Hats From the Past: Christening of Princess Isabella

Thirteen years ago today, Princess Isabella of Denmark was christened in an intimate service held in the chapel of Fredensborg Palace, the Danish royal family’s summer home.

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Crown Princess Mary topped a dusky pink Birgit Hallstein dress with the same cream silk flower bandeau headpiece by Malene Birger she had worn for Prince Christian’s baptism in 2006 (and she would later repeat for the christening of Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine in 2011).

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Larger than a bandeau, the headpiece’s scale gives it enough presence to stand on its own without obscuring a view of the baby and the floral motif gives is a delicacy and charm that feels very right for the occasion. The colour is so wonderful against Princess Mary’s hair and easily pairs with different ensembles, although this dress fell flat for me. In this ensemble, I think the headpiece was one of the most successful elements.

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Queen Margrethe wore her recognizable pink and green ensemble with patterned floral silk dress and wide brimmed vibrant green straw picture hat, trimmed with pink straw loops. Ever the romantic, Prince Henrik tied in his ensemble with a pink shirt.

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Princess Benedikte topped her pink coat with the loveliest ecru straw brimmed hat (how elegant are the lines on the brim’s  cartwheel shape) trimmed with a pink spray of silk flowers on the side. Her daughter, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, wore a bandeau headpiece of deep purple flowers.  Carina Axelsson topped her pink dress with a pale almond straw brimmed hat with gently sidesweeping brim, trimmed with an ecru wide hatband and side ruffled bow. Queen Anne-Marie of Greece wore a wheat coloured straw hat with upturned, rimmed kettle brim and a textural, woven hatband.

Princess Isabella’s godmothers included Queen Mathilde and Prince Frederik’s first cousin, Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark. Mathilde topped her lace coat with a matching wide padded bandeau headpiece, covered in the same lace and trimmed with a multi-looped black silk side bow. Princess Alexia wore a cream bandeau headpiece with spray of goose biot feathers on the side.

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Royal guests included Crown Princess Victoria who wore a bandeau headpiece with textured fabric base, trimmed with applique flowers and a pair of feather quills. Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore her gold Prada headband with blush silk bow on one side.

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Princess Mary’s stepmother, Susan Donaldson, wore a deep eggplant silk floral fascinator with dotted tulle bow.

Looking back, this event is a noticeably more informal and intimate affair than Prince Christian’s baptism was, just 18 months earlier.  The palate is so light and summery, although today’s current popularity of bandeau style headpieces makes me surprised to see so many here, 13 years ago! Perhaps these royal ladies were just ahead of fashion?!

What do you think of these royal hat looks? Which ones stand out most to you?

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Photos from Getty as indicated; Polfoto

12 thoughts on “Hats From the Past: Christening of Princess Isabella

  1. I love this dress paired with this fascinator. I honestly feel that the floral fascinator gives off a romantic vibe so this pairing with the flowy pink dress is the best.

  2. It’s interesting how some of these headpieces are labeled now as bandeaux when they probably would’ve been called fascinators 13 years ago. Not arguing or anything, just making an observation about how we perceive and label hats and headpieces and how that can change over time (and of course, some people/milliners will use one label and others another label).

    This is my favorite look for this floral headpiece on Mary; I love it with her hair down!
    (Personally I would call this a fascinator since the floral part doesn’t extend across the whole headband, and the headband part itself looks like it’s supposed to blend in with her hair, but again, that’s just my perception.)

    What more is there to say about Margrethe’s hat? Featured as one of my top 10 hats for her to bring back, it seems like that call is quite unanimous! And Henrik was certainly one of the best-dressed royal men and I always enjoyed him not being afraid of color.

    Benedikte and Anne-Marie hit the right note of balancing formality, low-key, and season. Not my favorite looks ever, but still chic and quite timeless. Alexandra’s floral headpiece is fine, although not exciting, while Carina’s hat definitely is great, even if slightly oversized!

    Mathilde and Alexia (in what I would consider bandeaux since the headband part is meant to be visible) look nice and strike a good balance of needing a hat but keeping it low-key, but these don’t thrill me. No surprise from Mette-Marit (although she always looks great in these headbands with bow), but Victoria’s headpiece is quite bizarre for my tastes; the placement is odd and looks like the base stops on the top of her head?

    Finally, I really like Susan Donaldson’s whole look, but the fascinator feels a bit autumnal for the middle of summer.

  3. It feels like a very long time since Margrethe has worn a hat as splendid as this one. With the exception of a few small quirks like the Teletubbies hat, her hats over recent years at least have seemed very pedestrian in design, even if the quality is good. It always surprises me that they’re so unexciting when she is so at home with flamboyant evening wear, and also clearly enjoys design (in her artwork / stage designs etc). This wonderful hat has an exuberance that seems to fit Margrethe’s character very well.

  4. I love the Daisyness of Margrethe’s, but my favorite is Benedikte’s cartwheel brim. Timeless elegance!

  5. My favorites are the three sisters’ hats. Margrethe, Benedikte, and Anne-Marie look fantastic. Larger brimmed hats are most agreeable, compared to the bandeau/head piece/fascinator styles.

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