Monaco Royal Wedding: Guests from Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein

We continue our look back at the July 2, 2011 religious wedding of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene with hats worn by guests from the royal houses of Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

Queen Paola topped a sparkly grey ensemble with a matching picture hat trimmed with pleated silk abaca draped over the crown and fanned out around the brim. I’m all for creative trims on hats and while I like the texture this silk abaca lends to the look, it’s not entirely harmonious with the hat (was it plonked on top because the hat needed ‘something’?) or with the overall ensemble.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne

Princess Mathilde topped her streamlined purple cape collar dress with an equally sleek charcoal straw percher hat with flying bow. It was such a sophisticated look for Mathilde, the grey accessories beautifully contrasting with the purple frock, her fantastic hairstyle perfectly showing off the hat, and the silver sparkle of the hat’s straw metallic weave linking wonderfully with her waterfall diamond brooch. Très chic.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Dress by Armani

Princess Astrid made a strong millinery statement in an oversize cloche hat in natural straw with tall, rounded crown and extended, mushroom shaped brim edged in fringe.  The exaggerated shape was a little awkward, but I think it was the hat’s fringe, which matched her pale green Chanel bouclé suit, that took it over the top. It was a haute couture look for certain but was it attractive? I’m not sure.

Designer: likely Maison Michel

Princess Claire also wore a hat with exaggerated natural straw brim, but to greater success. Along with the wide cartwheel brim, her romantic picture hat featured a pillbox-shaped crown with flat top and sides covered in pink silk and a playful pink silk sash sewn free-form on one side. The sash is one of the unexpected but prettiest trims I’ve seen on a picture hat and the hat, along with Claire’s retro-styled jacket and full-skirted frock was another one of my favourite ensembles at this event. It was just so, so lovely.


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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa sparkled in a headpiece of spiky silver metallic dahlia flowers with silver pearl centers and cut grey feathers. It was a sassy design that suited Maria Teresa really well but that may have been better matched with a different outfit. Maybe a more vibrant dress? Maybe with less competing sparkle? I think disco ball jackets might be best reserved for after dark.

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Designer: unknown. Dress and jacket by Elie Saab. 

Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein paired her blue silk dress and coat with a wide brimmed straw saucer. These extended saucers continue to be an interesting, smoothly curvy take on a picture hat (thanks Philip Treacy!) and the a wider transparent brim on this design brought lovely lightness around Sophie’s face. Like the Grand Duchess, I think some colour variation would bring some welcome contrast here- the little bit of cream from the scarf at her shoulder and belt aren’t enough to save the ensemble from being too blue. Change out the hat for ecru straw instead of blue and I think we’d have had a winner here.

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Designer: Philip Treacy

How do you think these looks, and in particular, these hats, fare nine years on?

Jump to this post for an index of other royal hats that appeared at this wedding. 

Photos from Getty as indicated; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Bauer Griffin; SIPA

Luxembourg National Day

Members of the Grand Ducal family celebrated their country’s national holiday yesterday with a military parade and Te Deum thanksgiving mass.

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Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore a formed calot hat in vibrant chartruese straw.

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It’s no secret that I love a wide-brimmed hat but large hats simply doesn’t suit all people. Wide brims often overwhelm Maria Teresa- the shape and scale of this one are really good on her and the punchy colour makes it stand out. The navy and chartreuse scheme of this ensemble is an unexpectedly good one and I really like the coordination of sleeve beading with the hat

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Designer: unknown. Dress by Lanvin.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie wore a wired headpiece of cream, pink and blue flowers and shells made of porcelain. It’s a delicate piece that pairs well with her pale pink dress and upswept hairstyle.

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Designer: Sylvia Martinez. Dress by Paule Ka.
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Princess Alexandra wore a natural straw oversize cloche hat with extended brim bound in black ribbon. While I like the contrast provided by the brim’s binding, it brings the focus of the hat down to the brim edge- maybe a black Petersham ribbon hatband would restore balance? I’m also struggling to see the connection between the hat and Alexandra’s blue suit.

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Designer: unknown. Suit was previously worn by Grand Duchess Maria Teresa.
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

It was a quieter group of hats this year for Luxembourg’s national day- what do you think of this trio?

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

Inventory: Grand Duchess Maria Teresa’s Green Hats

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa celebrated her 63rd birthday on Friday and in honor of this milestone, I thought we’d put together our first inventory of her hats. My excitement for all things spring has me yearning for green so that’s where we’ll start:

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Designer: unknown; Fabienne Delvigne
Introduced: unknown (this photo was taken Sep 19, 1993); Jun 12, 2004 

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne: unknown 
Introduced: June 23, 2006; May 30, 2011 

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Introduced: August 30, 2014

It’s a bit of a hodgepodge, isn’t it?! Shades of avocado and lime can be tricky to wear and for half of the green hats to be in these shades- well that’s just brave. Disregarding the first hat (from so long ago it’s rather irrelevant now), the remaining three  are is different in shape as three hats can possibly be- something else that’s brave. I don’t think of the Grand Duchess as a particularly experimental hat wearer but this first inventory makes me wonder if I’ve been underestimating her. What do you think of her green hats?

Photos from Steve Finn, Ragnar Singsaas and Pool via Getty; Getty as indicated

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

Ascot Hats From the Past

Royal Hats to 2002 and our final duet of foreign royals that joined in Ascot fun that year. The late Grand Duchess Josephine wore a classic ecru straw hat with a beautifully curved brim, trimmed simply with a silk organza hatband and side rosette (and I can’t omit mentioning Princess Anne’s ice blue straw hat with mushroom brim and ruched straw crown wrap). Grand Duchess Maria Teresa topped her blue suit with a matching straw hat with wide, upturned brim trimmed with a wide hatband and large flower. Unfortunately, Maria Teresa’s hat was a touch large for her, leaving it to sit unusually (and unflatteringly) low on her forehead.

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Thanks for sharing any hats worn today (likely a few to church at Sandringham) in the comments below.

Photos from Getty as indicated