Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tiara of the Nine Provinces

This tiara was a wedding gift from the people of Belgium to Princess Astrid of Sweden, who married the future King Leopold III in 1926. Created by Belgian jeweler Van Bever, the original version of the diadem is a flexible diamond bandeau in a stylized Greek key motif topped with 11 large diamonds on spikes. These large stones, totaling around 100 carats on their own, symbolize the nine provinces of Belgium and the (now former) Belgian colony of the Congo. I've heard a few different explanations for what the 11th diamond stands for, including Belgium as a whole and the Belgian royal family. Obviously, this is where we get our name: I’m calling it the Nine Provinces Tiara, though in English you could also go with the slightly more imposing Diadem of the Nine Provinces or even the Belgian Empire Tiara. (Read entire post)

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