Farewell to Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg

Family of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg were joined by close royal friends at the Evangelische Stadtkirche in Bad Berleburg, Germany this morning to pay tribute to the prince who died unexpectedly on March 13 at the age of 83. His wife, Princess Benedikte of Denmark, led her family in a black bumper hat with diagonal stripes on the cuff brim.

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The couple’s eldest daughter, Princess Alexandra, wore Princess Benedikte’s black Breton hat with short, curled brim bound in silk ping and trimmed with a net tulle veil. Alexandra’s daughter, Countess Ingrid, wore a floral trimmed black headband.

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Princess Nathalie also wore one of her mother’s hats, a brimless design with domed crown trimmed with a swath of feathers at the back. 

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Carina Axelsson, the longtime partner of Prince Richard and Princess Benedikte’s son Prince Gustav, wore moulded black felt cloche hat with extended brim.

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

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Crown Princess Mary repeated her Susanne Juul designed hat with tall, squared felt crown and straw brim, trimmed with a pair of black feathers while Princess Marie repeated her looped black silk ribbon headpiece.

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Queen Anne-Marie wore a short brimmed hat with moulded crown in the shape of a partial Pork Pie, simply trimmed in a Petersham ribbon hatband.
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Queen Máxima repeated her Bettina Thomas designed rounded pillbox hat with bow at the back. Princess Beatrix wore a large black straw bumper hat with double upfolded brim.
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Queen Silvia wore a larger scale black felt hat with short, upturned Kettle brim trimmed with a wide, folded silk hatband and knotted sash. Princess Madeleine, who is Princess Benedikte’s goddaughter, wore a simple black headband.

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Princess Märtha Louise, who represented the Norwegian royal family, repeated her swirled black cocktail hat wrapped in black net veil.

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I’m sure you all join me in expressing the deepest of sympathy to Princess Benedikte and the Berleburg family as they grieve the loss of Prince Richard.

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

16 thoughts on “Farewell to Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg

  1. Can’t add much to what’s already been said. Very nice hats all around on this sad occasion. My favorites are Princess Benedicte’s and Princess Mary’s.

  2. Lovely, somber and appropriate all the way around. I liked Carina’s and CP Mary’s hats the best.

    My thoughts are with PBenedikte and her family.

  3. Such a sad occasion to see many hats at once…
    Queen Silvia has the best hat in my opinion, while I think Crown Princess Mary’s hat is too fancy for a funeral.
    I hope they all find support in each other.

  4. Nothing to add about the hats that hadn’t already been said – everyone looked dignified, subdued and approriate. I just want to remark on the wearing of black and that I wish this was still adhered to on a wider scale with the general public. It instantly sends a message to others that a serious life event is going on. It’s almost a uniform of sorts even as we see the variety of styles of clothing worn at this particular event. May Prince Richard rest in peace and his family find solace and comfort in the days and years ahead.

  5. All of these hats were quite sedate and appropriate for the occasion.

    Benedikte looked good in her toque, but I do wish she and Nathalie had switched hats. Alexandra and Ingrid looked nice as well, and I like that veiling is still used for funerals, as demonstrated by Alexandra’s hat. Nathalie’s hat seems to sit a little to far forward on her head for my tastes, but not in an extreme way. Carina’s hat was my favorite of the day; the molded crown, larger brim, and velour felt all work beautifully together to create a hat that doesn’t need any trim, and it frames Carina’s face so well.

    Margrethe’s repeat is good, but I wonder if the angle she has it at is too severe? Overall Mary looked good, but I think her gloves make her outfit “heavier” and more wintry, and the sinamay brim of the hat seems to be at odds with everything else she’s wearing. I like Marie’s fascinator, but it seems like it gets lost in her voluminous dark hair and therefore doesn’t make the impact it should.

    It’s interesting to see Anne-Marie in this more masculine shape and she wears it well, but I feel like some feathers or floral trim would help elevate this hat from it’s rather boring state.

    Definitely not the black hat I would’ve chosen for Máxima, but the pillbox does suit this more low-key royal funeral; I love the lace detailing on her dress! Like Mary’s brim, Beatrix’s straw hat seems to be at odds with the more wintry looks on everyone else.

    Sylvia’s hat was a close second favorite for me after Carina’s. The shape is perfect for her, and the satin ribbon trim is executed beautifully; the floral embroidery on her blazer is also gorgeous! Sadly I’m disappointed by Madeleine’s very simple headband.

    Finally, it’s nice to see this interestingly molded cocktail hat again on Märtha-Louise, but I would like to see it on an occasion that’s not a funeral.

  6. How loved Prince Richard must have been, judging by the grief and sadness shown on the faces here. Everyone looks very dignified and appropriate which in itself is a nice ‘send off’. A sudden death is a shock so I hope those who loved Prince Richard can find some peace in the days to come.

  7. They all look dignified and elegant. What a hard, sad time. I wonder why no one represented the British Royal Family. Or did I miss that?

    • The royals in attendance were close friends. The Berleburgs are close with the Scandinavian and Dutch royals through Princess Benedikte- they are not nearly as close with British royals.

  8. All the royal ladies looked elegant and dignified. It looked like it must have been a very emotional day for many of them. My deepest sympathies to the families.

  9. They all look well turned out on this sad occasion. On anther topic, this is the second time I have seen trim referred to as Persham ribbon. I have always known it as Petersham ribbon. Is this the computer doing a little contraction of a spellcheck, or is this a correct description?

  10. I agree that there is a quiet dignity in all of these hats. And I mean no disrespect when I say some of the ladies are incredibly elegant. A very difficult day for everyone.

  11. There is a marked air of expected sadness in these photos. I agree with Jimbo on both counts: CP Mary looks so elegant. The hats borrowed by Princess Benedikte’s daughters from their mother, become them.

  12. They all looked dignified, respectful, and yes, beautiful. If it’s appropriate to comment about funeral attire, then I think Crown Princess Mary looked outstanding. Having the daughters wearing their mother’s hat is charming all by itself.

    • I also thought Princess Alexandra and Princess Nathalie wearing their mother’s hats was touching but guess there were practical reasons behind this as well.

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