Belgian Monarchs Visit Oman

Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq Al Said the Honorable Lady Ahad bint Abdullah welcomed King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgian to the Al Alam Palace in Muscat on the second day of the Belgian Monarch’s official visit to Oman and United Arab Emirates. For this event, Queen Mathilde wore a new brimless hat in muted burgundy straw, simply trimmed with a draped bow on the side.

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This toque shape is a not a new one for Mathilde and it suits her well, framing her face while having a enough presence to stand on its own against her floral frock. The colour is great, both contrasting against the pale dress while highlighting the darker tones in what really is an exquisite pattern. A larger scale hat would compete with the voluminous skirt (and statement belt) and this smaller design is just right.

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. ‘Geisha’ Printed Taffeta Dress with Pleats by Natan.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

For a visit to visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Queen Mathilde topped a beautifully patterned and embroidered Anita Dongre full length dress with a burgundy headscarf. It’s such a beautiful look and another example of diplomatic dressing at its vest.

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What do you think of these looks on the Belgian queen?

Images from Getty as indicated  

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