Sapphires for September: the Netherlands
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands in the sapphire tiara of her royal house on the day her husband ascended the throne
Sapphires are stunning and the regal blue of the deepest stone has made them a favourite for royals for centuries. The modern royal families of Europe possess some pretty cracking tiaras set with sapphires and among the most striking is the one that belongs to Dutch ruling house. The sapphire tiara of the Netherlands is among the most photographed of recent times after Queen Maxima chose to wear it on the day her husband became monarch. But that historic appearance was just the latest chapter in the tale of this diadem. Here are more sapphires for September.
It began life in 1881 as an arc of diamonds (over 650 of them in total) rising above a neat row of huge sapphires and ending with a sparkling three pronged spray reminiscent of a fleur de lys. When Maxima wore it for her husband's accession she had the top altered leaving a more modern design that arcs more gently with the round stones building to a much more gradual point.
This is a tiara fit for a queen with Beatrix using it for some of the biggest events in her reign as well as for state visits. It's been seen on Maxima, Beatrix and her mother Juliana keeping up the queenly beginnings of a tiara bought for a young consort at the end of the 19th century.