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 Máxima 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 Máxima’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, 2016June 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, 2017June 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, 2018May 19, 2018Jun 17, 2017Jun 1, 2017Jul 1, 2016Jun 12, 2016Jun 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 

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

A Piece of History

When I think of the Dutch abdication and enthronement tomorrow, there is one image that keeps coming to mind. It is of Queen Beatrix and Prince Willem-Alexander entering The Golden Carriage in The Hague on Prinsjesdag last year. On September 18, 2012, we did not know it would be Queen Beatrix’s final speech from the throne to open parliament. But these two did. Looking back over the past two years, Prince Willem-Alexander has given much support to his mother. No doubt, she will reciprocate in days to come.

Here they are. The Queen and her son, a man soon to be King.

Queen Beatrix and Prince Willem-Alexander  | The Royal Hats Blog

Photo from Corbis