200th Anniversary of The Kingdom of the Netherlands

Celebrations for the 200th anniversary of The Kingdom of the Netherlands kicked off yesterday when King Willem-Alexander received the biographies of Kings Willem I, Willem II and Willem III in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. Today, the King and Queen attended further celebrations at the Hall of Knights in The Hague. Queen Máxima wore a rather sedate beige wool calot style; the front looked slightly raised, almost in the style of a beret. Unusually for Máxima (and her hat designer, Fabienne Delvigne), this new hat was completely without embellishment. On its own, I don’t think I would have liked this hat but as an accessory to Máxima’s whole outfit (and her incredible aqua silk dress), it looked very regal and elegant.

Queen Máxima, Nov. 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

Queen Máxima, Nov. 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Máxima, Nov. 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

Queen Máxima, Nov. 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

Princess Beatrix wore a sweeping black picture hat with a double brim and wrapped crown, trimmed with bright magenta silk blooms. I thought the shape of this hat was very beautiful (the transparent top brim and crown wrap are particularly pretty) and the flowers made it very festive. Paired with her pink and black printed dress, this hat is a winner for me.

Princess Beatrix, Nov. 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Beatrix, Nov. 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

In the afternoon, the King and Queen watched a re-enactment of King Willem I landing on the beach. Queen Máxima wore the same hat but paired it with a beige wool coat for the outdoor event.

Queen Máxima, Nov. 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Máxima, Nov. 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

Photos from RTL Nieuws and Michel Porro via Zimbio

Imperial Couple Embark on Indian Tour

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko departed Haneda international airport in Tokyo yesterday en route to a week long official visit to India. Empress Michiko wore one of her regular petite saucer hats, this one in cream, trimmed with a black and cream silk bow. I believe this hat is a new one.

Empress Michiko, Nov. 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

Empress Michiko, Nov. 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

The Imperial couple were seen off by their sons and daughter-in-laws. Princess Kiko wore a chocolate bowler hat trimmed with a black ribbon around the crown (another new hat, I believe) while Crown Princess Masako wore a dove grey wool hat with square crown, rolled brim and grey ribbon around the crown. Paired with her suit, I thought Masako’s hat (which I suspect is also new) looked great on her.

Princess Kiko and Princess Masako, Nov. 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko’s daughter, Princess Mako of Akishino, also was on hand to bid farewell to her grandparents. Mako wore a squared version of her mother’s bowler hat, with a slightly more upturned brim.

Princess Mako and Princess Kiko, Nov. 30, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

Photos from Corbis, AFP Photo/Toru Yamanaka via Channel News Asia; and Toru Yamanaka via Getty

The Queen Dedicates Jubilee Windows

Queen Elizabeth visted Guildhall in Windsor today to officially dedicate two new windows which were designed to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. She repeated the royal blue teardrop hat she first wore on Maundy Thursday this year. I’m still not a fan of the shape (it looks like a squashed top hat and the tall crown overwhelms the Queen’s features) but the colour is lovely.

 Queen Elizabeth, Nov. 29, 2013 in Angela Kelly | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Elizabeth, Nov. 29, 2013 in Angela Kelly | The Royal Hats BlogQueen Elizabeth, Nov. 29, 2013 in Angela Kelly | The Royal Hats Blog

Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: March 28, 2013

Photos from Press Association via The British Monarchy

Hat Types: The Bowler

History: The bowler (also known as a bob hat, derby, billycock or bombín) was originally created in 1849 for the Edward and William Coke, the younger brothers of the 2nd Earl of Leicester.  The Coke brothers wanted a new style of hat for the gamekeepers on the family estate (Holkam Hall), whose top hats were easily knocked off and damaged during the course of their work. The Coke brothers came up with a new design and placed an order for these new hats from Lock & Co. who in turn, commissioned London hat-makers Thomas and William Bowler to make them.  In accordance with Lock & Co.’s usual practice, the hat was called the “Coke” hat after the customers who had ordered it. (Some of you might recognize Lock & Co., a company that remains in business today and is a favourite milliner of the Duchess of Cambridge).

This new hat, which turned out to be extremely strong and durable, soon became popular with the Victorian era English working class. It later gained popularity with the middle and upper classes and for many years, defined British civil servants and bankers. Bowlers are still worn by male members of the British Royal Family although the hat shape is also used for royal hats worn by the ladies.

Characteristics: Traditionally, a bowler is hard felt hat with a rounded crown. The narrow, rolled brim is typically curled up on the sides of the hat. Today, bowler hats for women are also made of straw or covered in fabric.

Royals Associated with this Hat Style: The British Royal Men wear bowler hats every May for the annual Cavalry Old Comrades Association Annual Parade in Hyde Park. Queen Sonja of Norway and the Princesses in the Imperial Royal Family of Japan also often choose variations on a bowler hat.

King George V, 1923 | The Royal Hats Blog Prince William and Prince Harry, May 13, 2007 | The Royal Hats Blog Prince Charles, May 9, 2010 | The Royal Hats Blog

King George VI in 1923; Princes William & Harry in May 2007; Prince Charles in May 2010

Queen Silvia, 1980s | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Elizabeth 1984 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Marilène, December 2004  | The Royal Hats Blog

Queen Silvia during the 1980s; Queen Elizabeth in 1984, Princess Marilène in 2004

Crown Princess Mette Marit, Feb 2, 2002 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Martha Louise, April 12, 2001 | The Royal Hats blog Queen Sonja, Sep 9, 2004 | The Royal Hats Blog

Crown Princess Mette Marit, Feb 2, 2002; Princess Martha Louise, April 12, 2001;
Queen Sonja, Sep 9, 2004

Princess Kiko, April 25, 2006 | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Sonja,Oct. 3, 2011 | The Royal Hats Blog Crown Princess Masako, Oct. 13, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

Princess Kiko, April 25, 2006; Queen Sonja,Oct. 3, 2011;
Crown Princess Masako, Oct. 13, 2013

While the classic bowler is not a popular shape for female royal hats these days, you may notice that many smaller royal hats are a version of it simply with tweaks to the brim. Because not all occasions warrant a large hat, the bowler provides an option for a smaller profile hat that still looks very smart. I’m curious, dear readers, what you think about the bowler hat and it’s long, working history?

Photos from The Shoe Aristocrat Blog; Tim Graham/Getty via US Magazine; Christopher Pledger via the Telegraph; Stella Pictures via Svenskdam; David Levinson via Corbis; PurePeopleAntony Jones/Julian Parker/Mark Cuthbert/ via Getty; UK Press via Getty; Antony Jones via Getty; Pool via Corbis; Ragnar Singsaas via ZimbioAsahi Shimbun via Asahi Digital

One Red Coat, Three Hats

Royal Hats Queen Anne-Marie of Greece has worn four different hats with her mink-trimmed red wool winter coat. As the temperatures drop and most of us are sporting winter coats these days (except for our friends in the southern hemisphere!), I thought it would be fun to see which hat you think is best paired with this winter coat.

Look 1A and 1B: A tall crown red wool hat with sweeping down-turned brim. On it’s first wearing (at King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s wedding in February 2002), this hat was trimmed with mink pompoms. On the second outing (at Prince Christian of Denmark’s christening in January 2006), the pompoms were replaced with a wide knot bow and twirled feather spine.

Queen Anne-Marie, February 2, 2002 | The Royal Hats Blog       Queen Anne-Marie, January 26, 2006 | The Royal Hats Blog

Look  2: In November 2007, Queen Anne-Marie (and Princess Theodora, left) attended the Service of Thanksgiving celebrating Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s 60th wedding anniversary. For this service, she wore a brown wool diagonal crowned hat trimmed with fur around the brim.

Queen Anne-Marie, November 19, 2007 | The Royal Hats Blog

Look  3: For her sister Queen Margrethe’s Ruby Jubilee in January 2012, Queen Anne-Marie wore this scarlet pillbox trimmed with a large side bow.

Queen Anne-Marie, January 14, 2012 | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Anne-Marie, January 14, 2012 | The Royal Hats Blog

So, dear readers, which hat do you think is best paired with this coat?

Photos from Rex Features, Chris Jackson/Getty via Zimbio and Zimbio; Albert Nieboer via Corbis and Splash News via Corbis

Princess Beatrix Attends Broadcasting Conference

Princess Beatrix has attended 35th Program Managers Broadcast  jubilee conference yesterday in Rotterdam. For this event, she wore a large chocolate straw hat with upturned brim and square crown wrapped in a contrasting caramel straw stripe. Like Queen Máxima’s outfit yesterday, this was a lot of chocolate brown for one ensemble but there’s something about this hat that I think looks beautiful on Princess Beatrix. What are your thoughts on this chapeau?

Princess Beatrix, Nov. 26, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Beatrix, Nov. 26, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

Photos from Dutch Photo Press