Belgian State Visit to Luxembourg

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde arrived in Luxembourg yesterday for a three-day state visit with their cousins.

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Queen Mathilde braved rainy weather in a green boiled wool coat and matching bandeau headpiece.

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Mathilde wears green so well and this shade is great on her. While I like the bandeau’s ruching much better from front view than from the side, the shape suits her well and the ensemble’s styling with a mix of green and cognac accessories is so well balanced. It’s a great autumn look.

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne custom design named “Maelle”. Coat and dress by Natan
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa is recovering from recent knee surgery and as such, her participation was limited to a welcome and photo inside the Grand Ducal Palace and attendance at last night’s state banquet.

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Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie stepped in for her mother-in-law today, joining Queen Mathilde for a number of engagements in a new hat. The vibrant hat’s base is a button percher in orchid purple felt and it is trimmed with an abstract flower made from petals of multicoloured, pleated shibori silk leaves and pinwheels which are embellished with Swarovski crystals. It’s a fun, bright, whimsical piece that Princess Stéphanie wears extremely well.

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Designer: Sylvia Martinez
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Queen Mathilde also wore a new hat today, an ochre orange silk toque hat with flat top and ruched sides. The design is trimmed at the back with applique cutout flowers and leaves from the same fabric as this ensemble’s grey printed dress. Orange hats are not easy to pull off but this one works so well, thanks to its small scale and clear connection to the dress. It pairs so well against the dark grey, giving the overall look some lift and energy.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne custom design. Dress by Dries Van Noten.
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

This trio of small millinery designs each packs a fair bit of visual punch- which hat stands out most to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Belgian Queen Attends Venetian Art Exhibitions

Queen Mathilde was in Venice this morning to take in Biennale Arte Venice 2019 and an  international expo at Fondamenta del Arsenale. For this event, she wore a new green straw hat with rounded crown and wide, sidesweeping brim, simply trimmed with a wide hatband.

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It’s a good hat for Mathilde, who wears this muted olive shade well. The combination of embroidered dress and wide brimmed hat really is lovely, although a little boring.

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What makes me a little crazy is that we have seen this- exactly this- before. Here’s what I find perplexing:

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#stylecheck Queen Maxima & Queen Mathilde wearing almost the same dress😍 Which look do you prefer? Please remember to evaluate the outfit not the person. [This was spotted by me & the edit is made by me too,please give credit if you use it!] #royalstylewatch #royalfashion #queenmaxima #queenmathilde (Der "Stylecheck" ist eine Reihe auf meiner Seite die euch vermutlich schon aufgefallen ist. Dort poste ich Royals die sehr ähnliche oder sogar gleich Looks tragen, zum Teil auch Royals und Stars. Dabei liegt der Fokus auf der Mode und nicht auf den Personen. Ich bitte euch wirklich, stets für das Outfit zu stimmen was euch stiltechnisch besser gefällt, abgesehen davon ob ihr die Person total mögt oder auch nicht. Auch ich bewerte hier stets den Stil.)

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In the Catherine Walker’s autobiographical book, “Catherine Walker”, the Duchess of Kent tells of her annual disappointment viewing a new collection and learning some of her favourite pieces had already been snapped up by Diana, Princess of Wales (p.101). Even before the internet, Catherine Walker took the care not to create two of the same items for high profile royals. These days, in our hyper-digital age, I’m perplexed by the frequency that Queen Mathilde and Queen Máxima step out in the same outfits. Yes, the hats are slightly different but I’m equally confused as to why Ms. Delvigne did not recommended an alternate shape to whoever ordered this hat (obviously to go with this dress), second.

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. Dress by Natan
Previously Worn: This hat is new. 

So, dearest readers- what do you think of royals wearing the same ensembles? What do you think of this addition into Queen Mathilde’s millinery wardrobe (see her other green hats here).

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Belgian and Dutch Monarchs Celebrate Anniversary of Liberation

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde joined King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima in Terneuzen, Netherlands on Saturday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of The Netherlands in Zeeland.

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Queen Mathilde repeated her black calot overlaid in wide wrapping stripes of textured woven fabric that form a large, looping rosette motif on the side. We’ve seen it paired successfully with this black and white dress before, the two textural pieces combining to make an attractive, modern take on classic black and white.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: Mar 22, 2019; Sep 24, 2018; July 14, 2018February 20, 2018

Queen Máxima repeated her fuchsia straw picture hat with sharply sidesweeping ‘slice’ brim.

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We’ve seen this hat several times before to greater success, I’m afraid, paired with more polished hairstyles and vibrant ensembles. In theory, I like the idea of a neutral ensemble with bright accessories but something about the styling of this particular ensemble feels a bit off balance- maybe it’s the front time on the skirt that’s throwing things off? What IS working for me is something I don’t usually comment about and that’s King Willem-Alexander’s very distinguished looking summer beard! Dapper, indeed.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: July 3, 2016;  April 13, 2016April 27, 2015

We’ve seen both these hats before- what do you think of their outings over the weekend?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Belgian National Day 2019

The Belgian Royal Family celebrated their country’s national holiday today, attending a Te Deum mass at the Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula in Brussels followed by an annual military parade.

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Queen Mathilde wore a new hat described by the designer as “made of natural fibers… inspired by the leaf pattern on the lace of the Queen’s dress”.

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At first look, I found the shape a bit flat and awkward. After seeing side views, which show how dimensional the shape is around the back, that hat started to make sense. The delicate shape of the back balances the large, flat planes of ‘leaf’ on the front and gives some much needed balance and contrast to the design. And the colour, which is not an easy one to pull off, looks great on Queen Mathilde. I just wish she’d passed on the red leather gloves.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Mystery” design from the Couture Collection 2020
Previously Worn: this hat is new

As in past years, Princess Astrid attended the parade in military uniform with stitched brim hat.

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Princess Claire topped her deep ruby pink trouser outfit with a matching straw hat. The design features a wide, mushroom brim and rounded crown and is simply trimmed only with a folded straw hatband in the same colour.

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Head to toe ensembles in strong colours such as this can be tricky but this one, with different textures between clothing, hat, purse and shoes, works really well on Claire. She wears wide brimmed hats so well and this one, with its bold colour perfectly balaced with a noticeable lack of trim, is great on her.

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Designer: Amélie D’Hooghvorst
Previously Worn: this hat is new

What do you think about this pair of new hats today in Brussels?

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

Day 2 Of Belgian Visit To Germany

The second day of engagements in Germany saw the Belgian king and queen visit Lutherstadt town hall, castle church in Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, master houses of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropiusm, and a Belgian chemical company.

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For these events, Queen Mathilde repeated pale pink calot trimmed with a multi-looped bow on the side. I believe the calot base is covered in fabric, with an overlay of textured, widely woven sinamay-like material.

The rustic woven overlay on the hat gives it a less formal, almost bohemian feel that pairs so well with this floral dress. The hat isn’t perfect (I’m not sure the bow looks great from all angles) but the overall look here is a lovely one on Queen Mathilde.

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. Dress by Giambattista Valli
Previously Worn: May 19, 2016

What do you think of this hat today on its second outing?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Belgian Monarchs Visit Germany

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde touched down in Erfurt, Germany this morning to start a two-day visit to the regions of Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt.

For the first day of this visit, Queen Mathilde repeated a hugger percher covered in silver printed silk, trimmed with a slightly darker grey straw twist.

The silver hat is an interesting topper for Mathilde’s darker slate grey-blue dress, gleaming almost as a piece of jewelry (see here). The scale works well on the Belgian queen and is a good choice for a day of events where, let’s face it, she is very likely to be the only person in a hat. It’s not my favourite colour on Mathilde but her hairstyle shows it off perfectly and the overall ensemble is polished and elegant.

Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: April 28, 2016; June 24, 2015February 19, 2014

What do you think of this hat on this, it’s fourth outing?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

Princess Alexandra repeated a grey straw hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan on Wednesday for a visit to Leeds Castle in Kent to celebrate its 900th anniversary
On Thursday, Princess Benedikte attended the opening of the Jacob A. Riis Museum the Southwest Jutland city of Ribe in her repeated navy textured straw picture hat with curving, sideweeping brim.

Queen Mathilde and Princess Elisabeth were in Africa this week, visiting several UNICEF projects. After meeting with the Maasai in Kenya, they came away gifted with names “Namayiana” (blessed one) and “Nasieku” (first born) and these traditional headdresses

On Friday, Queen Margrethe presented a military award, repeating her new terra cotta orange straw hat with navy hatband. Yesterday, she took part in events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the execution of a Danish resistance group in her refined pink straw hat with white trim.
Princess Hisako and Princess Tsuguko took part in American Independence Day celebrations today at the Tokyo American Club. Princess Hisako wore a biscuit straw hat with very short, rolled brim while Princess Tsuguko topped her floral dress with a lovely wider brimmed hat trimmed with flowers.

Make sure to cast your vote in the 2019 Millinery Association of Australia Design Award People’s Choice category– there are some truly astounding hats

The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:

Orange parsisal button percher with peach blossom vine by American milliner Karen Morris
Kokoshnik bandeau headpiece covered in pink pearls by British milliner Jane Taylor
Black and white straw design with flying bow by Czech milliner Jolana Kotabova
Blue straw percher with crimson silk floral trim by Australian brand Felicity Northeast Millinery
Fanciful maribou-edged brim on this grey, pink & white ombre design by Danish milliner Mathilde Thoe Førster
Green leaf shaped disc hat with gold quills by Irish milliner Teresa Nugent
Striking stripes! Trio of eye catching striped hats by American milliner Behida Dolić
Slate blue saucer embroidered with tropical birds by Australian brand Amanda Lynn Millinery
Chic pink and cream straw fedoras with slim silver hatbands from French milliner Laurence Bossion
Stunning transparent brim on this navy and marine blue picture hat by Dutch milliner Myra van de Korput
Dusky pink straw percher with flying bow and chenille rosebud veil by Australian milliner Jill Humphries
Lovely textured sage green Florentine stitched straw summer hat by British milliner Siana Yewdall
And two hats that made me catch my breath- first is this natural straw beret percher with exquisitely ethereal handmade silk iris flowers and leaves by Leicester-based milliner Guilia Mio
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I'm so proud of finally share this little beauty I've made for a lovely #motherofthegroom! 💜💜💜 She came to me with a stunning dress, we start talking about flowers and for some reason I told her I can see irises on her hat...she looked at me and she said that irises are her favourite flower and she has a lot I her garden!!!! It was meant to be!!! . . For enquiries about #bespoke hats visit my website (#linkinbio👈 ) or PM me . . @giulia.mio.millinery #couturehats #couturemillinery #millinery #bespokemillinery #giuliamiomillinery #weddingseason #summerwedding #specialoccasion #gardenwedding #silkflowers #irises #handmade #madeinleicester #madetomatch #motherofthebride #weddingguest #leicester #supportleicesterlocal

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and second is this stunning turquoise design with parasisal crown, two-toned double layer sinamay brim, hand rolled flying bow and turquoise guipure lace applique by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit. Truly- this hat caught my eye before I realized who made it!

A possible answer to widespread questions about Princess Haya’s absence at Royal Ascot. Whatever is going on in this situation, I’m sure you all join me in wishing her and her children safety and peace.

Photos from social media as indicated