Monaco Royal Wedding: Guests from Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein

We continue our look back at the July 2, 2011 religious wedding of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene with hats worn by guests from the royal houses of Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

Queen Paola topped a sparkly grey ensemble with a matching picture hat trimmed with pleated silk abaca draped over the crown and fanned out around the brim. I’m all for creative trims on hats and while I like the texture this silk abaca lends to the look, it’s not entirely harmonious with the hat (was it plonked on top because the hat needed ‘something’?) or with the overall ensemble.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne

Princess Mathilde topped her streamlined purple cape collar dress with an equally sleek charcoal straw percher hat with flying bow. It was such a sophisticated look for Mathilde, the grey accessories beautifully contrasting with the purple frock, her fantastic hairstyle perfectly showing off the hat, and the silver sparkle of the hat’s straw metallic weave linking wonderfully with her waterfall diamond brooch. Très chic.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Dress by Armani

Princess Astrid made a strong millinery statement in an oversize cloche hat in natural straw with tall, rounded crown and extended, mushroom shaped brim edged in fringe.  The exaggerated shape was a little awkward, but I think it was the hat’s fringe, which matched her pale green Chanel bouclé suit, that took it over the top. It was a haute couture look for certain but was it attractive? I’m not sure.

Designer: likely Maison Michel

Princess Claire also wore a hat with exaggerated natural straw brim, but to greater success. Along with the wide cartwheel brim, her romantic picture hat featured a pillbox-shaped crown with flat top and sides covered in pink silk and a playful pink silk sash sewn free-form on one side. The sash is one of the unexpected but prettiest trims I’ve seen on a picture hat and the hat, along with Claire’s retro-styled jacket and full-skirted frock was another one of my favourite ensembles at this event. It was just so, so lovely.


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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa sparkled in a headpiece of spiky silver metallic dahlia flowers with silver pearl centers and cut grey feathers. It was a sassy design that suited Maria Teresa really well but that may have been better matched with a different outfit. Maybe a more vibrant dress? Maybe with less competing sparkle? I think disco ball jackets might be best reserved for after dark.

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Designer: unknown. Dress and jacket by Elie Saab. 

Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein paired her blue silk dress and coat with a wide brimmed straw saucer. These extended saucers continue to be an interesting, smoothly curvy take on a picture hat (thanks Philip Treacy!) and the a wider transparent brim on this design brought lovely lightness around Sophie’s face. Like the Grand Duchess, I think some colour variation would bring some welcome contrast here- the little bit of cream from the scarf at her shoulder and belt aren’t enough to save the ensemble from being too blue. Change out the hat for ecru straw instead of blue and I think we’d have had a winner here.

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Designer: Philip Treacy

How do you think these looks, and in particular, these hats, fare nine years on?

Jump to this post for an index of other royal hats that appeared at this wedding. 

Photos from Getty as indicated; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Bauer Griffin; SIPA

Hats From the Past: Christening of Princess Isabella

Thirteen years ago today, Princess Isabella of Denmark was christened in an intimate service held in the chapel of Fredensborg Palace, the Danish royal family’s summer home.

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Crown Princess Mary topped a dusky pink Birgit Hallstein dress with the same cream silk flower bandeau headpiece by Malene Birger she had worn for Prince Christian’s baptism in 2006 (and she would later repeat for the christening of Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine in 2011).

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Larger than a bandeau, the headpiece’s scale gives it enough presence to stand on its own without obscuring a view of the baby and the floral motif gives is a delicacy and charm that feels very right for the occasion. The colour is so wonderful against Princess Mary’s hair and easily pairs with different ensembles, although this dress fell flat for me. In this ensemble, I think the headpiece was one of the most successful elements.

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Queen Margrethe wore her recognizable pink and green ensemble with patterned floral silk dress and wide brimmed vibrant green straw picture hat, trimmed with pink straw loops. Ever the romantic, Prince Henrik tied in his ensemble with a pink shirt.

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Princess Benedikte topped her pink coat with the loveliest ecru straw brimmed hat (how elegant are the lines on the brim’s  cartwheel shape) trimmed with a pink spray of silk flowers on the side. Her daughter, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, wore a bandeau headpiece of deep purple flowers.  Carina Axelsson topped her pink dress with a pale almond straw brimmed hat with gently sidesweeping brim, trimmed with an ecru wide hatband and side ruffled bow. Queen Anne-Marie of Greece wore a wheat coloured straw hat with upturned, rimmed kettle brim and a textural, woven hatband.

Princess Isabella’s godmothers included Queen Mathilde and Prince Frederik’s first cousin, Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark. Mathilde topped her lace coat with a matching wide padded bandeau headpiece, covered in the same lace and trimmed with a multi-looped black silk side bow. Princess Alexia wore a cream bandeau headpiece with spray of goose biot feathers on the side.

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Royal guests included Crown Princess Victoria who wore a bandeau headpiece with textured fabric base, trimmed with applique flowers and a pair of feather quills. Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore her gold Prada headband with blush silk bow on one side.

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Princess Mary’s stepmother, Susan Donaldson, wore a deep eggplant silk floral fascinator with dotted tulle bow.

Looking back, this event is a noticeably more informal and intimate affair than Prince Christian’s baptism was, just 18 months earlier.  The palate is so light and summery, although today’s current popularity of bandeau style headpieces makes me surprised to see so many here, 13 years ago! Perhaps these royal ladies were just ahead of fashion?!

What do you think of these royal hat looks? Which ones stand out most to you?

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Photos from Getty as indicated; Polfoto

Belgian Monarchs Commemorate VE Day

On Friday, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde attended a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier monument in Brussels to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.

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For this ceremony, Queen Mathilde repeated a beige velvet felt fedora trimmed with a hatband of the same material folded into a multi-looped bow.

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It’s a fairly sedate hat, elevated here with its pairing with Mathilde’s navy dress with ecru Battenberg lace print. The dress lifts the overall look, which remains quietly dignified enough to fit for a memorial event while still feeling light for spring. Beige accessories may not be exciting on their own but pair here to support an elegant ensemble.

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Designer: Fabrienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: Oct 14, 2016; October 11, 2013

It’s so exciting to see a hats starting to be worn at public royal events, even if these events are extremely pared down. What do you think of Queen Mathilde’s look on Friday

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Auschwitz Liberation Commemoration

Numerous heads of state gathered in Auschwitz, Poland yesterday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz

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Queen Mathilde repeated a black felt fedora variation with relaxed brim, trimmed with a felt hatband tied in a side bow.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: November 11, 2018

Queen Máxima wore an black felt formed beret trimmed with a scrolled frog braid. The elegantly restrained design felt particularly fitting for this event. King Willem-Alexander wore a traditional Jewish kippah in gold embroidered blue velvet.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. It is OC 665 from AW 2019
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Queen Letizia wore a bandeau headpiece in black velvet.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her black wool hat with ruched crown and faux-fur cuffed brim.

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On Monday, The Duchess of Cornwall attended commemorations to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi concentration and death camps in Krakow, Poland 🇵🇱. The Duchess led the UK delegation joining world leaders and more than 200 Holocaust survivors who returned to Auschwitz to mark 75 years since the Nazi death camp was liberated by the Soviet Army. Survivors and dignitaries laid candles to pay their respects to the victims and The Duchess also had the chance to meet Holocaust survivors and talk to them during her visit. 📷: PA #princecharles #princeofwales #camilladuchessofcornwall #duchessofcornwall #princeandprincessofwales #dukeandduchessofcornwall #holocaustmemorialday #auschwitzbirkenau

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Designer: Lock and Co. “Natalia” design in black
Previously Worn: Dec 14, 2017; Mar 18, 2017; Feb 27, 2017;  Dec 16, 2017;  Nov 28, 2016Mar 16, 2016Mar 18, 2015; Mar 13, 2015Dec 10, 2013Feb 7, 2012;  Feb 6, 2012Jan 27, 2012

At such sobering events, fashion feels trivial and irrelevant and I struggled over covering this event. The only thing I want to say is that these four, restrained hats each feels a fitting choice for a memorial like this where the story really should not be about a hat.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Belgian and Luxembourg Monarchs Commemorate Battle of the Bulge

King Philippe, Queen Mathilde were joined by cousin Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg this morning for a remembrance ceremony this morning in Bastogne, Belgium commemorating the 75th Battle of the Bulge (the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945).

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Queen Mathilde chose this event to debut an new felt hat with high, angular crown and moderate length cartwheel brim, simply trimmed with a slim hatband knotted on the right side.

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The colour variation of photos shows the hat in shades from a brick brown to vibrant cranberry- I think the shade depicted in the first photo of the first gallery above is most accurate, and makes for a lovely colour on Mathilde. I’m less enamored with shape of the hat’s crown, which feels a little clunky, or the puckers on the top of the brim around the front of the hat. Intentional or not, I think this type brim shape works much better when perfectly smooth and the resulting waves on let down the hat’s impact.

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Designer: entire ensemble by Dior
Previously Worn: this hat is new

What do you think of Queen Mathilde’s new hat?

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Photos from Getty as indicated