Belgian State Visit to Luxembourg

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde arrived in Luxembourg yesterday for a three-day state visit with their cousins.

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Queen Mathilde braved rainy weather in a green boiled wool coat and matching bandeau headpiece.

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Mathilde wears green so well and this shade is great on her. While I like the bandeau’s ruching much better from front view than from the side, the shape suits her well and the ensemble’s styling with a mix of green and cognac accessories is so well balanced. It’s a great autumn look.

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne custom design named “Maelle”. Coat and dress by Natan
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa is recovering from recent knee surgery and as such, her participation was limited to a welcome and photo inside the Grand Ducal Palace and attendance at last night’s state banquet.

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Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie stepped in for her mother-in-law today, joining Queen Mathilde for a number of engagements in a new hat. The vibrant hat’s base is a button percher in orchid purple felt and it is trimmed with an abstract flower made from petals of multicoloured, pleated shibori silk leaves and pinwheels which are embellished with Swarovski crystals. It’s a fun, bright, whimsical piece that Princess Stéphanie wears extremely well.

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Designer: Sylvia Martinez
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Queen Mathilde also wore a new hat today, an ochre orange silk toque hat with flat top and ruched sides. The design is trimmed at the back with applique cutout flowers and leaves from the same fabric as this ensemble’s grey printed dress. Orange hats are not easy to pull off but this one works so well, thanks to its small scale and clear connection to the dress. It pairs so well against the dark grey, giving the overall look some lift and energy.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne custom design. Dress by Dries Van Noten.
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

This trio of small millinery designs each packs a fair bit of visual punch- which hat stands out most to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

750th Anniversary of Westminster Abbey

Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess of Cornwall attended service at Westminster Abbey yesterday to mark the landmark church’s 750th anniversary. pale dove grey with fuchsia trim. For this celebration, the Queen repeated her dove grey silk crepe coat and matching hat with upturned kettle brim and flat crown, trimmed with a wide fuchsia hatband and a large grey ostrich feather.

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While the colour is not my favourite on Her Majesty and I’m not convinced the feather scale is right, I’m struck by the impeccable finishing on the hat- there’s no hint of pucker or visible stitching on the brim binding. It’s beautifully made.

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Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella McLaren. 
Previously Worn: Dec 25, 2018

The Duchess of Cornwall gave us a welcome millinery surprise, repeating a pale blue formed beret hat that hasn’t been worn in over a decade. The hat is trimmed with a cascade of blue leaves around the front of the design.

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Camilla wears so many wide brimmed hats that any change in shape or scale is a fun thing to see. This shade of blue is beautiful on her and the leaf trim gives some wonderful lift and dimension to the piece- it makes a great visual statement despite its small footprint. The hat coordinates perfectly with the applique stripes on the ensemble’s coat, making me wonder if the coat was designed specifically for this hat. If it was, we’re likely to see this hat worn more frequently, something I’ll applaud.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: Dec 10, 2007

What do you think of these hats yesterday on their second outings?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Dutch State Visit to India

King Willem Alexander and Queen Máxima arrived in India late Sunday (with the king co-piloting their plane!) for a state visit that officially kicked off yesterday.

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For the first day of events, Queen Máxima wore a new dress and matching calot hat, overlaid in pale blue widely woven mesh on which is affixed a darker blue cotton lace. A large square aquamarine and diamond brooch was pinned to left side of the hat.

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It’s a brave and interesting look but one I think is compromised by fabric choice- the rough edges of the lace’s blue mesh base give the ensemble (particularly the dress) a messy, unpolished look. The draped collar/sleeve also gives considerable volume to the top of the dress which inevitably, competes with the hat. On its own, I think the hat could work as the lace and mesh have some nice movement and lightness that is completely lost against the dress. Next outing, I’d like to see the hat paired with a solid, streamlined dress to see how it works.

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Designer: unknown. Dress by Natan
Previously Worn: this hat is new

We don’t usually discuss evening looks here but I’m going to bend the rules to include a magnificent gown Queen Máxima wore for last night’s state banquet. Made by Jan Taminau from an embroidered silk sari Máxima bought in Jaipur (known as the ‘pink city’) during her and the king’s 2007 visit, I thought it was diplomatic dressing perfection.

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For the second day of engagements today, Queen Máxima repeated a hat some of us have been longing to see again. The wide coral straw saucer is edged in tan straw binding and trimmed with a mass of multicoloured feathers.

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The pairing of this hat with the tawny silk dress and low ponytail is excellent and creates a less formal background for the hat to shine as the inevitable statement that it is. A few minor quibbles- I’d love to see less vertical placement of those feathers (it sill reminds me of an Obsk!) and the hat worn at a less extreme angle and tilted down over her eyebrow but overall, the design is a fun and vibrant alternative to Máxima’s go-to shapes and I was so happy to see it again.

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Designer: unknown. Dress by Natan
Previously Worn: May 20, 2015

There’s much to discuss here- what do you think of Queen Máxima’s hats so far on this Indian state visit?!

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1986 and the arrival of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh on a visit to China. The Queen donned a silk-covered brimless, domed hat with navy base, yellow top and navy silk petal trim by Ian Thomas. We don’t often see a hat’s original sketch and it’s fascinating to see an ensemble’s original idea (with TWO hat options!) against its end creation. I’m a little disappointed the feathers on the design didn’t make it on to the hat but I’m even more curious- which of these two hat designs would you have chosen for Her Majesty?!

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Photos from Getty as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Back in September, Princess Hisako opened an exhibition at the Yokohama Museum of Art in a hat with cream straw crown and olive straw brim with interesting hatband of flattened vertical straw loops.
On Monday, Empress Masako attended the 70th anniversary of the National Rehabilitation System in a sleek, pale grey suit with matching short-brimmed hat
On Tuesday, Princess Akiko presided over national self defense awards in a repeated ecru silk-covered cloche hat with upturned kettle brim and wide hatband. The same day, Princess Mako attended the closing ceremony of the 74th National Sports Festival in Ibaraki in an ivory bowler hat variation with pale blue hatband tied in a side bow.
Prince Albert’s daughter, Jazmin Grimaldi, shared several portraits this week wearing an orange fedora.
The Duke of Gloucester sported a dapper green fedora during his visit to  Morocco last week. Today, the Duchess of Gloucester repeated a cuffed black velvet hat with silk bow and the Countess of Ulster wore a veiled pillbox for the opening of parliament today (the Earl and Countess’ son, Lord Culloden, was one of the Queen’s four pages).


Queen Elizabeth arrived for the opening of Parliament in the incredible diamond and pearl George IV Diadem she wears for this event each year (read more about it over at The Royal Collection). She chose not to wear the Imperial State Crown this year- understandable, given its heavy weight. The Duchess of Cornwall sparkled in her go-to Greville tiara (sometimes known as the Boucheron Honeycomb tiara. You can read an excellent history of this tiara here).
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The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Wonderfully trimmed fedoras in camel, yellow and mustard from British brand John Boyd Millinery

Bold black and cream striped waved discs by Spanish-based British milliner Donna Hartley
Emerald button percher with statement pheasant feather trim by British brand Rebecca Couture Millinery
Beautiful hand draping on this camel felt design (proof beige isn’t always boring!) by British milliner Jane Taylor
Magenta straw bowler with silk brim and ombre ruffled trim by Australian milliner Rachel Henry
Stunning gold beaded halo bandeau headpiece with twist from Australian milliner Marilyn Van den Berg

And from Irish milliner Carol Kennelly, this utterly fantastic black percher with shooting stars.

After last Monday’s announcement that children of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine have been removed from the Royal House of Sweden (along with their HRH titles) and will be free to pursue private lives, was endorsed by both the prince and princess with sharing of new family photos.
Turns out the lovely new photos of Princess Elisabeth, one which was turned into a stamp released on her 18th birthday, were taken by her dad.
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⁣ ⁣ bpost geeft ter gelegenheid van de achttiende verjaardag van Prinses Elisabeth (25 oktober) een officiële postzegel uit. De foto werd genomen door de Koning in de tuin van het Kasteel van Laken.⁣ —————⁣ bpost émet un timbre officiel à l'occasion du dix-huitième anniversaire de la Princesse Elisabeth (le 25 octobre). La photo a été prise par le Roi dans le jardin du Château de Laeken.⁣ —————⁣ bpost issues an official stamp on the occasion of the eighteenth birthday of Princess Elisabeth (October, 25). The photo was taken by the King in the garden of the Castle of Laeken.⁣ ⁣ @bpost #bpost #postzegel #timbre #stamp #birthday #verjaardag #anniversaire #PrincesseElisabeth #PrinsesElisabeth #PrincessElisabethofBelgium #ElisabethvanBelgie #Princesse #Prinses #Princess #Elisabeth #royalty #BelgianRoyals #BelgianRoyalFamily #België #Belgique #Belgium #Brussel #Bruxelles #Brussels #BelgianRoyalPalace #MonarchieBe

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Princess Eugenie celebrated her first anniversary with this look back at her wedding

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Queen Opens Housing Development

After her annual late summer vacation in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth was back at work in London today, visiting the Haig Housing Trust to officially open their new housing development in Morden for armed forces veterans and former service members. For this visit, she repeated her sky blue hat with gently curving crown and sidesweeping brim trimmed with cut green feathers, amber beaded gold sprigs and round glass beads in amber and darker blue.

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The hat’s wonderful colour and creative glass bead trim make it work. I’m less enamored with the hourglass crown shape and brim binding which seem to give the design a visual bulkiness in comparison to the coat’s crisp lapel corners (all of which are made of or covered in the same wool silk). There’s also a small wobble in the right hand side of the brim (look closely at the straw in the second photo in the bottom gallery). Finally, it seems that queen has become smaller since this coat was tailored just over a year ago- an inevitable reality in one’s 90s but one that impacts the overall look here as well.

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Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: Feb 14, 2019; Oct 17, 2018Aug 6, 2018

What do you think of this hat today on its fourth outing?

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

Dutch Queens in Burgundy Hats

Today saw the former and current Dutch queens attend events, both in burgundy hats. To unveil a statue of Willem van Oranje (founder of the house Orange-Nassau) in Dordrecht this morning, Princess Beatrix repeated a burgundy straw bumper hat with domed crown and exterior brim covered in feathers.

The shape is a ubiquitous one in Princess Beatrix’s millinery wardrobe to the extent that most of us associate this style as her ‘signature’ look. The colour is excellent on her and the feathers, with their darker edges, give great dimension to the piece. I’m not usually a fan of feather covered hats but somehow, this one works.

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Designer: Designer: likely Suzanne Moulijn
Previously Worn: Oct 2, 2014Nov 21, 2013;  Nov 22, 2011

Queen Máxima was in Amersfoort today to attend national meeting of volunteer palliative caregivers and programs. She repeated the muted burgundy melusine felt fedora we saw her wear last week (a far faster repeat than we usually see from her!)

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Since we recently talked about the effortless vibe this hat gets from its relaxed brim it, let’s focus here on styling. Today’s ensemble is a fussier one than the dress we’ve seen paired with this hat so far- between the complicated neckline and trailing tie on the blouse and the skirt’s asymmetrical hem, there’s a lot going on here. We usually think of hats adding or complementing an ensemble but here, I think this hat grounds and tempers it. Imagine this ensemble without the hat – not as good, right?!

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Borsamalia”
Previously Worn: Oct 2, 2019; Jan 31, 2019
 

What do you think of these two burgundy hats in Holland today?

Photos from Getty as indicated