A reader submitted the following question: Queen Beatrix changed from her signature hat style in the early 90′s, then came back to it in the late 90′s. In between there are some very fun looking fantastical hats. How did this come about? Was there a different designer or consultant during this period?
Since the 1970s, Queen Beatrix’s hats have been made by four people.
Queen Beatrix first turned to Harry Scheltens, working with him from the early 1970s until 2003. From all accounts, Scheltens was a playful personality who took greater risks with Beatrix’s hats as the years went on. I think the shift you noticed during the 1990s was simply a designer pushing the creativity of his work. Some of the hats might look a little funny now but I think this speaks to the remarkable amount of trust Beatrix placed in her milliner.
In 1982, Queen Beatrix began including designs from Suzanne Moulijn in her wardrobe. Moulijn’s designs have a very recognizable style characterized by a combination of clean lines and rounded shapes as you can see here. I think this is the “signature style” you’re referring to that we still see today.
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Moulijn is also responsible for some of Beatrix’s feathered hats. Striking? YES!! Flattering? I’m not so sure.
In recent years, Beatrix also obtained a few hats from Dutch milliner Myra van de Korput for hats. She made both the blue picture hat and the black metallic hat (designed for the quick addition of a headscarf during a trip to the U.A.E. in 2012) below.
Like her friend Queen Elizabeth, Queen Beatrix has also developed a very close relationship with her dresser, Emy Bloemheuvel. Emy was a former pupil of Harry Scheltens – this training, combined with her close involvement in Beatrix’s wardrobe, made designing hats for the Queen a natural and obvious role for her to take on. Because Emy is a royal employee, we don’t often hear confirmation of the hats she has designed; two memorable hats we know came from her hand are a black and red one worn 1989 on a trip to Portugal and the pink flowered boater Queen Beatrix wore at the christening of her granddaughter Princess Amalia on June 12, 2004.
That was a VERY long answer to your question but I hope it provided some insight into Queen Beatrix’s hats!
Photos from Getty as indicated; Corbis