Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jewel Tuesday: Pearl Button Tiara

In honour of Princess Maxima & Prince Willem-Alexander’s 10th year wedding anniversary.

Princess Maxima's Wedding Tiara Up-Close2

This tiara which consists of a thin band adorned with delicate diamond garlands topped with (detachable) diamond and pearl Flowers is also known as the Pearl Button Tiara.



The Flowers consist of large Bouton or button pearls (dome shaped pearls with a flat back) surrounded by petals set with diamonds.

Queen Sophie brought a diamond leaf (Fleurons) coronet with her when she married the Prince of Orange, the future King Willem III, in 1839. It is often mentioned that the base of that particular tiara was used to create the Pearl Button Tiara but the design is completely different from the current Pearl Button Tiara and it is safe to say that Queen Sophie's coronet was painted quite accurately as there were several portraits made of Queen Sophie through the years in which she was wearing the same tiara and in all of them the base was exactly the same. If the current tiara is indeed a remnant of a 19th century coronet, it has been altered beyond recognition.

The Pearl Buttons were brooches that had belonged to Queen Sophie. Some also had pearl drop pendants. There are quite a number of these brooches in different sizes in the collection.

Queen Wilhelmina attached several of these on the bodice of her dresses at the turn of the 19th century to fasten numerous strands of pearls.



The tiara with the Pearl Buttons was first seen in 1966 during a pre-wedding gala for Princess Beatrix. It was worn by Princess Armgard, mother in law of Queen Juliana. A year later, princess Margriet choose this tiara with a floral motif as her wedding tiara.



Queen Juliana wore this tiara on a few occasions and so did Queen Beatrix before she choose to wear this tiara for her investiture in 1980.Beatrix


She has since worn it very frequently. It does suit her wonderfully well.

In 2001 the base of this tiara was used to create a wedding tiara for Princess Maxima. The base was topped with five of Queen Emma's Diamond Stars.

Queen Emma’s Stars

Since this is Princess Maxima’s Wedding Tiara and she didn’t have pearls she had Queen Emma’s Stars.

Princess Maxima's Wedding Tiara Up-Close

Button Close-up


There are two sets of diamond star brooches in the collection. One set contains 5 ten-pointed graduated stars and the other contains 5 twelve-pointed graduated stars. Then there's yet another diamond star brooch with 12 points which was used by both Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Maxima to fasten their sash . Both sets of five stars have belonged to Queen Emma. She received them as wedding presents from her new relatives the Von Wieds and Von Sachsen-Eisenachs in 1879.

Diamond stars were quite in fashion then. Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) of Austria-Hungary had started wearing diamond stars (made by her Viennese Court Jeweller) in her hair a few years earlier and that had sparked quite a rage among royal ladies to wear diamond star jewellery. It's likely that the stars were purchased in Vienna.

The diamond stars are very versatile and can be worn as brooches, hair ornaments, pendants and earrings.

In 1890 King Willem III ordered a new tiara for Queen Emma. The Jeweller was requested to design the tiara so that it would fit five diamonds stars from one set. They were mounted on top of what I now refer to as Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara.

Queen Juliana has worn all stars (from both sets) together on her sash during the British State Visit in the 1950's

Button - JulianaButton - Margriet

(Queen Juliana, Princess Margriet)Button - Beatrix

(Queen Beatrix)

In 2001 the Dutch Court Jeweller created a wedding tiara with five stars for Maxima Zorreguita who would marry the Prince of Orange the following year. They used the base of the Pearl Button Tiara and mounted it with five 10 pointed stars.


Princess Maxima has worn diamond stars on several other occasions although in recent years they were no loner set on a tiara

Button - Maxima

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