Dutch Royal Wedding 17 Years On: Royal Guests Part 1

When Crown Prince Willem-Alexander married Máxima Zorreguieta seventeen years ago, his status as heir to the Dutch throne made the wedding a state occasion and as such, a large number of royal guests attended. We now look at some of these royal hats.

Queen Margrethe’s hat linked with her fur trimmed coat, the domed crown covered in the same textured blue wool fabric. The denim blue inverse brim made this design unique, hugging the bottom of the crown tightly before opening horizontally, the shape punctuated by a slim lighter blue hatband on the under side. the brim’s front brim vent was further highlighted with a pearl brooch. Despite its small footprint, this hat packs a lot of punch- perhaps too much in combination with the fur collar and cuffs on the coat?

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Princess Benedikte wore a silver tweed coat and hat with fur trim on the bumper brim (and collar and dress hem). The scale of fur trim is just right here and the dark colour contrasts AND coordinates beautifully with the fabric. The fur hem of the dress is a little odd but the hat works really well.

Benedikte’s eldest daughter,  Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, topped her lilac dress and coat with a magenta felt brimless hat trimmed with a tall spray of feathers. The pieces are all individually attractive but I’m just not sure they combine well together. Photos of Alexandra’s younger sister, Princess Nathalie, who also attended, elude me.

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Queen Silvia’s midnight blue hat combined straw and velvet- not a combination we often see. The hat’s wide, upturned kettle brim was edged in a wide stripe of velvet which was repeated on the crown. A ruched hatband of light straw added softness, volume and textural contrast between the crown and brim.

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Crown Princess Victoria topped her tailored chocolate suit with a matching straw hat. It’s a hat I’m happy to leave in the past for Victoria, its unrefined finishing and awkward looking hatband making a less than flattering look for her.

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Princess Madeleine’s hat packed a little more style punch and finesse with its angular crown and upswept brim around the back. The sequinned hatband reads a little ‘glitzy cowgirl’ and the roughly woven straw feels slightly unmatched against Madeleine’s beautifully tailored dress and jacket but somehow, the look works for what it was.

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Queen Sonja topped her cantaloupe orange lace suit with a matching silk cloche hat. The upturned brim updated the traditional shape with some angular edge (a touch somewhat nullified by the wide, rather dowdy lace hatband) and a small spray of orange feathers and a canteloupe silk twist on the side attempted to liven the design. A matching canteloupe lace purse and fur stole completed the look- and a lot of canteloupe it was. Melon overkill, I’d say.

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Crown Princess Mette-Marit was barely six months into royal life at this point and her ensemble reflects some of this inexperience. Her navy silk cloche hat was embellished by a wide, ruched hatband and the same matchstick cream stitching around the outside of the brim edge as on the neckline of her dress and, in reverse, on her cream coat. All in all, it was rather bland.
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From bland and boring we move to brilliantly bizarre with Princess Märtha Louise’s hat. A fantastical design that combines a tall, olive green felt square-edged hourglass crown, a wide purple felt brim, purple roses and cobalt, orange and red feathers, the hat is unexpected, whimsical and… well, it’s just bonkers. Pairing this embellished purple suit with this hat was a gutsy move I’ve always admired and makes me smile, still.
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Well- there’s much to discuss here! Which hats stand out to you, most? Which hats have weathered the passage of time, best?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Farewell to Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg

Family of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg were joined by close royal friends at the Evangelische Stadtkirche in Bad Berleburg, Germany this morning to pay tribute to the prince who died unexpectedly on March 13 at the age of 83. His wife, Princess Benedikte of Denmark, led her family in a black bumper hat with diagonal stripes on the cuff brim.

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The couple’s eldest daughter, Princess Alexandra, wore Princess Benedikte’s black Breton hat with short, curled brim bound in silk ping and trimmed with a net tulle veil. Alexandra’s daughter, Countess Ingrid, wore a floral trimmed black headband.

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Princess Nathalie also wore one of her mother’s hats, a brimless design with domed crown trimmed with a swath of feathers at the back. 

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Carina Axelsson, the longtime partner of Prince Richard and Princess Benedikte’s son Prince Gustav, wore moulded black felt cloche hat with extended brim.

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Queen Margrethe repeated her black Karakul fur toque with feather pouf trim.

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Crown Princess Mary repeated her Susanne Juul designed hat with tall, squared felt crown and straw brim, trimmed with a pair of black feathers while Princess Marie repeated her looped black silk ribbon headpiece.

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Queen Anne-Marie wore a short brimmed hat with moulded crown in the shape of a partial Pork Pie, simply trimmed in a Petersham ribbon hatband.

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Queen Máxima repeated her Fabienne Delvigne designed rounded pillbox hat with bow at the back. Princess Beatrix wore a large black straw bumper hat with double upfolded brim.

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Queen Silvia wore a larger scale black felt hat with short, upturned Kettle brim trimmed with a wide, folded silk hatband and knotted sash. Princess Madeleine, who is Princess Benedikte’s goddaughter, wore a simple black headband.

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Princess Märtha Louise, who represented the Norwegian royal family, repeated her swirled black cocktail hat wrapped in black net veil.

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I’m sure you all join me in expressing the deepest of sympathy to Princess Benedikte and the Berleburg family as they grieve the loss of Prince Richard.

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

Christening of Prince Christian: Royal Guests

Royal Hats When Prince Christian of Denmark was christened ten years ago, the event was attended by numerous royal relatives and close friends. After looking at the hats worn by his mother, grandparents and godparents, we now turn our attention to those worn by royal guests.

Queen Margrethe’s sisters, Queen Anne-Marie and Princess Benedikte, both wore vibrant hats. In bright red felt, Queen Anne-Marie’s hat featured an unusually tall crown, a short, upturned brim; the piece was boldly embellished with a large knotted bow and curling black feather spines. Princess Benedikte topped her grey fur coat with a large beret-style design in raspberry felt. We have seen Princess Benedikte in numerous hats in this hue and the colour is fantastic on her.

Princess Marie-Chantal wore a Philip Treacy designed fascinator of straw twists and several different varieties of gold feathers. While some might argue that the spiky design gave some textural contrast to her tweed coat and dress, I have always found the combination of classic clothing and modern headpiece to be jarring and disharmonious.

Princess Alexia of Greece topped her grey fur jacket with a burgundy felt hat. With an indented crown and fluted, upturned brim, this hat is all about shape. I adore the grey and burgundy colour scheme of her ensemble but I’m afraid the stylised brim and crown shapes on her hat look rather dated today. Tatiana Blatnik (who would become Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark in 2010) wore a simple fascinator of navy feathers. The lightness of the piece, which feels better suited to a summer wedding or garden party, feels off balance against her winter coat

Princess Theodora wore an interesting loden green beret variation with high peaked side trimmed with a felt rose in the same colour. Dutch Princess Laurentien also wore an exaggerated hat- made of the same brown plaid as her tailored jacket, the piece featured a tall, indented crown and oval shaped brim. Unfortunately, the oversize fedora was too big for Laurentien and looked to be swallowing her up. In this pairing of exaggerated hats, I think Princess Theodora’s was substantially more successful.

Princess Theodora, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats  Princess Laurentien, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats

Princess Mathilde (as was her title in 2006) topped her beautiful red coat dress and cape with a large matching hat. With a squared crown and upfolded brim, the hat was simply trimmed with a wide ribbon around the base of the crown. It’s a strong look for Mathilde but she carried it well. It’s a classic piece that I would love to see trotted out again.

Princess Mathilde, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats  Princess Mathilde, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway wore a 1940s inspired hat by Anja Irgens. With a close fitting crown and diamond brooch detail, the star of this hat was its upfolded brim that swept around the hat in fluted waves. Märtha Louise has long been known for her quirky style and while this hat fits that style brief, the colour and shape are exquisite. Ten years later, it is still one of my favourite hats in her wardrobe.

Princess Märtha Louise, January 21, 2006  in Anja Irgens| Royal Hats  Princess Märtha Louise, January 21, 2006  in Anja Irgens| Royal Hats

Princess Benedikte’s daughter, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg topped her gold bouclé coat with a purple fascinator. The headpiece, consisting of a purple silk rose and feathers that swept around the top of her head, provided a spot of colour and textural contrast to her ensemble. The Countess of Frederiksborg, who arrived with her young sons Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, wore in an ivory felt hat with asymmetrical upfolded brim. The hat was trimmed in a pleated sash of the same fabric as her coat, drawing the two pieces together in a unified winter white ensemble. Some of you might recognize the hat as the same one worn for Prince Felix’s christening (the last christening to have taken place in the Danish royal family at the time) in 2002- an interesting choice but a hat that Alexandra wore very well.

Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats   Countess of Frederiksborg, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats

It is only once in a generation that a royal house christens a future king or queen and the scale of this event reflects its importance. Looking back, I’m surprised at how many hats withstand the test of time and could successfully (and stylishly) be repeated today. Which hats stand out most here to you?

Luxembourg Wedding: Non Reigning Royal Guests

Royal Hats While a number of European royal houses no longer reign (or even exist) in their home countries, there are still very close ties between the European Royal Families. And most importantly, they still wear hats!

Queen Anne-Marie of Greece leads this group with a beautiful ecru straw pillbox hat designed by Philip Treacy. The weave of the straw is studded with gold fibres that give a sparkling golden hue to the hat.I loved how this hat fit with her short hair, how it made her stunning emeralds shine, and how the bow added a touch of whimsy and lightness. This is such a great example of how to remain totally elegant while still having fun.

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Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece is internationally recognized for her style- this woman has closets and closets and closets full of couture. It really puzzles me, in light of her fashionista status, as to why she wore an origami bird on her head. Her hat was also designed by Philip Treacy

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Queen Margarita of Bulgaria wore a dark mauve net fascinator to match her beautifully detailed suit.. While I want to give props to any woman over 40 with enough chutzpah to even attempt a net poof in her hair, this one seems a little awkward. What’s not awkward, however, is her incredible diamond pendant. If this suit looks familiar to you, it’s because it is the same suit she wore to the wedding of Infanta Cristina of Spain back in 1997. The fascinator, however seems to be new.

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I was so pleased to see the Princess of Turnovo at this event. She and her husband Prince Kardam (son of Princess Margarita and King Simeon of Bulgaria, pictured directly above) were in a horrible car crash in 2008. Kardam suffered a major brain injury and while the details of his condition have not been released, he was in a coma for most of 2008-9 and 2010. With that amazing amount of stress, it’s nice to see Princess Miriam at an event (pictured here with her brother-in-law Prince Kyril). Besides- her hat is fabulous.

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Princess Margareta, heir to the defunct Romanian throne, attended this wedding with husband Radu Duda (say that fast five times!) While I’m not a fan of her jacket at all, I love her navy bell-shaped hat with white and navy ribbon trim designed by Kristina Dragomir. The great shape and colour are oh-so flattering on her.

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Crown Princess Katherina of Serbia (wife of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia) looked fantastic in a white Philip Treacy hat with upturned lattice brim. It’s the perfect compliment to her ice blue suit and I think it looks so becoming on her.

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The Duchess of Braganza is the top lady in the defunct Portuguese Royal Family. Isabel’s ensemble at this wedding looked very wintry to me (fur collar and a heavy felt winter hat) – a little too wintry for an October wedding. I suppose the hat was alright… although so forgettable that I can only classify it as boring.

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Princess Clotilde of Savoy, the Princess of Venice & Piedmont, was a famous French Actress before marrying her handsome Italian Prince and wore a great deal of amazing french couture. As such, I was a little disappointed by the black fascinator she wore to the wedding. I’m not sure if it reminded me of a pirate eye patch or a hockey puck stuck to her forehead, but I did not like it one bit. It didn’t compliment her grey Elie Sab couture dress, either.

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Princess Annemarie of Bourbon Parma looked lovely in a large black hat with electric blue ribbon trim. I just couldn’t figure out how that electric blue ribbon trim (and her weird electric blue belt) went with her cerise dress.

And finally, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (whose title indicates she is a German princess but her mother is Queen Margrethe’s younger sister Princess Bendikte of Denmark) wore a pale pink fasinator with the big 3: pointy fathers, large bow and net veil. I wasn’t a fan of this fascinator when paired with her coral dress (and it made even less sense when she threw a caramel fur stole into the mix) nor the shape on her tall frame. This girl is TALL people- she doesn’t need arrows further pointing that out.

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Photos from Getty as indicated and Dutch Photo Press