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While Belgium doesn’t have jewels that belong to the Crown but to individual members of the Royal Family, some pieces are considered the most important, which we could potentially see at the Coronation of King Charles III.
First, when it comes to tiaras, the general consensus is that the Nine Provinces Bandeau Tiara is the most important piece. Since Queen Astrid, it was passed from Queen to Queen, and it was the first tiara that Mathilde used once she became Queen of the Belgians.
Because the piece is highly flexible (meaning that it can be worn in many different settings), many Queens, including the current one, have taken advantage of this and customised the setting to the occasion. As we are talking about a Coronation, it can be expected for Queen Mathilde to wear the piece in its fullest form: the bandeau, the spikes and the arches.
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Other options could include the piece commonly known as the Queen Elisabeth Bandeau Tiara, a piece with a lot of history, or Mathilde’s wedding tiara.
We have no indication of what the Queen could wear for the event, given that previous recent examples were all non-tiara affairs: the Dutch and Japanese coronations were gown-and-hat events, and the Spanish coronation didn’t have any foreign guests.
In Belgium, when King Albert II abdicated in 2013 and King Philippe was proclaimed, all events were very much low-key, and the only gown in sight was the one Queen Mathilde wore in her first official portrait as Queen.
However, if past events can’t help us with tiaras, they provide a more meaningful insight into other jewellery pieces. Starting with earrings, her two main choices for important state events are her fringe earrings, which debuted on her lobes less than ten years ago but have been a staple for main events, including the Dutch coronation, which she attended as Duchess of Brabant.
Another option could be a pair that belonged to Queen Fabiola, to whom Mathilde was very close. These earrings are more geometrical and feature a baroque pearl pendent; they made an appearance for the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito.
Naturally, those are just speculations, but Queen Mathilde has quite the personal jewellery collection, which she accumulated in her 24 years as a member of the Royal Family, so she could definitely opt for another pair.
Another staple of her outfits are brooches, which become essential if the dress code calls for sashes. The most likely contender is her fringe brooch, which she wears quite often for state banquets and other occasions. It was also her choice for the Dutch inauguration, whereas the public didn’t get a glimpse at the piece she selected for the Japanese enthronement because it was covered by her cape.
There is also the possibility that other members of the Belgian Royal Family will be invited to the coronation of King Charles III, including King Philippe’s sister Princess Astrid (for whom the most logical choice would be the Savoy-Aosta Tiara, from her husband’s family) and the heir to the throne, Princess Elisabeth, who is already in the UK as an Oxford University student, and who would probably wear the tiara she received from her parents as an 18th birthday gift – a piece that she debuted at the gala dinner for Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway’s 18th birthday.
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Belgium does not have a massive vault to draw from, at least for tiaras, and the fact that none of them belongs to the Crown makes predictions quite boring. However, they still have plenty of pieces circulating around in the family that have a lot of history, and it will be interesting to find out more about them if any member of the Royal Family decides to wear them on such an important international stage.