Cheltenham Festival 2023 Day 1

The Cheltenham Festival kicked off today with a pair of royal hats in attendance. Princess Anne repeated one of her brimless dark fur hats.

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Zara Tindall wore a new hat described by the designer as a “Peachbloom felt pillbox trimmed with a silk abaca bow (which) neatly sits towards the back of the head with loops and combs to secure.”

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It’s a sleek design that topped a streamlined ensemble for Zara. The trouser and hat combination is très chic.

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Designer: Bow Felt Pillbox by Juliette Botterill. Coat by Karen MIllen
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Thoughts about this pair of hats?

Images from Getty as indicated  

Day 2 Dutch State Visit To Slovakia

For the second day of the Dutch state visit to Slovakia yesterday, Queen Máxima repeated a hat in black fur felt with a rounded crown and extended downward facing brim, raised on the left side. The design is trimmed with a black velvet padded hatband and multi looped bow.

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The shape is SOOOO good – it’s amazing how a the subtle change of shape on a brim can make such a statement. The design has such beautiful balance and movement.

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Designer:  OC 649 from Autumn/Winter 2019 by Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: May 4, 2022

I really like this hat- what do you think?!

Images from Getty as indicated  

British Monarchs Visit Colchester

King Charles and Queen Camilla visited Colchester yesterday to mark its recently awarded city status. For this visit, Queen Camilla repeated a tan wool hat with ruched crown and faux fur brim.

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What’s new to say about this hat… it’s a cozy, practical choice on a cold day and paired well with her ivory coat.

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Previously Worn: Jan 22, 2023; Jan 15, 2023; Dec 9, 2022May 17, 2022Apr 9, 2022Nov 20, 2021Oct 2, 2019Mar 13, 2019Nov 23, 2018;  Mar 14, 2018;  Nov 24, 2017;  Nov 26, 2016Mar 29, 2015Feb 13, 2015Dec 3, 2014Nov 30, 2014Mar 12, 2014

Images from Getty as indicated  

Queen Juliana Exhibition

We’re joined today by royalty journalist, genealogist, researcher and author of blog Netty Royal, Netty Leistra, who shares a wonderful look at the Queen Juliana exhibition at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. Welcome, Netty!

The Century of Queen Juliana

On 13 October 2022, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands opened an exhibition about her mother Queen Juliana of the Netherlands (1909-2004). On the eve of the 75th anniversary of the inauguration of Juliana as Queen of the Netherlands the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam presents the exhibition “The century of Juliana, a queen and her ideals”. She was a head of state in a time in which there were lots of changes. Most important, the colonies Dutch East Indies and Suriname became independent states. Personally, she loved simplicity and humanity. Her eventful life lasted for 94 years. The 75th anniversary of her inauguration provides a good opportunity for retrospection. For many Dutch she is a historical figure, others personally witnessed part her life. The exhibition is open until 10 April 2023.

The church in the heart of Amsterdam has created a spectacular palace setting. Visitors travel to Juliana’s royal world and also learn more about the history of the Netherlands. Eyewitnesses share their memories of Queen Juliana through film and audio. Over 400 objects, including clothing, tableware, photographs, historical documents and art from her birth to the end of her life illustrate her life. Over 100 objects are on loan from the Royal Collections, others from museums and private collections . Visitors can see her inauguration dress, headscarves, glasses, children’s clothes and toys, her wedding dress, and even a monogrammed Rolls Royce and the Crème Calèche carriage.

But of course “Royal Hats” is all about hats. Under the influence of her husband Prince Bernhard and his aunt Allene Tew, Juliana during her honeymoon was turned from a young girl in old-fashioned clothes into an elegant, fashionable Princess. She lost some weight and bought clothes at the Parisian couturiers Worth and Molyneux. Juliana also since became a huge fan of jewelry. After World War II she needed new clothes. She bought items at the Maison de Bonneterie and also discovered the young Swiss couturier Erwin Dolder, who designed the dress for her inauguration in 1948. Juliana had only one wish: she didn’t want to wear a tiara. Dolder designed a cap in Renaissance style. He created the cap out of violin-strings and painted them in the colour of the dress. He decorated it with diamond stars and pearls from the royal jewelry collection.

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Queen Juliana herself wasn’t too interested in clothes, and preferred her hats to be small, but quite regularly also extravagant. She especially liked berets and headscarves. At her Silver wedding anniversary in 1962, Juliana chose a white hat in the form of a carnation, as a homage to her husband.

A cream draped cloche and embroidered shoes from her childhood

Another childhood hat, in straw

Hat with daisies, worn by Juliana at the christening of Princess Margriet in 1943

For the wedding of Princess Beatrix on March 10, 1966, Queen Juliana wore her hat, created by Lien Bergé-Farwick, backwards, which rather shocked the designer.

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Draped hat created by Ernst-Jan Beeuwkes, worn at the April 30 1980 inauguration of Queen Beatrix

As a royal she had to wear hats on many occasions. She however disliked hats so much at the end of her life, that friends and the pastor at her memorial service went hatless. Unfortunately Juliana didn’t see her clothes and hats as historical objects, and many probably didn’t survive. However, a few very interesting items are on display in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.

If you happen to be in Amsterdam before 10 April, I very much recommend you taking a look at the exhibition.

Netty- thank you for this fantastic view of the hats included in this exhibition. The detail on many of these hats is astounding (just look at the stitching on the blue hat above!) and the story behind the inauguration headdress is fascinating. I really admire how Queen Juliana, a reluctant hat wearer, made her millinery style one that worked for herself. And I have new appreciation that not all queens like wearing hats!

Images from Getty as indicated and Netty Leistra. Photos may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

Milliner Profile: Ahko Hirata

This week, Princess Aiko stepped out in a hat with floral trim. The floral trim was a Goyo azalea, Aiko’s personal emblem, incorporated into the hat’s design by Japanese milliner Ahko Hirata.

Fellow royal follower and expert on the Imperial royal family, Prisma, shared this week that the wonderful waved royal blue hatband Empress Masako wore on November 13 to the National Sea Enrichment Festival in Hyogo was also Ahko Hirata’s design. Hirata also designed the first hat Masako wore as empress on May 4, 2019, a wonderful yellow silk bumper with hatband beaded with a diagonal rising sunbeam motif.


Ahko Hirata was not on my radar and should have been- her late father was the first Japanese milliner to train in couture techniques in Paris and was Empress Michiko’s go-to milliner for decades. Ahko’s aesthetic, not surprisingly, is different than her father’s designs, but no less impeccable or memorable. This profile gives a glimpse into her millinery story.