Hats From the Past: Queen Beatrix’s Inauguration

Royal Hats Carrying on our unexpected tangent to past Dutch inaugurations this week, today we’re looking at the April 30, 1980 abdication of Queen Juliana and inauguration of Queen Beatrix. For the post-abdication balcony appearance, no hats were worn.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

The inauguration, however, was a different story. Queen Beatrix wore the Pearl Button tiara with scrolled base and five pearl buttons surrounded in diamonds. Her gown was made by Dutch designer Theresia Vreugdenhil.

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

Queen Juliana wore a beautifully draped turban hat by Ernst-Jan Beeuwkes made of the same blue wool crepe as her gown, which was made by Joke Ransdorp.

Princess Margriet wore a dove grey hat with wide, folded back halo brim that provided an excellent backdrop for her diamond and sapphire earrings (not to mention that spectacular sapphire stomacher!).

Princess Irene topped her black and white graphic floral dress with a white silk floral headpiece that circled around the back of her head. Princess Christina was in head to toe turquoise in matching gown and unembellished bumper brimmed hat.

If you jump over to the photo below and enlarge it, you’ll see some familiar royal faces- Queen Sonja in a royal blue cloche, Princess Yuriko of Mikasa behind Princess Margriet in a slate blue pillbox.

I wasn’t expecting to look at these hats this week but it’s been a fun rabbit hole to dive down! What do you think of the hats at Queen Beatrix’s inauguration?

Photo from Paleis Het Loo;  BNA Photographic / Alamy Stock Photo, BNA Photographic / Alamy Stock Photo, BNA Photographic / Alamy Stock Photo; Getty as indicated

21 thoughts on “Hats From the Past: Queen Beatrix’s Inauguration

  1. Wies, thank you so much for that wonderful memory from the inauguration. What an experience to have in your first job!

    mcncln, your description of Princess Magriet’s dress — “somewhere between a choirboy’s robe and a nightie” — is hysterical! (Personally, I’m leaning toward the nightie side of that pairing.) It is often unfathomable what causes some looks to come into fashion — thankfully, the worst of them also go out again. And while on the subject of Princess Magriet, does anyone know why that large central jewel is called a stomacher, since it is clearly worn nowhere near the stomach?

    This series of Dutch inaugurations has been wonderful, HatQueen, thank you! One thing that struck me as I looked at them one after another — the Dutch custom of abdication and inauguration eliminates the sadness of the British custom of the joyfulness of the coronation being paired with the death of the new monarch’s parent, which could equally happen when the new monarch is very young, as in Queen Elizabeth, or rather old, as in the current Prince of Wales. But looking at the young Beatrix seeing her mother inaugurated, I wonder what might have been going through her mind in terms of looking ahead to her own future experience, or if she was perhaps too young at that time to be thinking of it.

    • That is an interesting question Matthew. We can’t look inside people’s heads of course, but I think it is impossible for any heir to the throne not to be impressed with the importance of the task laying ahead from a very young age. Their whole education is centered around it. Some may rebel against it, others will accept it more readily, but they must know.

  2. It wasn’t the greatest event for hats, but there’s still plenty to admire. Love the statement sleeves on Beatrix’s otherwise simple gown.

    Very sweet moment at about 9:40, as Juliana brings her hands to her face. Maternal pride, or did Beatrix say something moving about her?

    It’s so interesting to see the very different looks chosen by the three queens: simple black accented with the jeweled cap and major rubies for Juliana, simple off-white with softer pearls for Beatrix, but then Max’s saturated blue with the sapphires.

    • In the Netherlands, the sovereign’s birthday is celebrated throughout the country, first as “Queen’s Day”, nowadays as King’s Day of course. Queen Juliana’s birthday was on April the 30th, so for decades this had been a national holiday. This was also the date Beatrix had chosen for her Inauguration. Beatrix’ own birthday is the 31th of January, so logically Queen’s Day should have shifted to that date.

      In the scene you are referring to, Beatrix thanks her mother and speaks out her admiration for the way she acquitted herself of her tasks even in difficult circumstances. She then goes on to say that as today (Inauguration Day) is April 30, this will remain Queen’s Day as a tribute to her mother. To this he audience loudly applauds.

      It was a good decision in more than one way: January the 31st would have been unpleasantly cold for outdoor festivities!

    • Juliana did not wear black, but a striking blue color. The colors of her oiutfit (red, white, and blue, were a reference to the Dutch national colors.>

  3. I love these opportunities to go down the rabbit hole. I was curious about the royal family because I was captivated by what looks like really sweet moments between a few of them: the hand-holding and kiss between Princess Beatrix and Princess Juliana and the way it seems as though Princess Juliana has her arm around Prince Constantijn with him leaning against her side. When I started reading more about Princess Beatrix, I was wondering why her two other sisters weren’t present in the family picture, and then found out why.

    I had a similar afternoon of curiosity last month with the anniversary of the marriage of Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene. It reminded me of the pictures of Princess Charlene at the Fete Nationale Monegasque of last year (here: https://royalhats.net/2019/11/19/fete-nationale-monegasque-2019/). I admit to having been haunted by the way her face looked in those pictures. I know the focus is on millinery, but the millinery choices are so often deliberate (or should be assumed so) and the white hat seemed to indicate so much.

  4. There’s much here to love. I think on a style perspective WA and Max’s was better (okay, Max’s gown alone was just mind blowing…) But this is still fab. Beatrix’s gown does have a Whiff of Princess Anne’s wedding dress, well more than a whiff; those sleeves are nearly a direct copy!
    I love the boys in their velvet jackets, Juliana’s fantastic drapery… but Margriet’s kaftan is less fab, she looks lovely otherwise in her halo.
    Also In the crowd, Infanta Pilar in a peiñata, looking regal.

  5. Juliana looks just fabulous in her aqua turban (and matching gown). The warm blue really suits her and the effect is so soft, pretty and feminine.
    Princess Magriet hat is also fabulous: it’s too bad teh hat is let down by the dress design which, unlike Juliana’s or Beatrix’s, has too many focal points going on (the pointy overskirt plus the froofy sleeves plus the cowl-and-tie neckline — just one detail would have been enough) and has ended up somewhere between a choirboy’s robe and a nightie.

    • Hi hi! Mcncln, when I looked at Princess Margriet’s gown, two words immediately came to my mind: “soep jurk”. In Dutch it means “soup dress” and I have no idea where the expression comes from, but it indicates any large, shapeless and unflattering dress!
      It is rather strange she choose such a tent like design for she had, and still has, a good figure. Someone must have thought it was fashionable and elegant!

  6. I think the woman in the royal blue cloche sitting next to Prince Charles is Crown Princess Sonja of Norway because Crown Prince Harald is on her other side. I do not see Queen Silvia anywhere.

  7. What a fantastic memory and connection to Beatrix’s inauguration, Wies!

    I really like Magriet’s halo hat, but watching that video made me worried it was gonna fall off sitting so far back on her head haha. The video also gave a great view of Princess Yuriko of Mikasa’s bumper hat with the awesome (ostrich?) feather explosion on the back. In the photo, you can also see (I believe) Princess Christina of Sweden in a purple pillbox hat with a large floral trim on the side (she’s right behind then-Prince Albert of Belgium), and Infanta Pilar of Spain wore a black peineta and mantilla (she is sitting behind Prince Charles).

    This was a great unexpected series this week, especially since my only knowledge of such events is based on Willem-Alexander’s inauguration in 2013, which is the only royal event I’ve watched live beyond 3 British royal weddings. Thanks for following this rabbit hole HatQueen and taking us along for the ride!

  8. This is an occasion I remember well! I wasn’t as interested in hats as I am now, but I remember the dress:
    I held my first job at the time, just before entering Fashion School, at Theresia Couture in Amsterdam. Theresia Couture was a discreet fashion house with a couture workroom for bespoke clothing and a ground floor shop dedicated to luxury ready-to-wear. I worked there as an errand girl and helped as a sales assistant in the shop.

    Mrs. Theresia Vreugdenhil dressed then Crown Princess Beatrix at the time and was asked to design and make the inauguration dress. All this was very hush hush and the non-workroom staff only got to see the dress when it was finished. The biggest problem for Mrs. Vreugdenhil had been to find a way to attach the heavy, antique, velvet and ermine cape in a way which wouldn’t drag the dress backwards. Backpacks were very popular at the time and one night, when she lay awake pondering the problem, she suddenly found the solution: the cape should be attached to a harness similar to the ones found on backpacks! Subsequently it was made, of the same, heavy cream colored silk as the dress, so it could hold the weight of the cape at the crucial moment when Queen Beatrix raised her arm to take the oath.

    To celebrate the honorable commission, Mrs. and Mr. Vreugdenhil took the entire staff for a weekend to London, by touring car!

    • an enlightening report, Wies! you were so lucky to be close to a key person in the ceremonial process.
      The anchoring of heavy robes must be a challenge and it makes me wonder what the solutions have been for other robe-wearing occasions e.g. The Garter in the UK. I just had a quick peek at Willem-Alexander’s inauguration oath, and his ermine robe appears to stay in place by sheer magic alone. I suspect his jacket would have had to have major surgery. Royal designers need to be very ingenious!

    • That’s a fabulous story! I guess for a MSN’s suits its easier as it’s more fitted but for a dress like this it would just drag. And it was executed perfectly as it just hangs and flows right as it should!

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