Belgian Monarchs Commemorate Battle of the Bulge

On Saturday, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium attended a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne on Saturday. Queen Mathilde repeated a brimless hat made of the same silver-theaded navy fabric as her coat. I like this hat in front views, where it looks like a pillbox. From the side, however, its domed crown looks to have a slightly pointed top. I just can’t get behind a pointy pillbox.

Queen Mathilde, December 13, 2014 | Royal HatsQueen Mathilde, December 13, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 13, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: unconfirmed
Previously Worn: November 11, 2011

In a  homage to U.S. Army General Anthony McAuliffe, who had said “Nuts!” in response to an ultimatum from the German army, the royal couple threw nuts to the crowd.

Queen Mathilde, December 13, 2014 | Royal Hats

http://www.rtl.be/videos/page/rtl-video-en-embed/640.aspx?VideoID=519012

Photos from AFP and EPA via The Daily Mail

Funeral of Queen Fabiola

The Belgian Royal Family gathered today in the Cathedral Saints Michel et Gudule to bid farewell to Queen Fabiola. For this funeral, Queen Mathilde wore a new black fabric-covered headpiece that circled her head.

Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Paola wore a delicate veil in black Brussels lace.

Queen Paola, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Paola, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Paola, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Astrid wore a headband trimmed with a stacked, double silk bow topped with a swath of dotted net tulle.

Princess Astrid, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Astrid, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Maria Laura wre a wide black felt headband while Princess Elisabetta, wife of Prince Amadeo, wore a small black pillbox hat with rounded crown and grosgrain ribbon trim around the hat. Princess Luisa Maria was the only grandchild of King Albert and Queen Paola who did not attend the funeral (presumably, she was not able to leave her studies in England).

Princess Maria Laura, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Elisabetta, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Claire wore a charcoal grey hat which was simply trimmed with a wide ribbon around the crown. The flat brim of this hat was slightly upturned around the edge and the straight sided crown was gently domed at the top.

Princess Claire, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Louise wore her first hat for this important family event. Her mottled grey felt cloche was trimmed with a petite bow at the back.

Princess Louise, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Louise, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Léa, widow of King Albert’s late half-brother Prince Alexander, wore a beautiful black lace veil. Princes Marie-Esméralda (younger half-sister of King Albert) wore a Victorian inspired black hat with net tulle trim. The back of the hat, which folded upward, was trimmed with several black satin bows.

Princess Léa and Princes Marie-Esméralda, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

You can see hats worn by royal cousins from Luxembourg and Liechtenstein at this post and hats worn by representatives of other royal houses at this post.

Photos from Patrick van KatwijkPatrick van KatwijkOlivier PoletPool/Luc ClaessenPatrick van Katwijk, Christophe Licoppe, Pool/Luc Claessen, Didier Lebrun, Albert Nieboer, Patrick van KatwijkDidier Lebrun, Christophe LicoppePieter Jan Vanstockstraeten, Didier Lebrun, Didier Lebrun, and Didier Lebrun, all via Corbis 

Royal Hats this Year: Belgium

Year in Review 2014Here are all of the Belgian royal hats we saw this year (click on each photo to link its original post with larger views of each hat):

Princess Léa, February 18, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Marie-Esmeralda,, February 18, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Paola, February 18, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Astrid, July 5, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Paola, July 5, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Claire, July 5, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Princess Astrid, July 21, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Claire, July 21, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Claire, November 15, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Astrid, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Maria Laura, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Elisabetta, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Claire, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Louise, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Marie-Esmeralda, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, February 6, 2014 in Dior | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Mathilde, February 17, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Mathilde, February 18, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Mathilde, February 19, 2014 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, March 13, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog  Queen Mathilde, March 30, 2014 | The Royal Hats BlogQueen Mathilde, April 1, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Mathilde, June 3, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, June 6, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Matilde, July 5, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, July 10, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, August 4, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, October 28, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, Novemer 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, Decmeber 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, Decmeber 13, 2014 | Royal Hats

Do any of these hats make your list of favourite royal hats this year? Is there one you want to nominate for your least favourite hat of 2014?

*Update: Belgian royal hats worn on December 12 and December 13 have been added to this list.

Spanish Monarchs on Introductory Visit to Belgium

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain paid an introductory visit to their counterparts in Belgium today.

Belgian and Spanish monarchs, Novemer 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

For this visit, Queen Mathilde debuted a beautiful new headpiece of teal, navy and peacock blue feathers that I absolutely adore. Dark blue is always a wonderful compliment to emerald green and this headpiece, along with Mathilde’s dark blue purse, shoes and gloves, looked fantastic against her green coat dress. I suspect that Mathilde knew Queen Letizia would not arrive in a hat and this headband of feathers allowed her to go the hat-wearing route without making her visitor look sorely under-dressed.

Queen Mathilde, Novemer 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, Novemer 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, Novemer 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: unconfirmed
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

While Queen Letizia did not wear a hat, her hair was styled in an encircling braid. That in itself is unusual for Letizia… and perhaps the first step toward wearing a hat for these types of engagements?! I suppose I can only hope.

Queen Letizia, Novemer 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, Novemer 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

What do you think of Queen Mathilde’s new feathered headpiece today?

Photos from Gtres via Mujerhoy; Mark Renders/Getty via Zimbio; Patrick van Katwijk and Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis

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