Dutch Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Civil Ceremony

Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary earlier this month, a milestone which warrants a look back at their nuptials.

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Constantijn and Laurentien’s circles overlapped years before they decided to marry, Laurentien’s mother Jantien a school friend of Queen Beatrix and her father,  Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, a prominent Dutch politician and diplomat (and, ironically, vocal proponent of a smaller Royal House and reduced political role of the Head of State). The couple, who then resided in Brussels, returned to The Hague for their three day wedding celebration: civil marriage on May 17, 2001,  gala dinner dance at Palace Noordeindeon May 18 and religious ceremony on May 19. Laurentien turned to Edouard Vermeulen of fashion house NATAN for all of her wedding attire.

She arrived at Oude Raadzaal (Old Town Hall) for the civil ceremony in a watermelon pink belted coat and dress topped by a lavender-grey hat with upfolded halo brim. Trimmed simply with a hatband in the same straw, the hat’s focal point was a pronounced brim pleat over Laurentien’s left eyebrow.

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It’s always hard to regard past looks objectively- at the time, I was awed by the dramatic shape of this hat and thought the look to be bold and confident.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne

Queen Beatrix wore an ivory straw flat crowned hat with wide layered pink and ivory folded straw hatbands and a pink upturned Breton style brim that beautifully set off her ivory coat and pink accessories.

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Laurentien’s mother Jantien topped her pale cornflower blue suit in a matching hat in the most unique shape – a sort of pillbox with pointed crown over which lay a slanted downturned brim – trimmed with a long quill. The hat’s scale and shape worked so well with the open collar on her jacket.

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Máxima Zorreguita, who would marry Prince Willem-Alexander nine months later, wore a grey straw hat with jauntily upturned brim on the right side. The hat was trimmed in a dark taupe hatband and bound brim (notice the matching clutch!) and an oversize grey flower with lime leaves and curled feather staments that curved around the left side of the design. Interestingly, the hat would reappear two years later on a visit to Brazil with smaller brim and trimming. I prefer this original version.

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Princess Margriet topped her blush suit with a wide brimmed black sinamay hat with tall ruched hatband around the shallow, rounded crown and a relaxed, fluted brim.

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Princess Annette wore a cream hat with straight-sided, domed crown and mushroom shaped brim with side embellishment. I’ve not been able to locate a photo of Princess Marilene.

Twenty years on, which of these hats best represents fashion of the time? Which one stands out to you most?

We’ll continue with a look at the religious ceremony later this week.

Images from Getty as indicated  

7 thoughts on “Dutch Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Civil Ceremony

  1. Love love the Queen’s hat. Also love the pink dress the bride picked.
    Max also looked nice but not so much the piece on the front of her hat.
    Overall l liked everything…all of the ladies.
    Question …did. Queen Max wear a one colour hat similar to what the bride is wearing maybe .2019-2020?
    Seems so familiar.

  2. What an interesting assortment today! I immediately gravitated to Beatrix – her hat “takes the cake!” She wore it a couple other times, in Russia, and in Chile. What do you think?

    June 6, 2001: Russia
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    March 19, 2003: Chile
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  3. I like Laurentien’s outfit, but not such a fan of her hat unfortunately. I always admire her commitment to trying unusual millinery designs whether they are hits or misses, but this one is a miss IMO; the exaggerated size of the front brim, along with the pleat, overwhelms her a bit, and I think a softer, more even halo brim style would’ve been more flattering.

    I’m of the opposite mind with the rest of the ensembles shown here; I like the hats, but am not such a fan of the outfits. Classic Beatrix in a timeless design for her, but the ivory coat feels slightly dingy unfortunately. Jantien’s hat is interesting, but I wish it was more at an angle on her head; her outfit is fine, but doesn’t make a statement (probably in a good way overall, but just not for me haha). I’ve never seen this hat on Máxima before and I like it a lot for early 2000s millinery, but I’m glad we left the outfit in the past. And Margriet’s outfit is another one that doesn’t make a statement nor is the color interesting against the black hat and accessories, but overall it works well for the occasion (bonus points for Pieter Van Vollenhoven helping start the trend of colored pocket squares!).

    Looking forward to more about this wedding!

  4. Laurentien always commits to a look doesn’t she! This one is so of its time, I think it’s the fabric, those shiny taffeta/satin materials were so in at the time, but while they may look good in person they don’t photograph brilliantly. Luckily she kept the style simple; even though she went for it with the hat, it’s also not too fussy. I’m not so sure the shape is all that flattering, it looks like a pirate’s hat, but her smile is Massine so that’s all that counts.

    Máxima looks very understated and quite elegant here too.

  5. I love that Laurentien wore a colored dress for her civil wedding and it doesn’t hurt that she chose my fave color. I like that her hat is large and in a contrasting color. I am not sure that wave above her eye still works 20 years on. Queen Beatrix looks absolutely perfect for being the mother of the groom at a civil wedding! I love the sleeves on her coat that look kinda cape-like and the pink in her hat and accessories. The hat looks pretty much in her wheel house, but again a nice contrast with her coat. Other than the lime leaves Maxima is a little bland leaving the Queen and the bride to shine on this day. I am surprised we didn’t see her hat again in the same form. What a shame! The mother of the bride does look stellar! What an interesting shape for the hat that works so well with her outfit! I don’t really like Princess Margriet’s black accessories though the hat in and of itself is very nice.

  6. I also liked the cornflower blue the best. It must be daunting to be the non-royal mother at a royal wedding and she knocked it out of the park!

  7. Beautiful and unusual hats. My favourite is the cornflower blue and matching outfit.
    Thanks for sharing, love to keep up to date and look back at hats.

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