Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On

Last month marked the 20th anniversary of a major royal wedding in London attended by three Kings and eight Queens. On July 9,1999 Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark married Carlos Javier Morales Quintana, a Spanish architect and a champion yachtsman, at St. Sophia Cathedral. Over the next few days, we’re going to take a look back at this event.

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The bride went to one of her mother’s favourite designers, Austrian Inge Sprawson, for her sleek gown in ivory satin. With long, fitted sleeves and a wide v-neck, the focal point of the dress was a pair of diagonal crossed seams at the waist that created a fitted bodice silhouette and attached the gown’s skirt.

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The straight skirt flowed into a modest sweep train with a longer, detachable train fixed at the waist. The back of the dress was decorated in a row of beaded buttons which were repeated on the underside of each sleeve.

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Following the tradition set by her grandmother and followed by her mother, aunts and cousins, Alexia wore her great-grandmother Crown Princess Margaret’s Irish lace veil anchored with the Danish royal family’s Khedive of Egypt Tiara.

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A simple gown is usually the best way to show off such an amazing vintage lace veil but I’m just not sure that the cut and fabric of this dress entirely flattered it’s wearer. For me, it always paled in comparison to the amazing gold beaded Armani dress with portrait neckline she wore two days earlier to a pre-wedding party- a look I’ve long thought was her very best. It was breathtakingly stunning

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Princess Alexia was attended by her sister Princess Theodora, who wore a long sleeved gown in floral embroidered lilac silk organza with sheer sleeves and a draped neckline.

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Bridesmaides included Princess Alexia’s 3-year old niece, Princess Olympia, and Princess Mafalda, daughter of Prince Kyril and Princess Rosario of Bulgaria (the Prince and Princess of Preslav). Their dotted white silk organza full-skirted frocks with lilac silk sashes were topped with delicate white floral hair wreaths. Pageboys wore high waisted lilac silk trousers with white silk Peter Pan collared shirts.

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Fascinators were very popular in 1999 (Queen Elizabeth famously wore one two weeks earlier for the wedding of the Earl and Countess of Wessex) making Queen Anne-Marie’s headpiece of lilac feathers a fashionable choice at the time. From today’s viewpoint, it seems a fussy choice for her lace trimmed coat and dress.

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Crown Princess Marie-Chantal topped a textured suit with a wide brimmed hat in light ecru straw. The design featured a raised brim around the front behind which was a large grin unstructured bow.

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I’m curious, dearest readers- what do you think of this bridal look and hats, 20 years on?

Jump over to the following posts to review hats worn by the many royal guests:

Danish and Spanish Extended Royal Families
British Royal Guests
Norwegian and Swedish Royal Guests
Luxembourg, Jordanian, and Eastern European Royal Guests

Photos from Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

Have a lovely Sunday- I’ll be back first thing tomorrow for focused coverage and discussion on hats worn for the Romanian national holiday and look at two (one new!) designs worn by Queen Elizabeth over the weekend at the Windsor Horse Show.

On Tuesday, Empress Masako was spotted arriving at the Imperial Palace with the emperor to rehearse their first court ritual which took place on Wednesday. She repeated her unembellished almond bumper hat.
Also on Tuesday, the Duke of York was spotted in uniform as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards (with cap) for the morning’s Changing of the Queen’s Life Guard at Horse Guards riding new Cavalry Black horse ‘Darby’, apparently practicing for the upcoming Trooping the Colour.
On Wednesday, King Carl Gustaf donned his trusty brown fedora for the World Wildlife Fund’s annual meeting, held this year at Huvudskär and Utö in the Stockholm archipelago. The same day, King Harald commemorated Norwegian Armed Forces Day and Liberation Day at Akurshus Fortress, predictably in military uniform with cap.
Infanta Elena donned a neutral straw fedora to watch her daughter, Victoria de Marichalar, open the Seville Fair in a traditional Spanish mantilla with tall peineta comb (see more photos and video here). And 20 years after meeting at this event, the Dutch King and Queen returned this week along with their three daughters… and a quartet of wonderfully vibrant floral headpieces.

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Un día inolvidable.

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On Wednesday, Princess Alexandra visited a life boat station in Shoreham. She repeated her ice blue straw hat with tall crown wrapped in coordinating net tulle, designed by Rachel Trevor Morgan.
Queen Margrethe unveiled a new statue of Denmark’s longest reigning monarch King Christian IV (1577 – 1648) in Copenhagen yesterday. She repeated a hat with ecru straw crown and grey straw double brim for the event.


The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Emerald straw button percher with vibrant ribbon trim and soaring quills by NY milliner Jennifer Hoertz
Pink felt wide brimmed hat with rose gold diamanté hatband from LA based milliner Gladys Tamez
VA VA VOOM red straw percher with the most fantastic curving trim by Australian brand Jill and Jack Millinery
Exquisite curving cream disc with pink handmade blooms and curving quills by Rachel Trevor Morgan
Navy beret percher with hand-beaded bow by Irish milliner Michelle Gleeson
Classic ivory straw picture hat with monochrome leaf printed brim by British milliner Bee Smith
Colourful red and green embroidered lace headpiece from German milliner Nicki Marquardt
Black and white patterned straw pyramid with crin and tassel trim by Italian brand Giulia Mio Millinery

Another interesting article on the Empress of Japan, written by someone with personal connection (The Asahi Shimbun)
King Hamad Of Bahrain and sons Sheikh Nasser and Sheikh Khaled were spotted out for a ride at Windsor Castle in between days spent enjoying the Royal Windsor Horse Show this week
Did you see this delightfully sweet exchange between Queen Elizabeth and former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien on Tuesday?

Princess Margriet presented the Duke of Sussex with an adorable gift during his quick visit to The Hague this week to official launch this year’s Invictus Games, to be held in The Netherlands.

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And finally- the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared this sweet photo of ten wee toes today, in honor of Mother’s Day (notice the background forget-me-not flowers, a favourite of the Duke’s late mother)

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?

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: Greek Royals

The Royal Hats Blog As Queen Sofia of Spain was born the daughter of King Paul of Greece, major royal events in Spain inevitably include the Greek royal family. The wedding of The Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano on May 22, 2004 was no exception.

Both Queen Anne-Marie and the Crown Princess chose very feathery hats for this event. Queen Anne-Marie topped her lilac printed dress and jacket with a toque hat entirely covered in purple feathers. I always thought this hat looked like it was plucked from the Queen Mum’s closet and unfortunately, looked outmoded and ageing on elegant Queen Anne-Marie.

 Queen Anne-Marie, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats  Queen Anne-Marie, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Marie-Chantal wore a dramatic ecru picture hat with the brim entirely covered in burnt ostrich feather fringe. It is an exceptionally dramatic hat that could have been a disaster with the wrong outfit but with Marie-Chantal’s ecru dress and shimmering dove grey coat, it was exquisite.

 Crown Princess Marie Chantal, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats  Crown Princess Marie Chantal, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats

Greek Royal Family, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Princess Irene of Greece looked to be wearing a royal blue headpiece around her chignon (below, right).

Greek Royal Family, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

One of my favourite hats at this wedding was worn by Princess Alexia. This natural straw picture hat is rather plain in shape and colour; when paired with a peacock blue silk jacket and skirt and trimmed with a spray of trailing peacock and mint green ombre feathers, it became spectacular.

Princess Alexia of Greece, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Princess Alexia of Greece, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

What do you think of this trio of feathered hats? Stay tuned later today for the hats worn by the Belgian royal family.

Photos from  A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert, Tim GrahamA. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert, Tim Graham,  Tim GrahamA. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. CuthbertA. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert and Tim Graham via Getty

Dutch Princesses Serve as Bridesmaid Trio

Our favourite trio of petite princesses carried out an important job yesterday as the bridesmaids at their uncle’s wedding in Vienna. Princess Amalia, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane looked adorable in pink floral wreaths in their hair (matched to their adorable pink ballet flats) for the wedding of Queen Máxima’s brother, Juan Zorreguieta and Andrea Wolf. Princess Amalia certainly has grown up, hasn’t she?

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If you haven’t already seen it, you really should view the exquisite ball gown and cape Queen Máxima wore to this wedding. It’s absolutely breathtaking.

Photo from Getty as indicated

Guests at the Bourbon Parma Wedding

A 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 wool velvet picture hats with a sharply upturned front brim. I believe this particular hat, in dark charcoal grey, is a new one for her. This Fabienne Delvigne design is not a new hat look for her but I loved how it coordinated with her dress, covered in purple paillet sequins. Princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane were also sweetly coordinated with silver sequinned bow bands in their hair.

Queen Máxima, October 5, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog

Queen Máxima, October 5, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Amalia, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

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

Princess Beatrix, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Beatrix, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

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).

Princess Beatrix and Princess Mabel, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Mabel, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

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!

Princess Laurentien, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog Countess Eloise, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

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.

Princess Anita, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

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!

Princess Marilène, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Marilène, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

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.

 Juliana Guillermo, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog Juliana Guillermo, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Christina, October 5, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

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 Michel Porro via Zimbio; EPA via The Daily Mail and Dutch Photo Press