Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Danish & Spanish Extended Families


We don’t often see a  royal bride who counts four queens between her mother, grandmother, and aunts but such is the reality of Princess Alexia’s family tree. As such, her wedding was an extraveganza of royal hats on high profile royal heads.  Alexia’s grandmother, Queen Ingrid of Denmark, wore an ensemble in pale lilac with a cuffed ring brim hat. Made of the same fabric (silk crepe?) as her dress and coat, the hat’s centerpiece was its woven crown, a unique design touch that gave it wonderful texture.

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Embed from Getty Images

Queen Margrethe topped her vibrant floral dress with a picture hat in the same hues. The wide brimmed design, in grass green straw, was trimmed in whimsical twists of layered pink and white curling straw.

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Embed from Getty Images

Princess Benedikte was in sunny yellow from head to hem. Her straw hat featured a flat crown, silk hatband stitched in narrow rows and folded into a flat front bow, and a wide downturned brim overlaid in a swath of yellow net veil studded with silk rose petals. While the colour seems very much of the time, the classic shape translates better than her ruffle trimmed suit!

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Embed from Getty Images 

Princess Benedikte’s elder daughter, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein Berleburg, wore an ivory straw hat with flared and domed crown and wide brim that sloped downward in back and upwards in front. An overlay of informally ruched sinamay paced over the brim gave movement and a touch of modernity to the design.

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Princess Benedikte’s younger daughter, Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein Berleburg, seen behind Prince Charles in the photo below, wore a sky blue sinmay hat with squared crown and sideswept brim trimmed with a multi-looped bow on the side.

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While Queen Sofia did not wear a hat, Infanta Elena’s statement piece was impossible to miss. While structure here is difficult to pinpoint (Is it a pyramid? Do I see a small, rounded straw crown on th very top?), the hat’s focus was its wide cartwheel brim entirely covered in cream ostrich feathers. The phrase “lot of look” comes to mind to describe Elena’s couture suit and hat on steroids and I admire how much milliny confidence it must have taken to carry off such an over-the-top hat. It’s such a memorable royal hat moment.

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Embed from Getty Images

Infanta Cristina topped a blue dress and grey silk organza coat with a neutral almond straw hat with curved brim. The hat’s classic shape and streamlined trim (just a slim hatband) made a chic maternity look for Cristina.

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Embed from Getty Images

Infanta Margarita, who we seldom see, wore a very simple veiled headpiece. This is one of those times when function seems to have trumped fashion as the choice seems to satisfy the need for a headcovering, but that’s all. Do any of you recall seeing this headpiece from other angles?

There are some colourful and memorable hats among this group of royal relatives- I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Photos from Getty as indicated; ORBAN THIERRY/CORBIS SYGMA

17 thoughts on “Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Danish & Spanish Extended Families

  1. MrFitzroy wonders if this was not the biggest gathering of royals in big brimmed picture hats ever! What a fantastic assortment, literally every (acid toned) color of the rainbow! Can’t wait for the retrospective to continue.

    An interesting side note, somewhat out of the purview of this blog….Queen Ingrid is wearing a daisy brooch with some interesting history….. Ingrid’s father had the brooch created, and was a wedding gift for Ingrid which she wore on her wedding day, but it is perhaps most associated with her daughter, who as Princess Margrethe also wore it on her wedding day at the center bodice of her gown.

    • And Queen Ingrid then gave the brooch to her daughter Margrethe on Margrethe’s 60th birthday. QM talks about it with great affection in the documentary The Royal Jewels. The fact that she is known in the family as Daisy (as was her maternal Grandmother) adds to the sentimental value.

  2. The infantas are the standouts for me. Christina looks colt chic, that’s a great maternity look. And Elena is amazing. She had a brief high fashion period and it ws amazing. Yes this hat is utterly ridiculous, and she can’t really see, but still… isn’t that what we’re all here for!

  3. I just realized that the young CP Frederik in the photo with his grandmother. It’s fun spotting even the unhatted royals.

    • Fun fact: he wore that waistcoat 12 years later at the wedding of Prince Albert II and Charlene Wittstock in Monaco (and I LOVE this waistcoat, even though I’m certain most people find it absurd). Who knew it was that old?

  4. I love the woven crown detail on Queen Ingrid’s hat and, indeed, her whole ensemble. She was still elegant at 89! No wonder her daughters are so well turned out with her as a role model.

    It cheers me to see all the BIG brimmed hats! We don’t usually see Queen Margrethe in this style — too bad since she has the height and flair to carry it off. Agreed with all that the green is very flattering, but the pink flowers on the dress detract from the look. Benedikte also wears the style well, but it’s a yellow overload to my eye.

    Infanta Elena’s feathered number is almost fabulous, but just a little too Muppet-y.

  5. Does anyone know which 8 queens were present for this wedding? I only count 6; Anne Marie of Greece, Margrethe of Denmark, Ingrid of Denmark, Elizabeth of UK, Sylvia of Sweden and Sofia of Spain. Thanks in advance!

  6. Queen Ingrid looks so fabulous; a great choice of hat for her, I love the high collar of her coat, and the daisy brooch is icing on the cake to this whole ensemble.

    Margrethe had some bold looks during the late 90s/early 2000s, and I loved them. This one was is no exception, and I agree she pulls off the green well. Would love to see this hat return.

    Benedikte’s hat and outfit feels 1980s; a nice look, but a bit too dated IMO. Alexandra’s hat is decent, but overwhelms her, but Nathalie’s hat works well.

    Elena’s hat is fantastic, but I agree it must’ve been annoying to constantly tip one’s head back to see. Still, a very chic look for her! Cristina’s hat is simple, but timeless, and another chic look.

    I only recall seeing Margarita in these netted headpieces, and to me it’s her signature look.

  7. Queen Ingrid: Actually, my 2nd favorite of the bunch. Beautiful color, size for an elderly Royal, and the jaunty angle (thanks Mcncln!) is wonderful.
    Queen Margrethe: Again, Mcncln, your observations are spot on. I suspect that women more than men notice what colors compliment skin tone, primarily due to make-up usage, but you are correct – green is very nice on this queen.
    Queen Benedikte: This cheerful yellow ensemble came in #1 for me, except, I’m not a fan of the extra veiling, reminiscent of many of Princess Alexandra’s (Britain) hats. Too frothy, fussy, and frilly for me.
    Infanta Elena: What, no fedora? In all respects, this one came in last for me. None of its qualities were pleasing to my eyes.
    Infanta Cristina: Very basic and nice, nothing special.
    Infanta Margarita: as HQ said, this headpiece did the job, and that’s where it ends. I may have mentioned before that my mother kept some chapel veils (either in a Leggs stocking egg, or a Pringles can, I don’t recall) in the glove compartment of her car, to slap on my sisters’ heads, prior to walking in the church. Could Margarita had this veil in the royal carriage boot, for the same reason?

  8. Queen Ingrid: Love it! and worn at the perfect jaunty angle.
    Queen Margrethe: I love the unusual colour scheme — and with her warm colouring, Queen Margrethe can carry this lime green better than many. The hat is probably a little too wide for her to wear today – but I do adore the curly-wirly twirls! All that’s holding me back from loving this entire look are the printed flowers on the dress. If only they weren’t so so large and so oddly spaced — the plentiful seaming on the dress means that too many of them look “cut up”. Smaller flowers in the pattern would have allowed the dress to look less blotchy.
    Princess Benedikte: awesome hat, love the sheerness of the brim. I vote rewear at once. Not the the ruffle-edge coat, though – that was a bit of a rude shock HQ, I must say.
    Princess Alexandra of S-W: looks lovely, from what we can see. Princess Natalie of S-W: ditto.
    Infanta Elena: I love this hat — except for the way Elena has to hold her head in a tilted back position in every shot, to see out. Diagnosis — brim too wide. BTW, that Chanel style suit in a soft drapy fabric is perfect on her.
    Infanta Christina: this classic hat shape is one we see on Maxima —but it’s sitting too low on Christina’s forehead. I prefer a squarer crown for her, like the one on the hat hat she wore to Felipe and Letizia’s wedding. Also, the negligee-style maternity ensemble does not relate at all to this hat.

    • Well said! I do love Infanta Elene’a hat and outfit so much, but I agree that it’s a bit of a problem that she always has to tilt her head to see.

      I actually find myself liking all these hats. They’re quite fabulous and timeless. Princess Benedikte’s is perhaps my favorite. I love the vibrant color and the shape is wonderful.

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