Centenary of Deaths of Russian Imperial Royal Family

Yesterday marked the 100 anniversary of the deaths of Tsar Nicholas II and his family and the end of the Russian Imperial royal dynasty.  Commemorations were held in St. Petersburg, including the unveiling of a memorial statue of the late czar, his wife and children, a memorial service and the reburial of remains of two children, Alexei and Maria, with the rest of the family.

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Prince and Princess Michael of Kent was in attendance, the princess in a black lace veil (click on bottom photo below and scroll to last photo. Also in attendance was Princess Olga Romanoff, great niece of Nicholas II (granddaughter of the Tsar’s younger sister Grand Duchess Xenia), in an elegant black straw pillbox hat trimmed with dotted veil, crin leaves and bows by British milliner Laura Cathcart.


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The photo is of Princess Olga Romanoff this morning in the Astoria Hotel in St Petersburg on way to the graveside memorial service of the murder of her imperial family 100 years ago today - From today’s Daily Mail - “A feather in the cap for society milliner Lady Laura Cathcart”: The wife of writer William Cash and eldest daughter of Earl and Countess Cathcart has been appointed hat maker to the House of Romanov. Princess Olga Romanoff, the great-niece of Tsar Nicholas II, and her daughter Alex will wear Laura's creations today at the official graveside service in St Petersburg to mark the centenary of the murder of the Russian royal family. In 1768, Laura's direct ancestor Charles, 9th Earl Cathcart — known as 'Patch' due to the black silk patch he wore on his cheek after being shot in the face at the Battle of Fontenoy — was appointed ambassador at St Petersburg, and he was well known to Catherine the Great. Laura says: 'I'm so happy with the result that I've decided to launch a new 'in memoriam' range, which will feature hats in black and blue and will be ideal for funerals, memorial services and, of course, the Cenotaph Remembrance Day service. 'I'd be delighted to make a hat for Theresa May to wear in November.' #romanoff #princessolga #princessolgaromanoff #romanov #romanov100 #russianprincess #dailymail #millinery #ambassador #cathcart #lauracathcartmillinery #lauracathcarthats #centenary #astoriahotel #houseofromanov

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In Yekaterinburg, large memorial procession marked the route from the murder site to a monastery. Self-proclaimed Princess Olga Kulikovskaya-Romanova, widow of  Tsar Nicholas’ nephew Tikhon Nikolaevich Kulikovsky (son of Grand Duchess Olga) attended the procession in a purple straw cloche variation with flat topped crown wrapped in a wide lighter purple hatband.
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Even a hundred years on, the complexity of factors surrounding this tragic royal event is difficult to comprehend. This is, however, a major anniversary and that’s why I decided to cover it. I also recommend this this interview with Princess Olga that appeared in The Telegraph back in March which gives interesting insight into the post-Imperial life experienced by members of the Romanoff family who were able to leave Russia.
Photos from social media and Getty as indicated

Funeral of King Michael of Romania

Representatives from several royal houses gathered in Bucharest on Saturday for the funeral of Romania’s last king.

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King Michael’s daughters, led by Crown Princess Margareta who is now styled as ‘Custodian of the Crown of Romania’, all wore conservatively styled black hats or veils. Princess Margareta’s bumper hat features a large, double bow at the back while Princess Elena’s hat has a cuffed brim in the same fur as her coat.  Royal Musings reported yesterday that Nicholas Medforth-Mills and his fiance Alina-Maria Binder were quietly married in a civil service (their religious wedding remains set for next summer) recently, presumably so that the couple could attend the funeral together.

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Romanian royal family, Dec 16, 2017 | Royal Hats

Alina Binder, Dec 16, 2017 | Royal Hats

Romanian royal family, Dec 16, 2017 | Royal Hats

Queen Silvia wore a black felt pillbox, wrapped in a silk pseudo bumper brim and trimmed with a flat bow at the back.

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Queen Sofia of Spain wore a loosely woven net veil anchored to her hair with a small back bow.

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Queen Anne-Marie wore a black felt bumper hat wrapped in a wide swath of dotted net veil. The hat features a double upturned brim, the inner of which is made of silk which lends lovely sheen and contrast to the monochrome piece. It is finished with a ruffled flourish at the back.

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Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia wore a black velvet pleated headpiece in her go-to traditional Kokoshnik shape to which was attached a black veil.

Grand Duchess Maria, Dec 16, 2017 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia wore a simple black hat with rounded crown and relaxed mushroom brim.

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Princess Astrid of Belgium wore a black faux fur pillbox trimmed with a silk rosette and leaves.

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Princess Muna of Jordan wore a white lace veil. Behind her, Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein wore a large black straw hat with wide, exaggerated mushroom brim. The crown appears to be wrapped in a wide straw hatband (almost in the style of a bumper brim) overlaid in a dotted sheer organza or crin.

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Photos from Getty as indicated;  Simion Mechno, Simion Mechno, and Simion Mechno via Agerpres Foto; NurPhoto via Getty; REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Spanish Royal Wedding Ten Years On: Remaining Non-Reigning Royals

The Royal Hats Blog We have finally come to the final post on our look back at the hats worn by family and guests at the May 22, 2004 wedding of the Princes of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocosolano! Our peek is at the hats worn by representatives from non-reigning royal houses.

One of my favorite hats in this group was worn by Empress Farah of Iran. In palest blue straw, this hat featured a flat crown and large, mushroom shaped brim. The brim is not a shape we see often, perhaps because it can easily swallow up the face of the person wearing it. Brim proportions aside, the hat was a lovely compliment for the Empress’ perfectly tailored coat and, as usual, she looked elegant and very refined.

Empress Farah of Iran, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats Empress Farah of Iran, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Maria Vladimirovna, Grand Duchess of Russia, wore a kokoshnik-inspired hat in the same white, pink and red silk print as her dress. Trimmed in pink silk with a bow at the back, this halo shaped hat framed Maria Vladimirovna’s face and made her look all the more Russian.

Maria Vladimirovna, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

The Duchess of Bragança topped her pale peach silk suit with a cream straw hat trimmed in a peach sash around the crown and bloom on the side. The brim on this hat was slightly upturned on one side- a feature I would have loved to see exaggerated more to give the hat more panache and personality. It was a little too sedate, as it was.

 Duchess of Braganza, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Princess Béatrice of Orléans, Comtesse d’Evreux showed her fashion fearlessness by pairing a bold magenta headpiece with an even bolder magenta frock. A mass of magenta straw curling leaves and flowers, the headpiece was wrapped in net tulle veil and worn directly on the top of Béatrice’s head. While I do not want to question the Princess’ fashion sense (she was a fashion consultant for many years for Women’s Wear Daily and Dior), the placement of this headpiece doesn’t seem right. Nor do the lilac satin gloves, reminiscent of identical ones worn by a certain diva Muppet.

Princess Béatrice of Orléans, Comtesse d'Evreux, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Marina Doria, the Princess of Naples, wore a white lace veil anchored at the back of her head. While this was presumably done for religious reasons, the combination of the lace veil with Princess Marina tanned décolletage and white disco ball skirt was unexpected, to say the least. Her daughter-in-law, Princess Clotilde of Savoy, wore a headpiece of swirling white feathers that wrapped around her head.  I suspect the intent of this piece was to add to the ethereal effect of her organza trimmed suit but in reality, it looked like she was sporting a pair of white ear muffs.

Princess Clotilde of Savoy and The Princess of Naples, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats Princess Clotilde of Savoy, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

While we have seen numerous brightly hued and whimsical hats worn at this wedding, I do not believe any topped the chapeau worn by Princess Inaara Aga Khan for sheer fun and frivolity This hat, in white straw wrapped in an overlay of red fishnet with polka dots, was trimmed in a red, purple, lime and white straw bow at the front. Princess Inaara paired it with a white suit – a good thing, to be sure, but a choice which made the hat stand out all the more.

Princess Inaara Aga Khan. May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

That draws our look back at King Felipe and Queen Letizia’s wedding to a close. And what fun this has been! I am curious to hear what you thought of these and the other MANY royal hats that made an appearance at this event. Which one was your absolute favourite?

An index of all hats worn at this wedding can be seen at this post. We’ll be back to regular royal hat news and features first thing Monday morning.

Photos from  Lalo Yaky,Tim Graham and Pascal Le Segretain via Getty; El Mundo, El Mundo and El Mundo; Getty/Stringer via Getty; and El Mundo