Dutch Borneo Parure

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of The Netherlands are embarking on their first State Visit to Indonesia, a former Dutch Colony next week, and to mark the visit, we are going to not only feature our usual look at previous State Visits, but also feature some Dutch Royal Jewels with Indonesian connections over the next few days, starting with the Dutch Borneo Parure.

The original Gold and Diamond Tiara, made by jeweller Van Arcken in Batavia, in the then Dutch East Indies, was presented by the Sultan of Koetei to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands for her investiture in 1898. The tiara consisted of a semi-circular base topped by three central triangular-shaped gold floral motifs set with large cushion-cut diamonds from Borneo, Queen Wilhelmina was never pictured wearing the piece (though some curious cut images can be found online) and Queen Juliana decided to dismantle the Tiara.

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The base was converted into a bracelet, the small floral sprays were converted into earrings, and the three triangular motifs were converted into brooches, that are also worn as pendants, a pair of earrings, or as hairpieces. Princess Beatrix began wearing parts of the Borneo Parure in the 1960s, taking full advantage of the versatility of the jewels, and she continues to regularly wear the Parure to this day.

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Queen Maxima has worn the Borneo Parure more sparsely, most notably at the Wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg in 2012 and a French State Banquet in 2014. It’s quite likely we will see parts of the Parure during the upcoming State Visit.


One thought on “Dutch Borneo Parure

  1. These jewels are so exotic and so very beautiful! I’m kind of surprised that they’re going ahead with their trip to Asia. They must not be too concerned with the virus outbreak that’s happening, but I don’t know how prudent that is. The Emperor of Japan cancelled most of his birthday festivities and Belgium has cancelled a state visit to Italy. Even the royals in Sweden have cancelled events they had planned. I hope they know what they’re doing!

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