Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On: British Royal Guests

The British royals have long been close with their Greek royal cousins (the Duke of Edinburgh was, after all, a Greek prince by birth) and as such, several members attended Princess Alexia’s wedding in London in 1999. Queen Elizabeth wore a yellow and white silk jacquard dress and jacket with the same fabric covering the crown and binding the brim of her cream straw hat.

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The hat’s sideswept brim gave the design jaunty air and shape which, without the sunny polka dots, seems like it could be fashionably worn today.

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The Duchess of Gloucester wore a cornflower blue hat with flat crown and gently upturned brim overlayed in a swath of dotted net tulle veil in the same shade.

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Princess Alexandra wore an ecru straw hat with tall crown and cartwheel brim embellished with all-cream trimmings- a wide silk hatband with flat bow, widely woven ivory net veil, and silk flower. I believe it is the only hat worn at this wedding that we still see in regular rotation (worn most recently last summer).

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Princess Michael of Kent wore a cream hat in lattice woven straw with tall sidesweep over the hat’s crown, simply trimmed with a slim hat and that tied in a side bow. The shape and patterned straw enabled this hat to make a great statement despite its neutral colour and modest size.

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Lady Elizabeth Anson, Queen Elizabeth’s cousin through the Bowes-Lyon side of her family, played a major role as The event’s coordinator. She wore a large red straw hat with wide pleated silk hatband and cream and red straw flowers that wrapped around the front of the hat.

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Lord Romsey was photographed at the wedding– I suspect Lady Penney Romsey (as was Countess Mountbatten of Burma’s title at the time) also attended although I can’t locate any photos of her. Maybe one of you can help?

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

Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On

Last month marked the 20th anniversary of a major royal wedding in London attended by three Kings and eight Queens. On July 9,1999 Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark married Carlos Javier Morales Quintana, a Spanish architect and a champion yachtsman, at St. Sophia Cathedral. Over the next few days, we’re going to take a look back at this event.

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The bride went to one of her mother’s favourite designers, Austrian Inge Sprawson, for her sleek gown in ivory satin. With long, fitted sleeves and a wide v-neck, the focal point of the dress was a pair of diagonal crossed seams at the waist that created a fitted bodice silhouette and attached the gown’s skirt.

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The straight skirt flowed into a modest sweep train with a longer, detachable train fixed at the waist. The back of the dress was decorated in a row of beaded buttons which were repeated on the underside of each sleeve.

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Following the tradition set by her grandmother and followed by her mother, aunts and cousins, Alexia wore her great-grandmother Crown Princess Margaret’s Irish lace veil anchored with the Danish royal family’s Khedive of Egypt Tiara.

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A simple gown is usually the best way to show off such an amazing vintage lace veil but I’m just not sure that the cut and fabric of this dress entirely flattered it’s wearer. For me, it always paled in comparison to the amazing gold beaded Armani dress with portrait neckline she wore two days earlier to a pre-wedding party- a look I’ve long thought was her very best. It was breathtakingly stunning

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Princess Alexia was attended by her sister Princess Theodora, who wore a long sleeved gown in floral embroidered lilac silk organza with sheer sleeves and a draped neckline.

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Bridesmaides included Princess Alexia’s 3-year old niece, Princess Olympia, and Princess Mafalda, daughter of Prince Kyril and Princess Rosario of Bulgaria (the Prince and Princess of Preslav). Their dotted white silk organza full-skirted frocks with lilac silk sashes were topped with delicate white floral hair wreaths. Pageboys wore high waisted lilac silk trousers with white silk Peter Pan collared shirts.

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Fascinators were very popular in 1999 (Queen Elizabeth famously wore one two weeks earlier for the wedding of the Earl and Countess of Wessex) making Queen Anne-Marie’s headpiece of lilac feathers a fashionable choice at the time. From today’s viewpoint, it seems a fussy choice for her lace trimmed coat and dress.

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Crown Princess Marie-Chantal topped a textured suit with a wide brimmed hat in light ecru straw. The design featured a raised brim around the front behind which was a large grin unstructured bow.

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I’m curious, dearest readers- what do you think of this bridal look and hats, 20 years on?

Jump over to the following posts to review hats worn by the many royal guests:

Danish and Spanish Extended Royal Families
British Royal Guests
Norwegian and Swedish Royal Guests
Luxembourg, Jordanian, and Eastern European Royal Guests

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Kent Wedding at Windsor: Royal and Notable Guests

In addition to the Kent family, Gloucester family and British royal family, Saturday’s wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston was also attended by a number of foreign royal guests. King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece were spotted arriving, the Green queen in a repeated her ecru and gold woven straw pillbox with whimsical, looped side bow.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: October 20, 2012; April 29, 2011

Our friends over at Luxarazzi spotted Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein among the guests. Princess Isabelle wore a wide-brimmed black straw hat with ruched brim overlay studded in pink silk flowers.

The Bulgarian Princess of Turnovo wore a large percher headpiece in pale grey crin. We don’t see Miriam at many royal events (especially after Prince Kardam’s passing in 2015), it was lovely to see her again on Saturday.

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Beautiful wedding at Windsor Castle.

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The bride was photographed in familiar embrace with Brazillian Prince João Henrique of Orléans and Bragança. His wife, Claudia, paired a mustard dress with a natural straw vertical saucer hat trimmed in slim multi-looped bows both above and below the raised side of the brim.

Scrolling through the gallery below brings up photos of several more Brazillian princesses. Duchess of Segorbe, Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans-Bragança topped her green dress with a soaring, waved natural straw hat trimmed with what looks like a silk abacca hatband and flying bow tails (a Brazillian princess by birth, Gloria was the first wife of Prince Alexander of Serbia but is now married to the Spanish Duke of Segorbe).  Princess Yasmin of Orléans-Bragança paired her red dress with a matching circular layered headpiece in red crin.

While not royal, a number of noteable guests at this wedding also included:

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Jemima Jones and Jemima Goldsmith

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Carole Middleton in am ecru and grey Jane Corbett picture hat; Pippa Matthews in a blue velvet Jess Collett bandeau

That wraps up our look at the hats worn to Lady Gabriella’s wedding. Please share ones not covered here that caught your eye in the comments below.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Kent Wedding at Windsor

Lady Gabriella Windsor was married to Mr. Thomas Kingston today at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

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The bride looked radiantly beautiful in a lace dress by Italian designer Luisa Beccaria. Beccaria was quoted this morning, “In the very beginning, she didn’t even really want a white dress. Her requirements changed a little bit when they decided to marry at Windsor.”

The resulting gown was made from fine layers of tulle and organza- ivory layered with a few in blush pink to give the slightest kiss of colour- with an overlay of ivory embellished Valenciennes lace.

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The lace is appliqued with silk ribbon swirls and flowers with a row roses highlighting the waist. The shape follows a sheer bateau neckline and long sleeves with the A-line skirt that sweeps into a beautiful train.

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Lady Gabriella wore a tiara that has is becoming a Kent family bridal tradition. Gifted to her grandmother, Princess Marina on the occasion of her wedding to the Duke of Kent, the Kent City of London Fringe Tiara was worn by Princess Alexandra at her wedding in 1963 and by Gabriella’s mother, Princess Michael of Kent at her wedding ball in 1978.

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The spiky lines of the Kokoshnik shaped tiara were softened by a sweeping cathedral length silk tulle veil, edged around the front with the same Valenciennes lace that adorned the gown. Applique cutouts of the lace dotted the back of the veil with little blossoms and Gabriella’s hair was fixed in a romantic cascade of curls and looping braids.

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The couple were attended by pages and bridesmaids, including Gabriella’s nieces Maud and Isabella, in ivory silk organza dresses also by Luisa Beccaria. The same silk ribbon floral applique on the waist of the bride’s dress trimmed the waists and short sleeves of the bridesmaids’ frocks and wreaths of ivory and peach roses adorned their hair.

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From the couple’s radiant smiles, it appears the day was everything they had hoped and I’m sure you join me in wishing them congratulations and wishes for a wonderful life together.

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Dutch Royal Wedding 17 Years On: Royal Guests Part 2

We continue our look back at King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s wedding 17 years ago this month with a look at the hats worn by royal families from Belgium and Luxembourg.

Queen Paola topped her lilac wool suit with a matching felt hat with upturned brim by Fabienne Delvigne. The brim features a waved, pleat on the upswept side with gentle point which gives lovely movement to the piece. The ensemble was a lot of lilac but Paola’s ruffled blouse broke up the look with some textural contrast.

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Crown Princess Mathilde wore a dark chocolate faux fur papakha style hat. It’s a very wintry look that contrasted well against her red suit and the matching cuffs on her jacket added a harmonious and wonderfully luxe touch.

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Princess Astrid wore one of the most bizarre royal hats I have ever seen. The natural straw hat with flat crown and short cartwheel brim was trimmed with vertically placed pheasant feathers around the back and…. another straw hat, in a slightly darker shade, placed on the side. This was a first- trimming a hat with another hat- that thankfully, has not been repeated. The milliner, Christophe Coppens, is now an avant garde artist/designer and while this hat gets marks for creativity, I can’t describe it as anything but utterly ridiculous.
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Prince Laurent, who was not yet married, attended in uniform complete with cap, and is photographed below with a very young looking Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg.
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Grand Duchess Josephine of Luxembourg (who passed away in 2005) wore wore a fur-brimmed bumper hat with domed crown covered in the same stylised silver animal print as her jacket. The brown fur and silver/slate blue combination always perplexed me a bit – don’t you think this design would have been improved with silvery grey sable brim instead?!
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Hereditary Grand Duchess Maria Teresa topped her gold brocade suit with a dramatic chocolate fur Cossack style hat and matching scarf. Yes, the hat is a bit too large for petite Maria Teresa but the look read very ‘Russian Imperial court’ (in a good way!) and I always loved how it coordinated so well with Grand Duke Henri’s uniform. Planning one’s look to match with one’s husband’s orange order- now that’s romantically dedicated dressing!

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Princess Sibilla also wore a gold suit and chocolate hat, although the effect was completely different! Sibilla’s hat follows a more demure shape with rounded crown, mushroom brim and chocolate velvet hatband, tied in a droopy side bow. It’s precisely what one might have expected from a royal hat two decades ago… but I’m afraid my current eyes are left wanting a bit more (and are drawn back to Maria Teresa’s more dramatic look).

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Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein is also included on this event’s guest list but I have been unable to find photos of her. This omission aside, there are some great looks here, aren’t there?! I’m also looking forward to your thoughts about Princess Astrid’s hat- do you find it as silly, 17 years on, as I still do?! 
Stay tuned tomorrow for the final look at royal guests from Spain, Greece, Great Britain and Monaco .
Photos from Getty as indicated

Dutch Royal Wedding 17 Years On: Royal Guests Part 1

When Crown Prince Willem-Alexander married Máxima Zorreguieta seventeen years ago, his status as heir to the Dutch throne made the wedding a state occasion and as such, a large number of royal guests attended. We now look at some of these royal hats.

Queen Margrethe’s hat linked with her fur trimmed coat, the domed crown covered in the same textured blue wool fabric. The denim blue inverse brim made this design unique, hugging the bottom of the crown tightly before opening horizontally, the shape punctuated by a slim lighter blue hatband on the under side. the brim’s front brim vent was further highlighted with a pearl brooch. Despite its small footprint, this hat packs a lot of punch- perhaps too much in combination with the fur collar and cuffs on the coat?

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Princess Benedikte wore a silver tweed coat and hat with fur trim on the bumper brim (and collar and dress hem). The scale of fur trim is just right here and the dark colour contrasts AND coordinates beautifully with the fabric. The fur hem of the dress is a little odd but the hat works really well.

Benedikte’s eldest daughter,  Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, topped her lilac dress and coat with a magenta felt brimless hat trimmed with a tall spray of feathers. The pieces are all individually attractive but I’m just not sure they combine well together. Photos of Alexandra’s younger sister, Princess Nathalie, who also attended, elude me.

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Queen Silvia’s midnight blue hat combined straw and velvet- not a combination we often see. The hat’s wide, upturned kettle brim was edged in a wide stripe of velvet which was repeated on the crown. A ruched hatband of light straw added softness, volume and textural contrast between the crown and brim.

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Crown Princess Victoria topped her tailored chocolate suit with a matching straw hat. It’s a hat I’m happy to leave in the past for Victoria, its unrefined finishing and awkward looking hatband making a less than flattering look for her.

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Princess Madeleine’s hat packed a little more style punch and finesse with its angular crown and upswept brim around the back. The sequinned hatband reads a little ‘glitzy cowgirl’ and the roughly woven straw feels slightly unmatched against Madeleine’s beautifully tailored dress and jacket but somehow, the look works for what it was.

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Queen Sonja topped her cantaloupe orange lace suit with a matching silk cloche hat. The upturned brim updated the traditional shape with some angular edge (a touch somewhat nullified by the wide, rather dowdy lace hatband) and a small spray of orange feathers and a canteloupe silk twist on the side attempted to liven the design. A matching canteloupe lace purse and fur stole completed the look- and a lot of canteloupe it was. Melon overkill, I’d say.

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Crown Princess Mette-Marit was barely six months into royal life at this point and her ensemble reflects some of this inexperience. Her navy silk cloche hat was embellished by a wide, ruched hatband and the same matchstick cream stitching around the outside of the brim edge as on the neckline of her dress and, in reverse, on her cream coat. All in all, it was rather bland.
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From bland and boring we move to brilliantly bizarre with Princess Märtha Louise’s hat. A fantastical design that combines a tall, olive green felt square-edged hourglass crown, a wide purple felt brim, purple roses and cobalt, orange and red feathers, the hat is unexpected, whimsical and… well, it’s just bonkers. Pairing this embellished purple suit with this hat was a gutsy move I’ve always admired and makes me smile, still.
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Well- there’s much to discuss here! Which hats stand out to you, most? Which hats have weathered the passage of time, best?
Photos from Getty as indicated