Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo

European royals gathered in Waterloo, Belgium yesterday to participate in a ceremony hosted by the Belgian government to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The 1815 battle, which saw the overthrow of Napoleon Bonaparte and the restoration of Louis XVIII to the French throne, is being celebrated during three days of grand scale re-enactments which include more than 5000 historical re-enactors from around the world. The Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg monarchs were on hand yesterday for the first event.

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As hostess for this ceremony, Queen Mathilde stood out in a natural straw hat with large, flat crown and wide mushroom brim. The considerable scale of the piece was lovely on Mathilde and gave some neutral grounding to her vibrant goldenrod dress and jacket. We haven’t seen this piece worn since 2004 and it was lovely to see it again.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: June 26, 2004

Queen Máxima repeated her silver grey silk ringed headpiece with new grey and blue lace dress. In the past I have been rather critical of these open-topped headpieces and while I’m still not in love with this one (and retain quibbles about the puckered seams), I appreciate it much more. The open top gives this piece a lightness needed for a summer hat and places the focus on  Máxima’s face.  This is the third outfit we have seen Máxima pair with this headpiece (we’ll look at those in greater detail in a few weeks) and is, so far, my favourite.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: April 4, 2014November 24, 2013; Oct. 20, 2007

The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg topped her oyster-grey suit with a domed pillbox hat made of the same fabric. We have seen Maria Teresa in numerous pillbox hats over the past year and the shape suits her well. The ensemble is a little bland for my taste, however, and I would have loved even a subtle bit of colour to liven it.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Marchioness of Douro (née Jemma Kidd), who is the Duke of Wellington’s daughter-in-law, wore a Philip Treacy percher hat in cream, trimmed with a signature Treacy twist.

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It always seems that the European royals are delighted to get together and this event was no different. What did you think of the royal hats seen yesterday in Belgium?

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Photos from Getty as indicated

Battle of Waterloo Descendants Gather in Belgium

Descendants of main leaders of the Waterloo Battle gathered at Laeken Castle in Brussels today for a reception hosted by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.

200th Anniversary of Battle of Waterloo, June 17, 2015

The Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess joined in this biennial celebration. Princess Stèphanie wore a new cocktail hat in lilac straw, trimmed with wide curls of straw ribbon. I have long hoped Stèphanie would experiment with this style of hat and while I would have preferred it worn further forward, on the side of her head as a percher, this is a good start. The shade of lilac is particularly lovely on her.

Princess Stèphanie, June 17, 2015 | Royal Hats  Princess Stèphanie, June 17, 2015 | Royal Hats

Princess Stèphanie, June 17, 2015 | Royal Hats

The Marchioness of Douro (née Jemma Kidd), who is daughter-in-law of the current Duke of Wellington, wore a black saucer hat trimmed multiple loops of straw ribbon.

Marchioness of Douro, June 17, 2015 | Royal Hats

The 200th anniversary of this turning point in history continues tomorrow with a grandiose reconstruction of the battle over the next two days. The Queen of the Belgians, King and Queen of the Netherlands, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, the Duke of Kent, Prince Napoleon and other European heads of state are expected to attend. I will cover the ceremony here on Royal Hats on Friday.

Photos from Patrick van KatwijkPatrick van KatwijkPatrick van KatwijkPatrick van Katwijk and Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis