Belgian National Day

The Belgian royal family celebrated their country’s national holiday today with a Te Deum mass at The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula followed by a military parade outside the Royal Palace.

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Queen Mathilde wore a new bandeau headpiece covered in a textured striped fabric in the palest beigey-pink.

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The caped floral dress requires a light millinery touch and the scale and subtle texture of this design works well. It’s nicely finished, with bias placement of the stripe and not a pucker or underside structure to be seen. While it lets the dress be the focus, which I suppose was its aim, I’m afraid I find it a bit underwhelming

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Princess Elisabeth also wore a new hat, in textured deep orange (or tomato red?!) straw. The pillbox design is simply trimmed with a knotted sash on the side.

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It’s a great scale on Elisabeth, the weave of the hat providing textural contrast to the floral pattern on her dress. We’ve not seen her in many hats and this one is a good ‘beginner.’

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Designer:  Fabienne Delvigne’s “Kennedy” design. Dress by Natan
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Enrolled in this year’s course at the Belgian Military Academy, Princess Elisabeth marched in the military parade in full uniform.

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Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent also attended in military uniform, Princess Astrid in a green hat with smart curved brim and Prince Laurent in a traditional cap (Princess Claire did not attend).

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Today’s celebration officially included Princess Delphine and her partner, Jim O’Hare, for the first time. She wore a vibrant patterned dress and matching beret from Belgian ethical fashion brand Erratum, whose work is inspired by Africa.

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It’s a bold look but one that seems authentic for the artist, whose work is described as vibrant, playful and quirky. The same words describe this ensemble and that’s exactly what makes me love it. Yes, it’s lot of pattern and the hat could really use some structure (there’s a reason fabric hats are blocked over sinamay bases!) but its a confident statement that I wish we saw more in royal fashion.

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Designer: Erratum
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Marie-Esméralda attended the Te Deum in a very pretty pink pleated bandeau headpiece.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is new

It’s wonderful to see larger events opening up, especially with they include the debut of a new princess! What do you think of this group of hats today in Brussels?

Images from Getty as indicated  

8 thoughts on “Belgian National Day

  1. HQ, last week one of the subjects brought up for discussion was what to call you. I suggest you change the blog name to RoyalBandeaus.Net, and we’ll refer to you as Bandeau Queen, or BQ for short! I sooo prefer real hats to these headband thingys, but we’re seeing more and more of them, aren’t we? Elisabeth looked fantastic in her bright red ensemble, and I think the non-structured hat on Delphine added to the fun, whimsical pattern. A plain mask would have made it even better.

  2. Mathilde’s is another of those outfits that could equally come from Máxima’s closet – I do like it though I think a more statement hat would be great, something picking out that green would be fab.

    Elisabeth’s hat is lovely and he hair is so well styled for the hat.

    I love what Delphine is wearing – she’s gone bold for her first appearance and it’s fantastic. I love the African inspired print and bravery to go all in with it (perhaps the mask is a tad too far?!) How mad it must feel for her to be finally up on the dais where she belongs!

  3. Princess Elisabeth absolutely wowed in her outfit. Just lovely all round. Princess Delphine also looked great, although I agree that the matching mask was too much pattern, and the hat was a touch too floppy. The Queen was a miss for me – a nice enough idea that didn’t come off and the hat so invisible it was a non event.

  4. This bandeau is nice enough on Mathilde and the textured fabric makes it a bit more unique, but considering how big National Day celebrations are, I like having more substantial millinery on display. I also didn’t think her outfit was that flattering, but I did love her jungle green clutch and wish there had been a hat that pulled more of this color out.

    Elisabeth looked so fabulous in her tomato red ensemble! After last year’s great look, she certainly topped it this year with a larger hat, a gorgeous color, and fantastic accessories. While I expect her near-future appearances to be limited, if these last two National Day celebrations are any indication, she’s gonna be a fashion icon for sure (although I’m not trying to put any pressure on her!).

    Disappointed we didn’t get an appearance from Claire, who always wears an interesting hat, but Delphine certainly stepped in to take that place this year. While I think a matching fabric mask pushed things too far for my tastes, I’ve definitely grown to like this dress and hat. I wish the hat had a little more beret structure (not completely stiff, but just a bit more shape), but that’s a minor complaint. It’s nice to see her included after King Philippe officially welcomed her into the family last year.

    Finally, I’m glad HatQueen was able to identify Marie-Esméralda in her bright pink bandeau, although I was a bit sad it wasn’t a calot/pillbox like I first thought it was.

  5. Princess Elisabeth and Princess Delphine stood out for me. Elisabeth because the red/orange is is lovely on her and the hat and earrings are a perfect youthful and trendy look. She also looks fantastic in her military outfit. Princess Delphine was a wonderful surprise, and I am delighted that she is accepted into the family and attending this (and hopefully) more events. Her outfit is just fun. I saw a close up of her shoes and they’re very funky.

  6. You’re right, it’s great seeing a return of full-fig royal events like this. I love Elisabeth’s overall look, and her hat is perfect for her at this age and occasion. Mathilde’s bandeau is nicely textured, but… As always, when I see a headpiece / bandeau like Mathilde’s, my first thought is “would a hat have been better?”, and almost always the answer is Yes! The front view, where one can dream it’s actually a pillbox, is the most satisfying.

    Nice to see something as vibrant as Delphine’s hat, although yes, a bit more structure would have helped. I hadn’t realised she would be participating in public events, so it was interesting to see her style.

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