Jordan & Luxembourg Royals Attend Sandhurst Parade

The passing out parade at Sandhurst yesterday was attended by members of the Jordan and Luxembourg royal families, on hand to offer their congratulations to Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan and Prince Sébastien of Luxembourg who were among the new graduates completing their officer training at the prestigious military academy in Surrey (Prince Wenzel of Liechtenstein and Shaikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain were also graduates).



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King Abdallah, a 1981 graduate of the Royal Military Academy himself, stood in for Queen Elizabeth to oversee the Sovereign’s Parade.

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Grand Duke Henri, a 1975 Sandhurst graduate and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, a 2002 graduate, both attended in military uniform with caps. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore a vibrant pink saucer hat in matching straw that looks to be a near identical twin to the cherry red hat she wore for Luxembourg’s National Day celebrations in June. The saucer follows a gentle curve that raises at the back and, like its twin, is simply trimmed with a looped ribbon of straw. The shape is a little too clunky (from the front, it does look like someone sat upon it), the binding a little too thick and the straw ribbon trim too random for this hat to be a winner for me.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Hereditary Grand Duchess, Princess Stéphanie, wore a pale aqua straw hat with wide, gently upswept brim on one side, trimmed with a slim layered straw hatband in the same hue that tied at the side. From the side view below, you’ll note that the hatband continued around the brim of the hat in several large loops. We haven’t seen Stéphanie in many wide brims and while I want to encourage such millinery experimentation for her, something about its combination with her dress and coat was slightly off balance. I may prefer this ensemble with the smaller, quirkier hat she originally paired with it.

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Princess Stéphanie, Aug 11, 2017 | Royal Hats
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Designer: Amelie D’Hooghvorst
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Claire wore a pale pink straw hat piped a narrow stripe of burgundy piping. From far away, the hat looks like a raised ‘slice’ brim design but it is actually a large saucer with domed crown and curved front brim. I like the side view much better than the front, where the piece unfortunately resembles a wonky, sideways-worn cowboy hat.

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Princess Claire, Aug 11, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
Princess Alexandra repeated her rose-beige straw hat with pork pie crown, floppy brim and grosgrain ribbon hat band finished at the side with a flat bow. It’s not the most refined piece in her millinery closet but paired well with her navy silk dress.

Princess Alexandra, Aug 11, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 23, 2016
Thoughts about the hats in Surrey yesterday?
Grand Ducal Family, Aug 11, 2017 | Royal Hats
Photos from Getty as indicated; Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco  


27 thoughts on “Jordan & Luxembourg Royals Attend Sandhurst Parade

  1. Maria Teresa looks fabulous in these colors, but I agree that the hat just looks like it was sat on; also, as it’s nearly identical to her last major public appearance, I would’ve liked to see a different shape, like a cocktail percher of some sort.

    I think Stephanie’s hat is great! I think the real problem is her dress is too short and is unbalance against the wide brim of her hat; a longer dress would fix this visual mismatch and make this ensemble really shine!

    I agree with Katie Vale that it looks like Claire’s hat is on backwards. Regardless of which way it is supposed to be worn, I still don’t care for it and think a more traditional shape would’ve suited her outfit better.

    Alexandra’s overall look is good, but it’s not the most exciting.

    I’m always disappointed we never get to see Rania in a hat; she has had the opportunity to wear one on multiple occasions, and yet she doesn’t. At least she knows how to dress well!

  2. I definitely agree with HatQueen that Stephanie’s previous hat seemed much more suited to this outfit, but I think that may be less due to the hats themselves, and more because on the previous wearing, the focus was more on the coat, whereas at Sandringham, the breeze has blown the coat open and the focus is on the dress beneath. The Sandringham hat might have gone better if paired with the coat only (with the dress mainly hidden).

    Although the focus of this post was on the women’s hats, King Abdullah’s checkered headdress was quite impressive, especially from the side. Does anyone know the reason why he later switched back to a regular military style cap?

    Also, again not regarding a hat, but what’s with Queen Rania’s dress? I thought her slip was showing, but apparently that’s a style. The only other photo I could find of it was here:

    • Queen Rania often leaves me perplexed with some of her outfit choices – I’m trying to convince myself that this is the equivalent of a red tailcoat worn over a white dress. The coat look to be slightly padded from what I saw of other closeup pictures.

      • That would make more sense, LesleyC. It honestly never occurred to me that it was a coat worn over a dress, as I never would have expected to see such a large amount of a dress peeping out from the bottom without perhaps also seeing some dress fabric at the neckline or wrists. I think if the dress fabric had been either a print, or some other color than white, that might have been more obvious.

    • About King Abdullah’s switch of headdress. I am no expert but my guess would be that although he was representing The Queen, as Reviewing Officer and King of Jordan he chose to wear the distinctively Jordanian tasselled red and white shemagh mhadab with his uniform (and later beret) as a Lieutenant General in the Jordanian Army. My guess too is that he got the honour ahead of Grand Duke Henri because he has been sovereign for slightly longer: 1999 versus 2000 for Henri. He has certainly had an illustrious military career and is Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, military class and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George

      • The length of reign is if no matter as King Abdullah is of a higher rank than GD Henri and would always have been given the honour if he attended with GD Henri. He ranks above the Grand Duke as he’s a King and his style of address is His Majesty, the next order of precedence is Grand Duke (such as Luxembourg) his style of address is Royal Highness and this is followed by Sovereign Prince (Monaco and Liechtenstein) and the style of address is Serene Highness.

  3. MT’s cherry red hat I really liked, this one, although so similar, doesn’t somehow work nearly as well. However, overall MT looks so nicely put together that it’s a minor quibble. I don’t like Claire’s outfit very much, and the hat really isn’t good from the front. I love Stephanie’s hat, but the look of the overall ensemble is unbalanced because the skirt is so short – imagine it at knee length and the whole look would be vastly improved. Somehow the way it is now, she looks like a little girl trying on a grown-up’s hat. I think Alexandra’s look is actually a much better interpretation of an outfit with a short skirt, the elements seem to go together well, but neither skirt length nor hat seem appropriate to this particular occasion. Perhaps she should wear it to the races or an event like that.

  4. All of these hats are acceptable ‘serious occasion’, ‘not the center of attention’ hats. Obviously not passing muster after seeing so much of Queen Elizabeth’s fabulousness.

  5. I loved the red twin of MT but the shape of this one is different some how and doesn’t work as well, but I like the color and she always looks great and shows how fabulous a woman can look and not be the shape of a stick. Stephanie’s hat is a win for color and shape but I don’t like the outfit. Hat Queen is right Claire’s hat looks better from the side but her whole outfit is colorless and I am not a fan of her coat dress. I have no problem with Alexandra’s beach hat and it does look fine with her blue dress but please lower the hemline. I actually thought Stephanie’s hem could have been longer until I saw Alexandra and then Stephanie’s hem was fine by comparison.

  6. Stephanie’s hat is the best of this bunch, although I agree with HatQueen that the hat she previously wore with this ensemble suited it much better. (I had to laugh at your rapturous review of the earlier hat, HQ!) This one is pretty, but would be better balanced with a longer, less formal dress.

    It’s strange how the Grand Duchess’s cherry red almost-twin is quite successful, but this one is so odd.

  7. I think I have to give this to King Abdullah he looks wonderful in his Smagh, which I think is the correct name, and his beret. Closely followed by GD Henri who was built to wear a uniform and has a clearly defined waist while Guillaume and Sebastien are more stolidly built.

    The hat worn by the Grand Duchess isn’t one of her best, but she always looks nicely put together and well-dressed and thank heavens she seems to have escaped Natan’s clutches recently.

    I like that Stephanie seems to be trying something different but the colour all over is far too much and the width of the hat seems unbalanced by the shortness of the skirt and coat, and the shoes and bag are just too much. It’s rather too Queen Motherish for me.

    Claire’s outfit is a mishmash – it was warm here the hat looks good for summer but the coat looks as if she’s snuggling up for autumn and the shoes are just a no.

    Alexandra’s hat looks as if too has been squashed and the rest of the outfit is a shocker – its far too short and frankly I’d have been amazed if any of the cadets were able to march in a straight line if they’d seen her dress. It seems to be a dress made for a much smaller person and the heel is too high for the dress length.

  8. JamesB’s was the first to comment, so my last to read. His remarks are so funny, that I couldn’t top them, so will just go with his “Hmmmmm.” (The men did win the hat stakes here.)

  9. Is Princess Claire’s hat on backwards? Unless otherwise stated you usually design them to sit on the right side. Of this was sat on the right instead there would be a flattering slope downwards with the kick up at the back. That seems a lot more of a natural position for it. I’d bet money on it being worn incorrectly.

  10. I do like Stephanie’s hat best and I love the color on her. The texture of her coat seems a bit heavy for the lightness and pleats of the dress. I love Claire’s coat, but the hat’s shape is odd. MT usually looks perfect but this hat and the National day hat are misses for me. I don’t really like the blue lace with her dress either. I’m OK with Alexandra’s hat. Her dress is quite short.

  11. I like Stephanie’s hat the best of the bunch. For me, the boxy coat is what is throwing the outfit off/making her look matronly.

    As for Alexandra, I don’t usually quibble too much about hemlines, but this is way too short to be either appropriate for the event or proportional to her overall look. The beach hat is cute, but definitely in the wrong setting.

  12. I don’t like MT’s hat. I like the color, just not the hat. I really like Stephanie’s hat but I don’t care for her outfit. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought Alexandra’s hat looked like a beach hat. Hat Queen, you gave me such a good laugh with the sideways cowboy hat comment. Thank you – today was just one of those days that I really needed a good laugh at the end of the day.

  13. Nice to see photos from what is essentially a private family event – and don’t they all look so proud of one another, lovely to see and to know a little more about both family’s long association with Sandhurst. BTW King Hussein of Jordan is also an alumni, he must have attended in about 1952 (he was proclaimed king when 17 in 1952 but allowed to continue at Sandhurst until he was 18).

    To the hats … the men all look dashing and I particularly enjoy seeing King Abdullah in his national head-dress. Super photos of him.

    There’s a pucker/bend/bulge in the front brim of MT’s hat and I agree that it looks like it’s been sat on or crushed in a suitcase! The colour is okay on her but probably shouldn’t be a first choice. I think the biggest problem with Stephanie’s ensemble is that the dress is too short. If it had fallen below her knees and below the hem of the coat it all would have looked much more in proportion. As it is I get the feeling I’m looking at a negligee, esp in the breezy pic and in one photo it looks like her slingback has dropped off her heel. Claire looks nice if unremarkable but the colour washes her out and the coat ‘looks’ heavy (nice design, though, just not very summery). Agree with HQ re the hat. Alexandra’s hat nice and summery and it suits her but, again, her skirt is too short to achieve a nice proportion with the hat. Imagine a wide skirt swinging out at her knees and how good that would look.

    Whew, that was longer than I anticipated!

  14. Hmmmmm. I could leave it there. But you all know me well enough, so I shan’t.

    Fabulous colours on MT (magenta is doing well right now, after QEII did it so well, twice!) but you’re right; it’s been sat on. MT is a wonderful woman, but not the easiest one to dress, this hat details a good look.

    Stéphanie, well I like the colours. I’m sure she’s lovely, but she fails to wow me. Again. It’s just all a bit elderly.

    I like Claire’s do though, twist that hat a bit and it wins. And I don’t mind Alexandra’s beach hat. I’m clearly feeling charitable!

    • I adore MT and as you say she isn’t the easiest one to dress but she always looks so well put together and has made an effort. To be honest it’s so nice to see someone who doesn’t conform to the supposed norm where figure is concerned. I love seeing her in casual clothes as well.

      • Oh I quite agree, she’s fab and always looks so friendly. Sometimes, being shorter she can look a little overwhelmed by what she’s wearing, but other than the odd hat, this is a great look for her, fab colour.

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