One of the most interesting and complicated members of the Dutch royal family, Princess Irene, celebrates her birthday today. In her honor, we’ve got a look back at a sparkling state banquet appearance showcasing the family’s glorious aquamarines.
In April 1963—a year before she flew the coop to marry a pretender to the Spanish throne—Princess Irene of the Netherlands joined her parents, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, at a state banquet in honor of the visiting President of Mexico, Adolfo López Mateos. They were accompanied at the dinner by the president’s wife, Eva Sámano Bishop, and their daughter, Avecita.
Both Queen Juliana and Princess Irene wore gowns with metallic sheen for the dinner. Juliana accessorized with the tiara and jewels from the Mellerio Ruby Parure, while Irene borrowed pieces from her mother’s suite of aquamarine and diamond jewels.
Irene wore the eye-catching diamond and aquamarine tiara from the set, placing it low on her head, nearly sitting on her forehead.
The Art Deco bandeau features an interlocking geometric design on its base and a series of briolette-cut aquamarine toppers. It was given to Queen Juliana as an 18th birthday present by her parents, Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik, in 1927.
Princess Irene also wore earrings with the matching briolette-cut aquamarine pendants for the Mexican state banquet. You’ll also be able to spot Juliana’s impressive pear-shaped aquamarine pendant peeking out from the bodice of Irene’s gown.
The aquamarine briolette earrings were a wedding gift to Juliana from her mother-in-law, Princess Armgard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, in 1937.
And here’s a closer look at the pendant (worn on a different diamond necklace). The pear-shaped gemstone, ringed with diamonds, was also one of Juliana’s wedding presents.
Irene also wore one more piece of diamond and aquamarine jewelry from her mother’s collection: a floral brooch, which she used to secure her order sash.
The brooch features a spectacular rectangular aquamarine with diamond floral accents. This one was a later addition to Juliana’s collection, presented to her as a 25th wedding anniversary present by Prince Bernhard in 1962—just a year before Irene wore it for this state banquet.