Milestone Birthday for Princess Mette-Marit

Royal Hats
Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway (née Mette-Marit Tjessem Høibycelebrates her 40th birthday today. Perhaps the most controversial of the current Crown Princesses in Europe, Mette-Marit was a single mother with a party-heavy past before marrying Prince Haakon in 2001. These days, she has settled into her royal role and become an advocate of humanitarian, youth development and arts projects in Norway and around the world. As she celebrates her 40th birthday today, I thought it would be interesting to take a trip back through time and look at how her her hat style has evolved since entering royal life.

 Mette-Marit’s hats were initially quite simple and with minimal embellishment. The only statements we see here are the overly rounded or square shapes on the hat crown.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

At the May 2001 and February 2002 Dutch royal weddings

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Norwegian National Day, May 17, 2002; Attending the funeral of Prince Carl Bernadotte, July 10, 2003 

A few years into royal life, Mette-Marit discovered Philip Treacy and his picture hats. The stronger shapes, larger brims and  signature Treacy looped bow became a millinery staple for her.


Princess Mette-Marit, May 17, 2003 | The Royal Hats Blog  Princess Mette-Marit, May 17, 2008 | The Royal Hats Blog

 Celebrating Norwegian National Day in 20003, 2004 and 2008

By 2006, Mette-Marit’s confidence in her royal role was displayed by a series of more bold and daring hats than she had previously worn.

Princess Mette-Marit, June 21, 2006 | The Royal Hats Blog  Princess Mette-Marit, April 30, 2006 | The Royal Hats Blog  Princess Mette-Marit, June 19, 2006 | The Royal Hats Blog

Celebrations for: The Centennial Anniversary (of King Haakon VII and Queen Maude’s Coronation), June 21, 2006; National Day, May 17, 2006; The King of Sweden’s 60th birthday on April 30, 2006;  The Centennial Anniversary, June 19, 2006

Mette-Marit contrasted this trend toward more and more dramatic hats with the inclusion of a number of classic pillboxes. There is something magical about her in a pillbox- the overall look is much more formal but I think this is a hat shape she carries extremely well.

Princess Mette-Marit, September 21, 2004 | The Royal Hats Blog  2006-12-10 Nobel Peace Prize  Princess Mette-Marit, April 5, 2011 | The Royal Hats Blog

Welcoming the Italian President on State Visit, September 21, 2004; Attending the Nobel Peace Prize Award, December 10, 2006; and welcoming the Russian and Lithuanian Presidents on State Visits on April 26, 2010 and  April 5, 2011

While Mette-Marit’s pillboxes are one of her signature looks, another is her fascinators. She has long favoured fascinators and carries them exceptionally well.

Princess Mette-Marit, July 2, 2003| The Royal Hats Blog  Princess Mette-Marit, May 22, 2004 | The Royal Hats Blog  Princess Mette-Marit, April 17, 2004 | The Royal Hats Blog  Princess Mette-Marit, April 9, 2005 | The Royal Hats Blog

At a Memorial Service to mark the 100th Birthday of the late King Olav, July 2, 2003; at the Spanish Royal wedding on May 22, 2004; at the baptism of Princess Ingrid Alexandra on April 17, 2004; and at Prince Charles’ wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles, April 9, 2005

 2005-06-10 Swedish visit Princess Mette-Marit, June 6, 2006 | The Royal Hats Blog

Attending Leah Behn’s baptism, June 9, 2005; The Opening of Svinesund Bridge, June 10, 2005; The Spanish Royal visit, June 6, 2006; and the Diamond Jubilee of the King of Thailand, June 6, 2011

Princess Mette-Marit, June 20, 2006 | The Royal Hats Blog  Princess Mette-Marit,August 31, 2011 | The Royal Hats Blog

Attending the Centennial Anniversary (of King Haakon VII and Queen Maude’s Coronation), June 20, 2006; reopening of Oslo Cathedral on April 18, 2010, The South African State Visit to Norway, August 31, 2011; and the Monaco Royal Wedding, July 2, 2011

After all these glorious hats and fascinators, Mette-Marit now seems to be taking a “hat break”. Since December 2011, her hats have been very low key – even at the very grandest of royal events.

Princess Mette-Marit, December 10, 2011 | The Royal Hats Blog  Princess Mette-Marit, May 17, 2012 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Mette-Marit, October 20, 2012 | The Royal Hats Blog
Embed from Getty Images Princess Mette-Marit, May 17, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

Attending The December 10, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Awards; Norwegian National Day, May 17, 2012; The Luxembourg Royal Wedding, October 20, 2012; The Enthronement of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, April 30, 2013 and Norwegian National Day, May 17, 2013

I have mixed feelings about Mette-Marit’s recent millinery choices- rumours are that the princess suffers from chronic headaches and if this is indeed the case, hat wearing might not be a comfortable option for her. If her departure from hat wearing is not for medical reasons, I would love to see her return to more substantial millinery pieces (fancy headbands don’t cut it for me at major royal events). Crown Princess Mette-Marit wears hats beautifully and I, for one, would love to see her wear them more.

Photos from: (Row 1) Getty as indicated (Row 2) Julian Parker via Getty; Monarchy Press; and Julian Parker via Getty (Row 3) Antony Jones; Mark Cuthbert; Chris Jackson and Anthony Jones all via Getty (Row 4) Antony Jones via GettyBauer Griffin via Zimbio; Ringnar Singsaas and Ringnar Singsaas via Getty (Row 5) Mark CuthbertUK Press, James Whatlig and Pool/Tim Graham, all  via Getty (Row 6); Julian Parker via Getty Radio Latin America; and Julian Parker via Getty (Row 7) Antony Jones via Getty; Svenskdam; Ringnar Singsaas via Getty; and Sylvain Lefevre via Corbis (Row 8) Ringnar Singsaas via Getty; Svenskdam; Mark Cuthbert/Julian Parker and Pool via Getty; and Dutch Photo Press 

11 thoughts on “Milestone Birthday for Princess Mette-Marit

  1. She is a strange lady whom I have a hard time understanding when she wears headbands and knitted ski hats to royal occasions. She looks so elegant in the pillbox hats and the berets that I hate to see this “hat break” on such a woman who has the chance to look so elegant. Let’s hope her break doesn’t last much longer when we will again see her in beautiful hat creations that she wears with such panache.

  2. I like the Philip Tracey hats with the looped bows. They look great on Mette-Marit without being fussy. Most of the fascinators are too fussy.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I did not think of Princess Mette-Marit as a wearer of diverse hats until putting this together. It’s always interesting to see all of someone’s hats side by side to compare.

  3. I agree when you say you hope the trend towards minimalism is a short one. Where else can we enthusiasts see these wonderful creations if not at State or Royal occasions.
    The princess does have a flair for wearing the small hats, doesn’t she? Very beautiful lady.

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