Imperial Enthronement: Foreign Royal Guests

Tuesday’s enthronement ceremony was attended by a number of royal events adorned in either national costume or traditional century court dress, giving the wonderfully formal gown-and-hat combination we don’t often see.

Queen Máxima donned a familiar slate blue gown in transparent silk brocade printed with large roses  but paired it with a different hat than we’ve seen with it before- her grey silk floral and dotted net tulle statement headpiece. The scale and bold design of the headpiece pairs wonderfully with the gown, elevating the sense of drama and gravitas of the overall ensemble.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. Gown by Natan.
Previously Worn: Nov 4, 2014November 19, 2005

Queen Mathilde was wonderfully elegant in a an exquisite gown, cape and pillbox trio in pale pink silk crepe. The clean, sleek lines of each piece make them balance perfectly together and create a serene and quietly regal look. It’s a fashion philosophy we often see used with the Imperial royal ladies- perhaps the inspiration or influence for this ensemble?

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Designer: unknown. Gown by Armani Prive. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new. It is not the same as the felt calot worn February 6, 2014 as some blogs are reporting. 

Queen Letizia paired her bright, floral gown with a divided bandeau headpiece in pale, dusky pink silk. The scale is great on her and the solid colour is a great choice against her patterned dress, although I thought the bandeau’s construction, with many visible stitches, wasn’t quite up to snuff.

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Designer: Nana Golmar. It is a bespoke silk version of the velvet “Iria Headband“. Gown by Matilde Cano.
Previously Worn: this headpiece is new

Crown Princess Mary’s muted lilac-grey caped dress was brightened with mulberry purple straw hat. The modified saucer  is worn at a steep incline and trimmed with two huge silk flowers on the underside of the raised brim, the one at the front in mixed shades of purple. Supremely elegant on its own, I think this gown is again, elevated with the statement hat – not to mention those rubies!

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Designer: Jane Taylor. Gown by Valentino
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Crown Princess Victoria wore a straw saucer hat in the same deep inky purple shade as her gown. The piece, also designed to sit at a sharply tilted angle on the head, is lavishly trimmed with silk roses and straw twists beneath the raised brim, a touch that gives such textural contrast to the opposite, very smooth upper side of the saucer.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Gown by Escada.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Seated next to Crown Princess Victoria was a face new to Royal Hats, Swazi King Mswati III’s newest wife, Inkhosikati LaMashwama. She topped her white suit with a vibrant blue straw hat with disc base trimmed with rolled straw rosettes and large bow loops, blue tulle, purple cut feathers and pearls, scattered over the base.

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I know some readers have been waiting days to discuss the hats in this post (my apologies for the delay) so I turn it over to you- what millinery looks here were your favourites?

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

Austro-French Royal Wedding Part 2

The wedding of Prince Jean Christophe Napoléon and Countess Olympia von Arco-Zinneberg on Saturday saw many royal faces with numerous extended family members and guests in Paris to celebrate with the couple.

The bride’s mother, Maria Beatrice of Arco-Zinneberg, was born an Archduchess of Austria-Este, the elder sister of Prince Lorenz of Belgium (Archduke of Austria-Este before gaining the title of prince when he married Princess Astrid). As uncle and aunt of the bride, they were in attendance, Princess Astrid in a brimless hat of spiky dark green feathers. Their daughter, Princess Maria Laura, who acted as a witness for her cousin, wore a sparkling bandeau headpiece. Princesses Luisa Maria, Laetitia Maria and Elisabetta (Amadeo’s wife) were also on the guest list but so far, elude photos.

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Archdukes Rudolph, Carl Christian and Simeon of Austria are also Habsburg relatives of the bride through her mother. Archduke Rudoplph’s wife, Archduchess Marie-Helene wore a white saucer trimmed with veil and a figure-8 bow in the same raspberry pink stripe as her silk coat. Archduchess Marie-Astrid topped her royal blue and gold dress with a navy straw saucer based cocktail hat trimmed with a multi-looped silk abaca bow and a swath of dotted navy tulle.

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Archduke Simeon’s wife, Archduchess Maria (née Princess Maria of Bourbon-Two Sicilies) wore a navy straw brimmed hat with voluminous straw overlay on the brim that wrapped around the design as a draped scarf of sorts. They are pictured here with Princess Margaretha and Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein;  Margaretha topped her orange suit in a repeated russet brown straw hat with mushroom brim, trimmed on the side with a straw bow and pouf of dotted tulle.

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Princess Margaretha and Prince Nikolaus’ elder daughter, Princess Maria Anunciata, wore a high halo bandeau headpiece in brilliant emerald green, lavishly trimmed with silk roses and a ruffle of rough-edged straw studded with tiny beads. Her aunt, Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein, wore a picture hat in champagne straw with wide mushroom brim. The hat’s sheen is spectacular and the repeated use of the wide brim binding also on the hatband gives great balance to the design.

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Much of Luxembourg’s Nassau royal family members were also in attendance. Princess Stephanié, Hereditary Grand Duchess, repeated a circular wrapped headpiece made from overlapping layers of red banana fibre, trimmed with a multi-looped side bow. Princess Claire wore a classic black bandeau trimmed with faux pearls.

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Countess Diane (wife of Prince Jean), wore a tall slice hat of black crin with crown covered in curling pink and black feathers. Jean’s daughter, Princess Marie-Gabrielle, wore a bandeau headpiece covered in varied shades of dusky pink feathers topped with a pink birdcage veil sprinkled with copper sequins.

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Princess Sibilla repeated a wonderful red hat made by Dillon Wallwork. The design features a squared crown covered in the silk crepe, a sidesweeping windowpane straw brim with wide brim edge also in silk crepe, and a wide grey silk hatband with side bow. Also in a British made hat was Princess Beatrice of York in a Julian Garner design described by the milliner as a boater “made out of a fine parasisel straw and is trimmed with hand cut dyed feathers embellished with Preciosa crystals”

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The Greek royal family was represented by Crown Prince Pavlos, Princess Olympia, Prince Michael and Princess Marina. Princess Olympia wore an angular grey-olive bandeau headpiece while Princess Marina donned a black felt fedora with ribbon hatband and kicky upturned brim on one side.

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The Royal House of Hanover was represented by Prince Christian and Princess Alessandra who wore a dark purple bandeau veiled headpiece. The Olympe design from Spanish brand Mimoki features an overlapping double bandeau wrapped in cotton raffia. The Duchess of Bragança topped her blue silk dress and coat with a navy straw arc headpiece trimmed with feathers.

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Princess Tatiana Radziwill wore a red circle headpiece of silk abaca studded with read beads with flying bow tails at the back. Duchess Sophie of Wurtenberg wore a fascinator of bright pink feathers.

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Princess Maria Pia of Savoy wore a pink and grey floral headpiece set on a circle of gathered net tulle veil.  Princess Edouard De Lobkowicz (née Princess Marie Francoise of Bourbon-Parma) wore wonderful throw-back voluminous pillbox covered in curving mint, grey and peach straw leaves.

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The groom’s maternal aunt, Princess Anne Marie of Bourbon Two Sicilies, wore a braided black picture hat with upswept brim on one side, trimmed with a black organdie multi-looped bow and net veil. Her daughter, Dorothée de Bourbon-Siciles, wore a fascinator of neon pink crin, dotted crin and feathers while her daughter-in-law wore a chic black veiled pillbox with bow on the side. 

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Finally, the groom’s maternal uncle, Prince Charles of Bourbon Two Sicilies, attended with his glamorous wife and daughters. Princess Camilla’s navy blue straw vertical disc hat is lavishly trimmed with different varieties of feathers in navy and black, large loops of navy crin and crystal-studded windowpane crin on the exposed underside of the raised brim.  Princess Maria Carolina, who served as a witness, topped her orchid purple suit with a magenta straw hat. With a sharply curved ‘slice’ shape, the design is trimmed with pink and black feathers on the lower side of the brim. Princess Maria Chiara wore a tan silk abaca draped hat with pleated crescent, net tulle veil and dark blue organza leaves and lighter blue flowers.

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Numerous more royal guests attended the wedding who, I’m afraid, were not caught by photographer’s lenses. Even so, we do have record of 33 hats and headpieces from this event which we are able to admire. This leads me to ask, dearest readers- which ones stand out to you, most?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Conclusion of Belgian State Visit to Luxembourg

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde concluded their three-day state visit to Luxembourg on Thursday.

For this final day, which saw the royal couple visit the Chambre de Commerce in Kirchberg, nature center and Biodiversum forest in Remerschen, European center of Schengen and farewell ceremony at the Grand Ducal Palace, Queen Mathilde wore a new calot hat in vibrant turquoise felt trimmed with overlapping flat bows draped across the back.

The colour is great, particularly in combination with the grey and mustard yellow in the ensemble. I also think the hat’s scale works well, balancing with the other turquoise accessories which add pops of colour throughout the whole look.

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This hat is new

With the green and orange hats worn Tuesday and Wednesday, this turquoise design makes for a trio of brimless hats for Queen Mathilde on this state visit. What millinery marks do you award for this trio?

Photos from social media as indicated 

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 

Belgian Queen Attends Venetian Art Exhibitions

Queen Mathilde was in Venice this morning to take in Biennale Arte Venice 2019 and an  international expo at Fondamenta del Arsenale. For this event, she wore a new green straw hat with rounded crown and wide, sidesweeping brim, simply trimmed with a wide hatband.

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It’s a good hat for Mathilde, who wears this muted olive shade well. The combination of embroidered dress and wide brimmed hat really is lovely, although a little boring.

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What makes me a little crazy is that we have seen this- exactly this- before. Here’s what I find perplexing:

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#stylecheck Queen Maxima & Queen Mathilde wearing almost the same dress😍 Which look do you prefer? Please remember to evaluate the outfit not the person. [This was spotted by me & the edit is made by me too,please give credit if you use it!] #royalstylewatch #royalfashion #queenmaxima #queenmathilde (Der "Stylecheck" ist eine Reihe auf meiner Seite die euch vermutlich schon aufgefallen ist. Dort poste ich Royals die sehr ähnliche oder sogar gleich Looks tragen, zum Teil auch Royals und Stars. Dabei liegt der Fokus auf der Mode und nicht auf den Personen. Ich bitte euch wirklich, stets für das Outfit zu stimmen was euch stiltechnisch besser gefällt, abgesehen davon ob ihr die Person total mögt oder auch nicht. Auch ich bewerte hier stets den Stil.)

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In the Catherine Walker’s autobiographical book, “Catherine Walker”, the Duchess of Kent tells of her annual disappointment viewing a new collection and learning some of her favourite pieces had already been snapped up by Diana, Princess of Wales (p.101). Even before the internet, Catherine Walker took the care not to create two of the same items for high profile royals. These days, in our hyper-digital age, I’m perplexed by the frequency that Queen Mathilde and Queen Máxima step out in the same outfits. Yes, the hats are slightly different but I’m equally confused as to why Ms. Delvigne did not recommended an alternate shape to whoever ordered this hat (obviously to go with this dress), second.

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. Dress by Natan
Previously Worn: This hat is new. 

So, dearest readers- what do you think of royals wearing the same ensembles? What do you think of this addition into Queen Mathilde’s millinery wardrobe (see her other green hats here).

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Belgian and Dutch Monarchs Celebrate Anniversary of Liberation

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde joined King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima in Terneuzen, Netherlands on Saturday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of The Netherlands in Zeeland.

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Queen Mathilde repeated her black calot overlaid in wide wrapping stripes of textured woven fabric that form a large, looping rosette motif on the side. We’ve seen it paired successfully with this black and white dress before, the two textural pieces combining to make an attractive, modern take on classic black and white.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: Mar 22, 2019; Sep 24, 2018; July 14, 2018February 20, 2018

Queen Máxima repeated her fuchsia straw picture hat with sharply sidesweeping ‘slice’ brim.

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We’ve seen this hat several times before to greater success, I’m afraid, paired with more polished hairstyles and vibrant ensembles. In theory, I like the idea of a neutral ensemble with bright accessories but something about the styling of this particular ensemble feels a bit off balance- maybe it’s the front time on the skirt that’s throwing things off? What IS working for me is something I don’t usually comment about and that’s King Willem-Alexander’s very distinguished looking summer beard! Dapper, indeed.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: July 3, 2016;  April 13, 2016April 27, 2015

We’ve seen both these hats before- what do you think of their outings over the weekend?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Belgian National Day 2019

The Belgian Royal Family celebrated their country’s national holiday today, attending a Te Deum mass at the Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula in Brussels followed by an annual military parade.

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Queen Mathilde wore a new hat described by the designer as “made of natural fibers… inspired by the leaf pattern on the lace of the Queen’s dress”.

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At first look, I found the shape a bit flat and awkward. After seeing side views, which show how dimensional the shape is around the back, that hat started to make sense. The delicate shape of the back balances the large, flat planes of ‘leaf’ on the front and gives some much needed balance and contrast to the design. And the colour, which is not an easy one to pull off, looks great on Queen Mathilde. I just wish she’d passed on the red leather gloves.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Mystery” design from the Couture Collection 2020
Previously Worn: this hat is new

As in past years, Princess Astrid attended the parade in military uniform with stitched brim hat.

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Princess Claire topped her deep ruby pink trouser outfit with a matching straw hat. The design features a wide, mushroom brim and rounded crown and is simply trimmed only with a folded straw hatband in the same colour.

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Head to toe ensembles in strong colours such as this can be tricky but this one, with different textures between clothing, hat, purse and shoes, works really well on Claire. She wears wide brimmed hats so well and this one, with its bold colour perfectly balaced with a noticeable lack of trim, is great on her.

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Designer: Amélie D’Hooghvorst
Previously Worn: this hat is new

What do you think about this pair of new hats today in Brussels?

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Photos from Getty as indicated