Happy Birthday to Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, who turns 80 today! King Willem-Alexander’s popular aunt, born in Canada during WWII, who is the last-in-line to the Dutch Throne, Princess Margriet has been a hard-working member of the Dutch Royal Family for over six decades, and has worn numerous spectacular jewels, though the highlight of her collection are these heirloom Sapphire and Diamond Earrings!
Each composed of a large sapphire suspended from a cluster of diamonds, all hanging from a diamond-framed sapphire, these spectacular Earrings were created at some point in the late 1960s or early 1970s, using Sapphires and Diamonds from an enormous Parure that was a wedding gift to Queen Wilhelmina, which had been broken up by Queen Juliana to create several new jewels, including these earrings, as well as a pair of earrings with larger sapphires. The new Sapphire and Diamond Jewels were created to be distributed between the four daughters of Queen Juliana, which these earrings coming into the collection of Princess Margriet, who began wearing them from the early 1970s. While most heirloom jewels of the Dutch Royal Family belong the family foundation, these appear to be private property, one of the few heirlooms personally owned by Princess Margriet.
Over the years, Princess Margriet has often worn her Sapphire and Diamond Earrings at the annual Prinsjesdag Ceremony, which she attended for over 50 years, and also wore the earrings for the Inauguration of her sister, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, in 1980.
Princess Margriet also usually wore her Sapphire and Diamond Earrings for a series of State Banquets and Galas, as early as the 1970s, including for the Swedish State Visit to The Netherlands in 1976, paired with several Tiaras from the family collection, which included the Ears of Wheat Tiara, Laurel Wreath Tiara, Antique Pearl Tiara or Pearl Tiara.
One of Princess Margriet’s most glittering annual appearances is the annual Peter Stuyvesant Ball, now renamed the Netherland-America Foundation Ball, in New York City, and she has worn her Sapphire and Diamond Earrings with one of the family tiaras multiple times through the years.
Princess Margriet loaned her Sapphire and Diamond Earrings to her daughter-in-law, Princess Marilène of Orange-Nassau, for the Peter Stuyvesant Ball in New York City in 2009.
In 2013, Princess Margriet loaned her Sapphire and Diamond Earrings to Queen Máxima, wore paired them with the Dutch Sapphire Tiara for the Inauguration of King Willem-Alexander. Two years later, Queen Máxima also wore the Earrings on a State Visit to Denmark, though since them she has worn the larger pair of Sapphire and Diamond Earrings created from Queen Wilhelmina’s Sapphire Parure.
Princess Margriet has continued to wear her Sapphire and Diamond Earrings in recent years, including a notable appearance with the Sapphire Necklace Tiara at the Peter Stuyvesant Ball in 2018. There is no doubt we will continue to see these splendid Jewels for years to come!