Royal Ascot Day 1: Dutch Monarchs

I’m delighted to welcome milliner Jay Cheng, creator of Jaycow Millinery, to chat about today’s royal hats at Royal Ascot.

Queen Máxima wore a dusky pink straw sidesweeping saucer hat with all visible surfaces embellished by flowers made of trimmed coque feathers in paler shades of beigey-blush pink, with pearl bead centers. Straw loops circling around the saucer, under the feather flowers, complete it.

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Royal Hats: Many of us have been waiting years for Queen Máxima to make her Ascot début and she did so in a statement hat!

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Jay Cheng: This is a fabulous first début for Queen Maxima. She’s looking stunning in the beautiful soft pinkish salmon color disk hat! Perfect match for her light flowy organza dress. Feather flowers are certainly a labour of love . Each feather is cut and made into petals to form the three dimensional floral trim. Just stunning workmanship.

I don’t think the hat works in all angles.The side profile photos are great but the front ones, we can’t see Queen Maxima’s face. Even without showing part of her face, the hat is still captivating and the total look is fabulous with those gloves and the nude color heels!

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Royal Hats: This hat is all about those beautifully constructed feather flowers- SO fabulous and surprisingly multi-dimensional in this tawny, salmon pink (great colour description, Jay!) The colour slightly tempers the fantasy of this hat and links it to the summery but fairly sedate silk organza dress- I agree that the two pieces pair surprisingly well together. Yes, the hat it’s a lot of look and no, we can’t see Maxima’s face from all angles but it’s light, pretty, whimsical, feminine, unique and great fun- ideal elements of an Ascot hat!

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Designer: Berry Rutjes. Dress by Natan.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

King Willem-Alexander wore a black felt hat and the Duke of York, who completed the first carriage, repeated his black silk top hat. Seeing the two side-by-side makes me wonder if the Dutch king’s hat could have been a bit taller?

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What do you think of Queen Máxima’s new hat today?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

 

Order Of The Garter 2019

Founded by Edward III in 1348, The Order of the Garter is the senior and oldest British Order of Chivalry awarded at the Sovereign’s pleasure as a personal gift. Twenty four recipients of the order, known each as a Knight or Lady,  meet each year for a grand ceremony held int St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on the Monday before Royal Ascot begins.

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Members of the Garter wear elaborate robes and accessories for the Garter Service including a special hat. The hat, in the style of a Tudor bonnet, is made of black velvet with a voluminous, unstructured crown and flat brim. It is trimmed with the order insignia, white ostrich and black heron feathers, and slim cord wrapped around the base of the crown that extends to a pair of gold and royal blue tassels hanging down the side. British royal family members belonging to the order include Queen Elizabeth, who is Sovereign of the Garter, The Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge, Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, Princess Royal, Duke of Gloucester, Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra. The Duke of Edinburgh, who is also a member, did not attend the service today.

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King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and King Philippe of Spain were appointed as Supernumerary Knights of the Garter during state visits to the UK in 2018 and 2017; their attendance at today’s ceremony saw them officially installed in these roles and they wore the full garter regalia.

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Queen Máxima wore a tall, verical saucer hat in dusky pink straw trimmed with a mass of silk flowers and curling pheasant feathers on the underside of the raised brim.

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It’s a great look for the Dutch Queen. I really the slightly darker shade of pink on the hat and adore how its lines and lush trimming play so well off Máxima’s sleek caped coat dress- the pairing of the two items is fantastic. I’d like, however to change two things about the hat- first is the angle of placement on the head (tilt the top edge down a bit so it sweeps slightly more diagonally that so vertical) and the second is to tidy up the brim binding edge. Tweak these two things and a great hat would become a complete knockout.

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Designer: unconfirmed. My guess is Fabienne Delvigne. Dress by Claes Iversen.
Previously Worn: This hat is new. Some suggest it is a reworked version of this Prinsjesdag hat but the straw bases are different shapes and colours.

Queen Letizia wore a kokoshnik-style bandeau headpiece in formed black straw, trimmed with black feathers and veil. It’s the first headpiece in this style we’ve seen on the Spanish queen and it suits her petite frame so well (not leaving the hat looking like it’s wearing her, as unfortunately is often the case). With her black and white printed dress, the headpiece tops an elegant ensemble that’s fantastic on Letizia.

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Designer: It is the “Black Peony” design from Spanish brand Cherubina
Previously Worn: this headpiece is new

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated a hat in almond straw with off-center, peaked crown and side sweeping brim. A beaded straw hatband and side twists studded with ecru silk flowers complete the design. The beaded embellishment on the hatband and side twists add a subtle but welcome bit of sparkle to the design and while the colour is quiet, the scale and style make a great signature look for Camilla.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: June 19, 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge repeated a black sinamay hat with upturned flyaway brim in windowpane lattice straw, trimmed with a curled black an ostrich feather. The brim shape on this piece gives the design a wonderfully light and airy feel and the hat was beautifully paired with Kate’s white coat dress with black trim.

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Designer: Silvia Fletcher for Lock & Co. It is the Lion Tamer design. Coat dress by Catherine Walker.
Previously Worn: July 1, 2016June 11, 2011

The Countess of Wessex repeated her natural straw saucer hat with lattice open woven brim  trimmed with a large coral feathers and tan twists. The hat’s shape, reminiscent of Dior hats in the 1950s, pairs so well with her full skirted ensemble. Bright coral is not an easy hue to wear and this ensemble is beautifully balanced between the vibrant skirt and the hat’s feathers.

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Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: May 15, 2018 (it was also your favourite repeated royal hat in 2018!);  Oct 5, 2017June 20, 2017 i

The Duchess of Gloucester repeated her slate grey straw veiled pillbox hat. It’s a quietly classic design we’ve seen on Brigitte more than a few times but one she wears well.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 18, 2018May 19, 2018Jun 17, 2017Jun 1, 2017Jul 1, 2016Jun 12, 2016Jun 10, 2016

Zenouska Mowatt, on the far left below, topped her blue and yellow patterned dress with a navy straw bandeau. The bandeau’s wide curving base is trimmed with silk flowers and leaves on the right side.

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Designer: I suspect it’s the “Catherine in Midnight‘ by Laura Cathcart
Previously Worn: this headpiece is new

The Order of the Garter service this year brought us a wonderful parade of hats to kick off Ascot week with a fanfare. What do you think of these hats in Windsor today? Which designs stand out most to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Dutch Monarchs Wrap Up Irish Visit

The Dutch State visit to Ireland continued its third and final day today with visits in Cork, Cobh and Camden Fort Meagher. For today’s program, Queen Máxima repeated her wrapped calot hat in pale beigey-pink natural fibres.

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Even though we’ve not seen this design on Máxima in nearly five years, there’s not much new to say about it. The calot shape frames her face nicely and the colour of the hat matches nicely with this ensemble, but the wrapped look of the hat, which I suspect is supposed to come across as free form and artistic, is simply messy. Máxima wears saturated and jewel tones so well, this ensemble compares in comparison to countless other looks that simply suit her better. Let’s hope she’s got something spectacular in her suitcase for the Order of the Garter service on Monday.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: September 14, 2014; September 13, 2013May 24, 2013January 21, 2013April 29, 2011

We’ve not seen this calot in a while- what do you think about it’s outing in Ireland today?

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

Dutch State Visit to Ireland: Day 2

A second day of events in Ireland yesterday saw Queen Máxima in a repeated pumpkin straw hat with sidesweeping brim. The design, which hasn’t been seen in six years, is simply trimmed with a slim straw hatband.

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I suppose as far as diplomatic equality goes, it was only fair to follow Máxima’s green hat on the first day of this visit with something representative of the House of Orange. This warm shade is one she wears well and while the hat isn’t anything terribly exciting on its own, provides a decent balance for the sequinned skirt of her ensemble well and forms a surprisingly good backdrop for those amazing citrine jewels. Not every hat needs to take center stage and this one, in a colour we don’t see many royal hats, is a good supporting element.

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: June 3, 2013; November 5, 2009

It’s been a while since we’ve seen this hat on the Dutch Queen- what do you think about it, this time out?

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

Dutch Royals Begin State Visit to Ireland

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima arrived in Ireland yesterday for the start of a three-day visit.

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For this arrival, Queen Máxima wore a new khaki green straw rounded pillbox hat trimmed with a double folded row of the same shimmering green-gold fabric as on her dress.

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The dress is inspired by the gold stacked necklaces worn by the African Ndebele tribe and… well, it’s a strong look. The gladiator vibe of the dress and all of its gold trimmings needs a simple hat to balance it and this one fits the bill. It’s not my favourite colour on Máxima, nor am I convinced its placement, nearly vertically on the back of her head, is great but I have to concede it was likely the best choice for this dress. The ensemble is a smartly subtle nod to Irish green- not obvious but clearly, still deliberate.

Designer: unconfirmed. Dress by Claes Iversen
Previously Worn: This hat is new

I suspect there will be opinions on this outfit- so, dearest readers, what do you think of this hat?!

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Dutch Monarchs Visit Neder-Betuwe

King Willem-Alexander and were in the Dutch region of Neder-Betuwe yesterday where they visited Opheusden and Culemborg city halls, a tree farm, and a fruit auction/distribution center. For this day away, Queen Máxima wore a new hat, one of her signature wide brimmed ‘slice’ designs with high upsweep in deep, magenta straw.

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First up- the colour is divine. This is Máxima’s 26th version of this hat style (17th in straw) and she wears the jewel tone SO WELL. I’ve said all I can say about the scale and shape (still SO GOOD) which leaves me quibbling about the finishing. The fantastic Mode Maxima Koningen blog post on this hat includes some great back views which show brim binding that is a little lumpy and, appears to be pieced (see seams at both 4 and 6 o’clock positions), something that should not happen on a couture hat.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This hat is new

What do you think about Queen Máxima’s new hat yesterday? I haven’t even mentioned the styling- I’ve warmed up to it in the past 24 hours because the neutral skirt and blouse make the hat stand out as the ensemble’s centerpiece!

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

Queen Máxima Opens Elder Care Facility

Queen Máxima was in Steenbergen this morning to officially open an elderly care house. For this engagement, she reached back in her hat closet for a tall-crowned, ecru straw cloche that hasn’t been seen in over a decade.

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This design, with it’s lively spray of feathers on the side and slim hatband, has much to admire- it’s well constructed with a very finely woven straw and those feathers add great energy to the design. We’ve seen Queen Máxima in just a few cloche hats, I think, for good reason- the classic shape simply does not suit her well and the slightly stretched proportions on this design, while interesting, don’t help. Shape issues aside, I have great admiration for royals who style decade-old hats into current ensembles and this neutral hat pairs well with Máxima’s green silk suit.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. Suit by Natan.
Previously Worn: April 4, 2006

Queen Máxima experimented with a handful of cloche shapes in the mid 2000s that we don’t see her wear much any more. Such experimentation is a necessary step (particularly for women marrying into royal families who haven’t worn many hats in their private lives) and I imagine this led her to the calot, turban and toque shapes that have become a signature look. What do you think of this cloche on Queen Máxima today?

Photos from Getty as indicated