Belgium National Day 2018

The Belgian royal family celebrated their country’s national holiday today with attendance at a Te Deum mass and military parade .

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Queen Mathilde was a vision in red for today’s festivities, repeating her straw pyramid saucer hat trimmed with a stylized leaf in abacca that swirls around the top of the hat.

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On its own, this is such a great hat on Queen Mathilde- the colour is lovely on her and the scale is large enough to make a significant statement without being overwhelming. I thought the hat was elevated by its pairing with Mathilde’s applique lace dress, giving the overall look much texture and pattern while still being beautifully coordinated. The open boat neckline of the dress works beautifully with the shape of the hat, as does Mathilde’s soft updo and minimal jewellery. It’s a great hat made even better by impeccable styling. SO GOOD.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. At its intial outing, the milliner called it the “Chinatown” design but a press release issued yesterday names the hat the “Mystery” design. 
Previously Worn: June 25, 2015

Princess Astrid wore military uniform and cap, as she usually does each year for the military parade.

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Princess Claire wore the most interesting hat of the day, a white straw disc with shallow rounded crown, trimmed with large, red straw open circles and red lace applique. It’s an unusual design that coordinated well with Claire’s red floral jacket without overly matching- both pieces holding their own but still working together. It’s not my favourite hat shape but it certainly gets bonus points for creativity, something I’m always happy to see in a royal hat.

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Embed from Getty Images
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Designer: Marie-Sophie de Halleux
Previously Worn: this hat is new
Thought about these hats in Brussels today?
Photos from Getty as indicated

23 thoughts on “Belgium National Day 2018

  1. I like the overall styling of this hat and dress better than the China visit (although that was also a good choice), but I dislike the placement more this time. The angle seems a bit too severe, and it sits too far back on her head.

    I love Claire’s hat and coat for something new and different! What I don’t care for are her trousers, and that the red straw circle details underneath look like they’re falling off; from the front they look good (love that close-up photo!), but from her right side it looks a bit unfinished; if there was a red circle all the way around attached, and then these two swooping out as well, then it would look much better. Overall though a good choice!

  2. Queen Tilly looks terrific all in red but I wonder if her hat got a little dislodged … seems she was having problems walking in those shoes ! I believe that they are the same ones with the plastic straps that seem to be the rage right now … she may have skidded her foot and wobbled and her hat went askew 😕 the rest of the family look great … even Clare but didn’t you have a similar hat here on the blog HatQueen that had rings like Saturn ? I tried to find it but I couldn’t seem to remember the headline of the page ! 😕

  3. After seeing the comparison to how she wore it back in China, I have to admit the placing of the hat was better there. But I do still think Mathilde’s ensemble last week was spot on! I like Claire’s hat a lot as well, lovely colors and very original.
    I know this blog is about hats, but can I also say how mature princess Elizabeth looks in that dress? It’s fabulous, and I would love to see her in a hat (though the Dutch and Belgian royals don’t wear hats as much as their British counterparts of course, so it might be a while before we see princesses Elisabeth and Amalia in hats, unlike Lady Louise).

  4. A classic / typical Mathilde look but ver well done. I do have to say that the placement was better when she wore it in China. Back then I thought it was perfect. And the base didn’t seem to be that visible. This time there’s just something making me go “hmmmm….”. Still a wonderful look though. And what a wonderful family!

    Claire’s hat is nice and original. I think I would like it more if those red bands weren’t bended this low. Like another poster said: now it looks like they’ve fallen down and that it wasn’t intentional.

  5. Mathilde looks fab, it’s a lot of red but she carries it off. I’m not so sure on Claire, that hats a bit random and I really don’t like the outfit, especially the white trousers. Like the way that Mathilde’s family picks up the colours of the Belgian flag.

    • I’ve been going back and forth on the white trousers since this post appeared – I think they would be fine if the tunic (jacket?) were a bit shorter. I’ve never cared for the look of trousers or leggings sticking out from under a knee-length top. With the top as is, IMO white stockings/tights would have looked better.

      (But I’m liking the hat more and more!)

  6. Mathilde knows exactly how to deliver a royal-style knockout look, and this is no exception. As you say HQ, the styling is excellent, and that dress is superbly flattering. IMO the hat would benefit from being placed a little less vertically — but overall, this look is a beauty.
    Claire’s hat is most interesting, but I think it would better suit someone with dark hair like the Duchess of Sussex, so that the contrast would make the red rings hanging from the underside of the hat really stand out (though I don’t think the Duchess would want to wear the matching coat! LOL). Now that I think of it, Charlene would make this hat look amazing, with red lipstick and a black coat, on Monaco’s National Day.
    Charlene’s cool complexion would carry this red-and-white combination more easily than Claire, whose light warm colouring makes white problematical. Claire could indeed wear a hat that is just red, but it would vanish against the red backdrop she is seated against. If wearing one of Belgium’s national colours was her motive, her best bet would be the yellows she has worn on some past National Days, which suit her, and would still work against the red backdrop,

  7. No wonder Mathilde’s was voted one of our favorites in 2015! It looks even better in this appearance, worn at more of a tilt and with this gorgeous dress.

    Claire’s hat is a fun change of pace.

  8. Beautiful. Mathilde is possibly my second – favourite queen after her majesty Queen Elisabeth. A very close second. Rarely (if ever) she disappointed me. This hat works perfectly indeed. Classy and soft looking, yet anything but boring.

    Claire’s millinery choices are always interesting, but not always in a good way. I like this one.


  9. Mathilde is, once again, the epitome of elegance. The word “chic” could have been coined for her. I quite like Claire’s ensemble, with the possible exception of her leggings. I think white trousers might have improved the look. I do, however, like her quirky hat.

  10. I love Mathilde’s red hat, but something about it (and I thinks it’s actually the shadow from the leaf), makes it look as though it’s sort of hovering above her head rather than properly placed. I usually don’t mind more tilted angles for hats at all, but I feel this one would have looked less precarious if it had been placed just a few degrees closer to the upright.

    Claire’s is an interesting hat (interesting in a positive way!). I like it beingan unusual variation on a traditional basic shape.

    • I agree with you, Bristol, about Mathilde’s hat looking like it’s hovering — on the two photos where the underside is shown, doesn’t it almost look like the hat was photoshopped into the picture?

      I like Claire’s hat a lot — those rings give it a very science-fictiony sort of vibe, not something I’ve ever said about a royal hat!

    • It is hovering! If you look closely at the photos Matthew mentioned, it is apparent that the saucer is not touching the Queen’s head at all, but is mounted to a small base.

    • I agree with you Bristol. I think the hat is tilted about 10-15 degrees more to the vertical than it was in 2015. It’s hard to tell when we don’t have an exact match of the camera angles (some pics are shot from below, some from above), but compare:
      >Pic 3 (above) with Pic 4 (2015) in the link.
      The camera angles are more similar in the next examples – compare this Embed from Getty Images
      with this: [removed]
      The slightly greater tilt in the 2018 wearing gives the hat a more extreme look which, as you say, looks more precarious and is not to my taste: I much prefer the 2015 placement.

      • When comparing the 2015 and the 2018 look it is like 2 similar pictures with the subtitles find the 10 differences
        Indeed the tilt is different which always surprises me can make such a difference
        the hair is bigger in 2018 adding to a more dramatic look
        the color red of the dress and the hat sees to be the same in the 2015 look whereas the 2018 seem to be not quite a match (or maybe it is just photo one and three)
        with a hat this size Mathilde opted both times for a similar necklace (and similar shape dress) enhancing the look.
        that is my 2 cents
        As for Claire I almost missed the red circles under her hat due to the red on red on red (apart from her lipstick), I like the creativity, though the circles underneath gives it a sort of oops it has gone loose vibe. It would have been a little stronger look if the circles went through the hat and embraced the crown on the hat.

      • Hm, yes, I do prefer the 2015 placement, its saucer shape remains nice and floaty and light without looking so precarious. Although I have to say that I’d like the 2015 placement still more if it were tilted a bit further forward (not sideways) from where it is. There’s clearly no pleasing me! It is a good hat, though.

      • Gentle reminder that hotlinking photos is not OK. As such, I’ve removed the link in your comment but offer this photograph for comparison with the one you embedded above.
        Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

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