Today marks the Anniversary of the Birth of Queen Emma of the Netherlands, so to mark the day, we are featuring one of the most prominent heirlooms of the Dutch Royal Family that originates from the young second wife of the aged King, who became the popular Regent for her young daughter and later a symbol of the Dutch Resistance during WWII: Queen Emma’s Diamond Stomacher!
When Princess Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont married the elderly King William III of The Netherland in 1879, she received some spectacular wedding gifts, including this large Damond Stomacher and a Diamond Riviére from the Dutch people, created by Court Jeweller Josephus Jitta designed in a neo-grecque style containing 214 brilliant cut diamonds and a 30 carat, pale yellow centre diamond which can be worn separately as a pendant or brooch. Queen Emma was notably pictured wearing the Diamond Stomacher at the Wedding of her daughter, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, and Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1901, and later for Queen Wilhelmina’s Silver Anniversary Celebrations in 1926.
After Queen Emma’s Death in 1934, the Diamond Stomacher was inherited by Queen Wilhelmina, who wore it for a couple of occasions and events through the 1930s and 1940s, often with Queen Emma’s Diamond Tiara and the Dutch Diamond Stars.
After Queen Wilhelmina’s Abdication, Queen Emma’s Diamond Stomacher passed to Queen Juliana, who began wearing it soon after, with notable appearences on her visit to the United States in 1952, the British State Visit to the Netherlands in 1958, a State Visit to Germany in 1972, and the Spanish State Visit to the Netherlands in 1980.
Queen Emma’s Diamond Stomacher was never publicly pictured on Queen Beatrix but the then Princess Maxima first wore the central pendant for Queen Beatrix’s Abdication Dinner in 2013, and wore the entire Stomacher for the Cape Verde State Visit to The Netherlands in 2018. There is no doubt this lovely heirloom will be worn for many years to come!