Princess Beatrix Celebrates Zuiderzee Centenary

Princess Beatrix was in Lelystad yesterday to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Zuiderzee Act, legislation that kicked off a massive construction, engineering and hydraulics project during the twentieth century that dammed the Zuiderzee, a large shallow inlet of the North Sea, improved flood protection and created significant agricultural land. For this event, she wore a most interesting hat.

 Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

The design is a fascinating combination of double brims and double crowns in two shades of blue. A flat navy brim provides foundation for the piece, over which sits a second sidesweep brim in bias cut medium blue straw with a pinched pleat on the raised side. This same medium blue straw is used for the hat’s domed crown around which is wrapped an open topped, slightly fluted, tall column of the same navy straw used for the base brim.

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

While there is a lot going on in this hat, the contrast of colour and shape is fascinating. It’s not often that a royal hat is so unique that it immediately draws one in for a closer look to figure it out and I love that this one does just that, without venturing into the bizarre. Princess Beatrix’s floral tunic and skirt does a great job of softening and balancing the graphic hat and she carries off the bold design with characteristic aplomb.

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Designer: Susanne Moulijn
Previously Worn: May 9, 2009; February 29, 2008; April 30, 2004

Following the celebration, Princess Beatrix took a fleet review at sea from her own vessel, De Groene Draeck. As captain, she donned a navy patterned visor.

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

We have not seen Princess Beatrix for a while and it’s wonderful, not only to see her clearly enjoying herself, but to still be experimenting with new hat shapes as exciting as this one. What do you think of her double brim, double crown hat?
UPDATE– thanks to reader Renske who reminds the straw hat is not new! Queen Beatrix initially wore it for Queen’s Day in 2002 and repeated it in 2008 and 2009. Thanks, Renske!
Photos from Getty as indicated

11 thoughts on “Princess Beatrix Celebrates Zuiderzee Centenary

  1. I love the shades of blue and how they interact with each other in all the layers and shapes. It’s nice to see Beatrix out again.

  2. I love the way this hat combines complexity with simplicity: it’s complex on a structural level, but the monochromatic two-tone look keeps it from becoming too busy. Classic.

  3. What a wonderful hat! Very Beatrix, but also interesting and different and sculptural.

    It’s interesting, when I see a hat like this, it immediately reads as a Princess Beatrix hat, even though it’s unique. It makes me realize that we don’t really see other ladies in this general shape we’ve come to expect from her.

    It’s a shame because I think it’s a lovely millinery shape and would love to see it on some other royals. the DoCornwall and QMathilde are two I think might look lovely in hats of this size/shape.

  4. Lovely colors of blue that enhance Princess Beatrix’s eyes. I think the hat is more interesting than her usual hats due in part to the bias cutting and the little crimp on the left side which adds interest and breaks up the line in a good way. She also looks adorable in the navy visor and on her boat with all the handsome men! The naval officer’s hat/headdress/cover is particularly fine looking and very sharp!

  5. I really appreciate the architectural qualities of Susanne Moulijn’s hats. Not everyone could pull it off but they are perfect for Princess Beatrix.

  6. Reading this blog has hooked me on Suzanne Moulijn’s architectural designs! The two shades of blue, which Beatrix wears so well, are beautiful together. The pleat on the left side of the brim is a wonderful detail.

  7. I was just thinking how many Royal Ladies have distinctive hats which we (who care about such things) could identify as belonging to the particular person. Cases in point: Princess Beatrix, Empress Michiko, the Duchess of Cornwall, and possibly Queen Maxima. This monumental hat is what we have come to expect from this former Queen. She knows what works for her and she wears it well.

    • Yes to all this, and I’d add QE2 to the list of distinctive identifiable hat styles in recent years.

  8. Wow! This is a LOT of hat. I adore the colour combo, and Princess Beatrix pulls off a large, complicated hat better than most, but I think I would prefer it with a simpler outfit. I would love to see this hat in person! Her naval visor is adorable.

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