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      

One Hat, Three Dresses, and Trousers

Royal HatsQueen Máxima of the Netherlands is well-known on this blog for her dramatic hats. One of the hat shapes she has embraced in recent years is the ‘slice’- a picture hat with the brim folded sharply upward on one side and downward on the other to create a hat that appears to sit diagonally on the wearer’s head. One of my favourite of Queen Máxima’s ‘slice’ hats is a natural straw version designed by Fabienne Delvigne. Máxima has paired this hat with three different dresses and I am curious, dear readers, which pairing do you think was most successful?

   Queen Máxima, January 24, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Máxima, January 24, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Pastel silk striped dress and pink cardigan worn in Singapore, January 24, 2013

Queen Máxima, January 21, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Máxima,May 30, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Blue ahd white floral peplum dress worn in Brunei, January 21, 2013 and in Gelderland, May 30, 2013

Queen Máxima, July 2, 2011 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Máxima, July 2, 2011 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

The first time we saw this hat- with an orange organza pleated dress for the Monaco royal wedding, July 2, 2011

Update- I completely forgot that Queen Máxima also paired this hat with a monochrome bowed blouse and trousers in May this year for the Cordaid centenary. I don’t suspect this will change the results of our conversation but wanted to add it nonetheless. 

Queen Máxima , May 23, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Máxima , May 23, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Photos from Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk and Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis; Venturelli and Dan Kitwood via Getty; Patrick van KatwijkPatrick van Katwijk via Corbis

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: Dutch Royals

The Royal Hats Blog For the May 22, 2004 wedding of the Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, the Dutch royal family were represented by Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, Princess Máxima (as were their titles at the time), Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. Princess Laurentien wore a very pretty straw hat with a wide, curved brim in sea foam green. The hat was unique as the crown extended under the brim, forming a sort of headband around Laurentien’s head. It is a hat I thought suited her very well but unfortunately, was completely lost against the horrible burgundy net wrap and multiple strand necklace she wore. Had those two items been replaced with a tailored pale green or cream coat, the full elegance and beauty of this hat would have shone.

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

Princess Máxima was undeniably included among the best dressed guests at this wedding in an exquisite blush embroidered dress, pink coat and pink hat. The hat, designed by Fabienne Delvigne, featured a huge, upturned two-layer brim with rough, frayed edges. The unfinished edges of the hat created a most beautifully delicate effect (an oximoron to be sure) and provided both contrast and compliment to Máxima’s dress and coat. The hat is a very haute couture look but one that I think Máxima carried off magnificently and stunningly well.

Princess Máxima, May 22, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne |Royal Hats  Princess Máxima, May 22, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne |Royal Hats

I have always loved this particular one of Máxima’s hats although I understand it is not a piece that fits everyone’s taste.  Is this a hat you adore or abhor?

Stay tuned tomorrow as we look at the hats worn by remaining royal guests at this grand wedding. 

Photos from  A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert, Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert, A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert, and Lalo Yasky via Getty

Who Wore It Best: August 2014 Poll

Royal Hats

Royal Hats

This summer, we have faced off several neutral hued summery hats in our polls (see July’s two polls here and here). As we move into the hazy, lazy days of August, let’s look at the sea shore inspired headpieces by Belgian designer Fabienne Delvigne. In palest pinks and watery greys, these five dramatic royal headpieces all carry a decidedly beachy vibe. The question is, dear readers, who wore it best?

Queen Silvia, April 16, 2008 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Grand Duchess Maria Teresa June 23, 2010 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Silvia of Sweden, April 16, 2008; Grand Duchess Maria Teresa on Luxembourg National day, June 23, 2010

Princess Mathilde, October 20, 2012 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats   Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy, May 22, 2012 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Máxima, May 27, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde at the Luxembourg royal wedding, October 20, 2012; Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg at the christening of Princess Estelle on May 22, 2012; Queen Máxima visiting in Germany on May 27, 2014

The poll will remain open until August 18, 2014 at midnight GMT and we will celebrate the results shortly afterward. As usual, you are welcome to vote as many times as you wish. To avoid confusion, I have named everyone above with their current titles even though Queen Mathilde was a princess at the time of this photo and the Hereditary Grand Duchess was still Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy.

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

One Hat, Two Vibrant Dresses

Royal Hats Earlier this summer, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands debuted a spectacular burgundy picture hat with square crown and large mushroom shaped brim. So far, she has paired this hat with two ensembles to create two distinctly different summer looks. Which outfit do you think worked better with this dramatic hat?

 Queen Maxima, June 24, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Maxima, June 24, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Visiting Poland, June 24, 2014

Queen Maxima, May 24, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Maxima, May 24, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

At the Dutch Freedom Awards, May 24, 2014  

Photos from Adam Nurkiewicz, Adam Nurkiewicz, Michel Porro and Michel Porro via Getty

Christening of Princess Amalia, Ten Years Later

Royal Hats June 12th marked the 10 year anniversary of the baptism of Princess Amalia of the Netherlands. How time flies! Her christening was such a beautiful royal hat event, it bears revisiting.

Princess Máxima, June 12, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

On June 12, 2004, the then Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima brought their seven-month old daughter, Princess Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria, to be baptized at the 15th century Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk (St. James Church) in The Hague (the same church where Prince Willem-Alexander was baptized on September 2, 1967). While there was much public interest in this event, it remained a private (not a state) affair.

Princess Máxima, June 12, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Princess Máxima, June 12, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Princess Máxima wore a beautifully tailored white jacquard suit topped with a spectacular caramel straw headpiece made by Belgian milliner Fabienne Delvigne. This headpiece, which consisted of a spray of feathers and several large straw leaves that circled her head, was a show-stopper and cemented Máxima’s growing reputation as a royal fashion force. It certainly is a bold headpiece but when paired with this very feminine suit, created such a beautiful ensemble. I remember being blown away by this headpiece when I saw it, as it was such a departure from the other christening hats of royal mums.

Princess Máxima, June 12, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Princess Máxima, June 12, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Princess Máxima, June 12, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Princess Máxima, June 12, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Princess Máxima, June 12, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Beatrix wore a pretty pink picture hat with square crown and double, flat brim. designed by Emmy Hills. On the left side of the hat, the brim was raised and divided to house a mass of pink silk rose blooms between the two brims. The unique brim was a lovely compliment to Queen Beatrix’s suit jacket in a rose printed pink silk.

Queen Beatrix, June 12, 2004 in Emy Hill | Royal Hats

Queen Beatrix, June 12, 2004 in Emy Hill | Royal Hats Queen Beatrix, June 12, 2004 in Emy Hill | Royal Hats

Princess Máxima’s mother, María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart, wore an ecru straw hat with upturned brim that featured  a torn, unfinished edge. This modern touch was echoed in her coat, where the collar and cuffs were edged in a similar fashion. I thought it was sweet that Máxima and her mother dressed in the same colour scheme while Queen Beatrix, who was said to be over the moon with her second granddaughter (after raising three boys!), was in pink.

Queen Beatrix, June 12, 2004 in Emy Hill | Royal Hats Queen Beatrix  in Emy Hill and Princess Máxima in Fabienne Delvigne, June 12, 2004 | Royal Hats

Ten years later, I still love each of these hats. I also think that they are just as wearable today as they were a decade ago (and wonder if you agree!). You can see some of the spectacular hats worn by guests to this event here. 

Photos from Julian Parker, Alain Benainous, Alain Benainous, Steve Finn Julian Parker, Steve Finn, AFP/Stringer, Frank Van Beek, Alain Benainous, Alain Benainous, Julian Parker, Steve Finn and AFP/Stringer, all via Getty