Happy Birthday to Queen Paola of Belgium, who turns 85 today! The beautiful Italian Aristocrat who married the younger brother of the Belgian King. Paola eventually became the Queen Consort and is the mother of the current King of the Belgians. With one of the smallest jewellery collections among her counterparts, today we are taking a look at her Diamond Necklace Tiara!
Either given as a wedding gift in 1959, or given on the birth of her first child, King Philippe of Belgium, the following year, this diamond necklace, featuring pear-shaped diamonds in a modern design, began to be worn by the young Princess Paola in 1960, often paired with Queen Elisabeth’s Diamond Bandeau, like for the British State Visit to Belgium in 1966, though it was also often worn by itself, like for the Belgian Chamber of Commerce Ball in London in 1966
Since Princess Paola lacked a smaller Tiara option, during the 1960s, she frequently wore the Diamond Necklace as a Tiara for numerous Banquets, and in the 1970s and 80s, often solely wore the piece as a necklace at Banquets.
Just days after becoming Queen in 1993, Queen Paola wore the Necklace for her first State Dinner, and as one of her two necklaces, it was frequently worn with the Nine Provinces Tiara or Queen Elisabeth’s Diamond Bandeau for numerous State Banquets as well are less formal Galas and Dinners up until King Albert’s Abdication in 2013. This is not a piece that has been loaned to her daughter, daughters-in-law or granddaughters, so lets hope we see it worn again soon!