Dutch King Awards Willemsorde

King Willem Alexander and Queen Máxima were in The Hague yesterday for a military ceremony awarding Willemsorde, the highest Dutch military decoration, to Major Roy de Ruiter.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

For this event, Queen Máxima wore a new pale pink straw, wide-brimmed picture hat with high sidesweep. The hat’s dramatic shape is balanced with a simple wide hatband tied into a flat bow that rests on one side of the brim. It’s a formulaic look for Máxima (large upswept hat + side chignon + dress with a statement feature + fab jewels) that we’ve seen on her numerous times. I think most of us agree that it is a great look for her… but has it become too familiar? Not even a new dress for this event prevents me from thinking I’ve seen this whole look before. It’s polished, regal and attractive (all good things) but fairly predictable.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne.
Previously Worn: While it looks exactly like the “Belissima” hat worn May 16, 2018 and June 20, 2017, it is actually a new design called the “Saintanna”
Many of us employ formulas to our daytime wardrobes- it’s an effective and efficient way to create and manage “our” look.   I just wonder if this particular formula is loosing impact because we’ve seen it on Máxima so many times before.  What do you think? Is it time for Queen Máxima and her stylist to experiment with some different looks?
Photos from Getty as indicated

14 thoughts on “Dutch King Awards Willemsorde

  1. I adore this whole look. It’s one of the only beige or beig-ish looks I’ve liked in forever, largely because the hat and dress silhouette are so dramatic. WONDERFUL!

  2. It is a great look for her. Why buying a new hat when this one is so great with this dress? ! it is an event where she has to dress very formal; but not drawing to much attention to her self. Good choice.

  3. Yes, it’s become a signature look for Máxima, especially in these beige/pale pink colors, but I still like this and I, for one, love the sleeves! (knowing I’m in a minority haha). I think more colors, but especially different trims, would help freshen up this look. I would really like to see her try red, purple, lavender, and brighter blues in this style. As for trim, some feathers and/or stylized flowers would work in my opinion. The best thing about this style of hat is that it frames her face so well.

    Camilla wears similar upswept brims, but there seems to be enough variety, especially with trimmings, that we aren’t complaining about seeing the same thing over and over from her (except when it comes to color in the summer haha).

  4. Well, this post is impressive for the view of Queen Maxima’s hat from top and back. It makes the hat more interesting.
    And I note the two red hat pins (I presume). Her hat must be well anchored to be able to look straight up and not have to use a hand to help hold such a wide brim steady or to keep it on her head. Fascinating.

  5. I agree with everyone here. I think this “uniform” works so well for Max, but I would like to see her in some different hat styles. (Maybe I should be careful what I wish for!) But this is just right for an occasion when the emphasis should be on the honoree.

  6. Regarding the overly familiar “look”, I imagine that 20 or 30 years from now, if blogs still exist and we’re all still here, we’ll be discussing Maxima’s iconic hats through the decades and determine that this was her go-to style of the 2010’s as if it were a new discovery!

    I love that last photo where they’re looking up. I assume that they’re looking at a military flyover, and it does give us a great view of the top of the hat. However, I have a question regarding the hat as seen in the gallery in the middle — doesn’t it seem like there’s a sort of wrinkle in the brim, directly above Maxima’s left cheekbone, and a shadowy line to the right of that is possibly a seam? I thought it might be the effect of the outdoor light, but I went back to last year’s event which was also outdoors, and the shadowy seam does seem to be there as well but not the wrinkle. I feel like it detracts from the appearance of the hat, but usually others are quicker than me to point out construction flaws — am I imagining this?

    P.S. Definitely like last year’s dress better. I’m no couture expert, but those sleeves look downright silly.

    • Regarding the brim: The hat probably suffered a bit from it’s different outings and should be send back to the milliner to be ironed back in shape. The line you see is most likely a fold: the material the hat is made from is sisal and it comes in the shape of a (handpleated) capeline. As the capeline is a large one, it has probably been stored folded in two. Maybe the fold was even slightly discoloured by light or dust. Millinery materials are rather expensive and often hard to get by, so sometimes they are lying around quite a long time, stored in cupboards or drawers, patiently waiting to end up on somebodies’ (royal) head!

      • Wies, thank you so much for that explanation. Looking back at the photos, it is quite likely that a fold could be the cause of the shadow.

        By the way, in the true form of Google showing us what it thinks we want to know, when I looked up sisal to see what it was, it showed me pages of cat scratching posts, but I bet if you looked it up, you would see pages of millinery supplies!

        • Ha, ha, I had to try that of course! When googling the word “sisal” I arrived on Wikipedia that correctly identified it as fibre of the Agave plant. Alas, it stated that sisal is mainly used for the making of carpets, cords and brushes (and cat scratching posts, obviously)! It says that a finer quality of sisal fibre is used by the Maja people for making cloth but nothing about hats.
          If you want to find out more about millinery material, you should look under “parasisal” or “sinamay”. Parasisal is the name used for the round, biais woven variety, that results in the shape of a hood, or cloche, or a capeline. This is a basic hat shape, that can be wetted and blocked, then stiffened and wired.
          Sinamay is the name used for sisal fibre that is woven straight, like fabric. It’s width is 90 cm and you can buy it by the meter. You can use it straight or on the bias, which brings us back to earlier discussions on this blog about the merits of different methods.

  7. Maybe because it is a familiar look it doesn’t distract from the event that is as Ashely pointed out to honor a brave military man.
    Yes I have to agree it is a familiar look, maybe a budget thing maybe frugal who knows, at least at the end of the year we can all compare the hats outings and decide a winner.

  8. Well it’s defiitely a go to look for her, but it’s a very good one. I guess if we look at early all other matriarchs (which she is becoming!) they have an almost iconic look. That’s what Máxima is cultivating here. She does experiment a lot (not always successfully!) so I guess having this never-fail style is a good fall back.

    Those sleeves though!

  9. I think it’s her look and that’s great. She does experiment a lot and also comes back to this look.

    Also, the point of this event is to honor a military member and I’m sure she wants all eyes on him for his courage and sacrifices and not on her for her clothes.

    • I think you are quite right there. The Willems-Orde (Order of William) is a rare military distinction, seldom awarded, for “courage, conduct and loyalty” displayed in difficult circonstances. Major de Ruiter was knighted for his actions as a Apache pilot in Afghanistan.
      Surely Queen Máxima intended to dress sufficiently well to honor the occasion, without attracting attention by wearing a too fashionable outfit. And the size of the hat is in balance with the size of her sleeves.

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