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 

This Week’s Extras

Princess Alexandra repeated a grey straw hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan on Wednesday for a visit to Leeds Castle in Kent to celebrate its 900th anniversary
On Thursday, Princess Benedikte attended the opening of the Jacob A. Riis Museum the Southwest Jutland city of Ribe in her repeated navy textured straw picture hat with curving, sideweeping brim.

Queen Mathilde and Princess Elisabeth were in Africa this week, visiting several UNICEF projects. After meeting with the Maasai in Kenya, they came away gifted with names “Namayiana” (blessed one) and “Nasieku” (first born) and these traditional headdresses

On Friday, Queen Margrethe presented a military award, repeating her new terra cotta orange straw hat with navy hatband. Yesterday, she took part in events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the execution of a Danish resistance group in her refined pink straw hat with white trim.
Princess Hisako and Princess Tsuguko took part in American Independence Day celebrations today at the Tokyo American Club. Princess Hisako wore a biscuit straw hat with very short, rolled brim while Princess Tsuguko topped her floral dress with a lovely wider brimmed hat trimmed with flowers.

Make sure to cast your vote in the 2019 Millinery Association of Australia Design Award People’s Choice category– there are some truly astounding hats

The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:

Orange parsisal button percher with peach blossom vine by American milliner Karen Morris
Kokoshnik bandeau headpiece covered in pink pearls by British milliner Jane Taylor
Black and white straw design with flying bow by Czech milliner Jolana Kotabova
Blue straw percher with crimson silk floral trim by Australian brand Felicity Northeast Millinery
Fanciful maribou-edged brim on this grey, pink & white ombre design by Danish milliner Mathilde Thoe Førster
Green leaf shaped disc hat with gold quills by Irish milliner Teresa Nugent
Striking stripes! Trio of eye catching striped hats by American milliner Behida Dolić
Slate blue saucer embroidered with tropical birds by Australian brand Amanda Lynn Millinery
Chic pink and cream straw fedoras with slim silver hatbands from French milliner Laurence Bossion
Stunning transparent brim on this navy and marine blue picture hat by Dutch milliner Myra van de Korput
Dusky pink straw percher with flying bow and chenille rosebud veil by Australian milliner Jill Humphries
Lovely textured sage green Florentine stitched straw summer hat by British milliner Siana Yewdall
And two hats that made me catch my breath- first is this natural straw beret percher with exquisitely ethereal handmade silk iris flowers and leaves by Leicester-based milliner Guilia Mio

and second is this stunning turquoise design with parasisal crown, two-toned double layer sinamay brim, hand rolled flying bow and turquoise guipure lace applique by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit. Truly- this hat caught my eye before I realized who made it!

A possible answer to widespread questions about Princess Haya’s absence at Royal Ascot. Whatever is going on in this situation, I’m sure you all join me in wishing her and her children safety and peace.

 

A few lovely snaps taken from the religious wedding of Charlotte Casiraghi and Dimitri Rassam held yesterday in Saint-Rèmy-de-Provence.

Photos from social media as indicated

Funeral of Prince Henrik

The funeral of Prince Henrik of Denmark took place today in the chapel of Christiansborg Palace, attended only by family, close friends and the late prince’s staff. Queen Margrethe led her family in her fur black bumper hat. A long black silk veil was anchored in between the upfolded front brim and crown of the hat that framed her face and trailed down her back.

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Crown Princess Mary repeated her black felt calot hat designed by Susanne Juul. The feather and felt leaf spray that was added to the piece in 2015 was joined today by the further addition of a black net veil.

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Princess Marie wore her black felt Garbo hat with wide brim, trimmed with a pale grey hatband and cluster of black felt flowers on the side.

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Princess Josephine and Princess Athena wore matching headbands from Norwegian brand Princessefin (the Josephine design) with a subtle diamond pattern in pink and black from

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Princess Benedikte wore her black bumper hat with diagonal stripe detail on the cuffed brim.

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Queen Anne-Marie repeated her black felt bumper hat wrapped in a wide swath of dotted net veil. The hat features a double upturned brim, the inner of which is made of silk.

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Princess Elisabeth wore a wider brimmed design in light black straw, trimmed with a large ruffled bow at the back.

Countess Sussie of Rosenborg wore a prim bumper hat embellished with a gold button on the side.

Countess Alexandra of Frederiksborg wore a black felt cloche variation with square, domed crown and short downturned brim. A slim leather hatband and black feather flower at the side trimmed the piece.
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The service was broadcast on Danish television available for international viewers to see here (the royal family’s arrival starts at 1:49:00). Additional photo galleries can also be seen here and here. A final note- well known for his love of flowers and gardening, Prince Henrik requested that the memorial wreaths today be arranged as a flower garden as a last surprise and gift for his wife. It was beautiful.

I know you will join me in wishing peace and comfort to the entire Danish royal family as they continue to grieve this immense loss.

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Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

King Carl Gustaf in his trusty fedora last weekend for a visit to Vilhelmina

The Belgian King and Queen with their four children, all in cozy hats while on a skiing holiday

Crown Prince Haakon has been spotted at numerous Winter Olympics events in Pyeong Chang this week in a navy wool hat with Norgwegian flag. On Wednesday, Crown Princess Mette-Marit visited the site for the future Cathedral of Hope, to be built with recycled plastic gathered from the ocean, in a floppy navy wool hat. (Royal House of Norway)

Tatiana Santo Domingo Casiraghi shared this throwback photo to a past visit to Carnival in Rio in a floral crown

The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:

Oversize pale blue saucer with crin brim edge and pastel trim by UK milliner Merve Bayindir
Jewel toned trilbys with textural patterned hatbands by new UK brand Karasu London
Exquisite design in pleated pink crin from Munich based milliner Nicki Marquardt
Très chic rain hat in maroon water repellent cotton from Australian milliner Helen Kaminsky
Sculpted sky blue straw saucer percher with lace trim from UK brand Layla Leigh Millinery
Coral straw boater with bows and net overlay from Australian brand Jill and Jack Millinery
Striking tri-colour blocked oversize fedora with flying bow from UK milliner Lisa Tan
Teal leather pillbox base percher with giant spring bloom from Tasmanian Cessiah Alice Millinery
Lovely use of black net on this felt design with pork pie crown from Australian milliner Meg Rafter

I don’t imagine we’ll see these on royal heads but the saucer and percher designs trimmed with food by Israeli milliner Maor Zabar are most certainly memorable.

 Royal Hats

Princess Märtha Louise, who is an accomplished equestrian, showed that talent for this sport has passed to a new generation of Norwegian royal family members with this video of her daughter Leah’s first international competition.

The entire Danish royal family joined Queen Margrethe to watch soldiers from the Royal Guard bring Prince Henrik’s remains to Parliament’s church in Copenhagen last night, where it will remain for members of the public to visit until Monday.

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