The Suitcase Lady


November 6, 2018, 10:51 pm

Brexit may be tearing Europe apart, but the big news in London a few weeks ago was not about politics. It was about tiaras…lots of them.

When the royals go visiting, the diamonds come out. So when King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands traveled to England for their first royal visit, the Dutch royal jewels traveled with them.

Queen Maxima has a true sense of fashion as well as an ample clothes budget and access to the “House Diamonds”. By all accounts, she stole the show at Queen Elizabeth’s banquet in honor of their visit.

The stunning tiara Queen Maxima wore is known as the Stuart Tiara. A 39.75 carat pear-shaped and rose cut diamond is the central stone of the headpiece. It once belonged to King William the III and Queen Mary the II. William and Mary were co-regents of England beginning in 1689. Mary was an English princess from the House of Stuart. William, her husband and first cousin, was the Dutch-born Prince of Orange. After the royal pair died, the diamond was returned to the Netherlands in 1702.

In the last 400 years, the jewel has had various lives as a brooch, pendant and clasp. The diamond found its current home in a tiara designed for Queen Wilhelmina, King Willem-Alexander’s great-grandmother. Her daughter, Queen Juliana, loved the tiara and wore it often. She is shown here wearing it at her birthday party in 1962.

When Juliana’s daughter Queen Beatrix reigned, she never donned the tiara. Queen Maxima now has put it back in public view. Here’s the line up of the tiaras worn at the royal banquet at Buckingham Palace. And if you have monarchist leanings (or simply believe that diamonds are a girl’s best friend), here is a web site to peruse. The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor.



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