When Queen Máxima began her reign this year with a series of voluminous hats worn back on the crown of her head (see here, here, here, and here), confusion ensued. Was it a pillbox? Was it a turban? Was it a hybrid of the two? The answer starts with understanding the turban. In coming weeks we will look at a a few more hat types (including the pillbox and calot) and determine what type of hat Máxima’s new hats really are.
History: Turbans have been around for thousands of years as a religious head covering for men in several faith traditions (primarily in the Islamic and Seikh religions). Because the history of this head wear is so old, it’s true origin is unknown. Turbans first showed up in recorded history in the fourteenth century at the end of the Moorish occupation in Spain; they became a popular fashion item for women during the 1920s and hit the height of their popularity during the 1960s and 1970s.
Characteristics: Turbans are based on cloth winding- they look like they are made of many layers wrapped around the wearer’s head. In most of the hats we see here, the layers are sewn onto a foundation cloth for easier wearing but they still look “wound up”. A full turban is wrapped in an oval shape around the head, covering the top half of the wearer’s ears and leaving little or no hair showing at the forehead.
Royals Associated with this Hat Style: Queen Elizabeth, Princess Grace of Monaco. Currently, the royal we see most in turbans is Sheikha Mozah of Qatar who Iseems to have adopted the style as a fashionable way to meet religious head covering requirements.
Princess Grace of Monaco, 1962; Infanta Pilar of Spain, 1990;
Tatiana Santo Domingo Casiraghi, 2011Queen; Elizabeth,1975
Queen Silvia of Sweden, 1975; Princess Marilène of Orange-Nassau, 2005;
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, 1947; Queen Máxima, 2011
Sheikha Moza of Qatar
Princess Diana, 1989; Princess Grace, 1961; Quen Sonja 1973; Princess Margaret, 1982
Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, 1982;Princess Grace of Monaco, 1967;
Queen Elizabeth, 1970 Princess Alexandra of Kent, 1962;
Princess Michael of Kent, 2011; Queen Elizabeth, 1979; Empress Farah Pahlavi, 2011; Queen Máxima, 2012
I will admit- the turban is not my favourite type of hat. I am, however, blown away by the two black turbans worn by Princess Grace. Don’t they look fabulous on her? I’m curious- what do you think about the royal turban? And, having seen this hat type defined, do you think Queen Máxima’s new hat style could be classified as a turban?
Photos from Getty as indicated; G. Lukomski; unknown;Stella Pictures; Reginald Davis/Rex USA; Hulton-Deutsch Collection via Corbis; Michel Porro via Getty; British Pathe; ,Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis; Tim Graham/AP; Corbis; Reuters via VG.no; Tim Graham via Getty; Francis Apesteguy and Popperfoto via Getty; and Corbis