Danish Royals Remember Dybbol

Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik attended a ceremony yesterday to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Dybbol. For this event in Sonderborg, Denmark, Queen Margrethe repeated her oxblood brimless hat with rounded crown. I think yesterday’s photos have provided the best closeup view we have seen of the details of this hat and confirm that the black band on it is a faux snakeskin leather. This slightly edgy detail makes me like this hat even more. What do you think?

Queen Margrethe, April 18, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Queen Margrethe, April 18, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Queen Margrethe, April 18, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: January 5, 2014; October 21, 2013February 9, 2013

Photos from Axel HeimkenAxel Heimken and Axel Heimken via Corbis

Imperial Family Attends Spring Garden Party

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko hosted a Spring Imperial Garden Party at Akasaka Gyoen Imperial Garden yesterday. The Empress, shown leading the Imperial Family to the party below, wore a pale blue saucer hat trimmed with a large bow. When it comes to Michiko’s saucer hats, I think bigger is better and any departure away from her preferred grey ensembles is a winner for me. 

Princess Kiko and Princess Mako of Akishino (The Emperor and Empress’ daughter-in-law and granddaughter) wore a pair of traditionally shaped hats. Princess Kiko’s hat in fresh green included several coordinating bands around the crown while Princess Mako’s white bowler was trimmed with a band of yellow ribbon studded with yellow flowers.

Three of the Takamado Princesses, seen at the top left in the photo below, were also in attendance. Princess Hisako wore a jaunty beige-cream bowler with squared crown and large spray of flowers and feathers on the side. I thought this hat came to life with this embellishment and while the colour was a little bland, made it a fun hat. Princess Hisako’s eldest daughter, Princesses Tsuguko, wore a navy pillbox with pork pie indented crown. The photo above shows a rather twee bow on the back of this hat- an embellishment I think this hat would be better without. Tsuguko’s younger sister, Princess Noriko, wore a pale butter yellow hat with what looks to be a mass of ribbon blooms at the back (see the photo above for a better look). While the shape and colour of this hat were rather nondescript, the ribbon flowers made it come to life and Noriko gave it some additional personality by wearing it at a a slight angle.

Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko (nieces of Emperor Akihito), rounded up this Imperial group. Princess Yoko, seen in blue in the center of the photo above, wore a white hat trimmed with blue puffs (carnations? pompoms?) to match her suit. Princess Akiko, seen below at the right, wore a dove grey pillbox.

The hats yesterday were all rather predictable but together, made up a lovely bouquet of millinery in classic spring colours. Are there any hats that stood out to you as your favourite?

2014-04-17 Garden Party 1

Photos from Getty as shown and Asahi Shimbun via Getty

Queen and Duke of Edinburgh Celebrate Maundy Thursday

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh attended Blackburn Cathedral for the Royal Maundy Service this morning. The Queen was not to be missed in a new magenta hat with flat crown and brim trimmed with lavender-grey thin leaves and white tulips. I liked the colour contrast on the underside of the brim (in the same lavender-grey as the leaves) but was disappointed by the rest. While I can overlook the too-bright colour, the awful choice and placement of those spindly leaves and sad, wilted tulips makes this hat fall flat for me. This hat is another case of “ruined by bad trimmings”, I’m afraid.  What do you think?

Queen Elizabeth, April 17, 2014 in Angela Kelly | The Royal Hats Blog

Designer: Angela Kelly. It is another one of her “flat brim” hats
Previously Worn: This is a new hat

Hat from the Past

The Royal Hats Blog  One of the most glamorous royals of recent memory was Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister.  Beautiful, vivacious and a little naughty, Margaret created more than her share of royal gossip and set many style trends wherever she traveled. On April 17, 1973 she wore this knock-out oversize pillbox covered peacock feathers to Pony Day at Ascot. I wish we saw this same level of royal millinery drama every day.

Princess Margaret, April 17, 1971 | The Royal Hats Blog

Photo from Tim Graham via Getty Images

Birthday of Queen Margrethe

The Royal Hats Blog Queen Margrethe of Denmark celebrates her 74th birthday today. As she is an accomplished painter and costume designer, it’s no surprise that Queen Margrethe wears more vibrant and creative hats than many other royals. I love her fearless style even though some of her fashion experiments are less than successful (remember this?). Danish milliner Susanne Juul is responsible for many of the beautiful hats worn by Princess Benedikte and Crown Princess Mary and I would love to see her clean, modern style and interesting shapes on Queen Margrethe. I think this modified fedora with a wrapped, textured crown in lilac straw would be striking on Queen Margrethe. As we celebrate her birthday today, what hat would you like to see this creative Queen wear?

Hat by Susanne Juul

Photos from Susanne Juul

Lack of Royal Hats Down Under

The Royal Hats Blog Reader Laura writes “Why has Kate (The Duchess of Cambridge) worn so few hats so far on her tour of New Zealand and Australia? I don’t get it”. 

I understand that many readers have been a little disappointed with the millinery (or lack of millinery) so far this tour. The Cambridges have been praised for their less formal and stuffy approach to royal life- an approach that, I’m afraid, extends to their wardrobes. Kate does not wear hats for most engagements at home and she has not altered this approach on this tour. Many of William and Kate’s engagements have been low key ones (visiting hospices, children’s centers, vineyards, military families and that infamous play date) that simply, are not formal enough to require a hat. The next few days will see the Duke and Duchess exploring the Blue Mountains and Australian Outback- engagements more suited to a Tilley hat than a percher beret. I think we will just see two more hats on this tour- one on Easter Sunday and one for Anzac Day ceremonies next Friday. The good news is that both the hats we have seen so far on this tour have been new ones and I suspect at least one of Kate’s hats in the coming days will be new as well.

Day 1: April 7, 2014 Arriving in Wellington in a scarlet Gina Foster pillbox

Day 7: April 13, 2014 Visiting Dunedin in a Jane Taylor beret

If you recall on the Duke and Duchess’ earlier tours of the South Pacific and Canada, Kate wore just one hat on each tour (one for church and one for a day of formal celebrations around a national holiday). She will likely quadruple that number on this tour and I think we have to take that as a gentle step forward for royal hats. Baby steps, people!

September 16, 2012 in Honiara, Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands in a Jane Taylor calot hat

Celebrating Canada Day, July 1, 2011 in Ottawa, Canada in a Silvia Fletcher for Lock & Co. cocktail hat

I hope that answers your question, Laura!


Queen Máxima Visits Cancer Charity

Queen Máxima visited the town of Alphen aan den Rijn yesterday afternoon to open a support center for cancer patients and their families. For this event, she chose a vibrant purple hat with angular lines. The diagonally sloped crown, small brim and minimal embellishment of this hat are a departure for Máxima- while I am not sure about the shape of this hat, I love the pop of colour it provided against her mushroom brown coat. Her outfit would have been bland and unmemorable without this hat which is why I’m going to declare this purple chapeau a great success. What do you think?

Queen Máxima, April 15, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Máxima, April 15, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Queen Máxima, April 15, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Máxima, April 15, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

Designer: unconfirmed
Previously Worn: I believe this is a new hat

Photos from Josh Walet via Alphens Nieuws