It’s perhaps the most talked about tiara in the Dutch royal collection and it’s been chosen by Queen Maxima for her latest official portrait. The queen wears it in a set of photos marking the tenth anniversary of the accession of her husband, Willem-Alexander, as King of the Netherlands. And this diadem packs plenty of history for some truly historic pictures.
The Stuart Tiara is the grandest in the Dutch jewel vaults and features the biggest stone in the collection: the Stuart Diamond, a pale blue diamond that was purchased in 1690 by William III, the Prince of Orange who became King of Great Britain, and his wife, Mary II. It takes its name from Mary’s royal house, the House of Stuart.
The diamond hung from a necklace until 1897 when Queen Wilhelmina had a tiara fashioned for it to wear to her inauguration. She also wore it at her wedding; and in Queen Juliana’s reign, she wore it frequently, though Queen Beatrix never wore it publicly.
Queen Máxima was the first to wear it in decades when she sported it for a State Banquet in Luxembourg in 2018, albeit without the Stuart Diamond, but never fear! She brought out the big guns for the UK State Visit later that year…
Queen Máxima wore the Stuart Tiara with the Stuart Diamond attached at the State Banquet for her visit to the United Kingdom a few months after the State Visit to Luxembourg.
The Stuart Diamond, which was purchased by English King William III and his co-ruler Queen Mary II, was a nice nod to the British-Dutch ties between the royal families. The diamond is said to be 40 carats.
Although William and Mary were King and Queen in Britain, after their deaths, the Stuart diamond returned to the Netherlands. However, the gem was put on show again in England in 1851 at the Great Exhibition, organised by Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.
Queen Maxima has made the tiara one of her favourites since its first reappearance in 2018. And now it takes its place in a portrait for the history books as she marks a decade as the first queen consort of the Netherlands in over a century.