Wedding Guest Hats, Ten Years Later

The wedding of Prince Laurent and Princess Claire of Belgium ten years ago today was a “mini” royal wedding – Laurent was the son of a king but not the heir to the throne. A number of royals from across Europe attended and there were some great hats on display. After looking at the bride’s veil and dress earlier today, let’s now turn our attention to the guests’ hats.

Queen Paola and Claire’s mother Nicole looked like they coordinated their millinery as both were in unadorned  light brown natural straw hats with upturned brims. Nicole’s hat featured a square shaped crown while Paola’s was a more traditionally rounded shape to highlight her dramatic diagonal brim. Their hats were both winners for me and both were designed by Fabienne Delvigne.

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Embed from Getty Images

The groom’s aunt Queen Fabiola of Belgium wore a hat in her favourite colour (lavender) with a wide upturned brim and silk flower trim. I loved how she placed it at a jaunty angle on her head and thought she looked just beautiful.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Claire’s sister Joanna looked very demure in a soft pink 1920’s inspired cloche with side fan bow also designed by Fabienne Delvigne. In considerable contrast, Princess Mathilde (the groom’s sister-in-law) looked rather dramatic in a huge pink metallic straw conical pyramid hat designed by Maison van den Borne. It’s a lot of hat for this petite princess and I think it overwhelms her a little. Since we’ve never seen her repeat this one, I can only guess that she was on the fence about it, too (although, I can’t imagine the average daytime royal engagement warrants THIS big a hat!).

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Embed from Getty Images

Princess Astrid (sister of Prince Laurent) gave birth to her fifth child, Princess Laetitia only ten days after the wedding and thus was not able to attend. Her eldest daughter, Maria Laura, carried on her mother’s zany hat style with this ruched pink organza Peach Basket style hat. As this was this young Princess’ first major public hat occasion I’m going to give her a pardon and only comment one word: lampshade. Enough said.

Princess Lea of Belgium wore a blue picture hat of ruched straw while Princess Esmeralda wore a large red straw picture hat with square crown and breton-style upturned brim edged in a wide bias stripe of straw.

Princess Lea and Princess Esmeralda, April 12, 2013 | Royal Hats

Princess Esmeralda, April 12, 2013 | Royal Hats

Most of the Luxmbourg Royals (who are cousins as their mother was King Albert’s sister) were in attendance. Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein (née Princess of Luxembourg) wore an elegant beige straw hat with mushroom shaped brim and back bow. Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg wore a large lilac straw hat with high upturned brim. I loved both these hats, although I could have done without the rest of Sibilla’s outfit.

Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein | The Royal Hats Blog

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Grand Duchess Maria Teresa must have also received a memo to wear a hat with an upturned brim because that’s exactly what she did- in bright orange.

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Embed from Getty Images

The Swedish Royal Family was represented by Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine. Victoria wore a chocolate brown straw picture hat with a square crown designed by Philip Treacy (and trimmed by Treacy’s signature pink looped bow). This remains one of my favourite hats that Victoria has ever worn. Madeleine wore an ice blue straw hat with a slightly mushroom shaped brim and side fan bow.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

The Dutch Royal family were represented by Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. Laurentien wore a watermelon pink straw hat with – you guessed it – another upturned brim! It’s a great hat, although I think Laurentien ‘s fine features would be better complimented with a more delicate hat (and no crazy collar necklace). It was also a Fabienne Delvigne design.

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Also in attendance were Prince Kardam and Princess Miriam of Bulgaria (before their awful car accident in 2008)  and the Duke and Duchess of Bragança. Miriam wore a peach straw hat with a small, flat brim and drown wrapped in organza net. With flowers also on the side, there’s a lot going on with this hat. Isabel wore a simple cream straw hat with rolled brim and side flower detail. It’s not the most exciting of hats but I like it much better than the chocolate brown hat streak she’s on these days.


Princess Inaara Aga Khan (wife of the Aga Khan) wore this whimsical transparent beige pstraw brimmed hat with purrple straw hatband.

Prince Laurent and Princess Claire celebrate this, their tenth anniversary with their children Princess Louise and twins Prince Nicolas and Prince Aymeric, who joined them in 2004 and 2005. The family does not play any official royal role but we see them joining the rest of the Belgian Royals for major events like the Remembrance Te Deums every February and the National Holiday in July.

Looking back at their wedding from a decade later, I have to name this “The Wedding of the Upturned Brim!” That being said, many of the hats were unadorned and could be easily worn today. I think my favourite was Princess Victoria of Sweden in that elegant brown and pink picture hat. Which one did you like best? And which one would you still wear today?

Photos from The Royal Forums; Svenskdam; and The Royal Forums

46 thoughts on “Wedding Guest Hats, Ten Years Later

  1. I believe a rating system is in order.

    the Bride Claire: 10/10 Stunning veil and exquisite neckline on her dress. Such beautiful draping.
    the bride’s mother Nicole: 7/10 too square for her petite features but very good overall
    Queen Paola: 8/10 lovely shape but not the right color
    Joanna Coombs: 4/10 the cloche does not become her
    Princess Mathilde: 6/10 beautiful hat for a more daring woman. The head-to-toe pink is also overkill
    Princess Maria Laura: 5/10 only a young girl can wear this and get away with it
    Queen Fabiola: 8/10 lovely color and the upturned brim at the back adds such flair
    Princess Margaretha: 5/10 nice… but just nice
    Princess Sibilla 8/10 such a becoming shape and color on her. With a tailored suit or dress, it would be much better
    Duchess Maria Teresa: 6/10 too round for a dear duchess with a very round face and a rather unforgiving color
    Princess Victoria: 9/10 perfect proportions and shape. I love the unexpected pink and brown scheme.
    Princess Madeleine: 4/10 nice… but in a washed out non-color.
    Princess Laurentien: 9/10 lucious coral with great flair in the brim. I would give it full marks without the distracting necklace
    Princess Miriam: 4/10 peach? never a good idea
    Duchess Isabelle: 5/10 all white or ivory at a wedding is only for the bride
    Princess Inaara: 3/10 cartoonish

    All in all, a great hat success.

  2. I agree that the mothers look good, especially considering this was 10 years ago. I really like Queen Paola’s hat on her but that fringe wrap has GOT TO GO.

    I just found this blog and it’s amazing! Your photo’s are awesome.

    • Yes for a wedding so long ago this one was very fashion forward. Even the bad ones are very fashionable. Its just the last one on Princess Aga Khan thats not good and that blue one on Princess Madeleine that is way too old for her.

  3. Most of the hats at this wedding did not look like theatre costumes (same can’t be said for Will and Kate’s wedding) and I luv that. There were a few over the top but thats to be expected. I thought the bride’s mum was the most elegant.

  4. I have such sadness seeing the photo of Prince Kardam and Princess Miriam. She looks so elegant in her suite and hat. And just five years later, there tragedy happened in Spain. Thank you for remembering them in this happy day.

  5. “The Wedding of the Upturned Brim!” Never noticed that before. Too funny. Must have been a slow couple years in hat design.

    I’m not sure orange is a good color choice for anyone to wear on their head (hear that Maria Teresa?). And there are no words for that hideously grotesque pink lampshade poor Maria Laura plonked on her head, not that her mother would have done much better. Madeleine looks completely washed out in that boring blue and Matilde’s giant pink coolie hat is best left in the rice fields. I can’t believe I’m saying this but Laurentien might be the best of the bunch. The Queens look good and Claire’s mom plays the role of “my-daughter’s-marrying-a-prince-so-I-have-to-look-decent-to-be-next-to-a-King” pretty well but their hats are BORING.

  6. There are so many beautiful hat’s at this wedding in lively spring colors. It is like a bouquet of spring flowers. If I must choose one that I like the best it would be Princess Laurentien’s hat. I love the shape and I always prefer hat’s in brighter colors so this one stands out very much for me. Hermoso! Beautiful!

    • Oh yes. The mother’s hats were beautiful and could easily be worn again today without looking out of date. They were my favorites.

  7. That pink pyramid hat is not a flattering hat expecially on a young and pretty princess. I like the light blue one best.

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