Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Danish & Spanish Extended Families


We don’t often see a  royal bride who counts four queens between her mother, grandmother, and aunts but such is the reality of Princess Alexia’s family tree. As such, her wedding was an extraveganza of royal hats on high profile royal heads.  Alexia’s grandmother, Queen Ingrid of Denmark, wore an ensemble in pale lilac with a cuffed ring brim hat. Made of the same fabric (silk crepe?) as her dress and coat, the hat’s centerpiece was its woven crown, a unique design touch that gave it wonderful texture.

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Queen Margrethe topped her vibrant floral dress with a picture hat in the same hues. The wide brimmed design, in grass green straw, was trimmed in whimsical twists of layered pink and white curling straw.

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Princess Benedikte was in sunny yellow from head to hem. Her straw hat featured a flat crown, silk hatband stitched in narrow rows and folded into a flat front bow, and a wide downturned brim overlaid in a swath of yellow net veil studded with silk rose petals. While the colour seems very much of the time, the classic shape translates better than her ruffle trimmed suit!

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Princess Benedikte’s elder daughter, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein Berleburg, wore an ivory straw hat with flared and domed crown and wide brim that sloped downward in back and upwards in front. An overlay of informally ruched sinamay paced over the brim gave movement and a touch of modernity to the design.

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Princess Benedikte’s younger daughter, Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein Berleburg, seen behind Prince Charles in the photo below, wore a sky blue sinmay hat with squared crown and sideswept brim trimmed with a multi-looped bow on the side.

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While Queen Sofia did not wear a hat, Infanta Elena’s statement piece was impossible to miss. While structure here is difficult to pinpoint (Is it a pyramid? Do I see a small, rounded straw crown on th very top?), the hat’s focus was its wide cartwheel brim entirely covered in cream ostrich feathers. The phrase “lot of look” comes to mind to describe Elena’s couture suit and hat on steroids and I admire how much milliny confidence it must have taken to carry off such an over-the-top hat. It’s such a memorable royal hat moment.

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Infanta Cristina topped a blue dress and grey silk organza coat with a neutral almond straw hat with curved brim. The hat’s classic shape and streamlined trim (just a slim hatband) made a chic maternity look for Cristina.

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Infanta Margarita, who we seldom see, wore a very simple veiled headpiece. This is one of those times when function seems to have trumped fashion as the choice seems to satisfy the need for a headcovering, but that’s all. Do any of you recall seeing this headpiece from other angles?

There are some colourful and memorable hats among this group of royal relatives- I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Photos from Getty as indicated; ORBAN THIERRY/CORBIS SYGMA

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1963 which saw Queen Ingrid and a young Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark arrive in London in calot hats. A year later, Princess Anne-Marie would become Queen of Greece.

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Photo from Getty as indicated

Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Families

Prince Pavlos and Marie-Chantal Miller, July 1, 1995 | Royal HatsRoyal Hats

When Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Prince of Denmark, married Marie-Chantal Miller on July 1, 1995, the event was a family affair. Because of the Greek royal family’s close relations to several other royal houses, that also made it a major royal event. Here is a look at the hats worn at this wedding by members of the couple’s families.

Queen Anne-Marie topped her sea foam green silk coat with a straw headpiece in the same hue. With an open top, the headpiece wrapped in a circle around her head and was trimmed with a wide straw ribbon tails on the side.

Queen Anne-Marie, July 1, 2015 | Royal Hats

Queen Anne-Marie, July 1, 2015 | Royal Hats  Queen Anne-Marie, July 1, 2015 | Royal Hats

Princess Alexia wore a wide brimmed hat in natural straw while Princess Theodora, as bridesmaid, wore a floral wreath in her hair. Both Alexia and and Queen Anne-Marie were dressed by London-based Austrian designer Inge Spronson.

Greek Royal Family, July 1, 2015 | Royal Hats

The mother of the bride, Chantal Miller, matched Queen Anne-Marie’s ensemble in a hat and dress in sea foam green topped by a pale peach hand embroidered and beaded Valentino couture coat. The hat followed the shape of a ruched turban at the back but was brimmed with a halo brim around the front that framed Mrs. Miller’s face. Trimmed with a stylized silk flower, the chic hat has a wonderful sense of movement that almost draws my attention away from her pearls.

Chantal Miller, June 1, 2015 | Royal Hats  Chantal Miller, June 1, 2015 | Royal Hats

Princess Marie-Chantal’s two sisters, Alexandra Miller and Pia Getty wore what I suspect were very fashion-forward hats for the time. Pia’s round burgundy percher hat was edged in scalloped pink ribbon and trimmed with a spray of pink and burgundy feathers at the back. While this hat shape is familiar to us now, it was a very avant garde millinery look 20 years ago that left me wondering at the time if she had stuck a cushion on her head.  Alexandra toped her blue suit with what can only be described as a pink headscarf, worn as a headband and loosely tied in a bow behind her ear. This headpiece (if you can call it that) has always left me scratching my own head.

Pia Getty and Alexandra Miller, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Princess Benedikte, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Looking at the groom’s extended family- Queen Anne-Marie’s sister, Princess Benedikte of Denmark (above, right) wore a large rose pink hat with high ‘slice’ brim that folded up over the square crown on one side. We see these ‘slice’ brim picture hats often these days but I suspect it turned heads at the time. Their mother, Queen Ingrid of Denmark, wore a memorable hat in sky blue. With a traditional round crown, the brim of the hat was wider around the front and folded up to frame Queen Ingrid’s face. The straw was light embroidered in monochrome blue vines and embellished with a small spray of flowers at the side. We seldom see patterned royal hats and this one still stands out in my mind as a unique piece.

Queen Ingrid, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats   Queen Ingrid, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Queen Margrethe, the eldest of Queen Ingrid’s three daughters, also wore an unusual and distinctive hat. Her headpiece, in steely blue straw,  featured a large disc atop a calot base. The disc was sliced to the radius at the top of the headpiece- a large bow was placed in the slice, leaving one side of the bow visible on top of the hat and the other, behind the back of it (which also curled up that side of the disc). A spray of silk violets completed the striking hat.

Queen Margrethe, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats   Queen Margrethe, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

While King Constantine’s sister, Queen Sofia of Spain, did not wear a hat, her daughters  Infanta Elena and Infanta Christina both topped their dress suits with simple cream picture hats.

Infanta Elena, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats   Infanta Cristina, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Looking at these hats today, I am surprised how current many of them seem. Which ones stand out most to you?

Greek Royal wedding, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Photos from The Greek Royal Family; The Royal Forums; and Lord Lichfield via Getty