European Royals Remember Battle of Ypres

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Princess Lalla Meryam of Morocco and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands joined the King and Queen of Belgium today in Nieuwpoort to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the WWI Battle of Ypres. Queen Mathilde debuted a new hat that looked, from the side, to be a stacked calot hat in charcoal grey silk. Upon closer inspection, this hat was not a hat at all but a pair of open rings that circled the crown of Mathilde’s head. I know that designer Fabienne Delvigne uses this shape to convey the light and airy aesthetic that is central to her designs but I can’t see a time when rings-around-a-Queen’s-head seems like a good idea.
Queen Mathilde, October 28, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This is a new hat

Princess Beatrix also debuted a new hat in black and gold layered straw. The shape of this hat, with a square crown and upfolded brim, is one we have seen on Beatrix before; what sets this hat apart is the black-on-gold layered band around the crown and stripe around the brim. This trim gives the hat so much texture and interest while not compromising its clean lines. I just wish the crown wasn’t so high.

Queen Mathilde and Princess Beatrix, October 28, 2014 | Royal Hats
Designer: unconfirmed. I suspect Suzanne Moulijn
Previously Worn: This is a new hat
100th Anniversary of the Battle of Ypres, October 28, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Lalla Meryam (above right) did not wear a hat. If I were forced to choose a favourite hat today, it would be the black and gold straw piece worn by Princess Beatrix. I just can’t feel much love for Mathilde’s open-crowned hats.

Photos from Getty as indicated

One Hat, Two Patterned Coats

Royal HatsQueen Máxima’s fantastic scarlet Garbo style hat earlier this week got me thinking about other royal hats in this genre (stay tuned next week for post on this chic hat style). During some related research yesterday, I came across an incredibly stylish grey Garbo hat worn by Queen Mathilde, also designed by Fabienne Delvigne. Mathilde has paired this hat with two different patterned coats- one in a bold grey and black pinwheel print and the other, a grey and camel leopard print:

Princess Mathilde, February 19, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

At a Memorial Mass on February 19, 2013

Princess Mathilde, November 15, 2011 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Celebrating Koningsfeest on November 15, 2011

The pattern of these two coats creates remarkably different outfits with this beautiful hat. Which coat do you think works best with this hat?

Princess Mathilde, February 19, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats   Princess Mathilde, November 15, 2011 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Photos from Patrick van KatwijkPatrick van KatwijkPatrick van Katwijk, and Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis

Who Wore It Best: September Poll

Royal hats

Royal Hats

With news today that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her second child, I thought we might draw hats from her wedding for the this month’s first poll. When Catherine married Prince William on April 29, 2011, Princess Mathilde (as she was at the time) and Lady Frederick Windsor both chose Philip Treacy picture hats trimmed with with Treacy’s signature large multi-looped bow. What it is interesting about these hats is that they are moulded from a single piece of straw- if you look closely, there are no seams attaching the crown of the hat to the brim. While the colours are different and the brim on Lady Frederick’s hat is and oval shape, the two hats are decidedly related. That leaves me to ask, dear readers, who wore it best?

Princess Mathilde, April 29, 2011 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats   Lady Frederick Windsor, April 29, 2011 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Princess Mathilde (left) and Lady Frederick Windsor (right) in Philip Treacy, April 29, 2011

Princess Mathilde, April 29, 2011 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats              Lady Frederick Windsor, April 29, 2011 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

This poll will remain open until September 18,2014 at midnight GMT. As always, you are free to vote as many times as you wish.

Photos from Carl de SousaChris Jackson, Georges de Keerle/GP, and Ian Gavan/GP via Getty

200th Anniversary of the Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands the 200th anniversary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Maastricht today, playing hosts to Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians, and German President Joachim Gauck and his partner Daniela Schadt. Queen Máxima repeated a hat we have seen on her numerous times (and recently discussed at his post), a tan straw picture hat with dramatically upturned ‘slice’ brim. I love the pairing of this hat with her aqua printed dress and thought the styling of this ensemble was perfect on Máxima.

Queen Máxima, August 30, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Máxima, August 30, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Máxima, August 30, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Máxima, August 30, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: May 24, 2014May 30, 2013; January 24, 2013January 21, 2013; July 2, 2011

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa topped her lovely green suit with a cocktail hat in leaf green straw. This hat, which featured a beret-style base, was wrapped in swirls of wired organdy ribbon. The effect was light and fresh and this hat looked wonderful on the Grand Duchess. I can not recall the last time we saw her in green and this colour was beautiful on her.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, August 30, 2014  | Royal Hats

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, August 30, 2014  | Royal Hats

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, August 30, 2014  | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. The trim on the hat looks like Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: This is a new hat

Queen Mathilde repeated the orb of dusty rose shredded straw she debuted last month. Its pairing with Mathilde’s dusty rose peplum dress was much more successful and I found myself less opposed to this headpiece than I was when we first saw it. It is still not my favourite piece of millinery but with her outfit today, it worked.

Queen Mathilde, August 30, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, August 30, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: July 10, 2014

Daniela Schadt (below, right) wore a simple natural straw hat with rolled brim which coordinated well with her blue and tan ensemble. It was not as spectacular as the royal hats but somehow, it was just right for her.

200 Years Of The Kingdom Of The Netherlands In Maastricht, August 30, 2014 | Royal HatsMy favourite royal hat at this event was worn by Grand Duchess Maria Teresa although I thought the other two queens looked fantastic. Which hat today was your favourite?

* Join in the conversation at this post about which outfit you like best with Queen Máxima’s straw slice hat. 

Photos from Andreas Rentz, Andreas Rentz, PoolPool, Freek van den Bergh, Pool, Pool, Andreas Rentz, Sander Koning, Pool and Michel Porro via Getty

Planning a Royal Hat Dinner Party

Royal Hats I was interviewed on the marvelous royal blog, Luxarazzi yesterday (you can read our chat here). The last question asked if I could invite six royals (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would find an invitation in their mailbox? It was an incredibly difficult question to answer but here is my response:

There are six particularly fearless royal hat wearers who immediately come to mind: Queen Elizabeth, Princess Beatrix, Queen Mathilde, Queen Máxima, the Countess of Wessex and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan, Sheikha of Dubai. I would love to hear each of these royal ladies’ approach to hat wearing, their funniest stories involving hats and how much input they have (or would like to have) in the design process. Of course, dinner would not be complete without asking about their favourite and least favourite hats.

 After more thought, I need to stretch my dinner table to include the Duchess of Cornwall as well.

Queen Máxima, March 18, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog  Countess of Wessex, March 31, 2013 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats  Princess Beatrix, May 21, 2014 | Royal Hats
 
3  2013-07-21 2b  Queen Elizabeth, June 6, 2014 in Rachel Trevor Morgan | Royal Hats  Duchess of Cornwall, June 14, 2014 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats
 
As we move into the weekend, dear readers, I pose this same question to you:  If you could invite six royals (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would find an invitation in their mailbox? I look forward to hearing your responses!
 
Photos from Patrick van Katwijk via Monarchy Press; James Whatling/Splash News via The Daily Mail; Remko delWaal via AFP;  Stephen Lock/Rex Features via i-Images ; Dean Mouhtaropoulos, Chris Jackson, and Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty      

Who Wore It Best: August 2014 Poll

Royal Hats

Royal Hats

In the race for the best sea shore inspired headpiece by Belgian designer Fabienne Delvigne, we have a very clear winner:

Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy, May 22, 2012 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg (when she was still Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy)
at the christening of Princess Estelle of Sweden on May 22, 2012

Thanks to everyone who voted! Stay tuned Tuesday morning for the final poll of the summer.

Photos from Dan Kitwood, Mark Renders, Europa Press, and Andreas Rentz via Getty and Chris Jackson/Getty via Zimbio

Spanish Royal Wedding Ten Years On: Belgian Royals

The Royal Hats Blog Another royal family with close ties to the Spanish royals are those from the Kingdom of Belgium (due in part to Spanish born Queen Fabiola). These close ties were evident on May 22, 2004 when the entire Belgian royal family attended the wedding of The Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano.

Queen Paola looked very elegant in a burgundy printed floral dress, cream coat and burgundy accessories. The star of her burgundy straw hat was a wide, upturned brim with shredded edge (a signature Fabienne Delvigne design element at the time). On its own, this hat does not seem remarkable but in combination with the other elements of Queen Paola’s ensemble, looked stylish, polished and wonderfully vibrant on her.

Queen Poala, May 22, 2004 in Fabienne Delvgine | Royal Hats Queen Poala, May 22, 2004 in Fabienne Delvgine | Royal Hats

Queen Fabiola topped her dove grey dress and purple and grey floral coat with a lilac purple hat. With a squared crown and brim that gently turned upward around the sides and back of the hat, the shape of this hat worked very well with Fabiola’s hairstyle. Trimmed with silk blooms and ribbon around the crown, I thought this hat was a very pretty choice for her.

Queen Fabiola, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats  Queen Fabiola, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

The Duchess of Brabant wowed in a pale grey straw picture hat trimmed in a wrap of sea foam green and grey burnt feathers around the crown. I particularly love the fluid shape of this hat’s brim which was highlighted so beautifully against the open neck of Mathilde’s coat. Royal outfits in pale hues can easily look bland or washed out but I think the combination of Mathilde’s light green dress, pale grey coat and hat was absolute perfection.

 Duchess of Brabant, May 22, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne| Royal Hats  Duchess of Brabant, May 22, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne| Royal Hats

Princess Astrid was downright plucky in her choice of ensemble for this wedding, topping her bright pink jacket and polka dot skirt with a black cocktail hat trimmed with large white and bright pink pompom discs. It was certainly a bold and adventurous look that displayed Astrid’s daring fashion sense (something I always admire). I just can’t shake the thought, however, that this hat looks like a black plate topped with scoops of vanilla and strawberry ice cream.

Princess Astrid, May 22, 2004| Royal Hats Princess Astrid, May 22, 2004| Royal Hats

Another hat I adored at this wedding was worn by Princess Claire. Her raspberry straw picture hat with square crown and cartwheel brim was embellished with just a simple band around the crown. The lack of embellishment was perfect for this hat’s pairing with Claire’s boldly patterned coat. The overall look was bright, fun, feminine and very chic.

Princess Claire, May 22, 2004| Royal Hats Princess Claire, May 22, 2004| Royal Hats

I thought the Belgian royals were a particularly well dressed bunch at this wedding- several of these hats are among my favourites from this event and seem to be as stylish today as they were a decade ago. Do any stand out to you?

 First thing tomorrow morning, we will look at the hats worn by the Swedish and Norwegian royal families.

Photos from  A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert via Getty; Corbis via The Royal Forums;  Pedro Armestre, Getty Images/Stringer, Getty Images/Stringer and A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert via Getty; The Royal Forums; El Mundo;  A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert, and A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert via Getty