Dutch Royal Wedding, 55 Years On

55 years ago yesterday, Princess Beatrix married German diplomat Claus van Amsberg. Royal weddings are usually celebratory occasions but in post-war Europe, the Dutch heir-to-the-throne’s choice of husband was not completely welcomed. As a child, Claus had been required to join the Hitler Youth and conscripted into the German army at the very end of WWII; while he was never involved in active combat, his past involvement with the Nazi party was problematic.

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Princess Beatrix and Claus van Amsberg announce their engagement, June 28, 1965

The couple stood firm and leveraged support from Beatrix’s German father Prince Bernhard to gain Queen Juliana’s endorsement. They further prevailed in gaining parliamentary approval for their marriage, a step needed for Princess Beatrix to remain in the line of succession, despite a petition with over 65,000 signatures against the marriage.

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The couple give notice of their upcoming marriage at Baarn Town Hall, February 17, 1966

These circumstances paved a less than ideal path to the altar and the couple’s wedding day on March 10, 1966 saw groups simultaneously cheering and protesting the union (a smoke bomb detonated during the carriage procession). Thankfully, these stresses are not evident in the Beatrix and Claus’ beaming faces. Their day started with traveling by the House of Orange’s gold carriage to a civil ceremony at Amsterdam Town Hall presided by mayor, Gijsbert van Hall.

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A religious ceremony immediately followed in the Westerkerk, led by the Reverend Johannes Hendrik Sillevis Smitt.

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Princess Beatrix wore her wedding gown for both ceremonies. Collaboratively created by the bride and Dutch royal family couturier Carolien Berge-Farwick of Maison Linette in white silk and duchess satin, the gown’s fitted bodice featured a high, rounded neckline and three quarter length sleeves. Sparkling beadwork at the waist highlighted the gown’s split skirt, which revealed a beautifully embroidered column underskirt and flowed to a sixteen foot train. While the dress’ streamlined shape was certainly of its time, the spectacular embroidery elevated it to one befitting a future queen.

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This regal royal bridal look was further elevated by the voluminous silk tulle veil and statement Wurttemberg Pearl Tiara. Impressive tiaras can easily overwhelm even a royal bride but the unadorned neckline of the gown, the extensive embroidery on the skirt, and the classic 60s bouffant veil balanced the tiara, beautifully.

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Princess Beatrix was attended by six adult bridesmaids, including her younger sister Princess Christina, who wore Wedgewood blue silk crepe gowns. Lace jackets with three quarter length sleeves, gloves, and matching bandeau headpieces with large feather poufs completed their ensemble. Two wee bridesmaids wore white silk dresses with white floral wreaths in their hair.

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Queen Juliana topped a stunning petrol blue velvet coat and blue lace column gown with a turban made of mottled blue and white silk petals.

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Princess Irene wore a headpiece of large deep pink silk flowers. Princess Margriet wore a white veiled pillbox, the fur hat linking with the collar and cuffs on her blush silk gown and coat.

 

Guests from numerous European royal houses were in attendance:

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Despite the controversy of this marriage, Prince Claus became an accepted and much loved member of the Dutch royal family and by all accounts, the couple enjoyed a happy marriage and family with their three sons. When Prince Claus died in 2002, he was deeply grieved by all.


Which hats stand out to you most at this wedding?

Images from Getty as indicated; Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty Images

Bourbon Parma Wedding Ten Years On: Family & Guests

Prince Carlos and Princess Annemarie of Bourbon-Parma celebrated their 10th anniversary last week. Yesterday we looked at the bride’s attire– today we look at hats worn by family and royal guests.

The groom’s mother, Princess Irene wore a statement pinwheel fascinator of purple feathers. Fascinators such as this one were still popular at the time (we’ll see several more at this wedding) and while this one was on-trend in terms of style and the colour was lovely, I think its scale overwhelmed Irene.

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Princess Margarita, who attended the bride and helped maneuver her 4 meter long train, topped and adorable red coat with a pleated bandeau headpiece trimmed with feathers on one side. The scale of the piece is lovely on her and just right for a head-to-toe ensemble in one colour- a bigger hat would have been too much. While bandeau headpieces are very popular today, this one was ahead of its time!

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Princess Carolina paired her stunning amethyst silk dress with a silvery grey straw fasciator studded with purple and grey feathers. As far as fascinators go, the crescent shape of this this one worked really well, not only to frame Carolina’s face but to give some presence to the piece. Both the shape and colour made the piece a great pairing for the dress, linking with the handpainted pattern on the skirt and complimenting, rather than competing with the cowl neckline. While fascinators such as these seem a bit dated now and the feather placement on this design isn’t perfect, ten years ago, I adored this look on Carolina.

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Queen Beatrix wore one of her signature oversize pillboxes, this one in the loveliest shade of slate blue. The hat paired beautifully with her both her blue jacquard silk dress and her fur-trimmed cape, the latter giving the most wonderful “ice queen” vibe, in the best possible way.

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Princess Máxima wore a simple black beret percher overlaid in pale grey and black net veil by Dutch milliner Irene Bussemaker. The veil is the star on this design, adding wonderful texture and softness to the otherwise stark piece. It’s not a showstopper hat for Máxima but, I suspect, that was the intent.

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Princess Laurentien topped another head-to-to red ensemble in a percher saucer hat trimmed in red guinea fowl feathers. While the numerous textures in this overall look might seem a bit much, they save it from being one note. I think the hat was a triumph, its scale so great on Laurentien (particularly with her characteristically sassy haircut) and the feathers a whimsical yet effective touch.

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Princess Mabel leaned into the fasciator trend with a large headpiece of black feathers. A decade of time since first seeing this outfit has not warmed me any more to it- while the fascinator linked with the coat and the top linked with the skirt and shoes, these two halves seemed at odds and the overall look just didn’t mesh.

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While Princess Margriet, Princess Annette and Princess Anita  did not wear hats, Princess Marilene topped her Valentino coat with a lilac crin bow fascinator studded with goose and coque feathers, net veiling and tulle. While the design was fine, I’ve always felt her lovely coat deserved a much more refined hat. Something wide brimmed in felt the same shade as the coat’s velvet bow would have been so much better.

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Princess Aimee wore a white fascinator of ruffled straw. I prefer the look of this fascinator, which almost reads as a cocktail hat, to the feather explosions seen on other heads here, but always felt it was too summery for a November wedding. Perhaps she had planned to wear it for the originally scheduled date in August? Either way, cocktail hats were popular ten years ago and I think something in navy felt would have made a better pairing.

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The final Dutch royal hat at this wedding was worn by Princess Christina. Her tangerine straw callot was studded with black and orange feathers. The hat’s link to the black, yellow, caramel and coral floral print on Christina’s coat is obvious yet still incongruous…  and too Halloween-y. I think a solid colour hat would have been the way to go here.

The only hat on a royal guest was this wonderful purple felt cloche worn by Countess Diane of Nassau, wife of Prince Jean of Luxembourg. The design appears to be trimmed with a pair of slim, layered hatbands and a ruffled side bow at the side with feathers. It’s a classic piece that was elevated by its unexpected, yet very effective pairing with Diane’s fuchsia frock.

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Looking back at past events is always an interesting glimpse at style trends at that time and this flashback is no exception. Which millinery looks have best stood the test of time? Which do you think are best left in the past?

Photos from Getty as indicated; PPE/Nieboer; PPE/Nieboer; PPE/Nieboer; Olivier Polet/Corbis, and Olivier Polet/Corbis, via Getty; Patrick van Katwijk/Monarchy Press; Patrick van Katwijk/Monarchy Press; PPE/Nieboer; Corbis; PPE/Nieboer; Corbis; PPE/Nieboer; Mark Renders/Getty Images; Jeroen Van Der Mejde/ANP Photo News

Hats From the Past: Queen Beatrix’s Inauguration

Royal Hats Carrying on our unexpected tangent to past Dutch inaugurations this week, today we’re looking at the April 30, 1980 abdication of Queen Juliana and inauguration of Queen Beatrix. For the post-abdication balcony appearance, no hats were worn.

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The inauguration, however, was a different story. Queen Beatrix wore the Pearl Button tiara with scrolled base and five pearl buttons surrounded in diamonds. Her gown was made by Dutch designer Theresia Vreugdenhil.

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Queen Juliana wore a beautifully draped turban hat by Ernst-Jan Beeuwkes made of the same blue wool crepe as her gown, which was made by Joke Ransdorp.

Princess Margriet wore a dove grey hat with wide, folded back halo brim that provided an excellent backdrop for her diamond and sapphire earrings (not to mention that spectacular sapphire stomacher!).

Princess Irene topped her black and white graphic floral dress with a white silk floral headpiece that circled around the back of her head. Princess Christina was in head to toe turquoise in matching gown and unembellished bumper brimmed hat.

If you jump over to the photo below and enlarge it, you’ll see some familiar royal faces- Queen Sonja in a royal blue cloche, Princess Yuriko of Mikasa behind Princess Margriet in a slate blue pillbox.

I wasn’t expecting to look at these hats this week but it’s been a fun rabbit hole to dive down! What do you think of the hats at Queen Beatrix’s inauguration?

Photo from Paleis Het Loo;  BNA Photographic / Alamy Stock Photo, BNA Photographic / Alamy Stock Photo, BNA Photographic / Alamy Stock Photo; Getty as indicated

Dutch Royal Wedding 17 Years On: The Families

The wedding of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima seventeen years ago was a grand, major state occasion for certain, but a personal, family one as well.  After looking at the attire and headwear of the couple and their attendants yesterday, we now turn our attention to the hats worn by members of their families.

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We start with a hat that is on my list of all-time favourites. Queen Beatrix wore a violet purple straw hat with domed crown and double sideswept brim, the top of which was in a darker eggplant purple that linked with her deeply hued coat. The hat, designed by Suzanne Moulijn, was completed with a violet straw hatband and dark purple silk rose on the side. The sweeping lines of the design and the glorious colour combination made it a fantastic mother-of-the-groom look for Beatrix.

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Princess Laurentien, who had been a member of the Dutch royal family less than a year at the time and was expecting her first child, wore a dramatic, wide brimmed hat. The design’s flared, angular crown was covered in the same golden ochre velvet as her dress and trimmed in a wide hatband in the same bubble printed jacquard as her coat. The brim was finished in a wide binding of ochre silk and while the use of straw might have seemed a little odd for a winter event, IT was a brilliant choice, allowing light to filter around Laurentien’s face and lending some much needed lift to the rather heavy (and, dare I say, clunky) design.

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Princess Margriet’s hat was made of the same red and white woven fabric as her cape with a tall, rounded, red faux fur bumper brim.
 
Princess Marilene, wore an streamlined almond felt hat with asymmetrical angular crown, simply trimmed with a slim hatband. Try as I might, I’ve not been able to find any photos of Princess Annette (Princess Margriet’s other daughter-in-law at the time, wife of Prince Bernhard).
Princess Irene wore a vibrant blue felt design with sloped crown, lavishly trimmed with a hatband of black ostrich feathers that spilled over the brim. Princess Christina’s magenta felt hat was trimmed in brim binding and a hatband in the same crushed eggplant purple velvet as her coat and featured a saucy upturn on one side of the brim. Unfortunately, I can’t locate photographs of Princess Irene’s daughter Princess Maria Carolina (Princess Margarita did not attend) but we saw Princess Christina’s daughter, Juliana Guillermo, who was one of the adult attendants, in yesterday’s post.
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The bride’s maternal aunt and godmother, Marcela Cerruti Carricart, who acted as one of the witnesses, wore a dove grey velvet felt hat with cloche-shaped crown and upfolded Kettle brim, trimmed with silk ribbon. 

Máxima’s half sister Delores wore a chocolate pillbox; her half sister María wore a gray-green brimmed hat with silk hatband; and her half sister Ángeles wore a chocolate brimless hat trimmed with a burgundy silk bow.

  
Sister-in-law, Mariana Zorreguieta, wife of Máxima’s brother Martin, wore a grey felt hat with rolled brim, trimmed with a silk ribbon bow.

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I always feel empathy toward the non-royal family at these sorts of events, and the challenges they must face when making decisions about attire. Hats in shades of brown and grey are certainly safe bets, and I wish they had felt comfortable to make some bolder choices. Aside from this, and the the bittersweet notes added by the absence of Máxima’s parents, it’s a good lineup of hats, some of which could be fashionably worn today. Which designs here stand out to you most?
Photos from Getty as indicated; Sihon Touhig via Getty; Scanpix; NOS

Hats From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1969 and the christening of Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark. The hats worn by his mother, Queen Anne-Marie, grandmother Queen Frederica and aunts Princess Sofía, Princess of Asturias (future Queen Sofia of Spain) and Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark are a parade of brimless millinery at the height of fashion in the late 1960s.

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Photos from Getty as indicated