Hat From the Past

Royal Hats Marking Queen Paola’s birthday over the weekend with this throwback photo to the most retro chic acid green bow-trimmed pillbox and matching coat.

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Image from Getty as indicated

Norwegian Royal Wedding 20 Years On: European Royals

We conclude our look back at Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s wedding today with the remaining royal guests and what a glittering group it was!

Queen Paola wore the elegant Queen Elisabeth’s Art Deco Bandeau. She and King Albert attended with Prince Phillippe, the men both in uniform with caps (Princess Mathilde was in the last trimester of her pregnancy with Princess Elisabeth and remained at home).

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Princess Kristine Bernadotte (3rd wife of Prince Carl Bernadotte who was born a Swedish prince/Duke of Östergötland but ended up a Belgian prince thanks to his mother’s lineage after relinquishing Swedish succession) wore a tiara of unknown origin which, following her death in 2014, remains a mystery.

Grand Duchess Josephine wore the Belgian Scroll Tiara.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore the Luxembourg Chaumet Choker Tiara with diamond lattice base and pearls

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Princess Sibylla of Luxembourg wore her diamond Art Deco Tiara.

Queen Sofia wore the exquisite Spanish Floral Tiara.

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The Countess of Wessex wore her wedding tiara, a piece rumored to be made from four alternative sections from Queen Victoria’s Regal Circlet.

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Princess Laurentien wore the Dutch Ears Of Wheat Tiara.

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Prince Willem-Alexander attended with fiancé Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti (they married a few months later on February 2, 2002) who wore the base of the Dutch royal collection’s Antique Pearl Tiara. While we’re used to seeing this tiara with the pearls, this was Máxima’s first tiara outing and the smaller scaled version made a great inaugural piece for her.

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And finally- a pair of bachelor prince heirs, both in military uniform with caps.

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One poignant comment yesterday wondered if we’d ever see such a glittering array of jewels at a single event. After all of the social distance and pared-down scale of events we’ve all experienced over the past year and a half, it seems impossible, doesn’t it? I have, however, hopeful that as the next generation of crown princesses enters adulthood, the weddings of these future queens will enthrall and delight just as those of their parents did.

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Images from Getty as indicated; Scanpix and Corbis

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

Funeral of Grand Duke Jean: Family

The funeral for Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg was held Saturday at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg City, attended by all members of the extended Grand Ducal Family and their Belgian royal cousins. Out of respect for this event and the Grand Duke’s memory, this post does not contain any commentary on the hats and it is not open for comments.

Grand Ducal Family:

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Extended Grand Ducal Family:

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Belgian Royal Family:

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To identify individuals, click on the photo and link to its original source, with explanation. You can see the many royal guests who attended at this post.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Dutch Royal Wedding 17 Years On: Royal Guests Part 2

We continue our look back at King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s wedding 17 years ago this month with a look at the hats worn by royal families from Belgium and Luxembourg.

Queen Paola topped her lilac wool suit with a matching felt hat with upturned brim by Fabienne Delvigne. The brim features a waved, pleat on the upswept side with gentle point which gives lovely movement to the piece. The ensemble was a lot of lilac but Paola’s ruffled blouse broke up the look with some textural contrast.

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Crown Princess Mathilde wore a dark chocolate faux fur papakha style hat. It’s a very wintry look that contrasted well against her red suit and the matching cuffs on her jacket added a harmonious and wonderfully luxe touch.

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Princess Astrid wore one of the most bizarre royal hats I have ever seen. The natural straw hat with flat crown and short cartwheel brim was trimmed with vertically placed pheasant feathers around the back and…. another straw hat, in a slightly darker shade, placed on the side. This was a first- trimming a hat with another hat- that thankfully, has not been repeated. The milliner, Christophe Coppens, is now an avant garde artist/designer and while this hat gets marks for creativity, I can’t describe it as anything but utterly ridiculous.
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Prince Laurent, who was not yet married, attended in uniform complete with cap, and is photographed below with a very young looking Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg.
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Grand Duchess Josephine of Luxembourg (who passed away in 2005) wore wore a fur-brimmed bumper hat with domed crown covered in the same stylised silver animal print as her jacket. The brown fur and silver/slate blue combination always perplexed me a bit – don’t you think this design would have been improved with silvery grey sable brim instead?!
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Hereditary Grand Duchess Maria Teresa topped her gold brocade suit with a dramatic chocolate fur Cossack style hat and matching scarf. Yes, the hat is a bit too large for petite Maria Teresa but the look read very ‘Russian Imperial court’ (in a good way!) and I always loved how it coordinated so well with Grand Duke Henri’s uniform. Planning one’s look to match with one’s husband’s orange order- now that’s romantically dedicated dressing!

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Princess Sibilla also wore a gold suit and chocolate hat, although the effect was completely different! Sibilla’s hat follows a more demure shape with rounded crown, mushroom brim and chocolate velvet hatband, tied in a droopy side bow. It’s precisely what one might have expected from a royal hat two decades ago… but I’m afraid my current eyes are left wanting a bit more (and are drawn back to Maria Teresa’s more dramatic look).

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Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein is also included on this event’s guest list but I have been unable to find photos of her. This omission aside, there are some great looks here, aren’t there?! I’m also looking forward to your thoughts about Princess Astrid’s hat- do you find it as silly, 17 years on, as I still do?! 
Stay tuned tomorrow for the final look at royal guests from Spain, Greece, Great Britain and Monaco .
Photos from Getty as indicated