It won't surprise you to learn that I am officially crowning Máxima the Tiara Queen of 2014, with not only a large number of tiara events but also a large variety of tiaras worn for those events. Elsewhere, we saw a couple new pieces debuted, and a couple debuts of old pieces on new people. But perhaps the most important thing we saw in 2014 was the return of full state banquets (and thus tiaras) in Spain and Belgium, both countries having taken a few years off in the midst of economy and government problems. Grand returns ended up being the theme of my favorite tiara moments for the year.
JanuaryThe year started as it always does with glittering New Year's Court events in Denmark and Japan, giving us our yearly appearance of Mary's rubies, always a highlight in my book.
FebruaryTatiana Santo Domingo wore a fringe tiara for her religious wedding, although we didn't get a great look.
The Swedish royal court put out a new official photo of Crown Princess Victoria and the King, in which she sported her recent favorite, the Cut Steel Tiara. Princess Marie wore her new tiara for the first time for an official dinner, a piece we've been waiting to see in use since 2011. Tiaras came out again in Denmark for a state visit from Turkey, and tiara intrigue came to Sweden when Princess Christina wore the Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara to an official dinner, bringing up questions about its ownership. Elsewhere, a state visit from China to the Netherlands brought out the pearls.
AprilTiaras returned to Belgium and Queen Mathilde again wore the bandeau of the Nine Provinces Tiara when the Chinese moved their state visit game over a country. King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia visited King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, and Máxima pulled together a pretty fab look with her favorite Dutch Diamond Bandeau.
Another of my favorite tiara moments came in April too, when the U.K. hosted an historic state visit from Ireland and the Queen used the occasion to bring the Cambridge emeralds back after a long absence.
Charlene finally wore her Ocean Tiara. For a magazine shoot, but we'll take what we can get.
May brought several tiara appearances: a look at the Diplomatic Corps reception in the Netherlands, new formal pictures marking Frederik and Mary's 10th wedding anniversary (again with the rubies), a state visit from Israel to Norway, and a state visit from Luxembourg to Poland.
Prince Albert visited the Netherlands, and there were tiaras even though Charlene stayed home. Plenty of state visits happened in June, including a trip to France for the British and the last state visit of King Juan Carlos' reign. The return of tiara banquets in Spain and Queen Sofia's use of the major Fleur de Lys Tiara as her farewell put this one on my list of best tiara moments for the year.
Norway hosted a state visit from Germany and the Dutch visited Poland with the Ruby Peacock Tiara in tow. Over in Luxembourg, Princess Stéphanie debuted a twee new tiara for the National Day gala.
Queen Paola loaned a tiara to her new granddaughter-in-law for a little royal wedding sparkle.
SeptemberA state visit from Estonia to Norway brought us back to our tiara ways after the slow summer season.
Princess Noriko of Takamado kicked off the month donning her tiara for the last time as she bid farewell to the Imperial Family before her wedding. The Norwegians had two tiara events in a week, first with a state visit from India and second with their annual gala for parliament. (And in case you're counting, that adds up to a whole year of appearances of the Diamond Daisy Tiara for Mette-Marit, with no variety in sight.) A state visit from Singapore to Britain got thrown in the mix, and the month ended with dueling state visits: Felipe and Letizia hosting the first incoming state visit of Felipe's reign, and Willem-Alexander and Máxima traveling for a state visit to Japan. Máxima's debut outing of the Württemberg Ornate Pearl Tiara coupled with the return of Crown Princess Masako clock in jointly on my list of best tiara moments this year.
Amethysts and an excellent Elie Saab gown featured when Luxembourg hosted a state visit from Germany, but a dinner at the Swedish Royal Palace failed to wow me. Princess Margriet brought a tiara to America for the Stuyvesant Ball, wearing the star version of the Pearl Button Tiara for the first time, and a royal wedding in Morocco gave us a little sparkle variety.
DecemberThe Duchess of Cornwall was resplendent in her family tiara for the Buckingham Palace Diplomatic Reception but obviously the main tiara event in December was and will always be the Nobel Prize Ceremony and the King's Dinner! Featuring the return of the Baden Fringe Tiara, another on my list of favorite tiara moments for the year.
Phew! Not a bad year, eh? (Remind me of that when we hit a tiara dead spot in 2015.) Now, over to you:
What were your favorite tiara moments in 2014?
Photos: Julian Parker/UK Press, Frank Van Beek/AFP, Pool all via Getty Images / RTE video / Hola / NewsJapan video / SVT video