Belgian Royal Wedding

On September 10, Princess Maria Laura of Belgium was married to William Isvy.

For the civil ceremony at Brussels town hall, the bride wore a 1960s-inspired ecru mini dress with pleated empire waist by Gucci.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Princess Maria Laura paired the dress with modern diamond and pearl drop earrings (the same ones worn by her sister-in-law Princess Elisabetta at her wedding in 2014) and ecru chunky heeled Gucci pumps.

Embed from Getty Images

That afternoon, the couple’s marriage was celebrated at a religious ceremony in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula before 500 guests.

Embed from Getty Images

The bride turned to British designer Vivienne Westwood for her custom silk gown.  Westwood utilized both her corset mastery and inspiration from 18th century women’s fashion for the gown’s beautifully draped bodice. The open neckline is anchored with cap sleeves and the gown “falls from the hip is reminiscent of ancient Greek statues.”

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

It’s a gown that relies entirely on construction and drape for its statement. Couture royal gowns are not a new thing – we’ve seen many! – but sometimes they overwhelm the wearer. This one does not.

Embed from Getty Images  Embed from Getty Images

Less successful, I think, is the 4 meter (13 foot) long train which attaches by a belt at the waist, “especially created for Maria Laura, to create the drama and presence needed for the cathedral.” Maybe it was the wind on this very blustery, rainy day, but something about the belt attachment doesn’t quite work from all angles.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

The unembellished dress creates a stunning background for the lace veil. Made of exquisite Brussels lace, the floral patterned veil with scalloped edge is a family heirloom originally worn by Queen Paola’s Belgian grandmother, Laura Mosselman du Chenoy, in 1877.  After Queen Paola wore it for her 1959 wedding, it has became a tradition for Belgian royal brides- we’ve seen worn previously by Princess Astrid, Queen Mathilde and Princess Claire.

 Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Princess Maria Laura anchored the veil with the Savoy-Aosta Diamond Tiara, an heirloom piece from her father’s Austrian royal family. It makes for an overall bridal look that’s a lovely mix of modernity and tradition, the dress, veil and tiara pairing so beautifully together while incorporating pieces from both sides of her family. The ensemble was completed with diamond drop earrings.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Young pages and bridesmaids, including Princess Maria Laura’s niece Anna and nephew Maximillian, were in mustard yellow silk ensembles, the bridesmaids with wreaths of fresh flowers in their hair. Princess Laeticia corralled the group in an ivory blouse and yellow floral skirt topped with an emerald silk ruched bandeau headpiece.

Embed from Getty Images

Princess Maria Laura was further attended by her other sister Princess Luisa, sister-in-law Princess Elisabetta and cousins Princess Marie-Astrid of Liechtenstein and Princess Olympia Napoleon. Luisa, Elisabetta and Marie-Astrid wore bandeau headpieces in yellow, red and pink while Olympia wore a bandeau of gold flowers.

Embed from Getty Images

Wind and rain did not keep radiant smiles off the bride and groom’s faces!

Embed from Getty Images

See hats worn by family members from the Belgian, Austrian, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein royal families 

Images from Getty as indicated  

Ascot 2021 Day 3: Round Up

Lady Sarah Chatto attended the races again today in her wide brimmed natural straw hat. No one does classic shapes better than Sarah! She is pictured arriving at Ascot Racecourse today with her husband, Viscount and Viscountess Brookeborough.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Members of the Greek Royal Family also took in the races today. Crown Prince Pavlos wore a black antique silk top hat and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal wore an ecru silk covered button percher with beige-blush floral spray. Their daughter Princess Olympia wore a black draped headpiece with open crown and side bow trimmed with a black tulle veil.

Notable hats at the races today with royal connections:

Embed from Getty Images
Lady Weatherby and Louisa Russell, Duchess of Bedford in Dillon Wallwork

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Lady Carolyn Warren

These additional hats caught my eye today:

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images


Hat by Shandana de la Riviere of Atelier of Fashion and Art

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Lisa Tan in her own design; Emily Cronin in Awon Golding 


Zana Greenwood in Park Lady gown and hat by Farthingale Historical Hats

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Ana Pribylova in her own design (Ana Bella Millinery); Yuan Li in her own design


Carola Humphrey in Valerie Millinery Collections


Headpieces by Jessica Collins – Bombini Studio Millinery

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Gail Hayden-Staph in her own design; Rosie Tapner in Catherine Walker


Alexandra Bertram in John Boyd


Elena Brown in Yuan Li


Angela Huntington in Rebecca Couture Millinery


My dear colleagues at the British Millinery Association, Jane Fryers, Svetlana Faulkner, Tracy Chaplin, Ian Bennett, Beverley Edmondson and Katherine Elizabeth. Jane is wearing a hat by Ellie Vallerini while the others, hats of their own making.

That concludes Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot this year. Which hats stood out to you most today?!

Embed from Getty Images

Images from Getty and social media as indicated  

Austro-French Royal Wedding Part 2

The wedding of Prince Jean Christophe Napoléon and Countess Olympia von Arco-Zinneberg on Saturday saw many royal faces with numerous extended family members and guests in Paris to celebrate with the couple.

The bride’s mother, Maria Beatrice of Arco-Zinneberg, was born an Archduchess of Austria-Este, the elder sister of Prince Lorenz of Belgium (Archduke of Austria-Este before gaining the title of prince when he married Princess Astrid). As uncle and aunt of the bride, they were in attendance, Princess Astrid in a brimless hat of spiky dark green feathers. Their daughter, Princess Maria Laura, who acted as a witness for her cousin, wore a sparkling bandeau headpiece. Princesses Luisa Maria, Laetitia Maria and Elisabetta (Amadeo’s wife) were also on the guest list but so far, elude photos.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Archdukes Rudolph, Carl Christian and Simeon of Austria are also Habsburg relatives of the bride through her mother. Archduke Rudoplph’s wife, Archduchess Marie-Helene wore a white saucer trimmed with veil and a figure-8 bow in the same raspberry pink stripe as her silk coat. Archduchess Marie-Astrid topped her royal blue and gold dress with a navy straw saucer based cocktail hat trimmed with a multi-looped silk abaca bow and a swath of dotted navy tulle.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Archduke Simeon’s wife, Archduchess Maria (née Princess Maria of Bourbon-Two Sicilies) wore a navy straw brimmed hat with voluminous straw overlay on the brim that wrapped around the design as a draped scarf of sorts. They are pictured here with Princess Margaretha and Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein;  Margaretha topped her orange suit in a repeated russet brown straw hat with mushroom brim, trimmed on the side with a straw bow and pouf of dotted tulle.

Embed from Getty Images

Princess Margaretha and Prince Nikolaus’ elder daughter, Princess Maria Anunciata, wore a high halo bandeau headpiece in brilliant emerald green, lavishly trimmed with silk roses and a ruffle of rough-edged straw studded with tiny beads. Her younger sister wore a deep burgundy velvet bandeau (photo below). Their aunt, Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein, wore a picture hat in champagne straw with wide mushroom brim. The hat’s sheen is spectacular and the repeated use of the wide brim binding also on the hatband gives great balance to the design.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Much of Luxembourg’s Nassau royal family members were also in attendance. Princess Stephanié, Hereditary Grand Duchess, repeated a circular wrapped headpiece made from overlapping layers of red banana fibre, trimmed with a multi-looped side bow. Princess Claire wore a classic black bandeau trimmed with faux pearls.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images  

Countess Diane (wife of Prince Jean), wore a tall slice hat of black crin with crown covered in curling pink and black feathers. Jean’s daughter, Princess Marie-Gabrielle, wore a bandeau headpiece covered in varied shades of dusky pink feathers topped with a pink birdcage veil sprinkled with copper sequins.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Princess Sibilla repeated a wonderful red hat made by Dillon Wallwork. The design features a squared crown covered in the silk crepe, a sidesweeping windowpane straw brim with wide brim edge also in silk crepe, and a wide grey silk hatband with side bow. Also in a British made hat was Princess Beatrice of York in a Julian Garner design described by the milliner as a boater “made out of a fine parasisel straw and is trimmed with hand cut dyed feathers embellished with Preciosa crystals”

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images  

The Greek royal family was represented by Crown Prince Pavlos, Princess Olympia, Prince Michael and Princess Marina. Princess Olympia wore an angular grey-olive bandeau headpiece while Princess Marina donned a black felt fedora with ribbon hatband and kicky upturned brim on one side.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images  

The Royal House of Hanover was represented by Prince Christian and Princess Alessandra who wore a dark purple bandeau veiled headpiece. The Olympe design from Spanish brand Mimoki features an overlapping double bandeau wrapped in cotton raffia. The Duchess of Bragança topped her blue silk dress and coat with a navy straw arc headpiece trimmed with feathers.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images  

Princess Tatiana Radziwill wore a red circle headpiece of silk abaca studded with read beads with flying bow tails at the back. Duchess Sophie of Wurtenberg wore a fascinator of bright pink feathers.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images  

Princess Maria Pia of Savoy wore a pink and grey floral headpiece set on a circle of gathered net tulle veil.  Princess Edouard De Lobkowicz (née Princess Marie Francoise of Bourbon-Parma) wore wonderful throw-back voluminous pillbox covered in curving mint, grey and peach straw leaves.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images  

The groom’s maternal aunt, Princess Anne Marie of Bourbon Two Sicilies, wore a braided black picture hat with upswept brim on one side, trimmed with a black organdie multi-looped bow and net veil. Her daughter, Dorothée de Bourbon-Siciles, wore a fascinator of neon pink crin, dotted crin and feathers while her daughter-in-law wore a chic black veiled pillbox with bow on the side. 

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Finally, the groom’s maternal uncle, Prince Charles of Bourbon Two Sicilies, attended with his glamorous wife and daughters. Princess Camilla’s navy blue straw vertical disc hat is lavishly trimmed with different varieties of feathers in navy and black, large loops of navy crin and crystal-studded windowpane crin on the exposed underside of the raised brim.  Princess Maria Carolina, who served as a witness, topped her orchid purple suit with a magenta straw hat. With a sharply curved ‘slice’ shape, the design is trimmed with pink and black feathers on the lower side of the brim. Princess Maria Chiara wore a tan silk abaca draped hat with pleated crescent, net tulle veil and dark blue organza leaves and lighter blue flowers.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Numerous more royal guests attended the wedding who, I’m afraid, were not caught by photographer’s lenses. Even so, we do have record of 33 hats and headpieces from this event which we are able to admire. This leads me to ask, dearest readers- which ones stand out to you, most?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On

Last month marked the 20th anniversary of a major royal wedding in London attended by three Kings and eight Queens. On July 9,1999 Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark married Carlos Javier Morales Quintana, a Spanish architect and a champion yachtsman, at St. Sophia Cathedral. Over the next few days, we’re going to take a look back at this event.

Embed from Getty Images

The bride went to one of her mother’s favourite designers, Austrian Inge Sprawson, for her sleek gown in ivory satin. With long, fitted sleeves and a wide v-neck, the focal point of the dress was a pair of diagonal crossed seams at the waist that created a fitted bodice silhouette and attached the gown’s skirt.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

The straight skirt flowed into a modest sweep train with a longer, detachable train fixed at the waist. The back of the dress was decorated in a row of beaded buttons which were repeated on the underside of each sleeve.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Following the tradition set by her grandmother and followed by her mother, aunts and cousins, Alexia wore her great-grandmother Crown Princess Margaret’s Irish lace veil anchored with the Danish royal family’s Khedive of Egypt Tiara.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

A simple gown is usually the best way to show off such an amazing vintage lace veil but I’m just not sure that the cut and fabric of this dress entirely flattered it’s wearer. For me, it always paled in comparison to the amazing gold beaded Armani dress with portrait neckline she wore two days earlier to a pre-wedding party- a look I’ve long thought was her very best. It was breathtakingly stunning

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Princess Alexia was attended by her sister Princess Theodora, who wore a long sleeved gown in floral embroidered lilac silk organza with sheer sleeves and a draped neckline.

Embed from Getty Images

Bridesmaides included Princess Alexia’s 3-year old niece, Princess Olympia, and Princess Mafalda, daughter of Prince Kyril and Princess Rosario of Bulgaria (the Prince and Princess of Preslav). Their dotted white silk organza full-skirted frocks with lilac silk sashes were topped with delicate white floral hair wreaths. Pageboys wore high waisted lilac silk trousers with white silk Peter Pan collared shirts.

Embed from Getty Images

Fascinators were very popular in 1999 (Queen Elizabeth famously wore one two weeks earlier for the wedding of the Earl and Countess of Wessex) making Queen Anne-Marie’s headpiece of lilac feathers a fashionable choice at the time. From today’s viewpoint, it seems a fussy choice for her lace trimmed coat and dress.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Crown Princess Marie-Chantal topped a textured suit with a wide brimmed hat in light ecru straw. The design featured a raised brim around the front behind which was a large grin unstructured bow.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

I’m curious, dearest readers- what do you think of this bridal look and hats, 20 years on?

Jump over to the following posts to review hats worn by the many royal guests:

Danish and Spanish Extended Royal Families
British Royal Guests
Norwegian and Swedish Royal Guests
Luxembourg, Jordanian, and Eastern European Royal Guests

York Royal Wedding: Royal Guests

The wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank included a handful of other royal guests, beginning with the Greek royal family. Crown Princess Marie-Chantal topped her delicate pink lace dress in a pale pink button percher with a spray of intricate pink silk handmade flowers. Her daughter, Princess Maria-Olympia, paired her vibrant pink patterned Dolce and Gabbana dress with a sculptural headpiece in silver lace. Both millinery designs are deceptively complex but make fantastic compliments to their respective frocks.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Both are Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: Both are new
Princess Ekaterina of Hanover had the most interesting hat of the day, a wide brimmed saucer in greige animal printed straw, trimmed with rows of pheasant feathers that look like rows of lion fish. The hat is so out there photos of it look photoshopped (I’ve done several doubletakes!) and I can only imagine the GIFs it will inspire.
Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Suzanne Couture Millinery
Previously Worn: Princess Ekaterina’s mother-in-law, Chantal Hochuli, originally wore this hat years ago 
Chantal Hochuli (former Princess Chantal of Hanover) wore a large round black percher hat trimmed with white flowers and black feathers while Princess Alessandra of Hanover topped her green and purple Andrew GN dress with a magenta teardrop percher of pleated straw, wrapped in a matching swath of net veil.



Embed from Getty Images

Designers: Chantal’s is unknown. Alessandra’s hat is from Spanish brand Mimoki
This group includes millinery that fits classification as both beautiful and bizarre- what do you think of these hats today in Windsor?
Photos from Getty and social media as indicated