Belgian Monarchs Open Royal Military School Term

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde attended the opening ceremony for the Royal Military School’s new academic year (Princess Elisabeth is enrolled in this year’s course) on Thursday in Brussels.

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For this event, Queen Mathilde wore a new bandeau headpiece covered in the same red crepe as her belted dress. The head-to-toe red look is somewhat tempered by the smaller scale headpiece, which also balances well with the dress’ pussy bow neckline and bell sleeves. A larger millinery design – particularly something with a brim – would have been too much, especially when the mohair jacket is added to the mix.

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Designer:  It is the “Tizani” by Fabienne Delvigne. Dress and mohair jacket by Natan.
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

What do you think of Queen Mathilde’s new headpiece?

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

Monday Multiples: Queen Mathilde

 Queen Mathilde has, so far, paired her Fabienne Delvigne designed textured woven pink calot with multi-looped side bow with two pink frocks:

Look #1: With a pink curved seam sheath dress with deeper dusty pink ultrasuede sleeves and neckline by Esmeralda Ammoun worn May 19, 2016 during a Jordanian state visit

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Look #2: With a floral printed pleated neckline midi dress with unlined floating sleeves by Giambattista Valli worn on a trip to Germany, July 10, 2019


Which dress do you prefer most with this hat?

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako attended the Autumn Equinox Festival at the Three Palace Sanctuaries on Tuesday
Princess Elisabeth completed the first 4 weeks of training in a year-long military course, earning a Blue Beret along with 180 other students. Her parents attended the ceremony yesterday, her father awarding the beret and her mother making a statement of solidarity in a repeated Elvis Pompilio royal blue calot with feather trim (see photos from its last outing here)


The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Chic and sleek red felt hat with silk piping hatband by US brand Suzanne Couture Millinery
Navy Harris tweed covered beret percher with leather sash and statement flower by British milliner Karen Geraghty
Stunning cream straw sidesweep with silk hatband bow and orchids by London-based milliner Joaquina Pereira
Purple felt halo bandeau with diamanté-studded veil overlay by Scottish milliner Maggie Mowbray
Shaped plastic hat with individually formed flower brim by Australian brand Victoria Jane Millinery
The most wonderful texture on this vibrant green hat with overlapping bow trim by British milliner Edwina Ibbotsen
Lilac straw trilby with crin knotted hatband and purple net veil by Czech milliner Jolana Kotabova
Blue ombre  draped Paris cloth ring headpiece by Australian brand Natalie Jane Millinery
Rose pink felt cloche with lavish feather and floral trim by British milliner Lynn Leach
Vintage silk velvet casque headpieces in autumn hues with beautiful top stitching by British milliner Dillon Wallwork
Adore this punchy mulberry and turquoise colour blocked felt boater by London-based Maria Monica Millinery
Exquisite sense of movement on this coral feather covered teardrop percher by Australian milliner Jill Humphries

The Danish monarchy released a regal new portrait of Queen Margrethe (love her in this shade of blue!)
Princess Charlene looked fantastic in a sparkling Jenny Packham gown for the Monte Carlo Gala for Planetary Health on Thursday
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Princess Beatrice was at Windsor Castle this week to see the display of her wedding gown, which is now open to the public (on a side note, she also stepped out this week in the most fantastic Cynthia Rowley embroidered dress)
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Very happy news from Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack
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Jack and I are so excited for early 2021....👶🏻

A post shared by Princess Eugenie (@princesseugenie) on

Sir David Attenborough dropped in on the Cambridges for an outdoor screening of his new movie. He brought Prince George a fossilised tooth of a giant shark, personally excavated during a family holiday in Malta in the late 1960s

Photos from social media as indicated

Belgium National Day 2020

Members of the Belgian royal family celebrated their country’s national holiday today, attending a Te Deum mass at Cathedral of Saints Michel-et-Gudule in Brussels followed by a parade honoring victims and heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic in front of the Royal Palace.

For the mass, Queen Mathilde wore a new picture hat in almond parasisal straw. That hat follows a traditional shape with rounded crown and extended, drop edge brim and is simply trimmed in a straw hatband.

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You can’t go wrong with a classic picture hat and this one’s scale, shape and colour are right on point. It’s a great counterpoint to Mathilde’s navy Battenberg lace printed shirtwaist dress, the two refined pieces a better pairing than the felt feodra she wore with this dress last month. I give both the hat and the ensemble top marks.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Louisa” design. Dress by Natan
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Mathilde changed into a bright floral dress for the parade, topped with a fuchsia ringed headpiece trimmed in a ruffle of pleated silk abaca.

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It’s another good look, the sleeker silhouette of the dress playing well with the smaller scaled headpiece. I’ll never embrace these open crowned doughnut-shaped pieces but must concede that the way this one frames Mathilde’s face, as a bandeau, is very good. The pleated ruffle also gives some asymmetrical interest and the vibrant colour can’t help but feel celebratory. This hat’s design is also is slightly reminiscent of one of Mathilde’s best hats ever, worn on this day seven years ago.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Rueda”design. Dress by Dries Van Noten. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Elisabeth wore her first hat for a public engagement, a draped bandeau headpiece in blush banana (abaca) fibre straw.

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It’s a great debut piece for Elisabeth with scale and colour well suited to a younger wearer, the ruched abaca giving a textural softness and the bandeau shape framing her face in another very lovely way. The headpiece is also a good pairing with Elisabeth’s floaty floral frock, grounding the look (with such a fun pop of orange on her purse!). We’ve talked here about the challenges facing a young princess venturing into hat-wearing and this piece is a fine start.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Lisly” design. Dress by Natan. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Astrid topped her bold striped dress with a black parasisal straw hat. The hat’s strong lines from its straight-sided crown and curved brim are softened with its large silk bow trim on the front; it pairs well with the equally strong striped dress to make a balanced monochrome look (love the yellow purse!)

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Every royal hat we see is a wonderful sight these days and to see four new designs debut at a single event is a rare treat. What do you think of these hats in Brussels today?

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Photos from Getty and social media as indicated 

Monaco Royal Wedding: Guests from Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein

We continue our look back at the July 2, 2011 religious wedding of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene with hats worn by guests from the royal houses of Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

Queen Paola topped a sparkly grey ensemble with a matching picture hat trimmed with pleated silk abaca draped over the crown and fanned out around the brim. I’m all for creative trims on hats and while I like the texture this silk abaca lends to the look, it’s not entirely harmonious with the hat (was it plonked on top because the hat needed ‘something’?) or with the overall ensemble.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne

Princess Mathilde topped her streamlined purple cape collar dress with an equally sleek charcoal straw percher hat with flying bow. It was such a sophisticated look for Mathilde, the grey accessories beautifully contrasting with the purple frock, her fantastic hairstyle perfectly showing off the hat, and the silver sparkle of the hat’s straw metallic weave linking wonderfully with her waterfall diamond brooch. Très chic.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. Dress by Armani

Princess Astrid made a strong millinery statement in an oversize cloche hat in natural straw with tall, rounded crown and extended, mushroom shaped brim edged in fringe.  The exaggerated shape was a little awkward, but I think it was the hat’s fringe, which matched her pale green Chanel bouclé suit, that took it over the top. It was a haute couture look for certain but was it attractive? I’m not sure.

Designer: likely Maison Michel

Princess Claire also wore a hat with exaggerated natural straw brim, but to greater success. Along with the wide cartwheel brim, her romantic picture hat featured a pillbox-shaped crown with flat top and sides covered in pink silk and a playful pink silk sash sewn free-form on one side. The sash is one of the unexpected but prettiest trims I’ve seen on a picture hat and the hat, along with Claire’s retro-styled jacket and full-skirted frock was another one of my favourite ensembles at this event. It was just so, so lovely.


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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa sparkled in a headpiece of spiky silver metallic dahlia flowers with silver pearl centers and cut grey feathers. It was a sassy design that suited Maria Teresa really well but that may have been better matched with a different outfit. Maybe a more vibrant dress? Maybe with less competing sparkle? I think disco ball jackets might be best reserved for after dark.

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Designer: unknown. Dress and jacket by Elie Saab. 

Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein paired her blue silk dress and coat with a wide brimmed straw saucer. These extended saucers continue to be an interesting, smoothly curvy take on a picture hat (thanks Philip Treacy!) and the a wider transparent brim on this design brought lovely lightness around Sophie’s face. Like the Grand Duchess, I think some colour variation would bring some welcome contrast here- the little bit of cream from the scarf at her shoulder and belt aren’t enough to save the ensemble from being too blue. Change out the hat for ecru straw instead of blue and I think we’d have had a winner here.

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Designer: Philip Treacy

How do you think these looks, and in particular, these hats, fare nine years on?

Jump to this post for an index of other royal hats that appeared at this wedding. 

Photos from Getty as indicated; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Bauer Griffin; SIPA