The Emerald Parure of The Netherlands

The Emerald Parure of The Netherlands

To help us get out of our post-Jubilee funk, here’s a favourite emerald parure to drool over. This post on some seriously gorgeous bling comes courtesy of Royal Poster Sarah, who is quite an expert on these matters (thank you, Sarah!).

The history of emerald parure of The Netherlands starts in 1898-1899 when is was created by Eduard Schürmann & Co. of Frankfurt, as a gift from Queen Emma (Queen Consort to William III, and Queen Regent) to her daughter, Queen Wilhelmina in 1899. The emeralds arrived in Holland in the 18th century with Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia (niece of Frederick the Great), wife of William V of Orange-Nassau. It now belongs to the Orange-Nassau Family Foundation, which was set up in the 1960’s by HM Queen Juliana as a repository for a large section of the jewels of the Dutch Royal Family.

The parure that was created in 1898-1899 consisted of a delicate v-shaped diamond and emerald tiara, a necklace and pendant, a ring, a brooch, and two bracelets.

Here are the settings of the brooch:

The tiara has scroll and figure 8 motifs, with silver, gold and diamonds, and 2 round emeralds surround by diamonds on the sides, with the original tiara having 3 large emeralds and diamonds clusters in the center. In the 1950’s the two emeralds in the center were removed to make earrings for Queen Juliana, and two additional emeralds were put in the center to make the current configuration of the tiara.

Queen Juliana

This tiara has been worn upright, but it’s also been worn upside down in a delightful twist on the part of Queen Juliana and her daughters. Isn’t it neat?

Queen Beatrix

HRH Princess Margriet

HRH Princess Irene

The necklace consists of an intricate design of emeralds and diamonds, with the detachable pendant continuing the figure 8 and floral motifs from the tiara. The necklace has been worn both with and without the detachable pendant (which is often worn on the left), and with the back clasp of the necklace at a front central focus. The brooch itself has also been worn frequently. Both are very versatile pieces, and have been worn by multiple royal ladies!

The bracelet is also worn frequently, as is the ring – both visible in the following photos.

It’s so great to see parts of the parure worn by so many ladies of the Dutch Royal Family!

Princess Máxima (3), Princess Mabel, Princess Laurentien

One of the most interesting aspects of the Emerald Parure of the Netherlands is that it can be completely changed by removing the emeralds, and attaching pearls! This diamond and pearl version has also been widely used since it was made in 2003, and both versions are in regular use by the ladies of the Dutch Royal Family. How neat is that?

Princess Laurentien, Princess Máxima, Queen Beatrix, Princess Margriet, Duchess Annemarie of Parma

What do you think of the Emerald Parure of the Netherlands?

Provenance of the Emerald Parure

  1. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
  2. Queen Juliana of the Netherlands
  3. Orange-Nassau Family Foundation

Here’s the list of all recorded wearers of the Emerald Parure – it’s extensive!

  • Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
  • Queen Juliana of the Netherlands
  • Princess Irene of the Netherlands, Dowager Duchess of Parma (daughter of Queen Juliana, sister of Queen Beatrix)
  • Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands; both emerald and pearl settings
  • Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Mrs. van Vollenhoven; both emerald and pearl settings (daughter of Queen Juliana, sister of Queen Beatrix)
  • Princess Máxima of the Netherlands; both emerald and pearl settings (wife of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, the heir apparent to the throne of the Netherlands)
  • Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands; the pearl setting (wife of Prince Constantijn)
  • Duchess Annemarie of Parma; the pearl setting (she is the daughter-in-law of Princess Irene, wife of Prince Carlos, Duke of Parma)

This is the third post in our emerald series – first up was the Danish Emerald Parure, second the Greek Emerald Parure Tiara.

Royal Flower Girls, Bridesmaids, & Page Boys Part One

We’ve rounded up some royal page boys, flower girls, and bridesmaids over the years for this three-part series. After all, who doesn’t love a royal wedding? There are oodles of royal attendants and we’ve tracked down a few rarely seen photos to add into the mix.

Princess Elizabeth of York

We’ll start with the Queen. The then Princess Elizabeth was a flower girl and bridesmaid many times over the years. We haven’t been able to locate pictures for each occasion, have been able to collect a nice overview.

To begin, Elizabeth took part in the wedding of her cousin once removed, Princess May of Teck, to Henry Abel Smith back in 1931. Princess May was the daughter of Prince Alexander of Teck and  Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge.

How cute is this posed photograph:

Three years later in 1934, the future Queen also took part in the November wedding of her uncle the Duke of Kent to Princess Marina of Greece. She is  seated at the bottom left of the photograph below.

Looks like she’s got a floral head-piece on and check out those sleeves! Hmmm…do you think her dress is tucked away somewhere? I hope so. She looks like a sugarplum fairy.

The following year, she repeated her duties for the 1935 wedding of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester to Lady Alice Scott. That’s Princess Elizabeth seated on the left below.

Side Note: The bride’s dress, as well as those of her attendants, was designed by royal couturier Norman Hartnell. He later designed both Princess Elizabeth’s and Princess Margaret’s wedding gowns. We have some posts on him coming soon.

Here’s a close up of the bride and groom on the Buckingham Palace balcony with Princess Elizabeth in the background:

Now we’re skipping ahead eleven(!) years. The photo below is from when Princess Elizabeth (far left) was a bridesmaid for the Hon. Patricia Mountbatten and Lord Brabourn in 1946. The wedding was held in Romsey Abbey in Hampshire. That’s Princess Margaret on the far right and Princess Alexandra of Kent is in the centre:

Princess Margaret of York

Now that we got that peak of Princess Margaret, let’s jump to her role as bridesmaid when her sister married Philip Mountbatten on November 20, 1947.

Such a gorgeous dress:

Doesn’t the little fellow out front look like a young Prince Charles? That little guy is either Prince William of Gloucester or Prince Michael of Kent. Does anyone know which?

Grace Kelly

We’ll take a moment now to skip over to the future Princess of Monaco. That little girl in the front of the photo below (which I apologize is very small) is a young Grace Kelly. She was the flower girl for a family friend and wore a little bonnet with her dress. Cute!

Princess Anne

All right, time for the next generation of British royals.  Just like her mum, Princess Anne was asked to be a bridesmaid numerous times.

She was an attendant for Lady Pamela Mountbatten’s wedding to David Hicks in January 1960. The wedding took place in Romsey Abbey just like her mum’s wedding did (which we reviewed above). Lady Pamela is Prince Philip’s first cousin. Apparently it snowed quite a bit that day and until Princess Margaret’s wedding came to be, this wedding was dubbed ‘The Wedding of The Year.’

Here’s a candid of that event. Looks like they are getting themselves sorted for a group photograph:

Here’s a close up of the group shot that was taken that day. Prince Charles was seated next to Princess Anne:

We can get a better look at her tiered dress here:

 Princess Anne also did the honours for Princess Margaret’s 1960 wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones.

Love this candid shot of her en route. Anne was nine years old here:

Princess Anne is standing next to her aunt in this group photo:

For enquiring minds, the other attendants were Marilyn Wills, 12, daughter of Maj. and Hon. Mrs. John Wills; Annabel Rhodes, 8, daughter of Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Denys Rhodes; Lady Virginia Fitzroy, 6; daughter of the Earl and Countess of Euston; Sarah Lowether, 6, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Lowther; Catherine Vesey, 6, daughter of Viscount and Viscountess de Vesci; and Lady Rose Nevill, 9, daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Abergavenny.

And, to end, Princess Anne was also a bridesmaid for Princess Alexandra of Kent in 1963. Love this candid shot:

We’ll have many more royal bridesmaids and page boys in our next post. In the meantime, do tell us if you have any favourites so far…

Queen Juliana of the Netherlands’ Aquamarine Tiara and Parure

HM Queen Juliana of the Netherlands’ Aquamarine Tiara and Parure

                       Here worn by HRH Princess Máxima of the Netherlands

The Dutch Royal House has a beautiful collection of aquamarines, which have been collected since the 1920’s. Many of the pieces have great sentiment attached to them, and have been worn by many of the ladies of the Dutch Royal House. Queen Juliana’s Aquamarine Parure was purchased by one of the House of Orange-Nassau Foundations, so it belongs to the Foundation and cannot be split up among any heirs (important given the equal inheritance rules in Dutch law). This ensures it remains available to the Royal House to wear.

In 1927 as an eighteenth birthday present Princess Juliana received from her parents Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Henry an art deco style tiara of Brazilian aquamarines and diamonds set in platinum, from the Dutch jeweler Kempen, Begeer & Vos.The base of the tiara is a geometric assortment of square-cut aquamarines, topped with seven briolette aquamarines.

Princess Juliana received from her grandmother the Dowager Queen Emma, an aquamarine and diamond demi-parure. It’s an Edwardian/Belle Époque style demi-parure of a necklace, made by Burnier in The Hague. The long necklace (a sautoir) consists of one rectangular aquamarine, and six square aquamarines. The sautoir can be shortened and worn as a bracelet.

In 1937 Queen Juliana received a wedding present from her husband Prince Bernhard of a long necklace with a large pear-shaped aquamarine pendant.

Queen Juliana also received a wedding gift from her mother-in-law, Queen Armgard, which is a set of briolette aquamarine earrings. These earrings match the briolette aquamarines in the tiara.

Queen Juliana received a brooch from Prince Bernhard as an anniversary gift, a cushion cut aquamarine brooch in platinum, surrounded by smaller aquamarines.

The demi-parure also includes another large rectangular brooch.

After WWII and the Dutch Royal Family’s return to Holland (they spent the war living in Canada and Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa), Queen Juliana started to wear all of the aquamarine pieces together, as a parure. She had previously worn them only as separate pieces. As you can see, Queen Juliana and her three daughters, Princess Beatrix (now Queen Beatrix), Princess Irene, and Princess Margriet, wore the aquamarines in separate pieces, as well as the full tiara and parure, over the years.


It is now only worn as an entire set by by HRH Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, the wife of the heir to the Dutch throne HRH Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, and HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, a younger sister of HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix and other family members continue to wear parts of the aquamarine parure.
Isn’t it nice that the Dutch Royal Family share tiaras and parures as much as they do – allows us to see more jewelry!!

HRH Princess Margriet

Here’s HRH Princess Máxima


This is the third in our series of aquamarine tiaras for March – the first was Queen Elizabeth’s Brazilian Aquamarine and Diamond Parure and the Boucheron Diamond Clips and the second was The Aquamarine Pine Flower Tiara.

Stay tuned for a post on an Aquamarine Tiara from Sweden – the Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara of Sweden!

Royals in their Prams Part Two

Part One of this series focussed on four generations of the British Royals enjoying the view from their baby carriages. Today, with one exception, we’re looking at  the youngest generation of European Royals out and about their prams.

But first, in case you haven’t yet seen the pictures released of Princess Estelle of Sweden at four days old, take a look. The sweater Estelle is wearing was knit by her great-great grandmother Alice.

Cute! Onto the those baby carriages…

The Danish Royal Family

We’ll start with one of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden’s many royal godchildren, Prince Christian, Count of Monpezat. There he is with his mom Princess Mary of Denmark and their family dog in Copenhagen. Prince Christian was born in 2005 and is the second in line to the Danish thrown after his father. Perhaps we should have a series on Young Future Kings of Europe?

Prince Frederik of Denmark got in on things on a different occasion:

The Spanish Royals

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia had their carriage out in April 2008 with daughters Princess Leonor and Princess Sophie.

The Belgian Royals

We love this old family picture of Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz , the future Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Duchess of Brabant.

This photograph was taken at her family’s beautiful estate where she grew up. It is called, Castle Losange:

Too bad we haven’t yet been able to track down a picture of her daughter and future Queen of the Belgians, Princess Elisabeth.

The Royal Family of the Netherlands:

Ok, so this isn’t your traditional pram, but they sure do like their bikes there in the Netherlands so it works for us! That’s Princess Maxima and Prince Willem-Alexander with two of their daughters, Princess Catharina-Amalia and Princess Alexia:

We’ll be back on Thursday March 1 for a review of Kate, Camilla, and the Queen’s visit to Fortnum & Mason that day.  See you then.

The Young Future Queens of Europe: Princess Catharina-Amalia of The Netherlands

In our series on the Young Future Queens of Europe, we have so far discussed Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway (click here for a refresher).  Princess Ingrid is just a year younger than our next Princess, Catharina- Amalia of the Netherlands.

Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands is the eldest of the three daughters of Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima, and is usually just known as “Amalia.” She was born on the 7th of December, 2003 and is second in line to the throne after her father the Prince of Orange. As such,  she holds the title The Hereditary Princes of Orange. Updated: Upon the abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Amalia’s official title is Her Royal Highness the Princess of Orange.

Ok, so the picture above is adorable, but at the same time….maybe a bit much to be posing on a pink throne at such a young age when you’re actually a future queen?? Is that not asking for some future diva-ish behaviour?? Or are we being unfair? Feel free to sound off in the comments!

Princess Amalia was christened on June 12, 2004 and her godparents include Prince Constantin of the Netherlands and  Princess Victoria of Sweden (just like Princess Ingrid of Norway!).

Also just like Princess Ingrid, Princess Amalia acted as a bridesmaid for her godmother Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden when she married Daniel Westling in June of 2010. We love this picture of her in her bridesmaids dress with her proud parents at the wedding.

Here she is to the left of Princess Ingrid, in the middle of the procession of attendants:

The Princess had a rather big 2010; she also attended the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. Here she is decked out in orange to support the Dutch speed skating team (who took home several medals, btw). She seems to have inherited her mother’s exuberant personality. Love it:

And the sporting fun continues…she even got an orange vuvuzela to cheer on the Dutch team for the World Cup in June of 2010. Oh, yeah:

Princess Maxima has spoken about how her three daughters understand their royal roles. Here is Princess Amalia with her grandmother Queen Beatrix at an engagement at the European Dressage Championships this past September.

Apparently Princess Amalia helps  her younger sisters (Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane, they like the A-names it seems) at photocalls, telling them that they need to pose nicely so that they can go and play afterwards. With all that they do seem like normal and happy kids!

Next up: the young future Queen of Spain.

Princess Maxima’s Engagement Ring

Princess Maxima of the Netherlands is a very interesting and impressive lady. She was born Maxima Zorreguieta in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1971. She grew up in Buenos Aires and in school learned to speak English fluently. She is now also fluent in Dutch.

Here are some childhood photographs of Maxima from the Dutch Royal Family’s official website.

What a cutie!

A snapshot of an older, pre-princess Maxima

Maxima has a degree in economics and was working in investment banking in New York City when she first met Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, heir apparent to the throne of the Netherlands.The couple met in Seville, Spain during the Seville Spring Fair in 1999. Much like when Mary Donaldson met Prince Frederik and he introduced himself simply as “Fred”, Prince Willem-Alexander introduced himself to Maxima simply as “Alexander.” When he later told her he was a prince she didn’t believe him and assumed he was having her on.

Three weeks later, the couple met up in New York and started dating. Of this meeting Maxima later said, “I’d nearly forgotten what he looked like.” She also spoke about how she tried to keep her boyfriend’s identity a secret from her parents at first. She said, “I would tell them something different, but at some point I had no other remedy than to say: ‘He’s the prince of Holland.’” To be closer to the prince, Maxima moved from New York City to Brussels in May of 2000 and began working at the EU Representative Office of Deutsche Bank. She stopped working there when the couple’s engagement was announced in March of 2001.

Once their relationship became public,  the couple faced serious controversy. Maxima’s father, Jorge Zorreguieta, had been the agriculture minister in the Argentine regime of the dictator Videla who was infamous for his human rights violations. Queen Beatrix continued to support the couple regardless, and publicly appeared with both Maxima and Prince Willem-Alexander. After receiving approval from the Dutch government, the couple announced their engagement on March 30, 2001, alongside the Queen and Prince Claus. What a sweet family picture:

To mark their engagement, Prince Willem-Alexander gave Maxima a very unique ring. The ring features an oval shaped orange diamond flanked by two tear drop shaped diamonds. Two outer bands make up this significant piece.

Orange is the historic national colour of the Netherlands and the royal family is of the House of Orange-Nassau so this was a very symbolic choice, much like how Prince Frederik gave Mary Donaldson a ruby and diamond ring to symbolize Denmark’s flag. Up until the 17th century, orange was on the country’s national flag; the national colours are now red, white, and blue.  Prince Willem-Alexander holds the title Prince of Orange as the heir to the Dutch throne.

Here is the couple at Prince Albert’s wedding to Charlene in Monaco this past summer. Maxima’s dress matched the ring!

Back to the engagement. Here is video of the televised announcement. It’s in Dutch – but even if you don’t speak that language, you get the idea! The couple and Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus look extremely happy. For her part, Maxima learned to speak the Dutch language very quickly and she used this announcement to show off her new skill, which did a lot to impress the people of the Netherlands.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKtjqyRI61s]

These pictures were taken later that day. Don’t they look delighted? We love that Maxima is an enthusiastic waver!

The couple married of February 2, 2002 in Amsterdam. Check out more information on Princess Maxima’s gorgeous wedding dress by clicking here.

The couple has three daughters. Their first child, Princess Catharina-Amalia, was born on the 7th of December, 2003. Their second child, Princess Alexia, was born on 26 June 2005 and their third child, Princess Ariane, on 10 April 2007.

We look forward to more posts on these Royals in the future!

What are your favourite royal wedding dresses? Here are ours…

What could be more fun than having a good look at the most gorgeous royal wedding dresses? We’ve rounded up our top ten favourites and would love which one you love the most.Disclaimer: We didn’t include the gowns of Lady Diana Spencer or Sarah Ferguson, just because…well, we just couldn’t imagine wearing either. In our opinion, the dresses that made the cut are still timeless and gorgeous so they made the cut.

If you disagree with our choices, please add your vote to the poll and sound off in the comments! All right, let’s get started:

10. Lady Sarah Chatto, London, July 1994

Via Fashionista.com

It feels wrong to have this gorgeous dress down at the end of the list but someone had to be #10. Lady Sarah Chatto (nee Armstrong-Jones) is the late Princess Margaret’s daughter and therefore the Queen’s niece. She was also one of Princess Diana’s bridesmaids in 1981. When we first saw pictures of Sarah in this Jasper Conran designed dress back in 1994, it just seemed so ladylike and perfect. 17 years later it still looks timeless. We love the square neck, sheer sleeves, and drape of the fabric.  And how lovely are the matching bridesmaids dresses? the corsetry and fastenings up the back are stunning.

9. Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, London, 1960

Via The Telegraph