Monaco Royal Wedding: Guests from Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein

We continue our look back at the July 2, 2011 religious wedding of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene with hats worn by guests from the royal houses of Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

Queen Paola topped a sparkly grey ensemble with a matching picture hat trimmed with pleated silk abaca draped over the crown and fanned out around the brim. I’m all for creative trims on hats and while I like the texture this silk abaca lends to the look, it’s not entirely harmonious with the hat (was it plonked on top because the hat needed ‘something’?) or with the overall ensemble.

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Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne

Princess Mathilde topped her streamlined purple cape collar dress with an equally sleek charcoal straw percher hat with flying bow. It was such a sophisticated look for Mathilde, the grey accessories beautifully contrasting with the purple frock, her fantastic hairstyle perfectly showing off the hat, and the silver sparkle of the hat’s straw metallic weave linking wonderfully with her waterfall diamond brooch. Très chic.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Dress by Armani

Princess Astrid made a strong millinery statement in an oversize cloche hat in natural straw with tall, rounded crown and extended, mushroom shaped brim edged in fringe.  The exaggerated shape was a little awkward, but I think it was the hat’s fringe, which matched her pale green Chanel bouclé suit, that took it over the top. It was a haute couture look for certain but was it attractive? I’m not sure.

Designer: likely Maison Michel

Princess Claire also wore a hat with exaggerated natural straw brim, but to greater success. Along with the wide cartwheel brim, her romantic picture hat featured a pillbox-shaped crown with flat top and sides covered in pink silk and a playful pink silk sash sewn free-form on one side. The sash is one of the unexpected but prettiest trims I’ve seen on a picture hat and the hat, along with Claire’s retro-styled jacket and full-skirted frock was another one of my favourite ensembles at this event. It was just so, so lovely.


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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa sparkled in a headpiece of spiky silver metallic dahlia flowers with silver pearl centers and cut grey feathers. It was a sassy design that suited Maria Teresa really well but that may have been better matched with a different outfit. Maybe a more vibrant dress? Maybe with less competing sparkle? I think disco ball jackets might be best reserved for after dark.

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Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unknown. Dress and jacket by Elie Saab. 

Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein paired her blue silk dress and coat with a wide brimmed straw saucer. These extended saucers continue to be an interesting, smoothly curvy take on a picture hat (thanks Philip Treacy!) and the a wider transparent brim on this design brought lovely lightness around Sophie’s face. Like the Grand Duchess, I think some colour variation would bring some welcome contrast here- the little bit of cream from the scarf at her shoulder and belt aren’t enough to save the ensemble from being too blue. Change out the hat for ecru straw instead of blue and I think we’d have had a winner here.

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Designer: Philip Treacy

How do you think these looks, and in particular, these hats, fare nine years on?

Jump to this post for an index of other royal hats that appeared at this wedding. 

Photos from Getty as indicated; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Bauer Griffin; SIPA

17 thoughts on “Monaco Royal Wedding: Guests from Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein

  1. Overall I really liked Paola’s hat and this is definitely one of the best in terms of the many pleated Delvigne hats we saw around this time; however I do agree with others that how it drapes off the front seems odd/unfinished. I liked the grey for a summer elegant ensemble.

    Mathilde is oh so chic here and I love the contrast of the charcoal percher with the purple dress. Definitely one of my favorites and one of the best dressed guests at this wedding (although those gloves [look like leather] would make me hot for a July wedding).

    Yes, Astrid’s hat definitely belongs at a beach and not this wedding; it’s unfortunate because done differently this could’ve been a stellar ensemble! Of perhaps even more confusion is the inclusion of a chartreuse clutch. I didn’t remember Claire being at this wedding, but she certainly looked lovely all around; my only minor complaint is I think the brim of this lampshade hat might’ve been an inch or so too large.

    I really loved Maria Teresa’s ensemble at the Cambridge wedding, so this came as a letdown for me: too many odd shades of grey/silver thrown together; I find the fascinator a bit twee and would’ve preferred something with a little more substance.

    I, for one, thought this has been Sophie’s best hat ever! The angle, shape, color, it’s all perfect for her! I can see wanting maybe a little more contrasting color (I would get rid of the odd shoulder piece and edge her coat in beige instead), but not with the hat.

  2. I always loved how Mathilde looked here. Especially the fact that even her hairlock matches the playful bow on the hat. And that is also repeated on the shoes. A style of shoe she doesn’t wear very often but really suits her. Love the combination of the charcoal and the purple.

    I admit that I didn’t remember Claire’s look but it’s great. Love the sash. The view from above is great.

    Maria Teresia can do much better than this.

  3. I never raise my hand if asked to vote in favor of a headpiece over a hat, but GD Teresa Maria’s look was definitely the best, albeit, as you said, HQ,a bit disco ball.

    The rest of the hats and ensembles were, let’s say, not flattering.

    • Disco ball can be good! I’m just not sure that headpiece is shown to best effect by the sparkly jacket. Instead of complimenting, they seem to be competing.

  4. My favorite hat is Princess Sophie’s. It is so gorgeous! I agree that there needs to be more color to add variation.

    Princess Mathilde looks incredible. That dress color and style is fabulous on her. The hat compliments it very well. I like that it’s charcoal instead of black.

  5. I definitely agree with HQ about the pleated “drapery” on Queen Paola’s hat seeming extraneous — my first reaction was that it looked like it should have been further back and had loosened and was falling off. Also, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa’s sparkling headpiece reminds me very much of premade silver bows that can be purchased for decorating packages and her dress/jacket ensemble is not at all flattering, I don’t think even a different hat would have helped. I do like Astrid and Claire’s hats quite a bit, but Mathilde is definitely the star of this group — such a wonderful hat combined with a perfectly put-together outfit and accessories.

    I agree with Virginia that photos showing hats from above are wonderful for extra perspective, though milliners are probably more likely preoccupying themselves with eye-level views when designing a hat, rather than birds-eye.

    • Matthew:
      1. I’m clearly in the minority tonight, but I like Paola’s hat the best – the pleated, sweeping trim is so much fun! However, everyone must have gotten a Royal memo to wear grey, even “Princess”(?) Mathilde’s charcoal hat. I like COLOR, and a pastel for Paola would have been even better, IMO.
      2. Tampa/St. Pete is calling me for a week in early August, so get that state open again!

  6. The whole lot of them seemed very casual for a royal wedding……..no one looked like they planned their outfits very well.

    • It begs the question- how many of these royal ladies work with a stylist? They all have help with their wardrobes, no doubt, but I think employing a professional stylist makes a world of difference. I’ve said this before but if I had to give a single piece of advice to a young woman marrying into a royal house it would be this: hire a great stylist!

  7. Mathilde gets my vote for the best overall look. I love the color and neckline of her dress. I agree with HQ’s assessments of the other hats and frocks especially that the Grand Duchess’ headpiece would have looked better with a colorful dress.

  8. Astrid’s hat is entirely too beachy. The fringe is hideous and the crown is too high, but the suit looks lovely. Claire’s hat is a dream, although seen from above, the bow looks a little too freeform and messy. I really enjoyed seeing hats from above and behind as in the third picture of Claire’s hat. I’d love more photos from that angle.

  9. HQ what I have learned about you over the past couple of years is this: you have an eagle eye for textures, creativity and the execution of hats in harmony with the person and in balance with the overall look.
    When you wrote about Paola’s hat : not harmonious I immediately looked at the overall picture, imo the different textures of the look are not in harmony which gives the hat an afterthought feel and that shows. the dropped waistline of the dress doesn’t help either.

    • That’s kind. I do my best to assess hats fairly and, as we’ve all seen, part of a hat’s success is how it combines with the rest of the ensemble and how it flatters the person wearing it. That’s why I always try to include a closeup of the hat and a full picture of the overall ensemble! Photo availability does not always make that possible which frustrates me to no end!

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