When Queen Máxima began her reign this year with a series of voluminous hats worn back on the crown of her head (see here, here, here, and here), confusion ensued. Was it a pillbox? Was it a turban? Was it a hybrid of the two? The answer starts with understanding the turban. In coming weeks we will look at a a few more hat types (including the pillbox and calot) and determine what type of hat Máxima’s new hats really are.
History: Turbans have been around for thousands of years as a religious head covering for men in several faith traditions (primarily in the Islamic and Seikh religions). Because the history of this head wear is so old, it’s true origin is unknown. Turbans first showed up in recorded history in the fourteenth century at the end of the Moorish occupation in Spain; they became a popular fashion item for women during the 1920s and hit the height of their popularity during the 1960s and 1970s.
Characteristics: Turbans are based on cloth winding- they look like they are made of many layers wrapped around the wearer’s head. In most of the hats we see here, the layers are sewn onto a foundation cloth for easier wearing but they still look “wound up”. A full turban is wrapped in an oval shape around the head, covering the top half of the wearer’s ears and leaving little or no hair showing at the forehead.
Royals Associated with this Hat Style: Queen Elizabeth, Princess Grace of Monaco
Classic Fashion Turbans:
Queen Elizabeth,1975; Princess Michael of Kent, 2011; Empress Farah Pahlavi, 2011;
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, 1947
Princess Grace of Monaco, 1962; Infanta Pilar of Spain, 1990; Tatiana Santo Domingo Casiraghi, 2011
Variations on the Turban:
Queen Silvia of Sweden, 1975; Princess Marilène of Orange-Nassau, 2005;
Queen Elizabeth, 1964; Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, 2011
Princess Alexandra of Kent, 1962; Princess Grace of Monaco, 1967; Queen Elizabeth, 1970
Princess Máxima, 2012; Princess Diana, 1989; Princess Grace, 1961; Princess Sonja of Norway, 1973
I will admit- the turban is not my favourite type of hat. I am, however, blown away by the two black turbans worn by Princess Grace. Don’t they look fabulous on her? I’m curious- what do you think about the royal turban? And, having seen this hat type defined, do you think Queen Máxima’s new hat style could be classified as a turban?
Photos from Reginald Davis/Rex USA via Vanity Fair; Ferdaus Shamim and Philippe Desmazes via Getty; British Pathe; G. Lukomski via The Daily Mail; unknown; Arde Magazine; Hulton-Deutsch Collection via Corbis; Michel Porro via Getty Images; British Pathe; Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis; unknown; Bettman via Corbis; unknown; Dutch Royal Press; Tim Graham/AP via People Magazine; Bettmann via Corbis; Reuters via VG.no