Hofdame Note: There is a lot to look at today! We are lucky to have two hofdame contributors working feverishly behind the scenes. Our Hofdude Triple A contributed some much-needed background on Queen Maxima’s jewels in this post, and our Baguette Iselen has been updating the NATO summit post, which is stickied on the front page. The NATO gala dinner is tonight, so check back for that! Tomorrow we have a post on the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, written by Iselen, to provide context on that day’s NATO activities.
At the invitation of Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima began a state visit to the Republic of Austria which will run from Monday, June 27th to Wednesday, June 29th.
Day One Arrival and Day Activities
The royal couple arrived and were greeted by the Austrian president, Alexander Van der Bellen, and his spouse, Doris Schmidauer, an environmental activist. Maxima is wearing her Natan “Jamba” dress and Fabienne Delvigne hat.
That stunning bow brooch comes from her own collection. The pendant can be switched out with various other gems. She wore the citrine version of the pendant during the state visit to Ireland in June of 2019.
The King and Queen laid a wreath for victims of the Second World War then visited the Parliament building. They also met with the mayor of Vienna. It’s possible the red – both in Maxima’s dress and in the King’s tie – is a diplomatic nod to the country’s flag.
Day One State Dinner
Fate has conspired to bring us Queen Maxima in a tiara three times in as many weeks. What did we do to deserve such favor?
The Queen wore her white one-shoulder Stella McCartney gown, but it’s really only of interest to us due to those jewels. When you are going to pose in front of one of the most beautiful, most well-known paintings in the world, you need to dress up to the occasion, after all. We are lucky to have our Hofdude Triple A is here to tell us all about the Queen’s sparkling accessories.
From Triple A: Queen Máxima is wearing the beautiful antique pearl diadem, sometimes incorrectly referred to as the “Pavlovna Pearl Diadem”. This is because Queen Anna Pavlovna, Queen of the Netherlands from 1840 to 1849, once owned a diadem that had great similarities with this one. Maxima’s diadem was commissioned in 1900 by the then Queen Wilhelmina, and fashioned after an example of the diadem of her Russian Grandmother. Anna Pavlovna’s diadem was probably inherited by her daughter, Princess Sophie, Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
Queen Wilhelmina was the first wearer of the current diadem, and since then the pearl diadem has been worn by all Dutch queens. It was Queen Juliana who inherited the beautiful jewel and later placed it in the Royal Family Jewelery Foundation, which she founded, so that the preservation of this beautiful specimen was assured for her descendants.
The large pear-shaped pearls mounted on the diadem currently worn by Queen Maxima are much older than the jewel itself. The pearls (at least 4) from 1646 come from the possession of Amalia van Solms, the 17th-century Dutch princess. The pearls are set on a base of diamonds, in a garland with fleur-de-lys ornaments. The diadem can also be worn without pearls. This version was actually the first diadem that Maxima ever wore.
On the left shoulder of Maxima’s evening gown there is a beautiful, historic, large brooch, also known as a devant-de-corsage or stomacher. This diamond and pearl devant de corsage is most likely the property of Grand Duchess Catharina Pavlovna (Queen of Württemberg). Her daughter, Queen Sophie (first wife of King Willem III) inherited this jewel from her mother.
The jewel consists of a large open bow, which contains 5 extremely rare (cushion cut) pink diamonds, probably from Brazil. Large pear-shaped pearls hang from the long diamond garlands and small bow. This devant de corsage is one of the oldest jewels in the Dutch Royal Jewelery Collection and can be worn in many different versions. Maxima wears the largest version, and Queen Juliana often also wore the full version of this jewel. Queen Beatrix often wore the shortest version, namely only the bow, sometimes with the 3 large pearls hanging from it.
Maxima’s earrings are Mellerio diamond pendants with historic teardrop pearls, from the royal vault. She is also wearing a bracelet with a large button pearl rimmed with diamonds, probably from Kon. Sophie’s legacy. It can be disassembled on various bracelets and necklaces. The pearl ring is the private property of Maxima.
The King and Queen hosted a concert for the President and his wife. Maxima repeated her dramatic Jan Taminaiu color block gown with a train. As if that weren’t enough drama, she hung the central pendant from the Mellerio ruby parure on a diamond necklace around her neck.
During the day, the King and Queen took a walk around the city and – in a locale known for pastries – took in a baking workshop! They bonded with horse at a riding school, too. Maxima wore her lacey, frothy Natan and the largest aquamarine in the Dutch collection hanging from her brooch.
The National Library was also a stop – and mercy, I could spend all day here.
Day Three – Graz and Goodbye
The Royal Couple traveled with the President and his wife to Graz, where they met with the Austrian climate minister, Leonore Gewessler. The theme of the day was the sustainability of motorized transport, innovations in e-mobility, autonomous driving, hydrogen applications and battery technology. After lunch, the couple discussed women and science and something the Dutch know well: bicycle policy.
Maxima re-wore a dress from Natan: an actual day dress with a built in cape! This is a couple of seasons old and it’s seen at least two previous tours of duty.
She’s had the headband to this hat for years (we’ve definitely seen it on the blog previously) but they added two roses and presto-chango, a new hat for the visit. See Modekoningin Maxima for some photos.