Hats From the Past

Royal Hats to June 1960, 61 years ago, and a trio of Scandinavian princesses visiting the Magic Kingdom in California. I wonder if Princess Astrid of Norway, Princess Margaretha of Sweden and Crown Princess Magarethe of Denmark planned their crisp navy and white ensembles?!

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Thanks to reader Jake for suggesting these hats from the past!

Images from Getty as indicated

Norwegian Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Scandinavian Royals

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit;s late afternoon wedding on August 25, 2001 carried a formal dress code. We don’t often cover tiaras here but any daytime diamonds are fair game here at Royal Hats so we’re going to sparkle up the rest of this week and look at the jewels and gowns worn by royal guests to this event (I’ll leave discussion about the jewels to expert Lauren Kiehna and link to her comprehensive history of each diadem).

Queen Sonja topped her jade gown with the very grand diamond and emerald tiara from the Norwegian Emerald Parure

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Princess Märtha Louise wore the modern tiara her grandfather King Olav gifted her in 1989 with diamond ears of wheat and pearls.

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Princess Astrid wore Queen Maud’s Turquoise Circlet tiara, beautifully paired with her pale blue gown.

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Princess Ragnhild wore what is known as Princess Ingebog’s Boucheron Circle Tiara

Queen Margrethe topped her purple ensemble with the romantic heart-shaped Baden Palmette Tiara

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Princess Benedikte wore her Star and Pearl Tiara. Her eldest daughter, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, wore her mother’s wonderful floral tiara; her younger daughter, Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, is shown below in coral, in an open design tiara I’ve not been able to identify.

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Queen Anne-Marie of Greece wore the beautiful scrolled diamond Khedive of Egypt Tiara

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Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark wore her diamond tiara with lovely halo shape.

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Queen Silvia wore one of her larger tiaras, Queen Sofia’s Tiara with central starburst and diamond swags.

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Crown Princess Victoria wore her graphic diamond Baden Fringe Tiara

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Princess Madeleine wore the Modern Fringe Tiara, a gift from her parents which she would later wear at her own wedding.

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We don’t chat tiaras much here but like hats, a tiara’s shape or scale can suit (or not suit!) their wearers and the ensembles with which they are paired. Which ones here stand out to you most?

Images from Getty as indicated  

Belgian National Day

The Belgian royal family celebrated their country’s national holiday today with a Te Deum mass at The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula followed by a military parade outside the Royal Palace.

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Queen Mathilde wore a new bandeau headpiece covered in a textured striped fabric in the palest beigey-pink.

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The caped floral dress requires a light millinery touch and the scale and subtle texture of this design works well. It’s nicely finished, with bias placement of the stripe and not a pucker or underside structure to be seen. While it lets the dress be the focus, which I suppose was its aim, I’m afraid I find it a bit underwhelming

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Princess Elisabeth also wore a new hat, in textured deep orange (or tomato red?!) straw. The pillbox design is simply trimmed with a knotted sash on the side.

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It’s a great scale on Elisabeth, the weave of the hat providing textural contrast to the floral pattern on her dress. We’ve not seen her in many hats and this one is a good ‘beginner.’

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Designer:  Fabienne Delvigne’s “Kennedy” design. Dress by Natan
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Enrolled in this year’s course at the Belgian Military Academy, Princess Elisabeth marched in the military parade in full uniform.

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Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent also attended in military uniform, Princess Astrid in a green hat with smart curved brim and Prince Laurent in a traditional cap (Princess Claire did not attend).

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Today’s celebration officially included Princess Delphine and her partner, Jim O’Hare, for the first time. She wore a vibrant patterned dress and matching beret from Belgian ethical fashion brand Erratum, whose work is inspired by Africa.

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It’s a bold look but one that seems authentic for the artist, whose work is described as vibrant, playful and quirky. The same words describe this ensemble and that’s exactly what makes me love it. Yes, it’s lot of pattern and the hat could really use some structure (there’s a reason fabric hats are blocked over sinamay bases!) but its a confident statement that I wish we saw more in royal fashion.

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Designer: Erratum
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Marie-Esméralda attended the Te Deum in a very pretty pink pleated bandeau headpiece.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is new

It’s wonderful to see larger events opening up, especially with they include the debut of a new princess! What do you think of this group of hats today in Brussels?

Images from Getty as indicated  

Belgium National Day 2020

Members of the Belgian royal family celebrated their country’s national holiday today, attending a Te Deum mass at Cathedral of Saints Michel-et-Gudule in Brussels followed by a parade honoring victims and heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic in front of the Royal Palace.

For the mass, Queen Mathilde wore a new picture hat in almond parasisal straw. That hat follows a traditional shape with rounded crown and extended, drop edge brim and is simply trimmed in a straw hatband.

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You can’t go wrong with a classic picture hat and this one’s scale, shape and colour are right on point. It’s a great counterpoint to Mathilde’s navy Battenberg lace printed shirtwaist dress, the two refined pieces a better pairing than the felt feodra she wore with this dress last month. I give both the hat and the ensemble top marks.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Louisa” design. Dress by Natan
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Mathilde changed into a bright floral dress for the parade, topped with a fuchsia ringed headpiece trimmed in a ruffle of pleated silk abaca.

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It’s another good look, the sleeker silhouette of the dress playing well with the smaller scaled headpiece. I’ll never embrace these open crowned doughnut-shaped pieces but must concede that the way this one frames Mathilde’s face, as a bandeau, is very good. The pleated ruffle also gives some asymmetrical interest and the vibrant colour can’t help but feel celebratory. This hat’s design is also is slightly reminiscent of one of Mathilde’s best hats ever, worn on this day seven years ago.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Rueda”design. Dress by Dries Van Noten. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Elisabeth wore her first hat for a public engagement, a draped bandeau headpiece in blush banana (abaca) fibre straw.

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It’s a great debut piece for Elisabeth with scale and colour well suited to a younger wearer, the ruched abaca giving a textural softness and the bandeau shape framing her face in another very lovely way. The headpiece is also a good pairing with Elisabeth’s floaty floral frock, grounding the look (with such a fun pop of orange on her purse!). We’ve talked here about the challenges facing a young princess venturing into hat-wearing and this piece is a fine start.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Lisly” design. Dress by Natan. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Astrid topped her bold striped dress with a black parasisal straw hat. The hat’s strong lines from its straight-sided crown and curved brim are softened with its large silk bow trim on the front; it pairs well with the equally strong striped dress to make a balanced monochrome look (love the yellow purse!)

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Every royal hat we see is a wonderful sight these days and to see four new designs debut at a single event is a rare treat. What do you think of these hats in Brussels today?

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Photos from Getty and social media as indicated 

Monaco Royal Wedding: Guests from Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein

We continue our look back at the July 2, 2011 religious wedding of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene with hats worn by guests from the royal houses of Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

Queen Paola topped a sparkly grey ensemble with a matching picture hat trimmed with pleated silk abaca draped over the crown and fanned out around the brim. I’m all for creative trims on hats and while I like the texture this silk abaca lends to the look, it’s not entirely harmonious with the hat (was it plonked on top because the hat needed ‘something’?) or with the overall ensemble.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne

Princess Mathilde topped her streamlined purple cape collar dress with an equally sleek charcoal straw percher hat with flying bow. It was such a sophisticated look for Mathilde, the grey accessories beautifully contrasting with the purple frock, her fantastic hairstyle perfectly showing off the hat, and the silver sparkle of the hat’s straw metallic weave linking wonderfully with her waterfall diamond brooch. Très chic.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Dress by Armani

Princess Astrid made a strong millinery statement in an oversize cloche hat in natural straw with tall, rounded crown and extended, mushroom shaped brim edged in fringe.  The exaggerated shape was a little awkward, but I think it was the hat’s fringe, which matched her pale green Chanel bouclé suit, that took it over the top. It was a haute couture look for certain but was it attractive? I’m not sure.

Designer: likely Maison Michel

Princess Claire also wore a hat with exaggerated natural straw brim, but to greater success. Along with the wide cartwheel brim, her romantic picture hat featured a pillbox-shaped crown with flat top and sides covered in pink silk and a playful pink silk sash sewn free-form on one side. The sash is one of the unexpected but prettiest trims I’ve seen on a picture hat and the hat, along with Claire’s retro-styled jacket and full-skirted frock was another one of my favourite ensembles at this event. It was just so, so lovely.


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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa sparkled in a headpiece of spiky silver metallic dahlia flowers with silver pearl centers and cut grey feathers. It was a sassy design that suited Maria Teresa really well but that may have been better matched with a different outfit. Maybe a more vibrant dress? Maybe with less competing sparkle? I think disco ball jackets might be best reserved for after dark.

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Designer: unknown. Dress and jacket by Elie Saab. 

Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein paired her blue silk dress and coat with a wide brimmed straw saucer. These extended saucers continue to be an interesting, smoothly curvy take on a picture hat (thanks Philip Treacy!) and the a wider transparent brim on this design brought lovely lightness around Sophie’s face. Like the Grand Duchess, I think some colour variation would bring some welcome contrast here- the little bit of cream from the scarf at her shoulder and belt aren’t enough to save the ensemble from being too blue. Change out the hat for ecru straw instead of blue and I think we’d have had a winner here.

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Designer: Philip Treacy

How do you think these looks, and in particular, these hats, fare nine years on?

Jump to this post for an index of other royal hats that appeared at this wedding. 

Photos from Getty as indicated; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Bauer Griffin; SIPA