Belgian National Day

The Belgian royal family celebrated their country’s national holiday today with a Te Deum mass at The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula followed by a military parade outside the Royal Palace.

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Queen Mathilde wore a new bandeau headpiece covered in a textured striped fabric in the palest beigey-pink.

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The caped floral dress requires a light millinery touch and the scale and subtle texture of this design works well. It’s nicely finished, with bias placement of the stripe and not a pucker or underside structure to be seen. While it lets the dress be the focus, which I suppose was its aim, I’m afraid I find it a bit underwhelming

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Princess Elisabeth also wore a new hat, in textured deep orange (or tomato red?!) straw. The pillbox design is simply trimmed with a knotted sash on the side.

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It’s a great scale on Elisabeth, the weave of the hat providing textural contrast to the floral pattern on her dress. We’ve not seen her in many hats and this one is a good ‘beginner.’

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Designer:  Fabienne Delvigne’s “Kennedy” design. Dress by Natan
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Enrolled in this year’s course at the Belgian Military Academy, Princess Elisabeth marched in the military parade in full uniform.

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Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent also attended in military uniform, Princess Astrid in a green hat with smart curved brim and Prince Laurent in a traditional cap (Princess Claire did not attend).

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Today’s celebration officially included Princess Delphine and her partner, Jim O’Hare, for the first time. She wore a vibrant patterned dress and matching beret from Belgian ethical fashion brand Erratum, whose work is inspired by Africa.

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It’s a bold look but one that seems authentic for the artist, whose work is described as vibrant, playful and quirky. The same words describe this ensemble and that’s exactly what makes me love it. Yes, it’s lot of pattern and the hat could really use some structure (there’s a reason fabric hats are blocked over sinamay bases!) but its a confident statement that I wish we saw more in royal fashion.

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Designer: Erratum
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Marie-Esméralda attended the Te Deum in a very pretty pink pleated bandeau headpiece.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is new

It’s wonderful to see larger events opening up, especially with they include the debut of a new princess! What do you think of this group of hats today in Brussels?

Images from Getty as indicated  

Belgian Monarchs Mourn Flood Disaster

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde marked a national mourning day for victims of recent severe floods today in Verviers where they met with rescue workers and people impacted by the disaster

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For the event, Queen Mathilde repeated her circle headpiece covered in black silk.

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The headpiece’s streamlined pillbox or bandeau look from the front suits more solemn events such as this and the open crown makes it suitably seasonal. We’ve not seen such a clear back view of this design as is shown above, and the overlapping edges create a lovely swirl. With her checked black and white dress and black accessories, this tops another elegant look for the Belgian queen.

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. Dress by Carolina Herrera. 
Previously Worn: May 25, 2018; Jul 9, 2015;  Dec 12, 2014

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

Images from Getty as indicated  

Dutch Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Guests

We finish our look back 20 years at the May 2001  wedding of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien today with hats worn by royal guests and extended members of the Dutch royal family to the couple’s religious ceremony.

Princess Mathilde wore a white parasisal straw hat with slightly flared, flat-top crown and generous mushroom brim. The classic black and white scheme always works and I really like how the black stitching on her coat was reversed in white on the hat’s black hatband.

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Crown Princess Victoria took a more neutral path with a tan and cream subtle plaid coat and dress topped with a picture hat in beige straw. It was not a dynamic look (it’s all rather biscuit!!), not helped by the low curve of the hat’s gently sidesweeping brim that sat awkwardly low over Victoria’s face.

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Mette-Marit Tjenssem, who would become Crown Princess of Norway three months later, wore a blush coat with sequin detail repeated on the hatband of her cream picture hat. It was another quiet ensemble (despite the sequins) but nice, from today’s vantage point, to see Mette-Marit in a brimmed design.

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We can usually count on Princess Märtha Louise to bring some colour and she did not disappoint at this event, pairing her lilac shantung silk suit with a deep orange statement hat. Between the hat’s vibrant shade, extended brim with point ends, fuchsia brim binding and brim stitching and hatband of cut orange and fuchsia silk leaves, it was a memorable design.

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Princess Kiko was in head to hem pale butter yellow. Her hat was a most interesting shape with a bumper style overtop a downward facing visor- it really defies description. Can you remember seeing her in another design of this shape? It feels unique.

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Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg topped her red suit with a natural straw woven hat with rounded crown and fluted brim bound with chocolate binding and topped with a layer of silk petal studded crin… or a large patterned lace? The hat was finished with a large flower on the left side.

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The Countess of Wessex wore two toned hat with green fluted crown and palest seafoam parasisal straw with very interesting, inverted brim and trimmed with peacock feathers. We don’t see many two toned hats and while this one reflects millinery styles of the time, still was a well balanced and interesting (in a good way!) design.

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Princess Alexandra De Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berlebourg (Princess Benedikte’s eldest daughter) contrasted her pale blue ensemble with a copper straw picture hat. The unexpected scheme worked, as did the hat’s scale on Alexandra’s tall frame. I really like the proportion between the hat’s crown and wide brim and the textural contrast provided by the stitched silk bow.

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Princess Miriam of Bulgaria wore a folded black sinamay design with black and white feathers and a black veil.

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Princess Margriet wore a wide brimmed hat in red sinamay with long sinamay sash folded over the hat. That folded sash was unique, as hat trimmings go, but seemed at odds with the rest of the design.

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Princess Marilène (back row behind Prince Constantijn) wore a dark hued, wide brimmed hat. Princess Irene (front row on right, beside Maxima) wore a lime green straw boater with extended brim. Princess Christina (second row, in between Prince Constantijn and Queen Beatrix) looked to be in a hat with black brim and royal blue crown.

It’s always interesting, looking back at past events, which hats seem timeless and which ones reflect specific styles of the time. Looking back 20 years at this event, which hats stand out most to you?

You can see hats worn by immediate family (and the bride’s attire) at the religious ceremony here and hats at the civil ceremony here.

Images from Getty as indicated  

Queen Mathilde Awards Music Competition Winners

Queen Mathilde attended the awards ceremony for the 2021 Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition today in Argenteuil.

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For this event, she repeated her stacked petal headpiece made of pale rose-buff banana fibre.

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I liked today’s placement of this design, curved further forward as a bandeau than in the further back, almost calot position she has worn it on previous outings. It also pairs well with this border print dress (although I could loose the cartoonish belt!), the print keeping the look from falling into boredom. However, while the headpiece looks fine at a distance, closeup view shows pinches and puckers around the edges of the padded leaves, something that could have been avoided and yielded a more polished look..

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Designer: Fabienne Delvigne “Colette” design. Dress by NATAN.
Previously Worn: Sep 8, 2019; Sep 8, 2017; July 21, 2016

What do you think of this headpiece on this outing?

Images from Getty as indicated

 

Christening of Princess Estelle, Nine Years On: Royal Guests & Extended Family

t’s no surprise that Princess Estelle’s christening on May 22, 2012 was also attended by numerous royal guests and extended members of the Swedish royal family.

Queen Margrethe wore a navy straw wide-brimmed picture hat. Navy dotted white tulle overlaid the open-weave straw brim and a large flower of white feathers adored the piece on the side. The scale of the piece is such a contrast from the brimless and short-brimmed hats we’re used to seeing on the Danish queen today and while the tulle looks overly fussy to me now, it links the hat well to Margrethe’s dotted ensemble.

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Queen Mathilde (was was Crown Princess at the time, wore a layered calot hat in the same taupe silk chiffon as her skirt. It’s not an terribly exciting hat but anything with more presence likely would have competed with her elaborate beaded jacket and the overall look is certainly festive, however subdued.

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Princess Máxima, who would become queen a year later, stood out in a red suit and Fabienne Delvigne ruched turban. The turban is beautifully draped and pairs well with the modern-vintage vibe of the suit, the vibrant colour giving some much needed pep at an event that, as we’ve seen, saw so many pale and neutral ensembles. Trust Máxima to liven things up.

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Princess Märtha Louise wore a pale straw pink hat with layered raw-edge brim. The jaunty angle provided by the brim’s sidesweeping shape gave it lovely lift and that unfinished edge, echoed on the hat’s wide hatband, contrasted well with the smooth silk of Märtha’s jacket. With diamond chandelier earrings and an ecru and blush striped dress, it was a great look for her.

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As this was Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy’s first major royal event (she and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume would marry five months later), it wasn’t a surprise that she dipped into her future mother-in-law’s closet for a hat. This grey pleated silk abaca headpiece by Fabienne Delvigne requires some millinery courage to pull off and while I wasn’t thrilled about its pairing with this grey bouclé jacket, Stéphanie still wore it well.

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The King’s sisters were all in attendance, Princess Margaretha in a grey pillbox with side bow, Princess Birgitta in a white rose fascinator and Princess Désirée in a red Garbo hat with relaxed brim. Princess Christina wore a disc headpiece in navy straw painted with white Swiss dots, edged in white binding and trimmed with navy and white feathers (see a better view of it at Crown Princess Victoria’s 40th birthday celebration here).

Princess Christina’s daughter-in-laws, Emma Magnussen, Vicky Andren and Frida Bergström were all in attendance. Emma’s navy crin headpiece featured a birdcage-style transparent brim and was studded in slim feathers. Vicky’s taupe straw hat was trimmed in a triple stacked hatband with straw flower and goose feathers on the side.

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Frida Bergström (4th row, far left) wore a loden green pillbox hat swathed in a gold dotted net veil. Also seen in the photo above are Countess Marianne Bernadott (3rd row, far left in front of Frida) in a mint green brimmed hat (see a better view at a later wearing here) and Dagmar von Arbin (4th row, 4th from left) in a purple straw pillbox studded with silk flowers (see a better view at Prince Oscar’s christening here). After the palate of very pale neutrals we saw in the first post, the brighter spring hues seen in the photo above give some welcome vibrancy to this event!

Nearly a decade on, which hats stand out most to you from this event?  To see hats worn by Princess Estelle’s family members and godparents, jump over to this post. 

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Photos from Getty as indicated; SVT and the Swedish Monarchy