princess Catharina-Amalia wore the star setting for her very first public tiara appearance.
Princess Margriet completed her bridal look with a pair of pearl and diamond cluster earrings. This week, the van Vollenhovens celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary. They have four sons (Prince Maurits, Prince Bernhard, Prince Pieter-Christiaan, and Prince Floris) and eleven grandchildren.