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

Belgian National Day 2019

The Belgian Royal Family celebrated their country’s national holiday today, attending a Te Deum mass at the Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula in Brussels followed by an annual military parade.

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Queen Mathilde wore a new hat described by the designer as “made of natural fibers… inspired by the leaf pattern on the lace of the Queen’s dress”.

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At first look, I found the shape a bit flat and awkward. After seeing side views, which show how dimensional the shape is around the back, that hat started to make sense. The delicate shape of the back balances the large, flat planes of ‘leaf’ on the front and gives some much needed balance and contrast to the design. And the colour, which is not an easy one to pull off, looks great on Queen Mathilde. I just wish she’d passed on the red leather gloves.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Mystery” design from the Couture Collection 2020
Previously Worn: this hat is new

As in past years, Princess Astrid attended the parade in military uniform with stitched brim hat.

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Princess Claire topped her deep ruby pink trouser outfit with a matching straw hat. The design features a wide, mushroom brim and rounded crown and is simply trimmed only with a folded straw hatband in the same colour.

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Head to toe ensembles in strong colours such as this can be tricky but this one, with different textures between clothing, hat, purse and shoes, works really well on Claire. She wears wide brimmed hats so well and this one, with its bold colour perfectly balaced with a noticeable lack of trim, is great on her.

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Designer: Amélie D’Hooghvorst
Previously Worn: this hat is new

What do you think about this pair of new hats today in Brussels?

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats fifteen years to July 21, 2004 when Princess Claire attended National Day celebrations in a noteworthy toile suit with matching exaggerated fedora hat. Not surprisingly, this ensemble has only been worn once.

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Photos from Getty as indicated

Belgium National Day 2018

The Belgian royal family celebrated their country’s national holiday today with attendance at a Te Deum mass and military parade .

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Queen Mathilde was a vision in red for today’s festivities, repeating her straw pyramid saucer hat trimmed with a stylized leaf in abacca that swirls around the top of the hat.

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On its own, this is such a great hat on Queen Mathilde- the colour is lovely on her and the scale is large enough to make a significant statement without being overwhelming. I thought the hat was elevated by its pairing with Mathilde’s applique lace dress, giving the overall look much texture and pattern while still being beautifully coordinated. The open boat neckline of the dress works beautifully with the shape of the hat, as does Mathilde’s soft updo and minimal jewellery. It’s a great hat made even better by impeccable styling. SO GOOD.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. At its intial outing, the milliner called it the “Chinatown” design but a press release issued yesterday names the hat the “Mystery” design. 
Previously Worn: June 25, 2015

Princess Astrid wore military uniform and cap, as she usually does each year for the military parade.

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Princess Claire wore the most interesting hat of the day, a white straw disc with shallow rounded crown, trimmed with large, red straw open circles and red lace applique. It’s an unusual design that coordinated well with Claire’s red floral jacket without overly matching- both pieces holding their own but still working together. It’s not my favourite hat shape but it certainly gets bonus points for creativity, something I’m always happy to see in a royal hat.

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Designer: Unconfirmed. My guess is Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: this hat is new
Thought about these hats in Brussels today?
Photos from Getty as indicated

King’s Day 2017

Members of the Belgian royal family gathered today to commemorate Fête du Roi (Feast of the King, commonly referred to as “King’s Day”) celebrated each year on this day, the day of St. Leopold. The royal hat to appear today was on Princess Claire, who repeated a stylised grey trilby variation she first wore to this event in 2008.

Nov 15, 2017 | Royal Hats  Nov 15, 2017 | Royal Hats

The velvet felt design features an off-centre pinched crown and a short brim that faces downward around the entire hat (instead of turned up in the back, as a traditional trilby would be). It’s a simple piece that relies on shape to be memorable but one that Claire wears well. I particularly liked its styling with the rest of her ensemble today.

 Nov 15, 2017 | Royal Hats  Nov 15, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn:  November 15, 2008
Thoughts about this hat?
Photos from Albert Nieboer via PPE;  Belga; Albert Nieboer via PPE