Day 2 of State Visit to New Zealand

King Willem Alexander and Queen Máxima continued their state visit to New Zealand today with a stop in Christchurch. Queen Máxima topped a yellow coat and printed yellow and pink dress with a rounded, brimless hat in pale pink straw trimmed with a monochrome straw hat band around the bottom and flat bow.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

In preparing this post, I have found this design difficult to describe. Technically, the hat is worn as a calot and while some might describe it as a pillbox, its tall, domed shape makes me think it wasn’t intended as a pillbox, either.

Embed from Getty Images

The shape of this hat seemed seemed unusual enough for me to dig back through my photo archives until I found these pictures, taken March 30, 2006 during a state visit to Argentina.

2006-03-30-argentina-3 2006-03-30-argentina-2 2006-03-30-argentina-1

Princess Máxima, March 30, 2006 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

BINGO. Jump over to this photo for a back view of the original hat which will explain the origin of the folded bow we see worn at the front of the brimless hat today.


Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: with brim March 30, 2006
What do you all think of this very interesting hat renovation?
Photos from Getty as indicated; Juan MabromataJuan MabromataJuan Mabromata, Kai Schwoerer  and Juan Mabromata via Getty

30 thoughts on “Day 2 of State Visit to New Zealand

  1. I like the hat but with just the coat the hat color doesn’t make sense until you see the dress. I also liked the large picture hat though I can see people wanting to see her face better.

  2. If you’ll excuse me not mentioning the hat (agree with the ‘flower pot’ description) … I’ll add some local colour.

    As you may know Christchurch was devastated by 2 major earthquakes – the first one in September 2010 was fatality free, but the second in February 2011 killed 185 people and devastated the central city, as well as many other areas. The ‘rebuild’ of public and private buildings continues, however, the city’s most symbolic building, the Anglican cathedral which sits at the heart of the city, remains in ruins due to a dispute within the congregation. Since 2011 residents of Christchurch have experienced tens of thousands of earthquakes. Read more about the 2011 quake here:

    The top 2 photos show the royal couple riding one of the city’s famous trams. In the 1920s Christchurch had the largest electric tramway system in the country. The last trams ran in 1954 … then in 1995 a loop central city system opened using historic trams. The trams didn’t operate from February 2011 to November 2013. (They’re a fun thing to do if you’re ever in Christchurch.)

    The photo of the royal couple with the small furry animal is actually them meeting a kiwi called Elvis! (Shame you can’t see the bird’s head, but you can see its strong feet – they kick-fight Australian possums which like to eat their eggs.)

    In the photo below that, the blonde woman in the black-and-white stripes is Lianne Dalziel, Mayor of Christchurch since 2013. Before that she was an MP for 23 years, serving, among other things, as Minister of Justice.

  3. What impressive detective work, HatQueen. As a hat, the original worked well, very dramatic, although not a good hat for the Queen whose face needed to be more visible. Don’t like the curtailed version, although I have some admiration for Maxima even thinking of it!

  4. This hat reminds me of another one she owns that is a similar color but has sort of a molded shape (which lends itself to some crass jokes). I grade today’s featured hat a fail.

  5. I thought at first she was wearing a bleached terra cotta flowerpot on her head. In addition to being an odd shape and size, the color does nothing for her. He hair color just swamps all of her beige-y hats.
    Maybe this is a payback for all the complaints about crownless hats.

  6. Genius detective work HQ! the revamped hat is a fail for me; though I completely understand why Maxima would have decided not to persevere with the Sia-like lampshade.
    Overall, the effect is almost-but-not-quite. The different hat (and coat) shapes [and more flattering tones of blush and yellow] required to make a winning version of this outfit are not dramatic, in fact they are quite subtle; but they define the gulf between meh and fabulous.

  7. I am so impressed that you made the connection to the original, better-looking hat. What clever research! Well done!
    The sixth photo above makes the new version look ridiculous, and I don’t see what anything has to do with the yellow coat. Without the coat but with the original brim still on the hat, today’s outfit might have been fine. As it stands, it isn’t.

  8. Isn’t this the same hat as Queen Mathilde wore at Amalia’s christening? Well, there might be another brimless hat in the near future….

  9. Certainly prefer the hat before its alteration–it’s a very odd shape now. And, as HatQueen has remarked, you can’t look at it the same way once you realize the brim used to be there. It doesn’t suit the queen at all, and does less than nothing for the whole outfit. Very odd choice.

  10. You have extraordinary memory, HatQueen! I’m not enthusiastic about either version of the hat. First the colour is unflattering to her hair colour. Second, on the first outing the brim overwhelmed and hid her face and, on this occasion the style is rather strange. The yellow is lovely and Maxima is certainly a lovely woman.

  11. Someone fetch my smelling salts! This hat was so beautiful with the brim, and sits somewhat awkwardly without. The only plausible explanation is that the brim was damaged beyond repair, and there was no time to find a suitable replacement.

    (Can you tell I am a sucker for Maxima in large-brimmed hats?) 😉

    • I totally agree with you regarding the queen and large-brimmed hats! But there must have been something more suitable–it’s an odd shape and has no relationship to the rest of her clothing.

  12. Wow, HatQueen, you’re a genius! So this explains the rather weird shape. Overall, the whole look works so the idea was ok. But the shape of the hat keeps bothering me.

  13. The hat might be cute on someone else, but her hair just doesn’t work with it. The proportion to her head isn’t good either. Perhaps someone younger and smaller could carry it off better. Not a fan of this one.

  14. Excellent sleuthing. I’m in awe. I’m not in awe of this hat though. The original hat was just too big, but on its own this crown is waaaaay too big, it looks cartoonish. I get the 60s vibe she’s going for, but I’m not digging it. Perhaps with an updo it would work better, but I’m still out on this one.

    • I looked at this hat last night before I went to bed and thought something was off about it but couldn’t put my finger on what it was. You’re right- the proportion is cartoonish. This morning, I had to look closely at the two hats for a while before I realized the former brim put the crown into proportion, something that screams rather loudly now that it’s gone.

  15. This reminds me of cutting off the sleeves of a woolly jumper when I was a child because I quite liked the jumper but found the sleeves too long. I can well imagine Queen Maxima having a look around her hat room and spotting the wide-brimmed hat. Hm, she says to herself, quite a nice hat but that brim … and off it comes. Thank goodness the edge of her new hat looks a lot better than the edges of my jumper sleeves did after I was finished with them.
    I prefer the brimless version of that hat, although I agree with Jamie that a different hair-do might look better with it.

  16. It’s a strange hat, and even stranger knowing its origin. It does seem more like a pillbox than a calot, and goes with the 60s vibe of the rest of her outfit (loose, collarless coat, bright colors, large costume earrings, long hair). Queen Maxima pulls it off, that’s for sure. I do prefer this hat to the large brimmed version just because that brim hid her face too much. What an interesting hat development!

  17. Not a fan – the brimless one looks a tad cartoonish to me. Something’s just terribly off with it – I proclaim it a fail! But then I don’t really like the one with the wide downturned brim either!

    • The old hat with the brim is awkward – I have tried ones on like this and they felt very annoying to me because as you move around, the brim touches your shoulders and back.

  18. Your knowledge is amazing! I prefer the hat with the brim the ‘new’ version doesn’t look quite right to me somehow…

  19. Hmm, I think I prefer the original, except that it hides her face too easily. Maybe I would like the new version better if her hair was up like yesterday. I do love her vibrant yellow coat though!

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