Inventory: Queen Máxima’s Black Hats

Black hats are a staple in any royal millinery closet, drawn upon regularly for memorials, Remembrance services and regular daytime engagements. Since beginning her royal life in 2002, we have seen 25 different black hats and headpieces on Queen Máxima covering all shapes and styles. Here are these 25 designs, in the order they were introduced:

1.Embed from Getty Images   2.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: both are unknown
Introduced: Oct 10, 2002; March 20, 2003

3.Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Introduced: March 30, 2004, worn with feathers May 4, 2005; and without embellishment May 4, 2018

4. 5.  6.
Designer: unknown; Fabienne Delvigne
Introduced: May 4, 2004;  March 15, 2006; May 4, 2006

7.Embed from Getty Images  8.
Designer:  Fabienne Devigne; unknown
Introduced: October 31, 2006; May 4, 2008

9.Embed from Getty ImagesEmbed from Getty Images 10.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: both are unknown
Introduced: April 30, 2009; May 4, 2009

11.Embed from Getty Images 12. Embed from Getty Images
Designer: unknown; Fabienne Delvigne
Introduced: April 29, 2010; April 30, 2010

13.Embed from Getty Images 14.Embed from Getty Images 15.
Designer:  unknown; Fabienne Delvigne; unknown;
Introduced:  May 4, 2010; March 10, 2011; May 4, 2011

16.Embed from Getty Images 17.  18.
Designer: Fabienne Delvigne; unknown; unknown
Introduced: October 28, 2011; January 9, 2012;  May 4, 2013

19.Embed from Getty Images 20.Embed from Getty Images 21.
Designer:  all are Fabienne Delvigne 
Introduced: November 2, 2013; June 25, 2014March 22, 2014;

 22.Embed from Getty Images  23. 24.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Fabienne Delvigne; vintage piece from/inspired by Queen Juliana; Fabienne Delvigne
Introduced: Nov 8, 2015; May 4, 2016;  Nov 7, 2016 

25.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Philip Treacy
Introduced: Oct 24, 2018

This group covers the full spectrum of millinery shapes with pillboxes, fedoras, stovepipes, calots, fascinators, picture hats, turbans, perchers and even that infamous pair of antlers. I’m struck not only by the diversity, but by the consistent introduction of new pieces each year. Some of the oldest pieces are still in rotation (#4 and #5) while some more recent designs have only been seen publicly once (#14. #15, #17, #18).

While not every piece is successful (I’d be happy to see #7, #15, #17 and #20 retired), the collection shows immense diversity or style, material, scale and embellishment. The word ‘brave’ often comes up when discussing Queen Máxima’s approach to wearing hats and this group confirms how brave her style really is, corkers and all.

Which hats here stand out most to you?

Photos from Albert Nieboer via PPE; Corbis; Edwin Veloo via PPE;  Patrick van Katwijk via Monarchy Press; Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis; Albert Nieboer  via PPE: Albert Nieboer and Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis;  Pool via Getty

36 thoughts on “Inventory: Queen Máxima’s Black Hats

  1. 2, 22 and 25 are my favorites on her. She really looks terrific in a “slice” brim!

    QMaxima is such a lovely lady and risk-taker, fashion-wise. I would love to meet her some time.

  2. What an expressive face Queen Maxima has! I am a big fan of hers, so I will find no wrong with anything she selects. True, some are not favorites or even likable, but they are on a head I admire.

    • I don’t like every hat but wow, is this a complete set of black hats. Some I don’t ever remember seeing before. #6 and #14 were new to me and both are really pretty on her. I don’t think I’ve seen #16 either and it’s really fun! I love #13 and of course #25, although she has so many in this style that I think the ‘wow’ factor is gone a bit.

      If Queen Maxima has 25 black hats, I can’t imagine how many Queen Elizabeth has.

  3. When Max gets it right she gets it SOOOO right. When she gets it wrong, it’s REALLY wrong. That Star Trek Tuban #15 is a LOT of look but man, none of it’s good.

    I think Max looks good in black when the hat is good. A lot of these shapes are so not flattering at all that they wouldn’t look good on her in any color.

  4. What an interesting selection this is – thank you, HatQueen.

    Some observations:
    I think in general the larger hats suit Maxima better (both in complementing her physically and is suiting her exuberant personality).

    On Maxima, the smaller shapes definitely look better when worn with hair up – I wouldn’t choose 16, 17 or 21 for Maxima anyway, but they would look better if worn with hair up, as in some of the more successful examples such as 13 and 14.

    Detail is all: numbers 4, 15 and 23 are superficially the same idea, but 4 is a much more attractive hat to me than the 15, which is better than 23!

  5. Dear Hatqueen, thank you so much for all your hard work and research. I love, love, love these posts of color, shape or whatever ordered hat inventories. They are so much fun and give, next to the hat information, a nice overview of the wearer as well. Thank you again, I am a big fan of your blog!

    • Josine at Mode Koningin Maxima did some great detective work on this hat- I wonder if it is a remake of the original? The velvet seems in unusually good condition to be the same hat that Queen Juliana wore and Het Loo Palace indicated the original was no longer in the royal collection. Nonetheless, it’s a lovely nod to the past on Queen Maxima’s part.

  6. Having been entertained all last year by your wonderful website, I thought I should contribute at last, and what better time than a post on the fabulous Queen M!

    The worst, definitley 15 for me, terrible shape on her and her make-up does her no favours on that day.

    The best, probably 25, it’s such a good shape for her, though honourable mention to 22. I actually like 20, ( whatever it is), and looks slightly Philip Treacy-esque to me.

  7. Love the variety of hats and headpieces Maxima has tried! Ultimately, though, she looks the most spectacular in any hat that has a wide brim. Maybe that is why it seems that in recent years , she tends to wear that style frequently. Not that Maxima would would turn down the opportunity to wear a hat that captured her attention, but believe she is very aware that the wide-brimmed hat style flatters her. I especially like the last two hats and the way her hair is styled.

  8. I knew Máxima had quite a few black hats, but I never realized it was this many! And there are so many I like too. #10, #18, #22, and #25 are my favorites. I was privileged enough to see #12 in person during their visit to DC in 2015, and I like it much more upon seeing it in person (although it doesn’t rank as a favorite). Additionally I would also like to see #2, #3, #4, #5, #15 come back for more appearances. #7, #17, and #20 are ones I would like to never see again.

    A great retrospective filled with variety and something to suit everyone’s personal tastes. I love how Máxima has not been afraid to try almost every shape and style of hat, and it really shows here.

  9. What a surprisingly large collection of black hats. I never would have thought.
    #15 and #20 both look appropriate for funerals. #23 and #25, of course, are Queen Máxima’s classic huge style and wonderful for general use. It’s rather disconcerting, actually, to look at some pictures, #2 and #3, for example, in which the Queen looks so young and somewhat lacking in the poise she radiates nowadays. In general, small hats tend not to suit Queen Maxima’s outgoing personality.

  10. This array of hats certainly covers a wide range of looks and personalities. I would agree with HQ on the hats that should be retired. I think Maxima looks best in the larger picture hats so those tend to be my favorites #8, 22, 25. But I also like #10. 11 and 19.

  11. As a child of the 60s who thought everything Jackie Kennedy did had to be right, I’m firmly behind numbers 1 and 19. To be really Jackiesque though I think she would have to turn number 19 around and wear the bow in front.

  12. My favorite of these hats is #5. I also like 19, 22, 24, and 25. So most of the modern large brimmed hats along with the second pillbox (which is a softer more rounded shape than number 1 and has the bonus bow).

  13. I really love seeing the variety here! I feel like this could almost be used as a primer on hat shapes! What a great collection. I’m actually surprised at how many are not what I think of as Max’s typical hat style of today (large brim picture hat types). So cool. Of course 25 is great, love that in all colors, but I was also taken by some that I might not have thought of that I’d love to see again: The vintage 23, the craziness of 20 which would be great for a slightly less hat-required occasion, the bold wintery shape of 15, and the slim plain pillbox #1. There are a few I’d be happy never to see as well- #7 just feels like too-much-too-much, 12 is one of those open crown things I never can get behind; IMO you can be a hat or a fascinator or a headband, but the open crown things feel like they’re trying (unsuccessfully) to be all at once, and 17 which feels a bit too first-time-with-a-fancy-headpiece for such a regal (though fun) lady. Still all in all, QMax gets all the hat points there are in the world for bringing us such a lovely and varied collection!

  14. I found myself grouping these by order of solemnity, with #19 and #25 the best for the most somber occasions. She looks beautiful in #5 and #22, but they draw too much attention to the wearer for a funeral or memorial service. I also like #10. I’m surprised at how pretty #12 and #14 are since those aren’t styles I usually like — and don’t they look like they belong to Queen Mathilde?

  15. I’ve been mighty lucky to meet a few members of the UK Royal Family – there are still a few I hope to meet some day. But regarding the other European Royal Families and members of those families I would like to meet, Queen Maxima (and King Willem-Alexander too) would be at the top of my list. This diverse and very interesting set of hats and headpieces just underlines that feeling in me. I love her spirit and clear desire to live into her role as the queen of the Netherlands. I recently had a neighbor who was originally from the Netherlands and he gushed about his meeting Queen Maxima. I’m pretty sure I’d gush about her too if I ever had the chance to meet her. God love her!

  16. 8, 23 and 25: they all have wide brims (to me Maxima is the Queen of picture hats) and an overall simple design, no fussy embellishments or trimmings. Since Maxima almost never holds back with accessories and jewelry (not a criticism) I prefer her hats to be literally trimmed down a bit otherwise it all becomes a little bit too much.

  17. I have to laugh at #20. I know why it is listed here. However it is not a hat by any definition which is “a shaped covering for the head worn for warmth, as a fashion item, or as part of a uniform”. And I am not trying to be a nuisance or suggesting it be removed or anything. It just makes me laugh what we accept as a hat in this day and age. Moving on, it is surprising that this lovely Queen looks wonderful in just about every color but not black. I like the Garbos and the Slice.

      • Thank you HatQueen. That means it makes it based on those terms LOL. The way she wears it, it hardly qualifies even then. Looks like a fancy bluetooth device. I wonder . . . !

        • By all means, dislike designs with great gusto (!) and share the reasons for your dislike. However, I react strongly against the notion that not liking a particular design justifies completely discounting it. The designs we don’t like have the same design process and crafting behind them and discounting this feels incredibly disrespectful to milliners.

  18. 2, 18,19,22 and 25 are my faves. I think perhaps black is not her most flattering color. Works best when she can add a warmer shade near her face, such as 25. Also makes hair/makeup attention crucial.

    • Interesting about black not being the most naturally flattering colour- it’s the one colour of royal hat that MUST be worn! I suppose all others are entirely by personal choice.

      • I had similar thoughts about protocol. As a “mere mortal”, I can fudge by wearing browns or other somber colors to such events. Royals cannot. And to your point about other colors being personal choice, how true! Certainly there are often dictating factors, but there is generally SOME choice involved, at the very least the ability to choose a flattering shade of the prescribed color. Not so much with black.

    • Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Thanks for the tip- correction made with this hat removed and the others renumbered. That still makes 25 black hats in her wardrobe!

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