Belgian Royals Kick Off State Visit To Canada

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are in Canada for a state visit this week. For their official welcome in Ottawa yesterday, Queen Mathilde often employs a diplomatic approach to dressing on overseas visits and did so in red head to toe (with a substantial gold maple leaf brooch to boot!). She repeated the hat she debuted during the Dutch state visit in late 2016, a wide brimmed design in velvet felt with off-center peaked crown and gently upswept brim.

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

When we first saw this hat wrote, “We seldom see hats of this size and scale that are completely unadorned and I really like how the subtle details in the shape of this piece provide everything it needs to be interesting and beautiful. Some might think it has an off-putting cowboy vibe but I adore how the shape’s unapologetic boldness.”  I really can’t think of much else to say. The hat DOES have a western feel but this, with its graphic lines, is what makes it so interesting.

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

Designer: Unconfirmed. I still strongly suspect Philip Treacy.
Previously Worn: Nov 29, 2016

We often credit Queen Máxima with top marks for millinery bravery and while this is unquestionably warranted, I can’t help looking at this hat and wondering, somehow, if we’ve overlooked or downplayed equally bold and daring looks on Queen Mathilde? This hat is not for the faint of heart, yet Queen Mathilde carries it off here with ease.

What are your thoughts on this red hat yesterday in Canada?

Photos from Getty as indicated

21 thoughts on “Belgian Royals Kick Off State Visit To Canada

  1. HQ I agree completely with your analysis of this hat, and also Mathilde’s use of bold hats. Yes, I do think her willingness to wear daring millinery is underrated! It’s possible that she doesn’t wear such hats quite as often as Maxima- – though I haven’t been counting — but Mathilde is as fearless as the best of them when she does.

  2. There could be a bit of a fine line here: between tribute to Canada — and Monty Python comical Cardinal (“No one expects the Belgian Inquisition!!”)….but Queen Mathilde skillfully manages the former, with barely a thought to the later…..

    The entire outfit is striking and appropriate, while not approaching cartoon-y. That is not an easy needle to thread when dealing with so many pieces in such strong shapes and such a bold statement color. It’s interesting that she avoids playing ‘three brooch monte’ by apparently not moving the gorgeous gold maple leaf from piece to piece as the day unfolded. Though perhaps as Maja noted, it was a gift that appeared in the middle of the day. If so, it was the plue perfect gift, as it’s burnished tone and strong sculptural statement really makes everything else work!!!

    • Mr Fitzroy, barely a thought was given to the latter until you suggested it, now it’s all I can see, LOL!

      That being said, I find this dramatic ensemble to be wonderful (and much improved by the removal of the lariats) with the hat just as is. Feathers would indeed be an interesting addition if the hat is worn with something else less red, but with this cape/dress, might have been one step too far.

  3. It’s the asymmetry that makes this hat, I think. I prefer it with the coat rather than the cloak, somehow the proportions work better.

    • I agree with you Bristol. The vast blank surface of the cape says maternity to me — the tentlike maternity coats worn by royals in the ’50s and ’60s. Whereas the coat is just right. I miss those lariat loops!
      I do think the black accessories are somewhat heavyhanded. The boldness of the red doesn’t need the additional emphasis from the black. I would like to have seen camel/nude/tan, so as to better highlight the gold accents.

  4. Not my favorite shape, but I applaud Mathilde for being brave with her choices. The rest of the outfit is fabulous.
    And a special thank you to Mathilde and Maxima for wearing many hats on State Visits, there’s another hat today.

  5. I’m not completely sure I love the shape of the crown but I do think it’s a great hat with a wonderful brim. The fact it has no trim which makes all attention go to the crown is well done.
    Maxima is known for her typical picture hats but overall, I remember Mathilde had some daring hats as well. I’m glad we have two queens that dare to take some risk from time to time.

  6. I love the cape like coat but to wear it over a coat seems odd to me. I like the red…with that much a simple hat makes sense. I like the nod to Canada with the color and maple leaf but the brooch is too big in my opinion.

  7. Like Jimbo said, it was interesting to note both Máxima and Mathilde repeated these same ensembles within a week of each other.

    I’m still of the mind that a couple of large pheasant feathers swooping around would be a great addition to this hat. Getting rid of the loops from her inner coat from the first time and the addition of this fabulous cape were excellent choices. I do think this hat looks better with Mathilde’s hair down, because it seems even more cowboyish with her hair up.

    I also suspect this is a Treacy hat based on the crown shape (which looks almost identical to that of hats worn by Camilla and Victoria in the past few years).

  8. It’s a lot of red for sure, but because everything is so plain, the outfit works. I particularly love that cape – it’s fabukous!

  9. I love the whole look. Bold and dramatic is a nice change. And the maple leaf brooch- is amazing. Where do I get one.

  10. A sight to gladden the eye. Every element beautifully made. The hat remains tantalizingly on the very edge of losing control. The maple leaf was beautifully highlighted. The queen has both elegance and courage.

  11. As a Canadian, I really appreciate Mathilda’s carefully chosen ensemble from the colour red to the maple leaf brooch. But I agree that the hat is just a tad “gaucho”.

  12. This is a LOT of red – – – THREE layers! The outer cape goes over a coat (with the cowboy lariat loops removed this time), which in turn goes over a dress! I still contend that something is needed on the hat, maybe one of the rope decorations that Camilla has used in the past. BTW, in the picture below, from November, 2016, we also see Max in a recently highlighted ensemble.
    Embed from Getty Images

  13. This is lovely, I adore the coat and brooch and think the clean lines of the hat are extremely complementary. It’s a teeny bit Carmen San Diego, but all together the whole outfit is just splended. I’m glad everyone (Mathilde? her Milliner?) resisted the urge to trim the hat; it makes such a wonderful pairing with the sleek coat.

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