Continuing our look back at the July 9, 1999 wedding of Princess Alexia of Greece and Carlos Quintana, we turn our attention to hats worn by members of the Norwegian and Swedish royal families. Queen Sonja topped an iridescent lime suit with a picture hat in slightly darker green straw. The hat featured a shallow, rounded crown and a wide brim with dowturned edge and was trimmed with lovely lime silk orchids.
Queen Silvia also wore a hat much larger than the styles we see her favour most often today. In dove grey straw, her picture hat’s round, flat crown topped an oversize mushroom brim. The hat was simply trimmed with a wide grey silk hat and and brim binding. With her grey ensemble, the overall look oozed elegance.
Crown Princess Victoria was just 22 at the time of this wedding and, I suspect, not yet a customer of couture hats. Her slouchy brown stitched hat followed an hourglass shape (popular at the time) with upturned Kettle brim and bow on the side.
Princess Madeleine wore a pink sinamay hat. The hat’s boater style crown was covered in pleated rows of crin and the cartwheel brim, in a relaxed crin ruffle overlay. The hat’s classic shape in light crin embellishment made a sweet and feminine choice for the teenage princess, even if the trailing bow down the back was a bit twee.
When Crown Prince Willem-Alexander married Máxima Zorreguieta seventeen years ago, his status as heir to the Dutch throne made the wedding a state occasion and as such, a large number of royal guests attended. We now look at some of these royal hats.
Queen Margrethe’s hat linked with her fur trimmed coat, the domed crown covered in the same textured blue wool fabric. The denim blue inverse brim made this design unique, hugging the bottom of the crown tightly before opening horizontally, the shape punctuated by a slim lighter blue hatband on the under side. the brim’s front brim vent was further highlighted with a pearl brooch. Despite its small footprint, this hat packs a lot of punch- perhaps too much in combination with the fur collar and cuffs on the coat?
Princess Benedikte wore a silver tweed coat and hat with fur trim on the bumper brim (and collar and dress hem). The scale of fur trim is just right here and the dark colour contrasts AND coordinates beautifully with the fabric. The fur hem of the dress is a little odd but the hat works really well.
Benedikte’s eldest daughter, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, topped her lilac dress and coat with a magenta felt brimless hat trimmed with a tall spray of feathers. The pieces are all individually attractive but I’m just not sure they combine well together. Photos of Alexandra’s younger sister, Princess Nathalie, who also attended, elude me.
Queen Silvia’s midnight blue hat combined straw and velvet- not a combination we often see. The hat’s wide, upturned kettle brim was edged in a wide stripe of velvet which was repeated on the crown. A ruched hatband of light straw added softness, volume and textural contrast between the crown and brim.
Crown Princess Victoria topped her tailored chocolate suit with a matching straw hat. It’s a hat I’m happy to leave in the past for Victoria, its unrefined finishing and awkward looking hatband making a less than flattering look for her.
Princess Madeleine’s hat packed a little more style punch and finesse with its angular crown and upswept brim around the back. The sequinned hatband reads a little ‘glitzy cowgirl’ and the roughly woven straw feels slightly unmatched against Madeleine’s beautifully tailored dress and jacket but somehow, the look works for what it was.
Queen Sonja topped her cantaloupe orange lace suit with a matching silk cloche hat. The upturned brim updated the traditional shape with some angular edge (a touch somewhat nullified by the wide, rather dowdy lace hatband) and a small spray of orange feathers and a canteloupe silk twist on the side attempted to liven the design. A matching canteloupe lace purse and fur stole completed the look- and a lot of canteloupe it was. Melon overkill, I’d say.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit was barely six months into royal life at this point and her ensemble reflects some of this inexperience. Her navy silk cloche hat was embellished by a wide, ruched hatband and the same matchstick cream stitching around the outside of the brim edge as on the neckline of her dress and, in reverse, on her cream coat. All in all, it was rather bland.
From bland and boring we move to brilliantly bizarre with Princess Märtha Louise’s hat. A fantastical design that combines a tall, olive green felt square-edged hourglass crown, a wide purple felt brim, purple roses and cobalt, orange and red feathers, the hat is unexpected, whimsical and… well, it’s just bonkers. Pairing this embellished purple suit with this hat was a gutsy move I’ve always admired and makes me smile, still.
For the event, held on the couple’s fifth anniversary, Princess Madeleine topped her cream silk floral dress with a bandeau headpiece of silk flowers in the same pink and coral shades as the flowers on her dress.
It’s a pretty headpiece that has the feel of a folk floral headdress. Madeleine has worn headpieces for each of her children’s christenings (most of those in attendance wore small headpieces) so it’s not surprising she went this route today. I can’t help wondering, however, if a small, embellished straw percher hat might have coordinated better with the dress and felt less ‘twee’ than this headpiece.
Princess Sofia broke with tradition and wore traditional folk dress. Her costume is from Dalarna, the area where she was raised and the duchy of which Prince Gabriel was named Duke at the time of his birth, making the sartorial choice a personal and sentimental one. Her vibrant ensemble included a traditional hand painted/embroidered red cap edged in cotton lace.
Queen Silvia topped a slate blue silk dress and coat with a veiled lace headpiece. The texture and sheen of the headpiece is a beautiful compliment to the streamlined coat and the colour, while muted, looks wonderful on her.
Designer: Philip Treacy. Flowers made by Anfisa Korelova
Previously Worn: thisheadpiece is new
Crown Princess Victoria topped a stunning red suit with a leather hair bow. At an event where small headpieces reigned, I see the rationale in this choice but I’m not a fan of the twee shape or mismatch of shades between the bow and the suit. My reservations about the hairbow aside, the red suit is divine on Victoria and I adore her brave use of deep maroon accessories with it. And Princess Estelle’s matching maroon Mary Janes? SO adorable.
Designer: Corinne Hair Accessories Leather Bowtie
Previously Worn: this bow is new
Princess Estelle topped her red boiled wool jacket and grey dress with a sweet red velvet hairbow.
There have now been six Swedish royal Christenings in the past five years, all of which have seen mostly small headpieces instead of hats. Today followed this trend- what do you think of these designs?
Members of the Swedish royal family joined the King and Queen yesterday to officially open Swedish Parliament. The Queen led her family’s millinery stakes in a new white straw hat with short kettle brim trimmed with a ruched white silk hatband and a mass of flowers on the left side of the hat. It’s not the most exciting of designs but adds some lift and lightness to the black and white dress code of this event.
Designer: unknown Previously Worn: I think this is new
Princess Madeleine followed her elder sister’s lead with a black crin hair bow trimmed in wispy grey feathers. The use of crin on this piece makes it nearly invisible at anything but close distance, making me wonder (as I did with Victoria’s white bow), “What’s the point?”
Designer: again, unknown Previously Worn: I think this is new
While it’s always nice to see new hats and headpieces, the ongoing trend for Swedish princesses to reach for hair bow fascinators at this event leaves me deflated. Both women have some beautiful black and white hats in their wardrobes- I would love to see them reach for those designs and leave these twee hairbows for their daughters. Your thoughts?
Photos from Getty as indicated; IBL and Stella Pictures
On July 12th, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako attended the 53rd National Blood Donation Promotion convention in Akita. Crown Princess Masako wore an ice blue bumper hat to match her suit.
Queen Sonja wore a white wool beret with wool flower trim to open Riddu Riđđu, an international indigenous festival in Kåfjord in Nord-Troms (Royal House of Norway)
At the Oliver Brown top hat stand, salesman Charlie Mingay is doing a solid trade in antique, one-of-a-kind toppers. He explained: “The looms that makes this sort of plush silk have been out of production since 1968, so there is a finite supply, and a very high demand.” The most expensive of the black hats on display is £8,000. As of Friday morning he had sold eight, including one to Mike Tindall. The former England rugby captain has a surprisingly small bonce: a size seven. Or, as Mingay put it: “Big guy, peanut head.”
On July 9th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the 100th anniversary of the National Welfare Committee in Tokyo. Empress Michiko repeated her large white raised rim saucer with pale grey bow.
I’m seeing boater hats are popping up all over the place (see here, here, here, and here!). Here are the other hats that caught my eye this week (I’d love to see what you are liking- please share in the comments!):
Crown Princess Victoria wore a small headpiece above her chignon in white silk, covered with the same pink lace appliqué butterflies that embellished her dress. The dress is definitely the star here and I understand why a non-competing headpiece was chosen, but I think her white ringed headpiece with roses would have given this ensemble a better sense of occasion that this headpiece- essentially, a decorated barrette.
Designer: Victoria’s dress is by Pär Engsheden and I suspect the headpiece is as well. Previously Worn: this headpiece is new
Princess Estelle’s braided hairstyle was embellished with some of the same pink lace butterflies from her mum’s dress and headpiece. This use of the butterflies, I heartily applaud! Such a sweet touch.
Queen Silvia repeated her turquoise straw calot hat with silk flower trim. The first time she wore this piece, it was placed over the crown of her head as calots are usually worn but today, she moved the hat forward on the right side of her face, almost as a cocktail hat. Today’s placement allows the swirling cuff of the piece to be visible and this sense of movement lightens the look of the hat- a brilliant move for a summer event such as this.
Designer: unknown. My guess is Kerstin Carlefalk Previously Worn: June 1, 2015
Princess Madeleine topped her pale slate blue floral dress with a matching vertical straw saucer hat trimmed with silk roses and straw twists. Madeleine has embraced these vertical sauces in recent years and wears them very well. The scale and colour are particularly lovely on her.
The biggest millinery surprise of the day appeared with Princess Sophia, who wore the largest hat we’ve seen her wear to date. In black straw, the design features a wide brim and large bow, both edged in pale pink straw. The brim is split on the left side of the piece with one side of the split tucked in behind the bow, giving the piece the most wonderful sense of movement around the back and side. The graphic contrast of the hat works so well with Sophia’s floral dress and while the hat packs a lot of visual punch, Sofia carries it, beautifully.
Designer: Whiteley Previously Worn: This hat is new
Three of King Carl Gustaf’s sisters were also in attendance today, along with Countess Marianne Bernadotte. Princess Christina topped her black floral dress with a white dotted disc hat embellished in black and white feathers. Princess Birgitta wore a small white feathered headpiece while Princess Désirée wore an elegant, Chanel inspired wide brimmed black straw hat with silk hatband and pale pink silk camellia on the side. Countess Marianne repeated a headpiece of cream silk flowers and gold, arrow trimmed feathers.