British Royal Wedding Four Years On: Non Reigning Royal Guests

Royal Hats We have come to the last post in our review of the fantastic hats worn at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge four years ago this week. We conclude coverage with a look at the hats worn by royal guests from non-reigning royal families.

The Greek Royal family have close ties to the British Royals (Prince Philip is a Greek Prince by birth) so it was not surprising to see five members in attendance. Queen Anne-Marie of Greece wore a cream pillbox hat designed by Philip Treacy. The straw was woven with gold threads which gave a shimmering quality to the hat which was trimmed by another signature Treacy bows.

Queen Anne-Marie and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece in Philip Treacy, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats

Princess Marie-Chantal topped her pale blue and grey embroidered Chanel dress with a statement hat, also by Philip Treacy. The moulded saucer hat was edged in a wide band of silk piping around the brim and was trimmed with large dove grey silk roses that balanced the underside of the vertical brim. This is not a hat for the faint of heart and together with the dress, made for an edgy and extremely haute couture ensemble.  While there is every reason for me to dislike the oddly shaped hat, I adore it as part of this ensemble.

Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece in Philip Treacy, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats

Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece in Philip Treacy, April 29, 2011 | Royal HatsQueen Anne-Marie and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece in Philip Treacy, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats

Queen Margarita of the Bulgarians, pictured behind Princess Victoria in the orange hat below, wore a simple black hat with flat crown and mushroom brim. The hat was trimmed with a wide ruched band around the crown and a large bow at the side.

Royal Wedding Guests, April 29, 2011 | Royal hats

Crown Princess Margareta of Romania wore a most perplexing open-crowned hat by Romanian milliner Kristina Dragomir. Built on a gold ring base, the headpiece consists of swirling loops of pleated crin in three shades of pink. While the photo above shows the headpiece as a soaring swan of sorts, the close-up view here looks like a giant pink slinky on steroids circling her head. Neither look is optimal.Crown Princess Margarita, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats

Princess Katherine of Serbia wore a simple cream hat made in the same oyster lace as her dress. The fold-back halo brim of the hat was edged in the same ecru satin as her shawled coat and the hat was trimmed with a bow at the back. While it’s not the most modern of royal hats, the shape and scale suited Katherine beautifully and it added the right touch to her ensemble.

That draws our week-long royal hat tour at this wedding to a close! If you haven’t already watched the nuptials on video, I suggest you pour a tall glass of your favourite tipple and settle into your comfiest chair. The camera work inside Westminster Abbey is breathtaking and the hats are thrilling. You can watch the entire day’s events here.

Photos from Bauer Griffin, Pacific Coast News and Pacific Coast News via Zimbio;  The Royal Forums; and Getty as indicated 

Spanish Royal Wedding Ten Years On: Bulgarian Royals

The Royal Hats Blog After the Spanish government granted asylum to the abolished Bulgarian monarchy in 1951, King Simeon made Madrid his home. He and each of his five children all married Spanish citizens and the family developed close friendships with the Spanish royal family. It was thus not surprising that the entire  Bulgarian royal family attended the marriage of the Princes of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocosolano on May 22, 2004.

The Princess of Turnovo, wife of Prince Kardam, topped her blue silk suit with a dramatic headpiece in beige and pale blue and feathers. I want to like this piece but I just can’t shake the image of a sandstorm swirling around Miriam’s head. Combined with her skirt, this outfit has too much ruffle and swirl going on. Sadly, Prince Kardam and the Princess were seriously injured in a car accident in 2008; Miriam recovered but the Prince remains in a coma today.

Princess of Turnovo, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats Princess of Turnovo, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

The Princess of Preslav, wife of Prince Kyril, wore a  picture hat with a wide, fluted organza brim. The pale pink hat was trimmed in lace and organza leaves, creating an almost ethereal effect around Rosario’s face. The hat was a striking contrast to her tailored coat and the ensemble gave further proof as to why legendary designer Valentino considered Rosario his muse.

     Princess of Preslav, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

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Prince Kubrat’s wife, the Princess of Panagyurishte, topped her lilac coat dress with a hat from Spanish milliner Candela Cort that defied description. The center of Carla’s hat, a brightly hued floral headpiece, was surrounded in a floating wired brim in lilac organza. This headpiece was reminiscent of Saturn’s ring; while its intended effect might have been celestial, it came off as rather odd.

Princess of Panagyurishte, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats Princess of Panagyurishte, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Princess of Panagyurishte, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Prince Konstantin-Assen’s wife, the Princess of Vidin, wore a latte coloured straw hat trimmed with long brown and beige feathers. This disk-shaped hat featured a slow rise in the centre but as it stayed clear of pyramid territory, it seemed to work. The jaunty angle that María placed it also showed the hat to beautiful effect. I love the warm colour on her although the feathers do seem a little haphazard.

Princess of Vidin, May 22, 2004 | Royal HatsPrincess of Vidin, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Princess Kalina of Bulgaria is notoriously adventurous when it comes to fashion – her ecru straw hat with orange feather trim was a rather sedate choice (for her, that is).  A sedate hat, however, it is not. With a double upturned brim and mass of ecru leaves and orange feathers on the brim, this hat packs a fair bit of visual punch.  A decade ago, sharply diagonal ‘slice’ hats had yet to come into royal millinery fashion so this one was certainly ahead of its time. I like it on Kalina… not because it is a particularly beautiful hat but because it is so much more attractive than what she usually wears.

Princess Kalina of Bulgaria, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats  Princess Kalina of Bulgaria, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

I can only assume Princess Margarita and King Simeon were also in attendance but have not located a photograph (any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated). My favourite hat here was the pink confection worn by the Princess of Preslav – which hat stood out here to you?

Early tomorrow morning, we will wrap up coverage of this wedding with a look at the hats worn by representatives from the remaining non-reigning royal families. 

Photos from  El MundoA. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert via Getty; El Mundo, El Mundo, El Mundo, El Mundo and El Mundo

Wedding Guest Hats, Ten Years Later


The wedding of Prince Laurent and Princess Claire of Belgium ten years ago today was a “mini” royal wedding – Laurent was the son of a king but not the heir to the throne. A number of royals from across Europe attended and there were some great hats on display. After looking at the bride’s veil and dress earlier today, let’s now turn our attention to the guests’ hats.

Queen Paola and Claire’s mother Nicole looked like they coordinated their millinery as both were in unadorned  light brown natural straw hats with upturned brims. Nicole’s hat featured a square shaped crown while Paola’s was a more traditionally rounded shape to highlight her dramatic diagonal brim. Their hats were both winners for me and both were designed by Fabienne Delvigne.

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The groom’s aunt Queen Fabiola of Belgium wore a hat in her favourite colour (lavender) with a wide upturned brim and silk flower trim. I loved how she placed it at a jaunty angle on her head and thought she looked just beautiful.

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Claire’s sister Joanna looked very demure in a soft pink 1920’s inspired cloche with side fan bow also designed by Fabienne Delvigne. In considerable contrast, Princess Mathilde (the groom’s sister-in-law) looked rather dramatic in a huge pink metallic straw conical pyramid hat designed by Maison van den Borne. It’s a lot of hat for this petite princess and I think it overwhelms her a little. Since we’ve never seen her repeat this one, I can only guess that she was on the fence about it, too (although, I can’t imagine the average daytime royal engagement warrants THIS big a hat!).

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Princess Astrid (sister of Prince Laurent) gave birth to her fifth child, Princess Laetitia only ten days after the wedding and thus was not able to attend. Her eldest daughter, Maria Laura, carried on her mother’s zany hat style with this ruched pink organza Peach Basket style hat. As this was this young Princess’ first major public hat occasion I’m going to give her a pardon and only comment one word: lampshade. Enough said.

Princess Lea of Belgium wore a blue picture hat of ruched straw while Princess Esmeralda wore a large red straw picture hat with square crown and upturned brim edged in a wide stripe of straw.

Princess Lea and Princess Esmeralda, April 12, 2013 | Royal Hats

Princess Esmeralda, April 12, 2013 | Royal Hats

Most of the Luxmbourg Royals (who are cousins as their mother was King Albert’s sister) were in attendance. Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein (née Princess of Luxembourg) wore an elegant beige straw hat with mushroom shaped brim and back bow. Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg wore a large lilac straw hat with high upturned brim. I loved both these hats, although I could have done without the rest of Sibilla’s outfit.

Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein | The Royal Hats Blog

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Grand Duchess Maria Teresa must have also received a memo to wear a hat with an upturned brim because that’s exactly what she did- in bright orange.

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The Swedish Royal Family was represented by Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine. Victoria wore a chocolate brown straw picture hat with a square crown designed by Philip Treacy (and trimmed by Treacy’s signature pink looped bow). This remains one of my favourite hats that Victoria has ever worn. Madeleine wore an ice blue straw hat with a slightly mushroom shaped brim and side fan bow.

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The Dutch Royal family were represented by Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. Laurentien wore a watermelon pink straw hat with – you guessed it – another upturned brim! It’s a great hat, although I think Laurentien ‘s fine features would be better complimented with a more delicate hat (and no crazy collar necklace). It was also a Fabienne Delvigne design.

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Also in attendance were Prince Kardam and Princess Miriam of Bulgaria (before their awful car accident in 2008)  and the Duke and Duchess of Bragança. Miriam wore a peach straw hat with a small, flat brim and drown wrapped in organza net. With flowers also on the side, there’s a lot going on with this hat. Isabel wore a simple cream straw hat with rolled brim and side flower detail. It’s not the most exciting of hats but I like it much better than the chocolate brown hat streak she’s on these days.

  Princess Miriam of Bulgaria | The Royal Hats Blog  Duchess of Bragança | The Royal Hats Blog

And finally, all weddings have a crazy aunt and this one had Princess Inaara Aga Khan (wife of the Aga Khan) in this larger than life beige and purple shiny transparent straw confection. While I am all about memorable hats, this one does seem a bit much.

Princess Inaara Aga Khan | The Royal Hats Blog

Prince Laurent and Princess Claire celebrate this, their tenth anniversary with their children Princess Louise and twins Prince Nicolas and Prince Aymeric, who joined them in 2004 and 2005. The family does not play any official royal role but we see them joining the rest of the Belgian Royals for major events like the Remembrance Te Deums every February and the National Holiday in July.

Looking back at their wedding from a decade later, I have to name this “The Wedding of the Upturned Brim!” That being said, many of the hats were unadorned and could be easily worn today. I think my favourite was Princess Victoria of Sweden in that elegant brown and pink picture hat. Which one did you like best? And which one would you still wear today?

Photos from The Royal Forums; Svenskdam; and The Royal Forums

Luxembourg Wedding: Non Reigning Royal Guests

Royal Hats While a number of European royal houses no longer reign (or even exist) in their home countries, there are still very close ties between the European Royal Families. And most importantly, they still wear hats!

Queen Anne-Marie of Greece leads this group with a beautiful cream pillbox hat designed by Philip Treacy. I loved how this hat fit with her short hair, how it made her stunning emeralds shine, and how the bow added a touch of whimsy and lightness. This is such a great example of how to remain totally elegant while still having fun.

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Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece is internationally recognized for her style- this woman has closets and closets and closets full of couture. It really puzzles me, in light of her fashionista status, as to why she wore an origami bird on her head. Her hat was also designed by Philip Treacy

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Queen Margarita of Bulgaria wore a dark mauve net fascinator to match her beautifully detailed suit.. While I want to give props to any woman over 40 with enough chutzpah to even attempt a net poof in her hair, this one seems a little awkward. What’s not awkward, however, is her incredible diamond pendant. If this suit looks familiar to you, it’s because it is the same suit she wore to the wedding of Infanta Cristina of Spain back in 1997. The fascinator, however seems to be new.

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I was so pleased to see the Princess of Turnovo at this event. She and her husband Prince Kardam (son of Princess Margarita and King Simeon of Bulgaria, pictured directly above) were in a horrible car crash in 2008. Kardam suffered a major brain injury and while the details of his condition have not been released, he was in a coma for most of 2008-9 and 2010. With that amazing amount of stress, it’s nice to see Princess Miriam at an event (pictured here with her brother-in-law Prince Kyril). Besides- her hat is fabulous.

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Princess Margareta, heir to the defunct Romanian throne, attended this wedding with husband Radu Duda (say that fast five times!) While I’m not a fan of her jacket at all, I love her navy bell-shaped hat with white and navy ribbon trim designed by Kristina Dragomir. The great shape and colour are oh-so flattering on her.

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Crown Princess Katherina of Serbia (wife of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia) looked fantastic in a white Philip Treacy hat with upturned lattice brim. It’s the perfect compliment to her ice blue suit and I think it looks so becoming on her.

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The Duchess of Braganza is the top lady in the defunct Portuguese Royal Family. Isabel’s ensemble at this wedding looked very wintry to me (fur collar and a heavy felt winter hat) – a little too wintry for an October wedding. I suppose the hat was alright… although so forgettable that I can only classify it as boring.

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Princess Clotilde of Savoy, the Princess of Venice & Piedmont, was a famous French Actress before marrying her handsome Italian Prince and wore a great deal of amazing french couture. As such, I was a little disappointed by the black fascinator she wore to the wedding. I’m not sure if it reminded me of a pirate eye patch or a hockey puck stuck to her forehead, but I did not like it one bit. It didn’t compliment her grey Elie Sab couture dress, either.

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Princess Annemarie of Bourbon Parma looked lovely in a large black hat with electric blue ribbon trim. I just couldn’t figure out how that electric blue ribbon trim (and her weird electric blue belt) went with her cerise dress.

And finally, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (whose title indicates she is a German princess but her mother is Queen Margrethe’s younger sister Princess Bendikte of Denmark) wore a pale pink fasinator with the big 3: pointy fathers, large bow and net veil. I wasn’t a fan of this fascinator when paired with her coral dress (and it made even less sense when she threw a caramel fur stole into the mix) nor the shape on her tall frame. This girl is TALL people- she doesn’t need arrows further pointing that out.

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Photos from Getty as indicated and Dutch Photo Press