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
#11 Christening her oldest son, Prince Willem Alexander, September 2, 1967
#12-15 Public engagements in early 1970, mid 1970, 1971 and 1972
#16-18 much larger brims for public engagements in 1976
#19-21 Public engagements in 1977, 1978, and 1979
#22-24 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.
#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!).
#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
#35 Visiting Great Britain in November 1981
#36-37 Public events in 1982
#38 Queen’s Day, April 30, 1982
#39-40 Visiting the United States in 1982
#41-43 A series of smart hats for public engagements in 1983
#44 Queen’s Day in 1984
#45 An unknown event in 1985
#46-47 Bright colours for Queen’s Day in 1985 and 1986
#48 Prinsjesdag in September 1987
#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
#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?