Auschwitz Liberation Commemoration

Numerous heads of state gathered in Auschwitz, Poland yesterday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz

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Queen Mathilde repeated a black felt fedora variation with relaxed brim, trimmed with a felt hatband tied in a side bow.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: November 11, 2018

Queen M√°xima wore an black felt formed beret trimmed with a scrolled frog braid. The elegantly restrained design felt particularly fitting for this event. King Willem-Alexander wore a traditional Jewish kippah in gold embroidered blue velvet.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. It is OC 665 from AW 2019
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Queen Letizia wore a bandeau headpiece in black velvet.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her black wool hat with ruched crown and faux-fur cuffed brim.

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On Monday, The Duchess of Cornwall attended commemorations to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi concentration and death camps in Krakow, Poland ūüáĶūüáĪ. The Duchess led the UK delegation joining world leaders and more than 200 Holocaust survivors who returned to Auschwitz to mark 75 years since the Nazi death camp was liberated by the Soviet Army. Survivors and dignitaries laid candles to pay their respects to the victims and The Duchess also had the chance to meet Holocaust survivors and talk to them during her visit. ūüď∑: PA #princecharles #princeofwales #camilladuchessofcornwall #duchessofcornwall #princeandprincessofwales #dukeandduchessofcornwall #holocaustmemorialday #auschwitzbirkenau

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Designer: Lock and Co. ‚ÄúNatalia‚ÄĚ design¬†in black
Previously Worn: Dec 14, 2017; Mar 18, 2017; Feb 27, 2017;  Dec 16, 2017;  Nov 28, 2016; Mar 16, 2016; Mar 18, 2015; Mar 13, 2015; Dec 10, 2013; Feb 7, 2012;  Feb 6, 2012; Jan 27, 2012

At such sobering events, fashion feels trivial and irrelevant and I struggled over covering this event. The only thing I want to say is that these four, restrained hats each feels a fitting choice for a memorial like this where the story really should not be about a hat.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Passing of Infanta Pilar

Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz, Dowager Viscountess of la Torre, passed away in Madrid at the age of 83 today. The elder sister of King Juan Carlos of Spain, she was popularly known as ‘Do√Īa Pi’ after renouncing her rights of succession to marry Don Luis G√≥mez-Acebo y Duque de Estrada, Viscount de la Torre, Grandee of Spain in May 1967; together, they raised four sons and a daughter. President of the International Equestrian Federation from 1994 to 2006 and member of the International Olympic Committee from 1996 to 2006, Infanta Pilar was closely involved with a number of charitable causes and organizations.

She wore two particularly memorable hats to the weddings of her nephew, King Felipe in 2004 and Infanta Cristina in 1997 that I share in tribute to her now.

Our thoughts are with the extended Spanish royal family as they grieve her loss.

Photos from Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images and Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Getty Images

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 M√°xima 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, 2014; November 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 

Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Danish & Spanish Extended Families


We don’t often see a¬† royal bride who counts four queens between her mother, grandmother, and aunts but such is the reality of Princess Alexia’s family tree. As such, her wedding was an extraveganza of royal hats on high profile royal heads.¬† Alexia’s grandmother, Queen Ingrid of Denmark, wore an ensemble in pale lilac with a cuffed ring brim hat. Made of the same fabric (silk crepe?) as her dress and coat, the hat’s centerpiece was its woven crown, a unique design touch that gave it wonderful texture.

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Queen Margrethe topped her vibrant floral dress with a picture hat in the same hues. The wide brimmed design, in grass green straw, was trimmed in whimsical twists of layered pink and white curling straw.

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Princess Benedikte was in sunny yellow from head to hem. Her straw hat featured a flat crown, silk hatband stitched in narrow rows and folded into a flat front bow, and a wide downturned brim overlaid in a swath of yellow net veil studded with silk rose petals. While the colour seems very much of the time, the classic shape translates better than her ruffle trimmed suit!

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Princess Benedikte’s elder daughter, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein Berleburg, wore an ivory straw hat with flared and domed crown and wide brim that sloped downward in back and upwards in front. An overlay of informally ruched sinamay paced over the brim gave movement and a touch of modernity to the design.

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Princess Benedikte’s younger daughter, Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein Berleburg, seen behind Prince Charles in the photo below, wore a sky blue sinmay hat with squared crown and sideswept brim trimmed with a multi-looped bow on the side.

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While Queen Sofia did not wear a hat, Infanta Elena’s statement piece was impossible to miss. While structure here is difficult to pinpoint (Is it a pyramid? Do I see a small, rounded straw crown on th very top?), the hat’s focus was its wide cartwheel brim entirely covered in cream ostrich feathers. The phrase “lot of look” comes to mind to describe Elena’s couture suit and hat on steroids and I admire how much milliny confidence it must have taken to carry off such an over-the-top hat. It’s such a memorable royal hat moment.

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Infanta Cristina topped a blue dress and grey silk organza coat with a neutral almond straw hat with curved brim. The hat’s classic shape and streamlined trim (just a slim hatband) made a chic maternity look for Cristina.

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Infanta Margarita, who we seldom see, wore a very simple veiled headpiece. This is one of those times when function seems to have trumped fashion as the choice seems to satisfy the need for a headcovering, but that’s all. Do any of you recall seeing this headpiece from other angles?

There are some colourful and memorable hats among this group of royal relatives- I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Photos from Getty as indicated; ORBAN THIERRY/CORBIS SYGMA

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 M√°xima 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 M√°xima’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, 2016;  June 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, 2017; June 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, 2018; May 19, 2018; Jun 17, 2017; Jun 1, 2017; Jul 1, 2016; Jun 12, 2016; Jun 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 

Funeral of Grand Duke Jean: Royal Guests

The funeral of Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg was attended by representatives from nearly every European royal house, many who wore hats. Out of respect for this event and the Grand Duke’s memory, this post contains photos only (no commentary) and is not open for comments.

Monarchs from Denmark, Sweden, Liechtenstein and Norway:

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Spanish, Romanian and Greek Queens:

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Dutch, British and Norwegian Royals:

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Spanish, Italian, Bulgarian and Portuguese Princesses

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Jordanian and Moroccan Royals:

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Marlene Koenig, author of Royal Musings, published a full guest list here. Representatives from numerous abolished, lesser known European monarchies (mostly French, German and Prussian) were in attendance but have not been included here- you can see them at this comprehensive post over at Luxarazzi.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Dutch Royal Wedding 17 Years On: Royal Guests Part 3

We wrap up our nostalgic look back at King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s wedding on February 2, 2002 with a look at the royal hats worn by guests from Spain, Greece, Jordan, Great Britain, Monaco with a few extras thrown in.

Queen Sofia of Spain wore a cascading headpiece of golden beige organza leaves and roses. While the design looked transported from the 1960s, it linked well with her lace suit.

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Princess Cristina wore a heather purple felt brimmed hat trimmed with feathers in purple and dark grey. I’m still at odds about the feather placement- on one hand, it’s terribly messy but on the other, I like its exuberance and admire how the two shades link with her dark blue velvet and purple silk coat… a rather bulky item (it looked like a blanket) that hasn’t aged well. When a hat makes a coat look better, that can only be a good thing.

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Queen Anne-Marie of Greece topped her textured red coat with a matching hat. In a modified top hat shape, the felt design features a tall, flared crown with domed top, upturned rolled brim with downsweep on one side, a layered red felt hatband and brown mink pompoms. The mink trim links well with the mink trim on¬†Anne-Marie’s coat without being overly matchy and those pompoms are whimsical and fun. This hat’s unique shape is very much of its time but I always thought it was a bold and brave choice for her.

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Princess Marie-Chantal followed the same formula as Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, topping her richly patterned brocade coat with a tall brown fur Cossack style hat. Unfortunately, the hat’s large scale completely overwhelmed her and I’m still trying to see how it relates to the red, magenta and gold printed coat (which it’s own, is gorgeous!).

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Queen Noor of Jordan wore an embroidered headscarf in white, an interesting colour choice for a winter event with her baby blue silk tailored suit. She is photographed below by the Prince of Wales who wore his naval uniform and cap.¬†Princess Sarvath,¬†Princess Badiya and¬†Princess Sumaya are also listed on the guest list but I’ve not been able to locate any photographs of them.
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The Countess of Wessex wore primarily Philip Treacy millinery hats at the time and chose one in camel felt for this event. The design made its style statement primarily by shape, pairing a deeply pinched, tall stovepipe crown with an offset brim. The hat was¬†minimally embellished with a slim hatband tied in a front bow. It’s another design very much of the time and looking at it now, seemed a little heavy for Sophie’s cream coat and delicately embellished dress.

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Prince Albert of Monaco wore military uniform with cap while his elder sister, Princess Caroline of Hanover and Monaco, wore a grey felt cloche with extended brim and wide grey hatband. The hat’s classic shape suited Caroline well although I’m not sure about its pairing with her Chanel dress and coat, pieces that feel like they ought to be paired with something more luxurious and bespoke.
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Princess Míriam of Bulgaria topped her pink feathered skirt and fur collared jacket in a what looks like a headpiece of horizontally placed pheasant and pink feathers, placed on the back of her head.
Princess Inaara, wife of the Aga Khan at the time, wore a calot hat in large flowers with petals made of¬†mocha and copper organza, velvet and crin (see closeup here). The mixed textures on the piece gave it some life and while it related well to Inaara’s fur trimmed camel cape, these combined less well with her mushroom grey tweed suit and earthy green blouse. Too many neutrals, I’d say.
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Other noteable guests included Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel, who wore a traditional African printed capulana headwrap and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his wife Nane, who wore a brimmed hat in pale pink straw. 
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This wraps up our look back at this wedding! What do you think of this final group of hats?
Photos from Getty as indicated