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