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

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats again to 1948 and Queen Juliana’s inauguration- in yesterday’s post, I neglected to include the fantastic jeweled Juliet cap she wore for the inauguration ceremony (thanks, Jimbo, for the excellent video, which I’ve posted below, that gives a great view of this hat).

The Juliet cap was decorated with a central diamond star edged in pears surrounded by four smaller diamond stars and a smattering of pearls and rublies, gemstones all taken from the Dutch royal family’s jewelry collection.

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The Royal Court Jeweller details other jewels that completed Queen Juliana’s inaugural look. “She paired the necklace from the Ruby Peacock Parure (borrowed from Wilhelmina) with the ruby cluster drop earrings and large ruby and diamond stomacher from the Mellerio Ruby Parure. A ruby and diamond bracelet from her mother’s collection completed her jewelry.”

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We’ve talked before about other sparkling royal hats but I think this one, with a restrained (but still very sparkling!) gravitas that reflects the solemnity of such an occasion, very fittingly takes the cake.

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What do you think of this jeweled royal hat from the past?

Photo from Getty as indicated; Hulton-Deutsch/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis via Getty Images

Hats From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1948, 72 years ago when Dutch Queen Wilhelmina passed the throne to her daughter Juliana. The Dutch royal family (see future Queen Beatrix on the left) appeared on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam following the abdication, Princess Wilhelmina in a feather trimmed cloche hat and the new Queen Juliana in a floral turban.

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Two days later, this pair of Queens would take to the balcony again following Queen Juliana’s inauguration, Juliana in a jaunty, tall, veiled pillbox and Princess Wilhelmina in what looks below to be a flat beret-newsboy cap hybrid with satin floral trim but was actually a short brimmed hat.

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Photos from Getty as indicated

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day, 50 years ago, in 1969 when Queen Juliana of the Netherlands opened a new session of parliament in a statement hat to end all statement hats.

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Photo from Getty as indicated