Funeral of Queen Fabiola

The Belgian Royal Family was joined by monarchs and representatives from numerous other royal houses for Queen Fabiola’s funeral today. Empress Michiko of Japan wore a petite black saucer hat that featured a flat fan bow and net tulle veil.

Empress Michiko, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Margrethe of Denmark repeated her a black Karakul fur toque with feather pouf trim.

Empress Michiko and Queen Margrethe, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Margrethe, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Margrethe, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Silvia of Sweden wore a black felt cloche hat with wide, folded black velvet band around the crown.

Queen Silvia, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Silvia, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Silvia, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Sofia of Spain wore a black pillbox which was covered in net tulle and wrapped with a band of black velvet around the outside of the hat.

Queen Sofia and Princess Beatrix, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Sofia and Princess Beatrix, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands repeated her black fur felt hat with pointed crown and upfolded felt and straw double brim.

Princess Beatrix, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Empress Farah of Iran wore a black silk pleated turban that was interlaced with strands of metallic black straw and trimmed with a loosely woven black straw rosette.

Empress Farah, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Astrid of Norway, who accompanied King Harald, wore a black bumper hat. At first glance, I thought this hat and coat combination were made from the same Karakul fur but after a closer look, I believe they are made of textured wool.

Princess Astrid, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

And finally, the Duchess of Castro wore a black calot trimmed with a silk ruffle that spanned the side and back of the hat. Duchess of Castro, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

I think that includes all the royals who attended this event (please let me know if I missed anyone). The hats were all rather simple, but simple elegance is exactly what was required. Did any of these royal hats stand out to you today?

Photos from Vincent Kalut, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van KatwijkPatrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van KatwijkPatrick van KatwijkPatrick van Katwijk, Didier LebrunPatrick van Katwijk, and Albert Nieboer, all via Corbis

31 thoughts on “Funeral of Queen Fabiola

  1. Empress Michiko has mourning outfits absolutely nailed: simple outfit in a good strong black “shade”, neat hat, black jewellery, gloves, handbag – the whole package – regal,serene, respectful, somber. Queen Margrethe looked good too in her own stylish way and warm with that jacket and those sensible short boots.

  2. I was not impressed when I read that no British royal attended this funeral, and United Kingdom was represented by the British ambassador to Belgium, Alison Rose. Even the elderly Empress of Japan put in the effort to fly such a long distance to attend. I thought the Empress looked lovely and dressed respectfully. There were many good hats here. It was great to see the Swedish King in his smart fedora. I was moved by the video, with the castanet playing and the tears of Queen Mathilde, so thank you to this blog for supplying this. I think Queen Fabiola would be impressed with this send-off. Rest in Peace Your Majesty.

  3. JW I couldn’t get your link to work. Even if the foreign office sent someone, it isn’t the same as sending a senior royal to a royal funeral. Surely Princess Beatrice or the Duke of Kent or someone of similar position could have been found, especially to make a short trip to Belgium?

    • I think it’s highly unlikely Princess Beatrice would ever represent the Queen at such a high profile event. Any of the Queen’s children, the Cambridges, the Kents (the Duke or Princess Alexandra) or the Gloucesters would have been a logical choice.

      As for the suggestion that Eugenie or Zara could have gone- that makes even less sense. Eugenie and Zara both have private careers at this point and don’t do royal engagements. And Eugenie lives in New York!

  4. It was so great to see all these foreign royals gathered together again; I wish it was for another reason. I thought Michiko was the most elegant of all those in attendance; I also loved how she carried her own umbrella, while all the others had attendants carrying theirs. I was rather underwhelmed by Silvia’s simple cloche, but excited to see Carl Gustaf in a rare fedora. I was certain Sofia was going to wear a veil (possibly with a mantilla comb), so I was pleasantly surprised by her elegant hat. I also enjoyed Margarethe’s interesting hat. Beatrix was standard with her hattery. Very glad to see Farah out and about, along with Astrid of Norway, whose slightly eccentric style and mannerisms I’ve always loved. Finally, glad to see the Duchess of Castro look more normal compared to her over-the-top appearances at royal weddings.

  5. I like the shine on Syl’s coat! I am going to write and ask if I may have it when she is finished…

    Sent from my iPad


  6. As for the hats, I loved Queen Silva of Sweden’s the best as that is one of my favorite style of hats. I was very surprised to see the Empress of Japan there, she sure traveled such a very long distance and for such a short amount of time, truly a woman to be looked up for dignity and decorum. I also thought she looked very elegant. It was good to see almost all the royals together in this saddest of time, QF was a very beloved queen and lady, very gracious to all. And I could see the looks of girls being girls between QS and now PB, that picture is worth a thousand words, would love to hear that conversation.

    • Your comment was of interest to me since I was just thinking that every looked so appropriate except for Queen Silvia, whose hat I thought was rather unflattering to her face. The weather was miserable, but I doubt she needed a fur coat.
      The first picture above of Empress Michiko is marvelous, and I too would like to have heard QS and PB’s conversation!

      • Cathedrals are not heated and are very very cold. It was also very cold and windy in Brussels today.

        The only hat I did not like was Princess Beatrix. The pointed top is not attractive.

  7. I love the picture of Reina Sofia and Princess Beatrix with their heads together. So many European royals are related, at least by marriage and often by blood, it’s a good reminder that they are also each other’s peer groups.

    Like everyone else, I’m disappointed in the British royal family’s non-attendance.

  8. Royal Musings Blog has addressed the issue of British absence. (see the post here).
    “The final decision is made on the advisement of the Foreign office. It is not the Sovereign’s decision.”

    The post at Royal Musings outlines who has represented the British Royal Family at all major foreign royal occasions for almost the last century. Queen Elizabeth very, very seldom attends anything outside of Britain. However, it is unfortunate that the family was not represented today. While none of us are scheduling the family’s calendar (and don’t know what was going on behind the scenes), you’d think they would have made every effort to send someone.

    • Then I will only say I’m shocked at the Foreign Office. They have done the British monarchy a great disservice for Fabiola was much loved in Britain as well as in European nations and the criticism of their absence has been immense. You needn’t publish this if you don’t wish.

  9. I was also stunned to note that no British royals attended. It seems shocking that they would not. Did they even send any representatives at all? I just can’t fathom the lack of respect. This should have had a senior royal present. It almost seems heartless. I thought that Empress Michiko and Empress Farrah looked splendid, but my favorite hat has to be Queen Silvia’s. She brought her A game, and the Brits brought nothing. There must be a reason for the no show, although I can’t begin to understand what it might be. This is a slap in the face to the Belgian people. Simply unforgivable. Shame on Britain.

    • As am I. I know the official word is that “everyone was busy” but it seems to me SOMEONE could have gone to show respect. If the elderly Empress of Japan could fly that long distance – I think I am right in saying this is only the second time she has travelled alone like this – surely somebody in the British royal family could have made the effort, after all the Queen, herself, attended King Baudoin’s service.

    • So agree, would add the word disgusted. One of the senior royals should have cleared their calendar and gone. I’m sure everyone would have understood that this takes precedence. If nothing else, Eugenie or Beatrice or Zara.

      • The late Queen Fabiola had a beautiful send-off. I was moved by Queen Mathilde; how she tried to hold back the tears, but had to give in–it is very difficult to do. I myself was moved to tears with the performance of the piece with the castanets, ( thank you for posting the video). I also wanted to mention that the British did have a representative at the funeral.

        I thought all the hats looked great, and especially liked Queen Margrethe’

        That’s for the post.

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