European Royals Commemorate WW I in Belgium

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to a ceremony at the Saint-Laurent Abbey in Liege, Belgium which commemorated the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. Also in attendance were French President Francois Hollande, German President Joachim Gauck, King Felipe of Spain and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg. Queen Mathilde and the Duchess of Cambridge, August 4, 2014 |Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde looked beautiful in a pale blue silk wrap dress topped with a simple dove grey saucer hat. The grey hat coordinated with Mathilde’s purse, gloves and shoes and while some may find it a tad austere, I thought it hit just the right note for today’s event.

Queen Mathilde, August 4, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, August 4, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Queen Mathilde’s hats are usually designed by Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: this is a new hat

The Duchess of Cambridge topped her cream Alexander McQueen coat with Jane Taylor’s ‘Fleur’ beret. Described by the designer as a “classic straw beret with intricate tonal hand dyed ruffle detail”, this hat gave a little colour to Kate’s monochrome ensemble. While we have seen her in numerous beret style hats (and she wears them very well), this particular hat is a stand out for me because of the exquisite ruffle trim. It is a  very pretty hat that I thought also worked very well for the more serious nature of today’s ceremonies.

  Duchess Of Cambridge, August 4, 2014 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats Duchess Of Cambridge, August 4, 2014 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats

Duchess Of Cambridge, August 4, 2014 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats Duchess Of Cambridge, August 4, 2014 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats Duchess Of Cambridge, August 4, 2014 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats

Designer: Jane Taylor. It is the ‘Fleur’ beret.
Previously Worn: this is a new hat

I thought both of these new royal hats suited both the occasion and their wearers very well. What do you think?

Queen Mathilde and the Duchess of Cambridge, August 4, 2014 |Royal Hats   Photos from Nicolas Lambert/Stringer, Fred Dufour, Chris Jackson, Chris Jackson, Pool, Chris Jackson,  Samir Hussein, Pool, and Chris Jackson via Getty

29 thoughts on “European Royals Commemorate WW I in Belgium

  1. Kate looked lovely and the hat was very nice. Just a little pop of color. The coat’s peter pan collar is just a bit too juvenile.

    Mathilde’s saucer was also very nice and a good shape for her. I agree, however, with Mathilde’s dress and undergarments. Unfortunate, because the dress is lovely.

    • I completely agree with you concerning Queen Mathilde’s hair. It looks great, stays in place, you don’t see her frequently “fiddling” with it, and it works with her hats most of the time.

  2. As we have seen recently, I think we have to accept that the royal families (it seems to be all of them) make a distinction between commemorations (when coloured clothes are the order of the day) and funerals / memorials / distinct acts of remembrance when black is worn. One may think this is inappropriate, but that seems to be the royal consensus, so that’s what we see. I’m quite sure that Kate would have enquired minutely as to the dress code! Personally I think they were both very well dressed, and both hats were great. Kate’s is a style I find a bit boring now as she has worn it so much, but as you say, Hat Queen, the ruffle is beautifully shaded and lifts it above the ordinary.

  3. My goodness I am surprised by some of the comments. The photos indicate that both women looked lovely – quite different styles from one another, though. QM is, as usual, effortlessly elegant and that line of chiffon around the neckline of her dress is genius and makes the outfit just a touch more feminine. I like the colour on her and her hat is as it should be on such an occasion, ie, plain, but stylish. It’s a hard trick to pull off, but she does it. Bravo.
    DoC wears a less “classic” outfit but one that is still in keeping with the event, given its subtle military style. The close up of the ruffle on her hat reveals how delightful the fabric colour and use is, it made me think of a rosette on a soldier’s uniform. I don’t think much of cream as the dominant colour … but it’s a colour that Kate can pull off and, as someone else has noted, QEII wore a pale outfit today too.
    Both countries were well represented by these women who didn’t put a fashion foot wrong. Whew, I think I need a cuppa and a lie down after all that! 🙂

  4. Love Catherine’s hat but unfortunately it did not tie into anything else she was wearing. I like that she did the old half ponytail deal as it kept her hair out of her face an let the hat do what it was designed to do. Her dress was too creamy to compliment the hat and too short to look elegant. Sadly she seems to love this sort of look but it didn’t do her any favours when it came time to curtsey to the King of Belgium!

  5. Kate´s hat is lovely, very pretty. I also like Queen Mathilde´s hat and dress. Kate´s coat/dress is very nice but looks heavy. Isn´t it summer in Belgium? In southern Sweden, it is around 30 C, so I would melt wearing anything so buttoned up with a big collar and long sleeves. She looks very elegant throughout the whole day and some of the pictures taken in the evening are just wonderful.

  6. Re- The Duchess of Cambridge….. Ah, I am not seeing what the majority of others are seeing I’m afraid. I think she looks totally elegant AND totally appropriate. Cream is sombre and respectful without being morbid and the McQueen outfit is tasteful and formal. The hat choice is just gorgeous, a touch of colour without going OTT. I find myself tempering what it is I want to say about today’s outfit (out of respect for the gravity of the occasion and to be thoughtful to those who have somehow thought that is has somehow missed the mark, not only on this blog but on others as well), but I just can’t find anything to criticise. So I shall just say that I think this is one of the prettiest, loveliest hats Kate has ever worn! The base shape is good, unlike some before it and the ruffle is just lovely. The coral/salmon hues in the trim are absolutely to die for and so complimentary to the outfit. I loved the whole look. Thanks.

    • Yes, the color is good, and the hat shape is good but would have been better with a more restrained trim -this seems more like a country wedding hat. Kate’s outfit is fantastic if you favor ill-fitting, poorly tailored (notice the too-short as usual hemline doing the wave) pastiche-type clothing -adding her bejewelled poppy pin would have made the outfit better.

  7. well, after reading all the comments I’m really surprised. I thought Mathilde looked magnificent. Elegant and regal. she has a little bit of a pop bellly and this dress completely covered that and was superb. I liked the colors of gray and it was just lovely. One of her best. I liked her hat, shoes and clutch and it all was just perfect. The only thing I would have changed at all on the Duchess’ outfit might be to add an inch or two to the length of the coat, but all in all, they both looked lovely and carried themselves well. I also thought it was nice that they are all of similiar height. I didn’t realize that Phillippe and Mathilde were that tall. All in all, very well done, and by the way, the Queen wore a very similiar color to Catherine today.

  8. In regard to Queen Mathilde I tend to agree with Beth above. This dress does her no favors, as it makes her hips look wider than they are, you can see her undergarments, especially her bra, which appears to be ill-fitting, the pale color does not look sombre enough for the occasion, and her hat looks too much like a helmet. She is a beautiful woman, but she just hasn’t got it together here in my view.

    In regard to Kate, while I do like the hat and together with Hat Queen I am impressed by the ruffle trim, I just do not think the hat goes with this outfit, and it looks too much like a garden party hat, and I am bored with the berets and percher hats worn down over her forehead, as I think they look wrong with that mop of hair hanging down untidily. This coat, or coat-dress, looks ill-fitting, it is too short, and the pale color palette does not look sombre enough for the occasion.

    Sorry to be negative, but this was a sombre event, and many of us lost relatives in wartime, so the royals needed to make more effort to look right for the occasion.

    • With all due respect, I don’t see any connection between honoring fallen soldiers with making an effort with one’s royal fashion. While I did say in my post that I thought these hats were fitting to the more serious nature of this event, I was implying that these hats felt more appropriate than alternatives with huge bows, feathers or flowers.

      • I should clarify- I think we’re on a very slippery slope when we start equating a royal outfit we don’t like with that royal not making enough of an effort or awarding an event the respect it deserves. From the photographs and video I have seen of this event, Kate behaved with the utmost respect and decorum at today’s busy day of events in Belgium. That says more about her effort to do right for the occasion than her choice of coat or hat. Granted, this is a fashion blog so we’re going to discuss the fashion but let’s please keep our discussion in perspective.

  9. I think the Duchess of Cambridge’s hat is wonderful: the added color of the hat adds to the outfit (which I find rather unattractive, actually).
    I think today was a rare miss for Queen Matilda. The hat doesn’t quite go with the dress, which is not flattering.

  10. Nice hat on Kate but very wrong for the occasion IMO – she needed to have a less vibrant look for today’s commemoration. Kate’s hat is more suited to a wedding or garden party celebration. Queen Mathilde is quite spot on for today and so glad she did not wear a turban with the hole in the top!

  11. Something is really wrong with the waist on Kate’s coat (it makes her body looks SUPER long) but her hat is super cute.

    • I think that is because she no longer has any hips, she seems to have lost that girly figure she once had which made her clothes fit better. I so love the hat, not the outfit, and her hair was also perfect. She is still a young lady and doesn’t need the more mature hair as QM.

  12. I like the flower detail on Kate’s hat – reminds me of a poppy without being too literal. Mathilde’s hat is generally good but I couldn’t help but be reminded of a WWI doughboy helmet (pretty sure that’s not the look she was going for.) However it’s not a turban with a hole so we can be grateful for that!

  13. Queen Matilda’s outfit is likely the outfit of the year. Regal sophisticated elegant uncluttered. Perfect.
    The Duchess just looked the same as always. Not outstanding. The colour in the hat trim helped but it is just the Duchess all over again. A bit boring.

  14. I am reluctant to criticize Mathilde because she is usually so spot on, however, I must say that this dress does her no favors. It makes her hips look wider than they are and the material is very unforgiving. You can see her undergarments, especially her bra. Kate looks lovely but this coat like some of her other recent choices looks a bit too small, even for one so thin. Her hat is great. Not a fan of Mathilde’s hat though. Please forgive the negativity–just my humble opinion. I shall attempt to redeem myself by saying that this blog is one of my all time favorites!

  15. Mathilde’s outfit was understated and appropriate for such a sombre occasion. Her hat was beautiful. Kate’s hat was pretty but not suitable for today. I think she should have worn a colour like grey and a plain hat. My great uncle died in Belgium in WWI.

    • Absolutely agree, the dash of color other than a red poppy was so out of place. Mathilde’s hat was spot on, wasn’t so sure of Mathilde’s dress, seemed to need a necklace, but I notice in the (rather better than other websites) pics here the very fine edge of organaza or tlle, and all of a sudden the dress became perfect.

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