22 September 2011

Tiara Thursday: The Dutch Diamond Bandeau

The Dutch royal family has one of the broadest jewel collections out there, and thanks to their family jewel foundation and its generous lending policy (plus a certain magpie princess), theirs is one of the collections we get to see the most of. (And we love them dearly for it, don't we? Yes we do.) So it's really quite shocking that it's taken me this long to get around to highlighting one of their pieces for Tiara Thursdays. Shame on me.

We'll start with one of their simplest tiaras. In fact, this might be one of the most simple tiaras belonging to any royal house. It often goes by the Rose Cut Diamond Bandeau (and has frequently been referred to as such on this site, including in a previous version of this entry), but the more accurate name is the Dutch Diamond Bandeau, since the diamonds are not actually rose cut.
This tiara was created for Queen Juliana using large diamonds her grandmother, Queen Emma, received as a wedding gift. Initially, 34 of these giant gems were set in a necklace. The royal family may have had the necklace altered into a shorter form before the diamonds were set into this tiara with a simple platinum frame. The tiara was first seen on Queen Juliana in 1937. Queen Juliana's mother, Queen Wilhelmina, also wore the new tiara, as have three of Juliana's daughters (Beatrix, Margriet, and Christina), and Princess Máxima.
Left to Right: Queen Emma's wedding gift necklace and brooch, Queen Emma wearing the necklace as a dress ornamentation, Queen Wilhelmina wearing the shorter necklace
I think the restraint in the design of this piece is absolutely remarkable. There is only one motif happening here: GIANT DIAMONDS. No flourishes, no froof. Not even smaller brilliants to create the frame. Just giant diamonds. What more do you need?
L to R: Queen Wilhelmina, Queen Juliana, Queen Beatrix, Princess Margriet, Princess Christina
There are pros and cons that come along with this lack of fancy, voluminous design. On the pro side, I can't think of another tiara in use today that has this much carat power yet also remains a complement, rather than a competitor, to even the busiest of gala gowns. On the con side, it's not very tall...which means it can disappear. This is the problem when Beatrix dons it. Her hair does not change for any tiara, and it seems such a shame to hide diamonds this size under an impenetrable shield of Aqua Net.
Princess Máxima
That's why I like this one best when worn by Máxima; she actually alters her hair to suit whatever tiara she's chosen for the evening. (What a revelation!) Paired with a collet necklace as at Victoria's wedding, it's perfection.
 Ooh, sparkle.
Somebody once left a comment asking what my desert island tiaras would be - which 5 or so I would take to be stranded with me in the middle of the ocean. I think this one would make the list. You know, because I'd need a smaller one to wear while raking the sand around my hut and stuff. What? The sparkle would help attract the rescuers.

Does this make your desert island tiara list?

This tiara was voted #2 on your list of Top 15 Favorite Tiaras!