Belgium National Day 2022

My sincere apologies, dearest readers, for the unforseen hiatus this month. All is well again and we are going to begin catching up in Belgium! Last Thursday, the Belgian royal family attended the annual Te Deum mass and military parade celebrating their national holiday.

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Queen Mathilde wore a new wide brimmed woven straw hat trimmed with a rope of burnt feathers.

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The burnt feather trim is a miss for me- it’s thickness and placement snakes around the hat in a way I just don’t find attractive. I also wish the hat’s undertone was truly gold or brown (without that slight coral/pinky tinge) to better coordinate with Mathilde’s dress. It’s all right… but not great.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne “Paris” hat. Natan dress. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Elisabeth wore a red halo bandeau headpiece wrapped in crisp twisted ribbon.

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These halos are the height of fashion these days and thus, an obvious choice for a young princess. The shape suits Elisabeth very well and the twisted detail gives lovely texture to the design that gives just enough contrast to stand on its own against her dress. Lovely!

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Designer: Emily London “Galilea” Headband in Red. Victoria Beckham dress. 
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Princess Astrid attended the event in uniform, as she does each year, with upfolded brim cap.

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Princess Claire paired her floral dress with a burgundy silk abaca pleated bandeau headpiece.

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The colour is lovely on Claire, as is the scale.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Princess Delphine topped her red and white dress with a crisp white straw hat with slightly flared crown and curved brim trimmed with a red hatband and bow.

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The hat is a great counterpoint for Delphine’s dress, the classic shape a great contrast with the dress’ modern graphic embroidery. We don’t talk here enough about brim lengths- this one suits her so well.

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Designer: Josje Huisman. Dress by ​Pol Volgels with embroidery by Antwerp Borduur Service. Styled by Jody Van Geert
Previously Worn: This hat is new

What do you think of this parade of hats last week in Brussels?

Images from Getty as indicated  

18 thoughts on “Belgium National Day 2022

  1. Welcome back, HQ! Wonderful to have you at the helm again! Stay safe. As ever, your commentary reminds us that the ‘devil is in the detail.’ 🙂

  2. Welcome back! Hope all is well.
    In general, everyone looked nice. I like Queen Mathilde’s hat except for the trim. Princess Delphine’s dress and hat coordinated well. I dislike her shoes.

  3. So Happy to see you again HQ , you have been missed greatly. I hope that the circumstances that caused your hiatus have been resolved . I thought the Duchess of Brabant’s headpiece was lovely , and also Princess Delphine’s suited the wearer admirably , I could have done without the comic footwear . I look forward to all three Princess’s future millinery evolutions .

  4. We are indeed glad to have you back, HQ! As for the Belgians, I like the size, shape, and positioning of Mathilde’s hat, but your use of the word “snake” is truly apt. I live in a place where there are a lot of actual snakes, and this certainly looks too much like one for my taste. I would have preferred some sort of ribbon, or even that same trim, positioned in a more traditional location on the brim. As it is, it looks sort of like it just fell out of the sky and landed randomly on her hat. Also agree that a more yellowish, less pinky color would have gone better with the dress.

    Elisabeth and Claire both look lovely in their perfectly coordinated bandeaux, and of course Princess Astrid looks quite fine in her uniform. But Delphine’s entire ensemble, both hat and dress, definitely get the prize from me — outstanding!

  5. Glad to hear things are better on your end HatQueen, and know we are all here for you!

    On some level this ensemble feels like one of Máxima’s, but it also works quite well on Mathilde. It’s nice to see a panama straw portrait hat, but like so often it’s the details of a Delvigne chapeau that bring down what is otherwise a fabulous look. At first glance from the front the trim didn’t look too bad, but seen from the side shows how haphazard it is, and the edge of the brim could also use so streamlining and refinement.

    The texture does help make a difference on Elisabeth’s bandeau, and she definitely shines in red. I didn’t notice until I saw the first photo of this post that Mathilde and her daughters dressed and posed as the Belgian flag.

    Nice to see Claire again after her absence last year from this event. A very subdued headpiece compared to most of her past choices, but the color is lovely and I personally like the tangerine clutch as a nice contrast.

    Quite rare we get two panama straw hats on women at one event! A simple and classic hat for Delphine, but she wears it very well, and she also looks good in red. A bold move to wear a peace dove emblem on her outfit to a military parade, but one I applaud. As for the shoes, I did think they were a bit much at first with their very chunky look, but I’ve grown to like them, and clearly Delphine likes them as she wore the same style in a different color to this event last year! Here’s also a nice brief interview (in English) about why she chose Pol Vogels to do her dress for this event:

  6. I didn’t see good pictures of Mathilde’s hat trim till I saw the ones HQ posted. It really does look unfinished on the right side, but from the front it looks good to me. I thought Elisabeth looked great! With Mathilde and Phillippe the three of them make the colors of the Belgian flag. I agree with JamesB that Delphine finally looked Royal, except for those shoes. I liked her hat. It’s simple, but it complements the dress nicely. Claire’s bandeau matched her dress well. The orange in her dress didn’t show up well enough in pictures to warrant the orange clutch IMHO.

    I hope all is well at home, Hat Queen, and am so happy to have you back!

  7. So happy to have you back, HQ! We missed you.

    Another vote for Delphine as the best look for the day, despite those shoes. Such a sharp, graphic hat, well paired with the dress.

    The shape of Mathilde’s hat is nice, but the rougher weave is not a good match for the dress.

    Elisabeth wears the halo shape well.

  8. Welcome back , Hat Queen.

    Lovely to see the Belgian Royal Ladies on their National Day.
    I like Queen Mathilde’s new hat except for the trim. I like the shape. It’s got a nice summer vibe.

    Princess Elisabeth’s look is fun and Princess Claire’s bandeau is a gorgeous colour.
    Princess Delphine’s hat wins the day for me too. It’s a great shape and size.

  9. So relieved and glad that you are back! I was worried that you were ill or had gotten hurt or worse. Blessings to you, and may all be well, now and in future!

  10. Nice to have you back, HatQueen.

    I like the shape of Mathilde’s hat for this occasion, it has substance enough to make an impact viewed from a distance, as in the photo on the steps. Don’t like the trim, though. Elisabeth’s halo is very fashionable, and of its kind, a really good example. I’d prefer a hat with more to it, but I think this style is particularly successful for younger women who haven’t as it were “graduated” on to feeling comfortable with more statement hats. Claire’s band is fine, I do like the way it picks up the colour of her husband’s sash. Delphine looks very put-together, with a handsome hat, although my goodness, I really don’t like those shoes…

  11. Welcome back, HQ, I hope all is well for you.
    Mathilde: I don’t mind the snake around the brim, and I don’t detect the coral tinge on my screen either.
    Elisabeth: Not being a bandeau fan, I think she looked very nice. Emmanuel’s tie was very complimentary.
    Claire: Not much to say about the headpiece except the color is nice. There’s not enough orange in her dress (way down at the bottom) to warrant an orange purse, IMO. A purple one would have been my choice.
    Delphine: Today’s winner! The red/white combo is fantastic, and the white hat picks up the white dove in her dress very well. But her shoes! Polvogel’s Instagram photo shows the shoes well, and they ruined the ensemble’s overall look for me, again. The last Instagram photo set was very interesting – the background shots of the hat’s creating/modeling/fitting have a “humanizing” effect on this beautiful Royal lady.

  12. That trim on Mathilde’s hat details an otherwise lovely hat. It’s so random.
    Elisabeth looks lovely, love all the red but it still feels light.
    And I really love Delphine’s outfit! She’s stuck with her personal quirky style but made it regal. She looks fab.

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