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  

Belgian Royals Attend Memorial Mass

Members of the Belgian Royal family gathered at Notre Dame Church in Laeken yesterday to attended a mass held annually in memory of deceased family members. For this event, Queen Mathilde wore a new rounded headpiece covered in the same charcoal fabric as her high collared blouse. The textured fabric works surprisingly well on the design (and is well made- there’s not a pucker to be spotted here) but oh, how I wish it had a covered crown. I can’t get behind these doughnut designs.



Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new
Princess Marie-Esméralda, (younger half-sister of King Albert) wore a navy straw based headpiece trimmed with navy and cream feathers, placed on the back of her head. Her sister-in-law, Princess Léa, wore a simple navy bow, also placed on the back of her head (see the video clip below).

Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein (King Philippe’s first cousin) wore a sequinned calot hat wrapped in a a swath of dotted tulle. She also placed the design WAAAY back on her head… perhaps to downplay its disco vibe? I thought it was a strange choice for a memorial event such as this.
Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
Let’s face it- this isn’t the strongest group of hats we’ve reviewed. What elements here do you like?
Photos from Getty as indicated; Photonews, Photonews, Photonews and Photonews via Getty

Belgian Royals Attend Annual Memorial Mass

Members of Belgium’s royal family attended an annual mass to commemorate deceased relatives and ancestors yesterday at the Church of Our Lady in Brussels. Queen Mathilde used the occasion to debut a new black calot hat trimmed in overlaid stripes and a large twisted circle of textured black roughly woven fabric.

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It’s difficult to weigh in on this hat without a better look. At close range, the overlay on the hat looked a bit messy to me but from further away, it gives great textural contrast to Mathilde’s smoothly tailored flared coat.

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Designer: likely Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Marie-Esméralda, King Albert’s half sister, wore an oversize chocolate felt fedora with relaxed brim piped in lighter cafe-au-lait hued ribbon. A patterned hatband in the same two shades finished the piece with a sharp bit of contrast that made the relaxed design look a bit more formal.

Feb 20, 2018 | Royal Hats

Feb 20, 2018 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I suspect this hat is new
Princess Léa, widow of King Albert’s late half brother Prince Alexandre, repeated a chic navy fedora with Petersham ribbon hatband and side bow (not visible here). Worn at a slight angle, the hat is wonderfully chic
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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Feb 19, 2013

Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg, who is cousin-in-law to King Philippe and his siblings, wore a simple black pillbox hat on the back of her head. It’s a classic millinery choice very fitting for such an event as this.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Dec 12, 2014 and likely others
This annual event always brings us a number of sedately styled hats- any thoughts about the ones worn yesterday?

Photos from Getty as indicated; Place Royal TV and The Belgian Monarchy

Belgian Royals Attend Annual Memorial Mass

Members of the Belgian Royal Ramily attend the annual celebration of the Eucharist in memory of the family`s deceased members at Our Lady Church in Laken today. Queen Mathilde used this occasion to début a new cloche hat. With a grey felt crown and beige felt brim, this hat was trimmed with a simple double band in beige fabric, wrapped around the bottom of the crown. We have not seen Mathilde in many cloche hats and while it is not my favourite millinery style on her, this particular hat brings and air of innocence and beauty that works well for her. Don`t you think Queen Mathilde looks incredibly young in this hat!?

Queen Mathilde, February 12, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, February 12, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, February 12, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Mathilde, February 12, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne

While Queen Paola did not wear a hat, Princess Astrid and Princess Claire also wore new pieces of millinery. Princess Astrid’s black felt hat featured a flat crown and wide, cartwheel brim. The brim was trimmed in the same black silk ribbon that was wrapped around the crown and while this embellishment was simple, I thought it was wonderfully effective and emphasized the graphic lines of the hat. Princess Claire wore a navy fedora with oversize brim. Trimmed with a triple band  around the crown that twirled into bow loops on the side, this hat was an excellent colour and scale for Claire. We have seen Princess Claire successfully wear several fedoras in the past and this hat further solidifies this style as one very well suited to her.

Princess Astrid, February 12, 2015  | Royal Hats Princess Claire, February 12, 2015  | Royal Hats

Designers of these hats: unknown

In a photo released later yesterday, we could see that Princess Marie-Esméralda wore a black feathered fascinator (below, right). Princess Margaretha and Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein were also in attendance; Princess Margaretha wore a simple black pillbox hat.

Belgian Royal Family, February 12, 2015 | Royal Hats

It is not often that we see the simultaneous début of three new Belgian royal hats so today is special indeed! What did you think of this trio of new millinery?

Photos from Robin Utrecht/Hollandse HoogteRobin Utrecht/Hollandse HoogteRobin Utrecht/Hollandse HoogteRobin Utrecht/Hollandse HoogteRobin Utrecht/Hollandse Hoogte, and Robin Utrecht/Hollandse Hoogte via Corbis; and Getty as indicated

Funeral of Queen Fabiola

The Belgian Royal Family gathered today in the Cathedral Saints Michel et Gudule to bid farewell to Queen Fabiola. For this funeral, Queen Mathilde wore a new black fabric-covered headpiece that circled her head.

Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Paola wore a delicate veil in black Brussels lace.

Queen Paola, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Paola, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Paola, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Astrid wore a headband trimmed with a stacked, double silk bow topped with a swath of dotted net tulle.

Princess Astrid, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Astrid, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Maria Laura wre a wide black felt headband while archduchess Elisabetta, wife of Prince Amadeo, wore a small black pillbox hat with rounded crown and grosgrain ribbon trim around the hat. Princess Luisa Maria was the only grandchild of King Albert and Queen Paola who did not attend the funeral (presumably, she was not able to leave her studies in England).

Princess Maria Laura, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Elisabetta, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Claire wore a charcoal grey hat which was simply trimmed with a wide ribbon around the crown. The flat brim of this hat was slightly upturned around the edge and the straight sided crown was gently domed at the top.

Princess Claire, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Louise wore her first hat for this important family event. Her mottled grey felt cloche was trimmed with a petite bow at the back.

Princess Louise, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Louise, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Léa, widow of King Albert’s late half-brother Prince Alexander, wore a beautiful black lace veil. Princes Marie-Esméralda (younger half-sister of King Albert) wore a Victorian inspired black hat with net tulle trim. The back of the hat, which folded upward, was trimmed with several black satin bows.

Princess Léa and Princes Marie-Esméralda, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

You can see hats worn by royal cousins from Luxembourg and Liechtenstein at this post and hats worn by representatives of other royal houses at this post.

Photos from Patrick van KatwijkPatrick van KatwijkOlivier PoletPool/Luc ClaessenPatrick van Katwijk, Christophe Licoppe, Pool/Luc Claessen, Didier Lebrun, Albert Nieboer, Patrick van KatwijkDidier Lebrun, Christophe LicoppePieter Jan Vanstockstraeten, Didier Lebrun, Didier Lebrun, and Didier Lebrun, all via Corbis