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  

Belgian Monarchs Mourn Flood Disaster

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde marked a national mourning day for victims of recent severe floods today in Verviers where they met with rescue workers and people impacted by the disaster

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For the event, Queen Mathilde repeated her circle headpiece covered in black silk.

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The headpiece’s streamlined pillbox or bandeau look from the front suits more solemn events such as this and the open crown makes it suitably seasonal. We’ve not seen such a clear back view of this design as is shown above, and the overlapping edges create a lovely swirl. With her checked black and white dress and black accessories, this tops another elegant look for the Belgian queen.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. Dress by Carolina Herrera. 
Previously Worn: May 25, 2018; Jul 9, 2015;  Dec 12, 2014

What do you think of Queen Mathilde’s headpiece today?

Images from Getty as indicated  

Inventory: Grand Duchess Maria Teresa’s Red and Orange Hats

As public events for Luxembourg’s National holiday today were replaced with a speech from the Grand Duke (read it here), I thought we’d celebrate this day instead with an inventory of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa’s red and orange hats:

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Designer: all are unknown
Introduced: April 12, 2003; April 24, 2006; May 9, 2010

4.   5.
Designer: both are Fabienne Delvigne
Introduced: Oct 20, 2012; Jun 23, 2017

It’s an ecclectic mix with some bold shapes! The challenge here was classifying the colour of #4, a coral-orange hue that leans to pink in some light. In the end, I decided it was more orange/red than pink but am open for further debate!

So… what do you think of this vibrant quartet of millinery on the Grand Duchess? What shades and shapes do you think suit her best?

Images from Getty as indicated; Mark Randers via Getty; Albert Nieboer/PPE; Christophe Licoppe/Photonews and Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images via Getty

Queen Mathilde Awards Music Competition Winners

Queen Mathilde attended the awards ceremony for the 2021 Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition today in Argenteuil.

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For this event, she repeated her stacked petal headpiece made of pale rose-buff banana fibre.

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I liked today’s placement of this design, curved further forward as a bandeau than in the further back, almost calot position she has worn it on previous outings. It also pairs well with this border print dress (although I could loose the cartoonish belt!), the print keeping the look from falling into boredom. However, while the headpiece looks fine at a distance, closeup view shows pinches and puckers around the edges of the padded leaves, something that could have been avoided and yielded a more polished look..

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne “Colette” design. Dress by NATAN.
Previously Worn: Sep 8, 2019; Sep 8, 2017; July 21, 2016

What do you think of this headpiece on this outing?

Images from Getty as indicated

 

Christening of Princess Estelle, Nine Years On: Royal Guests & Extended Family

t’s no surprise that Princess Estelle’s christening on May 22, 2012 was also attended by numerous royal guests and extended members of the Swedish royal family.

Queen Margrethe wore a navy straw wide-brimmed picture hat. Navy dotted white tulle overlaid the open-weave straw brim and a large flower of white feathers adored the piece on the side. The scale of the piece is such a contrast from the brimless and short-brimmed hats we’re used to seeing on the Danish queen today and while the tulle looks overly fussy to me now, it links the hat well to Margrethe’s dotted ensemble.

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Queen Mathilde (was was Crown Princess at the time, wore a layered calot hat in the same taupe silk chiffon as her skirt. It’s not an terribly exciting hat but anything with more presence likely would have competed with her elaborate beaded jacket and the overall look is certainly festive, however subdued.

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Princess Máxima, who would become queen a year later, stood out in a red suit and Fabienne Delvigne ruched turban. The turban is beautifully draped and pairs well with the modern-vintage vibe of the suit, the vibrant colour giving some much needed pep at an event that, as we’ve seen, saw so many pale and neutral ensembles. Trust Máxima to liven things up.

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Princess Märtha Louise wore a pale straw pink hat with layered raw-edge brim. The jaunty angle provided by the brim’s sidesweeping shape gave it lovely lift and that unfinished edge, echoed on the hat’s wide hatband, contrasted well with the smooth silk of Märtha’s jacket. With diamond chandelier earrings and an ecru and blush striped dress, it was a great look for her.

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As this was Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy’s first major royal event (she and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume would marry five months later), it wasn’t a surprise that she dipped into her future mother-in-law’s closet for a hat. This grey pleated silk abaca headpiece by Fabienne Delvigne requires some millinery courage to pull off and while I wasn’t thrilled about its pairing with this grey bouclé jacket, Stéphanie still wore it well.

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The King’s sisters were all in attendance, Princess Margaretha in a grey pillbox with side bow, Princess Birgitta in a white rose fascinator and Princess Désirée in a red Garbo hat with relaxed brim. Princess Christina wore a disc headpiece in navy straw painted with white Swiss dots, edged in white binding and trimmed with navy and white feathers (see a better view of it at Crown Princess Victoria’s 40th birthday celebration here).

Princess Christina’s daughter-in-laws, Emma Magnussen, Vicky Andren and Frida Bergström were all in attendance. Emma’s navy crin headpiece featured a birdcage-style transparent brim and was studded in slim feathers. Vicky’s taupe straw hat was trimmed in a triple stacked hatband with straw flower and goose feathers on the side.

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Frida Bergström (4th row, far left) wore a loden green pillbox hat swathed in a gold dotted net veil. Also seen in the photo above are Countess Marianne Bernadott (3rd row, far left in front of Frida) in a mint green brimmed hat (see a better view at a later wearing here) and Dagmar von Arbin (4th row, 4th from left) in a purple straw pillbox studded with silk flowers (see a better view at Prince Oscar’s christening here). After the palate of very pale neutrals we saw in the first post, the brighter spring hues seen in the photo above give some welcome vibrancy to this event!

Nearly a decade on, which hats stand out most to you from this event?  To see hats worn by Princess Estelle’s family members and godparents, jump over to this post. 

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Photos from Getty as indicated; SVT and the Swedish Monarchy