Guest Post: Exhibition on Queen Margrethe’s Hats Part 2

I’m so pleased to welcome Denmark-based Dutch freelance journalist Inger Stokkink back to Royal hats for the second part of her review on the exhibit on Queen Margrethe’s fashion at Den Gamle By Museum in Aarhus. If you missed the first part of her article, jump over to this post to catch up.

Royal Hats of Queen Margrethe of Denmark (continued)

by Inger Stokkink

ACTIVELY DESIGNING ALONG

Queen Margrethe has been known to actively take part in the designing process with her designers, especially gala gowns, or ’big dresses’ as the Queen calls them. Festive gowns for royals have requirements and little tricks that do not play a role in the lives of lesser mortals. Orders, medals, and chains that are worn for ceremonial purposes, along with large pieces of jewelry need to be incorporated in the design. The inclusion of these items must happen not only visually but also in a practical and structural sense they can be so heavy that they weigh down the textile, thereby ruining design, material, drape and silhouette.

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These considerations do not play a substantial role in the design of royal hats, yet the Queen has plays an active role in the design process here, too. Tove Mathiassen points out a black calot hat, saying, ”We know for a fact that the Queen has been an active co-designer of both dresses and suits. And about one of the hats in the exhibition, the Queen has told that it first was worn at the occasion of the Crown Prince’s konfirmation in 1981 and later had added red flowers. ”

Black calot hat with red flowers, above right; in its original form, below, on May 28, 1981 at Prince Frederik’s confirmation with a black feather pouf on the side 

The hats themselves – on their own, so to speak – do miss their bearer and her clothes to bring the designs to life. Illustrations or photographs of the Queen wearing them would have helped the exhibition here. On the other hand: how much closer can you get to so many royal hats?

Cream straw wide brimmed boater with inset crin stripe on the brim second from left above, and in action below, at Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik’s silver wedding anniversary celebrations on June 10, 1992

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Pale blue straw football shaped saucer variation with silk crepe binding, hatband and floral trim pictured in the exhibition at top left above, and in closeup with curator Tove Engelhardt Mathiassen, below

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The hat in action (bottom left) on July 29, 1981 at the high profile wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer

STUDENT’S CAP

Not only ’grown-up’ hats are on display. There is a special place for the type of hat that almost every Danish high school student shares with the Queen: the studenterhat worn during graduation festivities. The Queen has two: a Danish one, and one from the Faeroe Islands, with an extra tassle, and a beautifully monogrammed red-leather hatbox to go with them.

Should you wish to see these 42 hats for yourselves, visit Den Gamle By, the historical museum in the Danish town of Aarhus. The exhibition runs until September 9 this year and has two sections: gala dresses, and the dresses and suits she wore on her numerous visits around Denmark. The latter also includes some of her children’s clothes, a bicycle, and hats she made for performances of her friend’s Susanne Heering’s ballet school Fru H’s Danseinstitut.  If you have already seen the Queen’s dresses at the Frederiksborg exhibition in 2015, then you won’t find anything new – apart from the hats, of course.

If you read Danish, much about the Queen’s hats can be found in the book ’Dronningens Kjoler’ (The Queen’s Dresses) by Katia Johansen (2012, Gyldendal Publishers), pp. 100-105.

Inger- this has been such an insightful look at Queen Margrethe’s approach to fashion and millinery! The photos in this post alone show saucers, Bretons, unusual pillbox variations, wide brims, cloches and others that together, display a  wonderful diversity of scale, material and trim. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share this exhibition with all of us who are unable to attend. It really has been the most wonderful gift. 

Photos from Miguel Mielgo and Inger Stokkink may not be replicated in any way without written permission. 

Inger Stokkink is a Dutch freelance journalist living in Denmark. She divides her attention between politics, sailing and royalty – and hats. 

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Guest Post: Exhibition on Queen Margrethe’s Hats Part 1

When a new exhibition on Queen Margrethe’s gowns and hats opened several weeks ago in Aarhus, there was a collective sigh of disappointment from many readers who are unable to attend. Inger Stokkink is a Dutch freelance journalist living in Denmark. She divides her attention between politics, sailing and royalty – and hats. She recently took in the exhibition and generously shares her reflections with us in two parts, today and tomorrow. I’m thrilled to feature Inger here at Royal Hats. 

Royal Hats of Queen Margrethe of Denmark

by Inger Stokkink

Forty-two hats, no less. The recently opened exhibition of Queen Margrethe’s gowns at Den Gamle By Museum in the Danish city of Aarhus follows an international trend where museums and royal families co-operate to share highlights of royal wardrobes with the greater public. But this exhibition is special because it comprises a sub-exhibition of royal hats.

March 27, 2017 | Photo by Miguel Mielgo

Queen Margrethe opening the fashion exhibition on March 27

March 27, 2017 | Photo by Inger Stokkink

When curator Tove Engelhardt Mathiassen prepared the exhibition with the Danish court, she received the offer to include forty-two hats the Queen acquired in the sixties and seventies – an offer Tove immediately accepted.

March 27, 2017 | Photo by Miguel Mielgo

Most of the hats come from Vagn Hattesalon, a well-known and well-reputed hat shop in Copenhagen, active from 1910 til 1980. See here for a range of Vagn designs from the fifties and sixties.

”The hats we have on loan from the queen are from the seventies up to the early eighties, when Vagn Hattesalon closed,” says Tove Mathiassen. ”It is remarkable how different the hats from Vagn are in form, colour and decoration. Some are very simple, with just a hat band or a single feather. Others are true little works of art, with flowers, feathers and veils.”

March 27, 2017 | Photo by Inger Stokkink

March 27, 2017 | Photo by Inger Stokkink Embed from Getty Images

Black straw hat with flower trim worn by Queen Margrethe on May 2, 1974 during a trip to London 

CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH

Queen Margrethe has an active role in the design of her clothes, and the same goes for her hats. Frequently, she has sent the same material used to make a dress or other garment to her hat maker with the suggestion to use it also in the hat design.

The exhibition shows at least one hat with a history like this, a hat which also features in the book Dronningens Kjoler’ (The Queen’s Dresses) by Katia Johansen. It is in blue silk with a printed golden yellow pattern. The material was a gift from the Queen’s husband, Prince Henrik, who brought it home to her from his travels to Iran 1975 or 1976. The Queen had a blouse made of out it and a turban hat, together with a suit in warm yellow. Later, the hat was re-made into its actual form: low-domed crown with a shawl-like garnishing around it and a blue straw, slightly upturned brim. She wore this ensemble twice in 1979 on state visits a Danish state visit to China and a British state visit to Denmark.

March 27, 2017 | Photo by Inger Stokkink

Curator Tove Engelhardt Mathiassen and her assistant highlighting this blue hat with impeccable crown stitching and ruched hatband (its original turban form still visible!) 

March 27, 2017 | Photo by Inger Stokkink

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Queen Margrethe with Queen Elizabeth during the May 1979 British state visit to Denmark

MUCH MORE FUN TO LOOK UGLY

Later still, the blouse’s Persian silk ended as part of the antependium, altar cloth, of the bishopric of Haderslev in Southern Denmark. Many of the Queens’ clothes and accessories ended their lives either as religious garments for Danish clerics or theatre dresses for the pupils of dancing school Fru H’s Danseinstitut led by the Queen’s friend Susanne Heering. This fits very well for the Queen as one of her main hobbies is designing costumes for the stage. For a while, designing clerical garb was her hobby, too.

It is interesting to note that the Queen has said that early on in life, she discovered that she found it much more fun to dress up in a way that is NOT pretty or sweet, but rather the opposite. Theatre design gave her a much better outlet for that than her own ’working’ clothes (and hats). Although the Queen’s boundary-breaking, Pippi Longstocking-kind-of-approach to fashion never is far away.

March 27, 2017 | Photo by Inger Stokkink

 

Inger- this approach to fashion by Queen Margrethe now explains several of her unusual (and sometimes bizarre) hats! Stay tuned tomorrow, dearest readers, for the second part of this fantastic exhibition review and look back at Queen Margrethe’s hats. My sincere thanks, again, to Inger Stokkink.

Photos from Miguel Mielgo and Inger Stokkink may not be replicated in any way without written permission. 

Princess Beatrice Honors National Scouts

Princess Beatrice attended attended the National Scout Service & Parade at Windsor Castle yesterday morning. The princess, who does not conduct many engagements, looked very smart in a textured navy and natural straw saucer hat trimmed with cream twists on top and below the hat’s brim. I particularly liked the hat’s pairing with Beatrice’s navy dress and navy silk ribbon tied low ponytail – streamlined pieces that allowed the hat to be a focal point.



Designer: Jane Taylor. It is the Bianca from SS 2018
Previously Worn: This hat is new
This is one of my favourite outfits on Princess Beatrice in recent memory – what do you think of her first Jane Taylor hat?
Photos from social media as indicated

Queen Starts London Marathon

Showing her continued willingness to embrace modern technology, Queen Elizabeth stepped onto the lawn at Winsdor Castle yesterday morning to press a button that officially started the London marathon. To set off 40,000 runners on the 26.2 miles from Blackheath to the race finish on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace, the Queen repeated her bright coral pink straw hat with hourglass shaped, domed crown and gently upswept brim, trimmed with side straw twists and a wide arc of pink feathers.

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While I’m not a fan of these hourglass shaped crowns, the colour on this piece is wonderful and the hat’s trimmings, are just the right amount of exuberance without going over the top. I had forgotten how the coral and white silk print on Her Majesty’s dress is also used for braided trim on her cuffs and pockets- perhaps a touch that would be shown to even greater effect with a few white feathers added to the hat?

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Designer: Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: June 17, 2016
What do you think of this hat on its second outing?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats 55 years ago to this day in 1963 when Spanish Queen Victoria Eugenie arrived in London (for Princess Alexandra’s wedding) in a veiled, ruffled turban.

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Photo from Getty as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Sheikha Mozah looking characteristically glamorous at a gala at Qatar’s national library

The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:

Classic picture hat with large handmade rose in navy and denim blue by UK milliner Laura Cathcart
Vibrant pink colour blocked felt fedora with striped hatband from Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit
Adore the sweeping brim and delicate flower trim on this picture hat by UK milliner Sarah Cant
Cream turban with beautiful pale pink leather flowers from Melbourne based Murley & Co.
Striking and modern black & white saucer percher  by Aussie milliner Louise MacDonald
Royal blue straw fedora with interesting, customizable hatband from American milliner Karen Morris
Wide brimmed hat covered in pink and yellow ombre feathers from UK milliner Edwina Ibbotson
Prettiest pink straw dotted button percher with flying bows from UK milliner Ellie Vallerini’s first collection
 Laser cut mirror (yes, it’s glass!) hat with straw crown from London milliner Stephen Jones

Incredible feathered bandeau from French “artiste plumassière” Nelly Saunier. The combination of colour and texture is very unexpected but incredibly beautiful.

 Royal Hats

Lovely look at Queen Margrethe waving to well wishers from the balcony of Amalienborg Palace with her family – minus Crown Prince Frederik –  on Monday, her 78th birthday. (Princess Josephine looked to be in a navy version of her Princessefin woven ribbon headband).

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Sweet snaps released by the Swedish monarchy to mark Prince Alexander’s second birthday on THursday

New pictures taken by Crown Princess Mary to celebrate Princess Isabella’s 11th birthday

And finally, Buckingham Palace lit up in honour of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project. The legacy she continues to build is astounding.

Queen Elizabeth’s Wide Brims

Royal Hats Earlier this week, a reader asked the following question:

I love reader questions, Pekka! You’re right- most of the brims on Queen Elizabeth’s hats are fairly small, something I suspect works well with both aesthetics (smaller brims balance well with her petite frame) and practicality (she’s easily able to see and be seen). If we look at the hats worn over the past fifteen years, however, there are some large brims that might surprise you:

From Rachel Trevor Morgan:

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From Angela Kelly:

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From Philip Sommerville, Frederick Fox and Marie O’Reagan:

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This list is far from comprehensive and doesn’t include any worn over her 50+ hat wearing years last century. So, I turn the question over to you dearest readers – as we celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 92nd birthday this weekend, which other wide brimmed designs she has worn that stick out in your memory?

Photos from Getty as indicated