02 April 2015

Tiara Thursday: The Dutch Emerald (and Pearl) Parure Tiara

The Dutch Emerald (and Pearl) Parure Tiara
The Dutch royal family loves to get creative with their jewels, that's a fact. I don't know if it's because they actually have the most flexible royal collection around or just because they happen to use the full range of flexibility that they have, but they mix and match and switch things up like nobody else, and this tiara is the perfect example. Not only has it changed shape over the years, it has also managed to change colors.
Made just before 1900 with emeralds thought to have belonged to Wilhelmina of Prussia (1751-1820), wife of William V of Orange, the design has a central emerald in a swirling knotted diamond base with emeralds on top. It originally had three emerald and diamond finials, which was reduced at one point to the single central pear-shaped topper. Queen Juliana and other family members wore it this way, including upside down (as demonstrated above).
Currently, it can once again be worn with three emerald and diamond ornaments on top. The tiara is part of a whole parure with a necklace, brooch, earrings, and more - pieces that can be combined in so many different ways (and with other parts of the family collection, too) that it's hard to keep track of them.
In advance of the wedding of the current King and Queen, the emeralds were swapped out for pearls as a possible wedding tiara for Máxima. She ended up using the Pearl Button Tiara with stars on her big day, but the pearl version stuck around. It did eventually get its day in the sun as a wedding tiara, when Annemarie Gualthérie van Weezel wore it to wed the Duke of Parma (son of Princess Irene of the Netherlands) in 2010 (above).
This is one of the pieces from the family collection that has been worn by most of the royal ladies at one point in time, including Princess Beatrix, Princess Margriet, Princess Irene, and Princess Laurentien, in addition to those shown here. And my opinion of the piece varies with every outing; those that manage to hide the bottom of the v-shaped base win my affection, and those that don't leave me in fear that it will slide right off their faces. But cheers for flexibility either way, right?

Which would you pick: pearls or emeralds?

Photos: ANP and via Getty Images