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

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

This Week’s Extras

On Tuesday, January 14, Princess Margriet arrived at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam for the annual New Year’s reception in a casual, navy hat (she and other members of the Dutch royal family changed into formal attire inside the Palace!)
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Burgundy felt brimmed hat on Empress Masako for the the 40th anniversary ceremony of the National Rehabilitation Center for Disabled People & the National Occupational Rehabilitation Center on January 22. The windowpane pleated silk on her lapel is repeated on the hatband for an interesting touch.
Fun connection made for Princess Tsuguko’s burgundy hat- it seems to date back as far as 1993
Zara Tindall in a heathered grey felt fedora with darker grey hatband today at the Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham Racecourse
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British milliner Jane Corbett shared this photo of a bespoke hat she created and was shipping off to a lucky client. Many of you will recognize it…
The following new millinery designs caught my eye over the past two weeks:
Layered black and red sinamay straw hat by Zambian Dutch milliner Alice Ng’andwe Vermeulen
Stunning headpiece in purple and pink hand rolled organdie by British milliner Bee Smith
Beautiful bugle bead embroidery on this cherry red felt calot by Tasmania-based milliner Meghan Briton
For our dear gents, this handsome chocolate fedora with silk hatband by Danish brand Hornskov København
Deep claret felt beret percher with very fun feather pompoms by British milliner Awon Golding
Pink and purple felt fedoras with lovely pleated hatbands by German brand Bedacht Millinery
Love the sparkle on this sequin covered beret percher by Texas-based brand The Mad Duchess
Australian milliner Jill Humphries’ feather covered percher with flame twist in midnight blue
Beautiful colour and shape on this claret red felt fedora from British brand Christys Hats
From Dutch milliner Eugenie van Oirschot, this showstopping hat in navy and royal blue silk that leaves me at a loss of words to describe.


I suspect I’ve missed a number of noteable royal events and hat outings over the past week but trust you’ll share them here to catch me up!

Photos from social media 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

This Week’s Extras

On Monday, Princess Nobuko wore a white hat to attend the 130th anniversary of the Japanese Red Cross Society’s  Branch in Gunma.
Princess Hisako started out this week in Aichi attending an annual conference on nutrition and dietary improvement. For this event, she wore a cream hat with square crown and curved brim, trimmed with lichen green hatbands and side embellishment.
On Tuesday, Princess Hanako wore a yellow pillbox with embellished sides for the 30th anniversary of the Praemium Imperiale Arts Prize.
On Wednesday, the Duke of Sussex was in military uniform and cap again to lay a wreath at the National War Memorial in Fiji.
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Also on Wednesday, Princess Mako celebrated her 27th birthday and was spotted arriving at the Imperial Royal Palace in Tokyo to visit her grandparents in a bumper hat covered in beige-pink patterned silk
Yesterday, Princess Ayako worshipped at the Three Palace Sanctuaries in advance of her wedding next week. While She was in traditional dress (and hairstyle), her mother, Princess Hisako, sisters Noriko Senge and Princess Tsuguko and cousin Sayako Kurada all wore white hats.

Today, members of the Takamado and Mikasa families donned brimless black hats to commemorate the second anniversary since Prince Mikasa’s death (Sankei)
Princess Margriet in a red pouf fascinator today to christen a reconstructed expedition ship
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Amazing gravity-defying ombre turban from London-based Awon Golding
Winter white felt angular cloche with exuberant pheasant feathers from British milliner Annabel Allen
Turquoise and tan feather headpiece with net veil from Australian milliner Neil Grigg
Red silk ruched bandeau with pearl trim from British milliner Laura Cathcart
Pale percher with statement sunburst spiky trim from Irish milliner Laura Hanlon
Navy wide brimmed design with red jin sin twists from Australian brand Millinery Jill
Two designs from British milliner Bundle McLaren- a wonderfully modern take on a pillbox in oxblood
with a flying bow
 and a chic black beret percher with silver dipped curling quills
Pale grey sculpted French lace bandeau tiara with dotted net veil from British label Catherine Walker & Co.
Navy straw percher with copper-tipped navy goose feathers from Irish milliner Theresa Nugent
Dramatic, 1950s-inspired blocked straw saucer covered in velvet on top and silk and graphic,
Art-Deco patterned lace on the bottom from from Texan milliner Milli Starr
And from Melbourne-based milliner Louise MacDonald, these wonderfully vibrant and textural bandeau headpieces of woven ribbon.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit shared this week that she has been diagnosed with chronic pulmonary fibrosis. While she is optimistic about treatment and the future, the illness will undoubtedly continue to impact her and her royal role. Living with chronic disease is not easy and as such, I request that all future comments about the Crown Princess’ millinery choices be framed with compassion.
This week had an abundance of state banquets (in Portugal, Fiji and the UK) with some stunning royal looks – including Queen Mathilde here and here, the Norwegian royals, the Danish Royals and Princess Ayako at the formal Choken-no-Gi ceremony- likely the last time we’ll see her in a tiara.
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