The entire Belgian Royal Family (with the exception of Queen Fabiola) attended today’s wedding of Prince Amedeo, Archduke of Austria-Este and Elisabetta Rosboch von Wolkenstein; as such, there were some marvelous royal hats. Princess Astrid, Archduchess of Austria-Este arrived at the Basilica with the groom, wearing a pale headpiece of dove grey rosettes made by Maison Michel Paris. While I was a little puzzled by the widely contrasting textures in her monochrome ensemble, the mix of rosettes in her hair, silk pleats on her dress, nubby bouclé on her jacket and pearls was such a classic Chanel combination that I have decided to love it.
Prince Amedeo’s sister, Princess Maria-Laura of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este, topped her teal lace Valentino frock (the same one Princess Madeleine wore for her daughter’s christening back in June) with a small headband of teal silk blooms. I thought it was odd that she chose a mini version of her mother’s headpiece- while I liked the shape and scale on young Maria-Laura, the colour variations between the headpiece, earrings and dress made the ensemble unsuccessful for me. I hope, however, she keeps this adorable headpiece and wears it again sometime with a different frock.
Prince Amedeo’s other sister, Princess Luisa Maria, acted as chief bridesmaid and did not wear a hat (you can see her here in a white gown, helping Elisabetta with the train on her dress). Prince Amedeo’s maternal grandmother, Queen Paola, wore an unexpected pointed beanie cap in sparkle-studded navy fabric. It was a rather avant garde and modern pairing for her navy silk suit and I adored the colour contrast with her hair. I want so badly to love this very daring piece of millinery but this hat depicting the cosmos might be a little too out there even for me.
While Queen Paola’s hat was bold, Queen Mathilde’s hat was downright bizarre. She topped her exquisite vibrant blue Natan caped dress with a roughly textured, woven leather and fabric, open-topped turban designed by Fabienne Delvigne. From a distance, it looks like she is wearing a bandage wrapped around her head. While I understand the desire to balance the very vibrant colour of her dress with neutral accessories, this hat is so very, very wrong.
One of my favourite hats of the day was worn by Prince Amedeo’s other maternal aunt, Princess Claire. She topped her bright fuchsia suit with a classic pinky beige picture hat with a square crown and cartwheel brim. The clean lines of the Fabienne Delvigne designed hat were such a beautiful compliment to her textured suit and the proportion was grand, but not off balance. This is how to do neutral accessories with a bright statement suit.
The groom’s paternal grandmother, Archduchess Margherita of Austria-Este, topped her lovely pink and white floral jacket with a cream picture hat. I thought the pleated white crin edging around the brim gave a soft and very pretty addition to this hat.
Finally, the bride’s mother, Italian film producer Countess Lilia de Smecchia, wore a small green brimless hat in the same fabric as her beautifully layered coat. I thought it was, on all accounts, rather flat.
The Belgian Royal Family are an entertaining bunch when it comes to millinery at major events and today was no exception. Stay tuned tomorrow, when we’ll look at hats worn by other royal guests at this wedding. Until then, which Belgian royal hat was your favourite?
Photos from Tiziana Fabi/Stringer, Elisabetta Villa/Stringer, Elisabetta Villa/Stringer, Elisabetta Villa/Stringer, Elisabetta Villa/Stringer, Elisabetta Villa/Stringer and Elisabetta Villa/Stringer via Getty; Elisabetta Villa/Stringer, Elisabetta Villa/Getty via Zimbio; Elisabetta Villa/Stringer, Elisabetta Villa/Stringer,Elisabetta Villa/Stringer and Elisabetta Villa/Stringer via Getty; EPA via The Daily Mail; Elisabetta Villa/Stringer and Elisabetta Villa/Stringer via Getty; and AFP via LaVenir