Dutch Royal Wedding 17 Years On

We’re going to celebrate this week’s holiday of romance with a look back at a royal love story celebrated at a grand wedding on February 2, 2002.

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In May 1999, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander attended a party at the Seville Fair where he met Argentinian-born Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, an investment banker based in New York. He did not introduce himself as a prince and when he later confessed, Máxima apparently thought it was a joke. They couple arranged to meet again a few weeks later in New York where, it is understood, their romance blossomed. Prince Willem-Alexander proposed to Máxima on January 19, 2001 while ice skating at Huis ten Bosch Palace and on March 30, 2002, Queen Beatrix and (the late) Prince Claus announced the couple’s engagement.
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Máxima turned to legendary designer Valentino for her dress. Knowing that the wedding would include much movement (travel by car and carriage to civil and church ceremonies), Valentino constructed the dress of ivory Mikado silk, a fabric known not only for its beautiful luster but also for being crease proof. The dress featured a high, open funnel neckline, unembellished bodice and three-quarter length sleeves.  A high-waisted, A-lineskirt inset with embroidered lace panels extended to a five-meter (16.4 foot) train.
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Máxima topped the very regal dress with a couture silk tulle veil hand-embroidered with floral motifs, Swiss dots and a wide scalloped border. The veil was anchored by a custom tiara made from the base of the Dutch Pearl Button tiara topped by five sparkling diamond stars from Queen Emma’s collection. While these diamond pieces combined to create a rather spiky tiara, it was beautifully softened by the voluminous veil and worked well with Máxima’s upswept hair and the sleek bodice of her gown.

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Prince Willem-Alexander wore the uniform of Captain of the Royal Netherlands Navy decorated with the Accession Medal 1980, ribbon and star of a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands, the Officer’s Cross and star of a Knight of the House Order of the Golden Lion of Nassau.
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Máxima was attended by four women (her younger sister, one of her childhood friends and two of Willem-Alexander’s cousins) who wore high necked burgundy velvet fitted jackets over full-length, flared burgundy duchesse satin skirts. Tucked beside their chignons, behind their left ears, were large burgundy silk rose headpieces. Four young pageboys and two young bridesmaids wore burgundy velvet ensembles with pleated cream lace collars.

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The wedding was filled with some wonderfully personal moments that I always welcome at such state events, the most poignant of which was an Argentine tango, played in honor of Máxima’s homeland and parents, who did not attend because of controversy related to her father’s involvement in the Videla regime (1979-1981). Much of the church ceremony, along with the carriage recession back to the Royal Palace in Amsterdam and balcony appearance are included in the video below– start at 22:30 for the tango.
Jump over to these posts to see the hats!

Hats Worn By The Dutch Royal & Zorreguieta Families 

Hats Worn By Danish, Swedish & Norwegian Royal Guests

Hats Worn By Belgian & Luxembourg Royal Guests

Hats Worn By Spanish, Greek, British, Monaco and Other Royal Guests

For now, what do you remember about King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s wedding?

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Photos from Getty as indicated

Orange-Nassau Wedding, Ten Years On: The Guests

Royal Hats After looking at the marvellous hats worn at Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Princess Anita’s civil wedding ten years ago, it is now time to look at the hats worn by guests at their religious ceremony.

The groom’s mother, Princess Margriet, topped her two toned pink suit with a magenta straw hat with a wide, upfolded brim. The hat appeared to have a double crown, thanks to a tall wrap of straw around the rounded crown, and the piece was trimmed with pink and red feathers on the side.

Anita’s mother, J.C.M. van Eijk-Steens, topped her ice blue suit with a straw hat in the same hue. This piece had a double brim made of translucent straw and was trimmed with straw rosettes, training bow tails, and pale blue feathers. While there is much going on with the hat, it was well balanced with her more streamlined suit.

 Prince Pieter-Christiaan of Orange-Nassau and Anita Van Eijk, August 27, 2005 | Royal Hats

Princess Marilène topped her gunmetal grey and aubergine ensemble with a navy straw hat. Trimmed with a large purple flower on the side (see it here), the simple straw piece swept off her face in a gently upfolded brim. It’s a fairly nondescript hat that seemed slightly at odds with the rest of her more fashion-forward outfit.

Princess Marilène, August 27, 2005 | Royal Hats

Princess Annette repeated the same cream straw hat she wore two days earlier to the civil wedding, replacing the black ribbon around the crown with a slim one in palest blue. I suppose it’s hardly a surprising move for a princess who has very few public engagements (and ever fewer which require a hat) to recycle a neutral piece in this kind of way.

Aimée Söhngen, who would marry the Princess Margriet’s youngest son two months later, wore a bright pink short Fez style hat wrapped in a large veil of dotted pink net. Clearly designed to coordinate with her pink dotted jacket and shoes, the hat seemed off balance and oddly squashed around the middle. Unfortunately, the piece was left looking like a 1960s lampshade.

Aimée Söhngen, August 27, 2005 | Royal Hats

Queen Beatrix (as she was then) topped her grey dress with a coordinating straw hat. The flat brimmed piece featured a wide straw wrap around the flat crown; from the front, the hat was streamlined and restrained. In contrast, the back of the brim raised slightly to reveal a mass of pink and silver blooms that nestled into the Queen’s hair. I adore this surprise around the back of the hat; the hidden blooms are reminiscent of the hat Beatrix wore to Princess Amalia’s christening which makes me guess that this piece is another design by Emmy Hill.

Queen Beatrix, August 27, 2005 | Royal Hats

Princess Máxima (as was her title in 2005) wore one of her most memorable hats to this event. Made of stripes of transparent magenta and red straw, the wide brim of the picture hat was formed into large fluted ruffles that gave the Fabienne Delvigne design an incredible sense of movement and presence. On it’s own, the hat was a creative masterpiece but its pairing with Máxima’s shiny red coat and huge costume earrings took the ensemble way over the top. Máxima has not repeated this hat to date and I would love to see it make another outing with a more simple, neutral dress. As far as millinery goes, it is spectacular.

While I would love to see Máxima’s hat repeated, I’m pleased that Princess Laurentien’s hat has been left in the past. The Marianne Jongkind design, made of gold straw, featured a soaring, pointy crown and brim, each edged in brown straw. While the shape was unique, it overwhelmed the princess and looked like it was headed to a costume party instead of a royal wedding. Its pairing with her fussy brown dress and cartoonish belt seems like an experiment in avant garde fashion that went very wrong.

The daughters of Princess Irene (who was lecturing in South Africa and did not attend), Princess Carolina and Princess Margarita, wore much more demure pieces. Carolina topped her lilac printed jacket with a chic lavender hat with asymetrically raised brim; Margarita matched her dark raspberry straw hat to her skirt. While she did not wear a hat, Princess Mabel’s fashion choice had a very sentimental note- she  wore the same dress Princess Beatrix wore for her engagement announcement in 1965.

Princess Carolina, August 27, 2005 | Royal Hats

Princess Christina wore an orange and coral feathered fascinator and her daughter, Juliana Guillermo, wore a headpiece of trailing copper feathers. While neither piece are particularly memorable, I adore that two family members chose hues of orange for this Orange-Nassau wedding.

The only guest from a foreign royal family was Princess Astrid of Belgium, who wore a sleek silver picture hat with cartwheel brim trimmed with a silk ribbon around the base of the crown. The austere hat combined beautifully with her textured Chanel suit, leaving no question that the ensemble was haute couture from head to toe.

The hats at this wedding covered the full spectrum from elegant to eccentric, exquisite to egregious. Keeping their age in mind, dear readers, I’m curious to hear which hats made the strongest style statement for you?

Photos from ANP; Michel Porro via Getty; and Getty as indicated

Guests at the Bourbon Parma Wedding

When the groom is the grandson, nephew and cousin to three monarchs, there’s bound to be a few hats at his wedding! Such was the case for Prince Jaime of Bourbon Parma and Viktória Cservenyák’s intimate family wedding today (you can see the bride, groom and their immediate families here).

Queen Maxima wore another one of her felt picture hats with a sharply upturned front brim. I believe this particular hat, in dark charcoal grey, is a new one for her, albeit a familiar shape. It worked well with her tunic, covered in purple paillet sequins.

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Princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane were also sweetly coordinated with silver sequined bow bands in their hair.

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Princess Beatrix looked quite smashing in a salmon pink hat with diagonal upturned brim and modern looped bow on the side.

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Princess Mabel also attended (her daughter Zaria was one of the bridesmaids) and wore, quite understandably, a black dress, jacket and hat. The hat featured a wave style brim in multiple layers of fine straw and a white rose on the side. While I was not a big fan of this hat, I was so pleased to see Mabel at this wedding. (Update- several of you recognized this hat as the same one Mabel wore to Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien’s wedding back in May 2001).

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Princess Laurentien repeated the grey hat she wore to Prinsjesdag in 2011. This ‘flat hat’ (my nickname for a hat where the crown and the brim flow together without the crown raising out of the brim) designed by Fabienne Delvigne features a mass of wispy grey feathers on the crown. It’s a great hat for the fashion-forward Laurentien. Countess Eloise, eldest daughter of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien, made her hat debut with this stylish mini-fascinator of black feathers. Well done, Eloise!

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Princess Margriet and Princess Aimée did not wear hats and Princess Annette and Prince Bernhard did not attend the wedding. Princess Anita, however, wore a light sea foam green fascinator of feathered flowers. Little Emma Von Vollenhoven wore a magenta pink carnation-style ribbon bow.

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Princess Marilène wore a vibrant purple fascinator of large leaves and small trailing feathers. In a day filled with fascinators, this is one of two that I thought stood out best. Brilliant!

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My other favourite fascinator of the day was worn by Juliana Guillermo, daughter of Princess Christina. Her mass of scarlet blooms contrasted so beautifully with her black and white dress and looked fantastic on her. Princess Christina also looked very happy and relaxed in a spiky feathered fascinator in shades of green and aqua.

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All in all, it was a wedding filled with fascinators! Some were more successful than others but in the end, it was just lovely to see the Dutch extended royal family all together for a much happier occasion than when we saw them last. Congratulations to the happy couple!

Photos from Getty as indicated

Dutch Enthronement: Princess Christina and Family

Dutch Enthronement 2013

Princess Christina (known as Princess Marijke), youngest sister of Princess Beatrix, also attended the Inauguration with her three children. Christina wore a spiky peach colored feather fascinator that brought out the strawberry highlights in her hair.

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Princess Christina’s daughter Juliana Guillermo, looked fantastic in a red Garbo hat with white band around the brim. The hat coordinated beautifully with her graphic white and red dress. This was another one of my favourite hats today.

Juliana Guillermo, April 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

Photos from  Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty; Getty as indicated and Dutch Photo Press