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Dutch royals on state visit in Canada

King Willem Alexander and Queen Queen Máxima planting a tree at Rideau Hall
to commemorate their visit to Canada,  May 27, 2015

Photo from Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis


This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Princess Alexandra opened the new offices of Sightsavers in a smart cream hat on Thursday (The British Monarchy)

Empress Michiko in one of her go-to grey saucer hats to celebrate a lasting legacy from her wedding (The Imperial Family of Japan)

Crown Prince Haakon participated in a youth construction course and commemorated the 75th anniversary of the joint Allied victory at the Battle of Narvik (Royal House of Norway)

Infanta Elena in her trusty fedora last weekend at a bull fight with her children and father (Diez Minutos)

Princess Beatrice and Beatrice Borromeo at the Getty wedding in Rome today (Daily Mail)

Summer royal hats often include silk blooms. Here is a great peek at the process to make these hand made beauties (John Boyd Hats)

Royal Hats

Crown Princess Mette-Marit opened the Norwegian Festival of Literature. She is taking a hands-on approach to literacy advocacy, setting off on a “Literature Train” tour across the country (Royal House of Norway).

Queen Maxima thoughtfully wore the Canadian national colours in her tiara at a state dinner in Ottawa where she looked stunning (Daily Mail). You can see a great video report on the reasons for Dutch monarch’s visit here at NPO.

Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg (who is an accomplished violinist) joined Queen Mathilde of Belgium for the final of the 2015 Queen Elizabeth music competition (Cour Grand-Ducale de Luxembourg)

Queen Rania looked amazing for Jordanian Independence Day celebrations (Daily Mail)

Add your tiara predictions for the upcoming Swedish royal wedding over at the Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor.

Dutch Monarchs Wrap Up Canadian Visit

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima concluded their Canadian tour in Toronto yesterday with stops at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, MaRS Discovery District hub, and Toronto Islands. Máxima chose another neutral hat for these engagements, this time in wheat gold straw and with a diagonally upturned brim. It is a rather simple hat of good proportion that became a stunner thanks to great styling with Máxima’s white dress and gold accessories (minus those dangling gold earrings next time, please).

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: September 5, 2013June 3, 2013

The King and Queen will be in the USA next week and I strongly suspect we’ll see several more hats. What grade would you give  Queen Máxima’s millinery fashion on this North American visit so far?

Photos from Getty as indicated

Queen Elizabeth Visits Lancaster

Queen Elizabeth travelled by train to Lancaster today where she visited Lancaster Castle, Lodge Livery Yard and caught a performance of Shakespeare’s Richard III. For this busy programme,  she wore a vivid turquoise straw hat with squared crown and upturned brim. The hat was trimmed with arrow trimmed white feathers, curled turquoise feather spines and the brim was bound in a wide strip of the same fabric as the Queen’s coat.  The colour is so handsome on Her Majesty and the shape of the crown (a slightly fluted square with a gently domed top) lends considerable style punch to a small-footprint piece. I would prefer the hat without the wide fabric binding on the brim but since it brings the hat and coat  together in a cohesive ensemble, I’ll give it a pass.

Day Two Of Dutch Tour Of Canada

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima continued their Canadian tour yesterday with visits to the University of Waterloo and a Dutch family-run orchid farm in Beamsville. For these events, Máxima repeated a large picture hat in natural straw. We have seen this loosely structured piece before and while it fits squarely in beach hat territory, it’s a relaxed piece that works really well for less formal engagements and I love the unstructured-ness of it. I thought this hat’s pairing today with Máxima’s green lace suit and brown leather accessories made for a well-balanced and complimentary ensemble that looked effortlessly chic.

 Queen Máxima, May 28, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Máxima, May 28, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

 Queen Máxima, May 28, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Máxima, May 28, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

A number of readers have voiced dislike of Queen Máxima’s large hat pins- it seems that she took your advice for this hat and left them off. Arriving for the first event of the day, however, she was caught with a gust of wind that nearly sent her hat flying. I think Máxima needs only look to her mother-in-law (or to Queen Elizabeth, the grand dame of refined hatpin use) to find a solution which will keep her hats firmly in place without looking like they have been pierced with major weapons.

 Queen Máxima, May 28, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Máxima, May 28, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. Her skirt and blouse is from NATAN.
Previously Worn: January 2, 2013; November 4, 2011; March 31, 2006

 Queen Máxima, May 28, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

I thought Queen Máxima’s easy breezy straw hat was a great choice for yesterday’s visits in Southern Ontario and I loved the whole ensemble. What did you think?

Photos from Rpe/Albert Nieboer, Patrick van Katwijk/dpaPatrick van Katwijk/dpaPatrick van Katwijk/dpaPatrick van Katwijk/dpaPatrick van Katwijk/dpa, and Patrick van Katwijk/dpa all via Corbis

British Royals Enjoy Season’s Third Garden Party

It has been a  busy season of Buckingham Palace garden parties as the Queen hosted the third in as many weeks yesterday afternoon. For this event, Queen Elizabeth repeated her peony pink straw hat with teardrop shaped crown, curved brim and feather trim. While the shape of this hat is not a favourite for me, the Queen wears this bright shade of pink so well and the whimsical feel of the hat feels fitting for a summer party.

Queen Elizabeth, May 28, 2015 in Angela Kelly| Royal Hats

Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: March 21, 2014May 14, 2011; February 17, 2011; April 27, 2010; May 21, 2009

Princess Anne, who looked to be enjoying herself immensely, repeated the purple percher hat she wore for the royal wedding in 2011. it seems to me, however, on this outing she changed the angle of the hat’s placement which highlighted its tear drop shape. This change has warmed my reception for this hat and planted a spark of admiration at Anne’s willingness to try a millinery shape so different from what she usually wears.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 21, 2012; April 29, 2011

Princess Beatrice wore a lovely new percher hat described by the designer as an “almond teardrop with silk roses and hand cut feather flowers”. The rosy-tan hue of this piece looks wonderful with Beatrice’s colouring and the lush trimming gives the small hat a substantial sense of occasion. I hope to see this hat again with a different outfit- while the elegant grey dress and white jacket look great on Beatrice, the cool grey hue does not relate in any way to the warm rosy brown hat. This is another case where the individual pieces of this ensemble are individually beautiful but don’t work together.

Designer: Juliette Botterill. It is the “Silk Feather Flower Teardrop” design
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Michael of Kent, who is recovering from eye surgery, coordinated her eyepatch with a black and white ensemble. Her hat, with a squared black crown and oval shaped white brim, was simply trimmed with an oversize white feather. Hats with different coloured crowns and brims can be difficult to balance well (especially with an oval brim) but this one gets it just right.

Princess Michael, May 28, 2015 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 8, 2002June 27, 2000

Which one in this fun quartet of royal hats stood out to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated; Splash News and Splash News via Corbis

Queen Sonja Opens Music Festival

Yesterday morning, Queen Sonja officially opened the annual two-week Bergen Festival of music and theatre. For the opening ceremony, which included several performances from the festival program, she wore a magenta coat and matching pillbox hat. Bright pink can be exceptionally difficult to photograph and I hope it is a photo glitch causing the slight difference of colour between the hat and the coat. If not, I’m afraid I have to take a pass on this ensemble.

Queen Sonja, May 27, 2015 | Royal Hats

Queen Sonja, May 27, 2015 | Royal Hats

Queen Sonja, May 27, 2015 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new. The last time we saw this coat, it was paired with a different hat. 

I’m usually fairly forgiving on slightly variations of shade within an ensemble but in this case, I think a closer match was needed. What do you think, dear readers- is this match close enough for you?

Photo from Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix via The Royal House of NorwayBrendan Donnelly/Demotix and Brendan Donnelly/Demotix via Corbis