18 April 2013

Tiara Thursday: Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara

Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara
King Willem III of the Netherlands ordered this diamond tiara for his wife, Queen Emma, who had chosen it from a selection of designs presented by Royal Begeer. Its arrival must not have been exactly the occasion they expected, though – sadly, by the time the tiara was ready in 1890, the King had passed away. But the tiara was indeed used by his wife, by their daughter Queen Wilhelmina, and now by Wilhelmina’s granddaughters and great-granddaughters-in-law.
L to R: Queen Emma, Queen Wilhelmina, both wearing the star option
The tiara features three central clusters of diamonds, each featuring a large center stone surrounded by eight slightly smaller stones. (These do resemble floral motifs, and this is sometimes referred to as Emma’s Floral Tiara or something along those lines.) Each cluster is surrounded by a scrolled diamond frame, and more diamond collets decorate the tiara between the central elements and along the frame. It was originally designed to be worn with or without up to five of the diamond stars Queen Emma received as wedding gifts on the very top.
L to R: Princess Irene, Princess Margriet, Princess Máxima
Queen Wilhelmina seems to have been the last person to wear the tiara with the stars in place, and thankfully, I say. It’s a bit of a strange combo, the curved lines of the tiara and the spikes of the stars, and an oddly tall mix. Without the stars, it’s a good medium-sized diamond tiara that doesn’t seem too cumbersome to wear or style.
Queen Beatrix
Queen Beatrix has been wearing this tiara since she was a young princess, and she’s worn it so often, it’s usually said to be her favorite. It’s a great match for her unyielding hairdo, since it already includes most of the action at the center of the piece and it’s the sides of tiaras that tend to disappear more than anything else when Beatrix puts a tiara on.
Princess Laurentien
It may be Beatrix’s trademark, but it is still worn by other ladies in the royal family on occasion. Princess Laurentien has taken advantage of the flexibility of the piece which we usually don’t see exercised: the central stones can be replaced by rubies. (She’s only replaced the center one, instead of all three as she could have done, which is not a good look I’m afraid – I mean, a giant red blemish is the worst kind of Cyclops look, no? But still, points for flexibility.)

What grade would you give this tiara?

Photos: DutchPhotoPress/NLC/ANP/PPE/Wort/Getty Images