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

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

Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Families

Prince Pavlos and Marie-Chantal Miller, July 1, 1995 | Royal HatsRoyal Hats

When Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Prince of Denmark, married Marie-Chantal Miller on July 1, 1995, the event was a family affair. Because of the Greek royal family’s close relations to several other royal houses, that also made it a major royal event. Here is a look at the hats worn at this wedding by members of the couple’s families.

Queen Anne-Marie topped her sea foam green silk coat with a straw headpiece in the same hue. With an open top, the headpiece wrapped in a circle around her head and was trimmed with a wide straw ribbon tails on the side.

Queen Anne-Marie, July 1, 2015 | Royal Hats

Queen Anne-Marie, July 1, 2015 | Royal Hats  Queen Anne-Marie, July 1, 2015 | Royal Hats

Princess Alexia wore a wide brimmed hat in natural straw while Princess Theodora, as bridesmaid, wore a floral wreath in her hair. Both Alexia and and Queen Anne-Marie were dressed by London-based Austrian designer Inge Spronson.

Greek Royal Family, July 1, 2015 | Royal Hats

The mother of the bride, Chantal Miller, matched Queen Anne-Marie’s ensemble in a hat and dress in sea foam green topped by a pale peach hand embroidered and beaded Valentino couture coat. The hat followed the shape of a ruched turban at the back but was brimmed with a halo brim around the front that framed Mrs. Miller’s face. Trimmed with a stylized silk flower, the chic hat has a wonderful sense of movement that almost draws my attention away from her pearls.

Chantal Miller, June 1, 2015 | Royal Hats  Chantal Miller, June 1, 2015 | Royal Hats

Princess Marie-Chantal’s two sisters, Alexandra Miller and Pia Getty wore what I suspect were very fashion-forward hats for the time. Pia’s round burgundy percher hat was edged in scalloped pink ribbon and trimmed with a spray of pink and burgundy feathers at the back. While this hat shape is familiar to us now, it was a very avant garde millinery look 20 years ago that left me wondering at the time if she had stuck a cushion on her head.  Alexandra toped her blue suit with what can only be described as a pink headscarf, worn as a headband and loosely tied in a bow behind her ear. This headpiece (if you can call it that) has always left me scratching my own head.

Pia Getty and Alexandra Miller, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Princess Benedikte, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Looking at the groom’s extended family- Queen Anne-Marie’s sister, Princess Benedikte of Denmark (above, right) wore a large rose pink hat with high ‘slice’ brim that folded up over the square crown on one side. We see these ‘slice’ brim picture hats often these days but I suspect it turned heads at the time. Their mother, Queen Ingrid of Denmark, wore a memorable hat in sky blue. With a traditional round crown, the brim of the hat was wider around the front and folded up to frame Queen Ingrid’s face. The straw was light embroidered in monochrome blue vines and embellished with a small spray of flowers at the side. We seldom see patterned royal hats and this one still stands out in my mind as a unique piece.

Queen Ingrid, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats   Queen Ingrid, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Queen Margrethe, the eldest of Queen Ingrid’s three daughters, also wore an unusual and distinctive hat. Her headpiece, in steely blue straw,  featured a large disc atop a calot base. The disc was sliced to the radius at the top of the headpiece- a large bow was placed in the slice, leaving one side of the bow visible on top of the hat and the other, behind the back of it (which also curled up that side of the disc). A spray of silk violets completed the striking hat.

Queen Margrethe, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats   Queen Margrethe, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

While King Constantine’s sister, Queen Sofia of Spain, did not wear a hat, her daughters  Infanta Elena and Infanta Christina both topped their dress suits with simple cream picture hats.

Infanta Elena, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats   Infanta Cristina, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Looking at these hats today, I am surprised how current many of them seem. Which ones stand out most to you?

Greek Royal wedding, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Photos from The Greek Royal Family; The Royal Forums; and Lord Lichfield via Getty

Spanish Royal Wedding Ten Years On: The Spanish Royal Family

Royal Hats When the Prince of Asturias married Letizia Ortiz Rocasalano on May 22, 2004, he was heir to the Spanish throne and the wedding was a major event for the country. While all eyes were inevitably on the bride, the women of the Spanish royal family were also very much in the spotlight on this day.

In contrast to the day dresses and hats worn by most of the other 1200 guests at these nuptials, Queen Sofia, in her role as “Madrina” (mother of the groom) chose a full length ecru silk dress with embroidery around the sleeves, skirt and waist. She topped her gown with a calf length traditional black lace mantilla and high peineta comb. The mantilla was cut so that a triangle fell over the crown of her head, in front of the peineta; the two pieces were anchored with a diamond bow brooch at the back.

For those of you wondering about Queen Sofia’s choice of formal dress at this daytime wedding (as I was!), her official role as ‘Madrina’ carried this dress code. Thanks to the commenters who explained this Spanish tradition.

Queen Sofia, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Sofia, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Sofia, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats  Queen Sofia, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats  Queen Sofia, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats

Infanta Elena wore a pink and white lace Christian Lacroix dress and jacket, inspired by a traditional Spanish torero (matador). She also wore a black lace mantilla and high pieneta comb, anchored again with a diamond brooch at the back. The ensemble was extremely haute couture and so very, very Spanish.

Infanta Elena, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Infanta Elena, May 22, 2004 | Royal HatsInfanta Elena, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Intanta Cristina went a less traditionally Spanish route with her head wear for this wedding, choosing a striking gold picture hat by Mabel Sanz with square crown, slightly waved brim and wide ribbon tails on the side. With her chartreuse dress and dove grey coat, the overall ensemble was unexpected and very modern. While I’m not certain the dress and coat worked with this hat, this hat was stunningly beautiful on Cristina and I love it as much today as I did a decade ago.

Infanta Cristina, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats  2004-05-22 Asturias wedding 38

The fashion and headpieces of the groom’s family seem less coordinated than that of the bride’s family, which we will look at later today. What are your thoughts on the headpieces worn by the ladies of the Spanish royal family at this wedding?

Next up? The hats worn by Queen Letizia’s mother, sisters and grandmothers.

Photos from Hola; Odd Andersen, Christophe Simon, Miguel Riopa/AFP and Angel Diaz via Getty;  Albert Gea and Bernardo Rodriguez via Corbis; Miguel Riopa, Pascal Le Segretain, and Pascal Le Segretain via Getty

Birthday of Infanta Cristina

Royal HatsInfanta Cristina of Spain celebrates her forty-eighth birthday today. If you follow royal news, you’ll know that Cristina and her husband are embroiled at the center of a major scandal and as such, have kept an even lower public profile than ever. No matter- when I think of Cristina’s millinery history, there is one hat that stands out above all others. It is this magnificent straw picture hat in  gold straw she wore to her brother’s wedding in 2004. Breathtaking.

Infanta Cristina, May 22, 2004 | The Royal Hats Blog

Photo from Gtresonline via Vogue