Belgian Monarchs Commemorate Brussels Bombing

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the 2016 Brussels Bombing which saw 32 people killed and 324 injured in suicide bombings at Brussels airport and in the Brussels’ subway. A memorial to victims was unveiled today in a ceremony attended by  King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. For this event, Queen Mathilde repeated her black felt fedora hat with relaxed brim and simple bow on the side.

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Designer: Fabrienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: Feb 17, 2021; Jan 27, 2019; Nov 11, 2018

Images from Getty as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Queen Mathilde repeated her black felt Fabienne Delvigne fedora on Wednesday for the annual Memorial Mass for the deceased members of the Belgian Royal Family, held with just family members this year in the Royal Crypt of the Church of Our Lady of Laeken
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Princess Eugenie wore a mustard velvet Jennifer Behr ‘Thada’ halo bandeau to introduce her son, August, who made his public debut in a handsome blue cuffed cap.
Interesting conversation between fashion writer Suzy Menkes and Philip Treacy you can listen to here.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Coral straw statement bandeau with lush floral, feather twist trim by Australian milliner Anita Marshall
Charcoal felt trilby with stacked teal, yellow and grey hatbands by Italian milliner Marianna Sanua
Purple felt cloche with fantastic crown shape and Art Deco brooch by American milliner Laura Del Villaggio
Sunny yellow hat with wide, raw-edged Dior brim by Australian milliner Marilyn Van Den Berg
Beautifully embellished pale blue wool beret by French brand Katoushti
Adore the shape on this periwinkle straw hugger bumper with freeform bow by Australian milliner Jill Humphries
Graphic layered stripe teardrop percher with ivory silk shantung bow by British milliner Kerry Kernan
Sky blue straw saucer brim hat with large feather flower by British milliner Justine Bradley-Hill
Sleek oh-so wearable cream and grey visored hat with black stripe by Australian milliner Lauren Ritchie
Deep mulberry felt feldora with black silk paisley hatband by Danish brand Hornskov København
Blush sisal button percher with sisal and silk abaca folded ruffle by British brand Camilla Rose Millinery
Beautiful designs with orange draped felt crown and merlot feather flowers by Australian milliner Melanie Atherinos
Wrapped tan turban with statement flourish by German milliner Ulrike Strelow
Creative blue straw design by Australian milliner Souri Sengdara that’s captivating from all sides (see the front here)

Charming photos of Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie and wee Prince Charles released this week for her birthday

Princess Madeleine shared these sweet snaps taken for Princess Leonore’s 7th birthday

Images from social media as indicated 

Monday Multiples: Queen Mathilde

Queen Mathilde will celebrate her 48th birthday on Wednesday and to mark this even, we’re taking a closer look at one of her hats. Designed by Fabienne Delvigne, her red beret percher wrapped in silk abaca with curved feather trim has been worn twice so far, each time with a different frock:

Look #1: with a grey textured woven dress embroidered with red roses by Esmeralda Ammoun worn for an October 2016 visit to Japan


Look #2: With a blush silk embroidered floral Natan belted dress worn June 27, 2018 for an Australian state visit

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I’m torn between these two looks. Which dress do you think pairs best with this hat?

Images from  Photonews and The Asahi Shimbun, via Getty;  Social media and Getty as indicated 

Guest Post: Queen Mathilde

Longtime reader and regular commenter Jake, who lives in Washington DC and can be found on Instgram or Twitter @bestdressedmenno, entertained us last summer with a 4-part series on royal men’s hats. He has previously suggested hats from the wardrobes of Queen ElizabethQueen Maxima and Queen Margrethe he’d like to see repeated, a series he continues today with a Belgian twist. I’m very pleased to welcome back Jake! 

While we’re waiting for the COVID-19 crisis to pass, HatQueen graciously invited me to explore some more hats I would like to see return on royal heads. Today’s post features those of Queen Mathilde!

I will admit I’ve not paid as close attention to Mathilde’s millinery over the years as I have with other royals, nor have I always enjoyed her choices as much, but she’s definitely been pretty fearless in trying out many designs. Almost all of the hats featured here are by Fabienne Delvigne, and while I (and others) have complaints/hesitations about the quality of her work, I tried to keep criticism to a minimum, bringing it up only as necessary. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are my top 10 choices of hats Mathilde should bring back.

1. A simple and sleek, yet chic, cartwheel brim hat in black velour felt worn at the funeral of Luxembourg’s Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte on 15 January 2005. It’s a shame it appears to never have been repeated (although the coat can stay in the past), and it resembles my favorite hat of her sister-in-law Astrid.

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2. Mathilde has worn many red hats over the years, but few have seemed as flattering IMO as this one from Prince Christian of Denmark’s christening on 21 January 2006. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.

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3. Mathilde is more likely to wear calots than cocktail hats, but I love this one on her. The color combination is quite unexpected for her (but beautiful), the placement is just right, and I (mostly) enjoy the organic feel of the design (a Delvigne hallmark). Worn on 27 September 2013. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.

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4. Fascinators have long divided popular opinion (I usually am a fan), but I really love how delicate and unique this one is on Mathilde. It was first worn at King Carl Gustaf’s 60th birthday celebrations on 30 April 2006. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.

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5. Everyone has that one hat they love and everyone else probably hates. This is one of mine! Red is a fabulous color for Mathilde, and as a sci-fi fan, the “Saturn’s rings” trim on this rounded pillbox appeals to me even more. Worn on 20 June 2006 during a Dutch state visit to Belgium (where interestingly, then-Queen Beatrix and Máxima changed hats and outfits during this particular outing while Paola and Mathilde did not). Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.

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6. It’s a shame Mathilde hasn’t worn more fuchsia, because I love the vibrant color of this hat on her! Granted, I’m not fully in love with the organic shape (again, a Delvigne hallmark) and the bow on the back is questionable with its quality, but with a little more refinement, this could make a great comeback. Worn during an official visit to the Netherlands on 8 November 2013. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.

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7. Cloches aren’t common on Mathilde, but this one is fabulous, and the color combination of greys and beiges this time is more striking than usual. I also love the jaunty angle (although when I look back at the comments on the post for this hat, I wasn’t such a fan; time has obviously won me over!). First worn 12 February 2015 at the annual memorial mass to remember deceased members of the Belgian Royal Family, it was repeated 3 years later, but deserves another outing. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.

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8. Mathilde often favors smaller hats (understandable for practicality’s sake), but this blush pink wide brim (made from what looks to be panama straw) worn at the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander on 30 April 2013 frames her face so well, and I love its pairing with the more saturated pink dress for a easily coordinated and chic look. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.

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9. Another cocktail hat that sadly has not been repeated is this green-hued bluestone one from an official visit to the Netherlands on 30 November 2016. This time Delvigne’s organic designs work well with this stylized large bow hat. The color is also beautiful on Mathilde, and pairs perfectly with this outfit; I do wonder what it would look like with her hair down and with a dress/skirt that flared out a bit. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.

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10. Finally, the likelihood of seeing this one again is almost zero, but the teal hat worn to William & Kate’s wedding on 29 April 2011 would make a fantastic hat to repeat for the Belgian National Day celebrations. If repeated, preferably it would be paired with a less shiny outfit; something in charcoal grey to coordinate with the trim would be a nice switch, and that would let the teal of the hat show off more, along with other teal accessories, like the clutch she had at the wedding. Hat by Philip Treacy.

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Clearly, I think we don’t see enough wide brims on Mathilde! What do you think? Which hats would you like to see Mathilde bring out of her hat archives?

Thanks, Jake! You’ve included some of my favourites- the red “Saturn’s Rings” is so fun and the last hat, the teal Philip Treacy saucer, is simply spectacular. I can’t wait to hear what other hats are suggested!

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