Prinsjesdag 2018

Members of the Dutch Royal family celebratated Prinsjesdag today, the start of a new session of Dutch parliament. King Willem-Alexander, who addressed a joint session of the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives, was joined in The Hague by Queen Máxima, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. As in years past, the traditional 18th century court dress code was followed, giving us the unique opportunity to see the women in long gowns and hats.

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Embed from Getty Images

Queen Máxima used the event today to experiment with a large saucer hat- a shape we’ve not seen her wear very much. This design, in pale buff straw, features a sharp diagonal upsweep and is trimmed with grey and pink silk flowers nestled on the wearer’s head and a pair of curling pheasant feathers. On its own, I think this could be a good design for Máxima, who certainly has the ability to carry it off. Its pairing, however, with this voluminous gown and hair, seems off balance. Perhaps a sleeker hairstyle and placement of the hat at a less dramatic upsweep (bringing the top brim down a touch) would work better?

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

Designer: unknown. Gown is by Italian designer Luisa Beccaria
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Princess Laurentien topped her teal and pink brocade sheath gown and coat with a hat in the same hue.image

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Made of three shades of layered sinamay straw to match the depth and dimension of the teal background on the gown and coat, the large button percher base takes on a wonderfully luminous glow. The hat is finished with a pointed petal flower made of the gown’s fabric- a touch you’d think would make it overly matchy but that adds textural contrast. The ensemble’s rich colour and cut of each piece flatter Laurentien beautifully, making this one of my favourite overall looks for her in a long while.
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Designer: Eudia. Gown by Hardies Couture
Previously Worn: This hat is new
The dress code of this event usually brings us some dramatic looks and this year did not disappoint! What do you think of this year’s pair of Prinsjesdag hats?

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You can see all of the hats Queen Máxima has worn to Prinsjesdag over the years at this post

Photos from Getty as indicated

26 thoughts on “Prinsjesdag 2018

  1. So close… a great effort by both ladies here, which needed only a few tweaks to be truly amazing.
    Laurentien: hats which sit low on the forehead appear to squash her –the placement doesn’t suit her face. Too bad that this is her preferred placement for almost all her hat styles. Move this hat back a bit, and it would look so much more flattering. The dress colour is nice, but the gown style and fabric heaviness do seem a bit matronly for her age; it reminds me of Princess Beatrix.
    Maxima: as others have commented, the straight plane of the hat base is the only straight line in this soft and curving ensemble. If the dress had some stiffness or straight lines too, this hat would certainly coordinate better. Also, both the hat and the dress are statement pieces with complex detail, and lovely as each one is individually, the two together feel like overload to me – so much so, that this is the only occasion when I have ever wished that Maxima would at least remove her gloves. As JamesB says, there is A Lot Going On. I’d love to see the dress, and the hat, each paired with a simpler, less bulky partner- and the hat worn at less of a tilt, as several have suggested.

  2. For a constitutional monarchy Prinsjesdag is an important day. (Think opening of Parliament in the UK or State of the Union in the USA). The established dress code of long formal dress and hat for women and morning dress for the men is not that hard to get right as Laurentien’s outfit shows to modest effect. A flamboyant hat better suited to a day at Ascot rather than this formal, stately and symbolic occasion mismatched with a voluminous but otherwise unremarkable dress, is disappointing. If you don’t like the dress code enough to do it properly, abandon it. Create your own uniform for the event. This important day and the people of the Netherlands deserve better from their beautiful and well resourced queen than this hodge podge.

    • I think this comment is a bit harsh. As far as hats go, this really isn’t very flamboyant and Maxima has clearly shown, over the past 16 years of royal life, her respect for tradition and duty while bringing in her own flair.

      Let’s all dial things back a bit.

    • I agree with you. She often wears evening dresses instead of long daytime dresses. And now we see this hat. She literally put a wall between herself and the king.

  3. I applaud Máxima for trying a shape she doesn’t wear often, but the execution of this fall short in multiple ways unfortunately. First, the disc itself is extremely flat, and this is almost never a good choice, no matter who is wearing it; give it more curves! Second, the angle it’s worn at is a bit odd and in certain photos makes it very gravity defying (but not in such a good way); give it better placement! Third, while I’m glad to see some fun trim on Máxima’s hat, I would rather it be placed on the top rather that look like it’s being squished in the space between the hat and her head; give it less awkwardly placed trim!

    That said, I do love me some large swooping pheasant feathers, although black & white Lady Amherst pheasant feathers might look a bit more season-less than the brown ones currently used. While I get trying to pull in all the colors from the dress with the floral trim, it is one too many colors unfortunately, especially with the green (horrible that I’m saying to get rid of my favorite color, but it does stick out the most too me). Ultimately, while I am critical, there are many parts of this whole ensemble I like, just not combined together in this manner.

    Laurentien was much more successful. These cocktail perchers work so well with her hairstyle, and the teal color is beautiful. The dress pattern is kinda busy for my tastes, but this hat can easily be paired with other colored outfits, including grey and purple. Side note: I’m not a fan of Constanijn’s beard, and I almost didn’t recognize him at first with it.

    Random question: does anyone know how old Beatrix and Margriet were when they first appeared on the balcony for Prinsjesdag? While I’m not trying to rush Catharina-Amalia into anything, I would imagine it can’t be too many years before she starts to participate.

  4. I have a soft spot for hats with flowers under the brim, but I don’t like this one at all. The placement is at least part of the problem since it leaves the flowers looking as though they are plonked right on top of Max’s head. While I love the motion of the pheasant feather, I agree with many that it looks mismatched with the flowers and the dress. Also, the saucer is awfully flat — I think the more successful designs have more curve. This must look like a plain, flat platter from the right side.

    Nicely done by Laurentian. I wasn’t sure about the bit of trim matching the coat and dress, but I think I like it!

  5. I’m on the bandwagon with Max’s hat being oh so wrong for the dress (and the occasion). It’s a dismal missmatch of two very nice designs. Princess L looks terrific and perfect for the season and the occasion.

    • I’m with you beachgal! The hat needs to lose the pheasant feathers and pair it with one of her blush/beige dresses that she has in her royal closet. Love both ladies’ earrings though! Princess Laurentien looks great and I like the matching fabric on her hat. Overall her ensemble is more successful that Queen Máxima’s.

  6. Princess Laurentian’s outfit is stunning! A marvelous color on her, and such a rich fabric. I’m thinking that her gown may actually be a separate coat over perhaps a sleeveless gown, what does anyone else think? The skirt clearly contains two separate pieces in the 3rd photo in the gallery. And the hat and gown really set each other off well, and I agree, not matchy in a negative sense.

    As for Maxima, all I can say is, we had a lot of weddings in my family in the mid to late 70s, and this gown very strongly resembles the bridesmaid gowns worn by my female cousins in that era, which unapologetically looked like formal nightgowns. The hat… I don’t know… it’s original… I WANT to say something nice about it… let’s say, it’s unusual!

  7. Love Max’s hat but less enamoured with the gown and those shoes! The hat suits her and I don’t mind the angle, as you say she can carry it off. The colour scheme of the dress, on the other hand, makes no sense to me whatsoever.

    • Now I’ve had more time to look at Max’s hat, I do find the feathers offputting – and I think it’s the colour that throws it off for me; their swirly-ness isn’t an issue. I also would like to record my delight at Laurentien’s gown and hat. She looks terrific.

  8. While I love Max in a big hat, I don’t care for the angle on this one. I also agree with Kat about the odd pairing of summery flowers and fallish feathers. The first picture I saw was on another site. Max and W-A were walking from their coach and he was on the same side as the hat. My first thought was maybe she is mad at her husband for some reason and doesn’t want to talk to him because with her hat at that angle she couldn’t have been able to see him. Obviously, last night’s lack of sleep is catching up with me and making me punchy.

    Laurentien looks really good. Usually, her choices tend to be a bit odd. On a side note, her husband needs to get rid of the beard. It does absolutely nothing for him.

  9. That hat is a weird shape. I get that the flowers are supposed to sit on her head but the main part of the hat looks like it’s just hanging off the side of her head. I agree it’s too flat.

    The dress is gorgeous but I think it will be way better with tiaras. It’s too floaty for a hat.

    Laurentien looks great in teal. I like her edgy fashion and this is pretty tame for her but it’s good.

  10. I agree, the hat could be lovely with a different outfit, but in this case there’s just too much going on, even for Max!

    Love Laurentian’s look.

  11. Just way too much is going on here but the hat is to me the worst offender – I just can’t deal with summery flowers and pheasant feathers. It gives me seasonal whiplash. Plus the feathers and her curly hair are outswirling each other. The hat with only flowers and at a different angle with a sleeker hairdo might work – provided she’s also taking away 75% of her accessories.

  12. If only the saucer would have a bit of curve it would flow more, now everything has a flow/curve her hair jewelry and dress expect her hat

    I applaud her for wearing new hat shapes

  13. The hat is lovely, even with this hair do, but the dress really is over the top, not flattering . Luckily her smile makes everything look great.

  14. I love all of this!! This is Max at her Maxiest where more is better, but it doesn’t feel too much the same as what she usually wears (giving some interest). I love the big saucer hat- I love hats and it’s fun to see a slightly different shape. I love the concept of the pheasant feathers and flowers; perhaps in slightly different colors? I do think the colors in the hat trim pair well with the subtle color blocking in the dress.

    I also love P. Laurentien’s look. That’s one of my favorite colors. I wish she’d worn a larger hat, but this one is pretty.

    • I am with you Shannon M Conley! I guess we are the minority! I love the hair, the hat, the jewelry, the dress–everything! The first picture I saw on another site gave the impression the dress was all greyish. I was so glad there was more color to the dress. I do remember the 70s, though when all the seamstresses were sewing all their leftover material into one garment, but this dress looks more like the whole roll of each material was sewed into the dress. The colors are subtle and compliment each other, though and I love the floaty dress with the hat.

  15. I like it when Maxima tries new things, and I applaud her wearing things that take some panache, since she is one of the royals able to carry off most things. In this case, I like the hat (although I agree perhaps it should be worn at a slightly less acute angle). To me, the thing that doesn’t fit the occasion is the dress. This looks like an evening dress that’s escaped. Obviously these days there’s very little call for long day dresses so there’s a strong temptation to make such dresses do double duty. However, I think many of Maxima’s other such dresses have addressed the issue better, and here I think Laurentien’s dress works better than Maxima’s. With a plainer and less swishy dress, the hat could shine as the star of the ensemble. The colour scheme of Laurentien’s outfit is lovely.

    • Good point- we often see these Prinsjesdag gowns continue life as evening gowns which makes complete sense from a standpoint of practicality. A gown chosen with this longer term view isn’t necessarily going to be an easy one to pair with a hat.

  16. Normally, I love Maxima’s looks…not so much this time though. I love the color scheme of the dress, but it’s too much dress…it’s wearing her. That’s before we get to the hat and the hair. I agree that a more restrained hair style might have helped, but with the hat’s embellishments, the hair, the huge earrings, the slouchy dress–it’s too much.

  17. Whoa! Here is a lot going on here! The hat looks so flat against this huge dress. I think separately it could be okay… I just can’t concentrate on the parts on their own! Someone really does need to just pull max back a bit sometimes don’t they?!

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