Milestone Birthday for Queen Beatrix: The Early Hats


Birthday milestone 75

Queen Beatrix is one of the most prolific hat wearers in the royal world today. With the announcement this week of her upcoming abdication and the celebration of her 75th birthday today, I thought we should look back at the many hats she has worn during her public life. There are so many to share (more than 300 at my last count) that I’m breaking this retrospective into three posts. Today, we’ll look at all the hats worn while she was princess, as well as the first decade of her tenure as Queen. The second and third post will look at the hats worn during the final 23 years of her reign.

Before becoming queen, Princess Beatrix’s hats reflected the fashion of the times. During the 1960 and early 1970s, there were lots of pillboxes but as the 1970s passed, brims became bigger.

#1-2 More interested in toys than hats 1939 & 1940
#3 Visiting the United States in September 1959

#4 On a tour of the United States in September 1959
#5 Public engagement in 1960
#6-7 Prinsjesdag in September 1961 and Queens Day, April 30, 1962

#8-9 Engagements in 1962 and 1965
#10 at the wedding of her sister, Princess Margriet, January 10, 1967

   The Royal Hats Blog
#11 Christening her oldest son, Prince Willem Alexander, September 2, 1967
#12-15 Public engagement in early 1970

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#12-15 Public engagements in mid 1970, 1971 and 1972

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#16-18 much larger brims for public engagements in 1976

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#19-20 Public engagements in 1977 and 1978, and 1979

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#21-22 Public engagements in 1979

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#23-24 Engagements in 1979
#25 Visiting Spain in 1980 just before ascending the throne

After Beatrix became Queen in 1980, there was a flurry of engagements (as to be expected for a new Queen) and with them, came a lot of flowered hats.

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#26-31 Public engagements in 1980, the first year of her reign 

As the decade progressed, Beatrix’s hats grew a little larger and more colourful (as did everything else during the 1980s!).

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#32 celebrating her first Queen’s Day, April 30, 1981
#33 Opening Parliament on Prinsjesdag, September 1981
#34 At the funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco, September 1982

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#35 Visiting Great Britain in November 1981
#36-37 Public events in 1982

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#38 Queen’s Day, April 30, 1982
#39-40 Visiting the United States in 1982

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#41-43 A series of smart hats for public engagements in 1983

#44 Queen’s Day in 1984

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#45 An unknown event in 1985
#46-47 Bright colours for Queen’s Day in 1985 and 1986

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#48 Prinsjesdag in September 1987

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#49 A jaunty white straw beret for an unknown event in 1987
#50-51 More bright colours for Queen’s Day in 1988 and 1989

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#52-54  Bows and double brims for public events in 1989

When most of us think about Queen Beatrix’s hats, I suspect the image that comes to mind is of one of the large, brimless tiered “Hat Cakes” she has often worn during the last decade (stay tuned tomorrow for a review of these beauties!). Looking back at her earlier hats was very interesting for me because there seems to be a progression toward this “Hat Cake” shape through the 1980s- you will notice that the hats get bigger and the pillboxes, in particular, start perching on the top of her head.

If pressed to choose favourites, I would choose #9 (it’s a beautiful shape and I love the black mosaic brim detail contrasted against the natural straw hat), #13 (she looks so chic in this hat) and #18 (I love the sweeping brim, the rich velvet and the flirty feathers). Which ones are your favourites?

Photos from Corbis, Zimbio, and Viva Maxima Blog 


Queen Beatrix Announces Abdication

While this blog is not about royal news, sometimes events happen in the royal world which are too big not to mention here. A few minutes ago, an unexpected and historic message was delivered from Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Like her mother and grandmother before her, this Dutch Queen has decided to voluntarily retire, and will abdicate on April 30, 2013. Her eldest son, Prince Willem-Alexander, and daughter-in-law Princess Maxima, who we featured traveling with her last week in Brunei and Singapore, will become the new king and queen at that time.

Beatrix is turning 75 later this week (stay tuned for a super-post featuring her fantastic hat wardrobe) and is the oldest reigning monarch in Dutch history. She has served her country magnificently during the 33 years of her reign and we wish her joy and peace as she makes this historic transition from monarch back to princess.

The Royal Hats Blog

The Royal Hats Blog

The Royal Hats Blog

 Photos (taken April 30, 2012 during her last official Queen’s Day celebration)
from Zimbio, Telegraaf, and Show Nieuws

Queen Elizabeth at Sandringham

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip attended church this morning close to their Sandringham estate (they typically stay on after Christmas at Sandringham until February). The Queen wore a structured pale blue hat today with large white plume on the side, attached by a decorative button. It’s the same hat she wore back in November for the Amir of Kuwait’s state visit. I’m not sure if it’s the shape, the oddly erect feather or the colour (it’s too close to her hair) but I’m not warming up to this one.

The Royal Hats Blog

Photo from Zimbio

Wrapping up the Dutch Royal Visit to Singapore

On the final day of their tour of Southeast Asia today, Queen Beatrix made one more change into this brown straw hat and matching floral dress. The hat is just OK for me- I love the ombre effect of different shades of brown but I’m not sure that brown is the best colour for this queen. And I won’t comment about that purple eyshadow (again). It was a slight letdown after a string or gorgeous hats on this trip.

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The Royal Hats Blog

My overall verdict of this trip? It was a millinery success. Maxima showed how to dazzle in a series of dramatically shaped natural straw hats, and threw two turbans for good measure. Queen Beatrix was a little more hit and miss, but the hits were so great that the misses are easily forgotten. This short tour was high on hat fashion and showed again that when it comes to dressing up, the Dutch Royals are hard to beat.

Photos from Dutch Royal Press

Dutch Royals Visit to Singapore- Day 4

Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima continued their state visit to Singapore today with appearances at the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Singapore City Gallery. To my great delight, Beatrix wore the fraternal twin to the periwinkle hat she wore yesterday. I am still besotted with this colour on her and think that the striped bands in different shades of lilac are a striking detail. The Royal Hats Blog

Máxima repeated the suit and red turban designed by Fabienne Delvigne that she wore to the christening of Princess Estelle of Sweden in May last year. Red is a great colour on her although I’m not a fan of the turban (it seems really aging to me).

Princess Maxima, January 25, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Princess Maxima, January 25, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Princess Maxima, January 25, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

In the afternoon, the royal trio visited the Hollandse School in Singapore. While Máxima stayed in her red suit, Beatrix changed into the FOURTH black hat of this tour (which is only 4 days long!). This one was in her characteristic flat-top shape but seemed to have a little sparkle. Even with the sparkle, it fell a little flat for me.

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Photo from Dutch Photo Press

Birthday of Princess Charlene

Royal HatsPrincess Charlene of Monaco (née Charlene Wittstock) celebrates her 35th birthday today. The Monaco Royal Family are not a hat wearing bunch so we don’t often see Charlene in a hat. For her birthday, I thought we might revisit her first official hat appearance at the Monaco National Day celebrations on November 19, 2010. Charlene was newly engaged to Prince Albert and wowed everyone with this dramatic brown asymmetrical hat. 

The Royal Hat blog

Photo from Zimbio

Crown Princess of Serbia Attends Baden Funeral

Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia attended the funeral of Princess Margarita of Baden at the Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Sava in London today. Princess Margarita was also the niece of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who attended as well. Princess Katherine wore a very becoming and appropriate black hat with a mushroom brim edged in black velvet.

Princess Katherine of Serbia  | The Royal Hats Blog

Photos from Indigo via Getty