Battle of Waterloo Descendants Gather in Belgium

Descendants of main leaders of the Waterloo Battle gathered at Laeken Castle in Brussels today for a reception hosted by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.

200th Anniversary of Battle of Waterloo, June 17, 2015

The Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess joined in this biennial celebration. Princess Stèphanie wore a new cocktail hat in lilac straw, trimmed with wide curls of straw ribbon. I have long hoped Stèphanie would experiment with this style of hat and while I would have preferred it worn further forward, on the side of her head as a percher, this is a good start. The shade of lilac is particularly lovely on her.

Princess Stèphanie, June 17, 2015 | Royal Hats  Princess Stèphanie, June 17, 2015 | Royal Hats

Princess Stèphanie, June 17, 2015 | Royal Hats

The Marchioness of Douro (née Jemma Kidd), who is daughter-in-law of the current Duke of Wellington, wore a black saucer hat trimmed multiple loops of straw ribbon.

Marchioness of Douro, June 17, 2015 | Royal Hats

The 200th anniversary of this turning point in history continues tomorrow with a grandiose reconstruction of the battle over the next two days. The Queen of the Belgians, King and Queen of the Netherlands, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, the Duke of Kent, Prince Napoleon and other European heads of state are expected to attend. I will cover the ceremony here on Royal Hats on Friday.

Photos from Patrick van KatwijkPatrick van KatwijkPatrick van KatwijkPatrick van Katwijk and Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis


7 thoughts on “Battle of Waterloo Descendants Gather in Belgium

  1. I think Queen Mathilde should have worn a hat. I did like her outfit. Princess Stèphanie’s new cocktail hat in lilac straw could have been a success, and I did like the trim of curls of straw ribbon, and the colour looked good against her blonde locks. Why didn’t she wear this hat further forward? Her suit looks too mature for her. The Marchioness of Douro’s black saucer hat with its trim of loops of straw ribbon looked good on her blonde hair, but the look is spoilt by her hair all messily hanging about. Her suit is elegant.

  2. I do like Stephanie’s simple little hat, but it just looks silly stuck on the back of her head like that. In that position, it adds nothing positive to the front view at all, and being able to see it from the back certainly doesn’t add enough to compensate. Hat placement varies from head to head and from face to face and of course from hat to hat, but the most elegant placements relate the hat to the face and eyes successfully, I think. Some hats simply demand a further-forward placement in order to relate properly and shine, and if that doesn’t suit the occasion (for example due to the necessity of the face not being obscured), then it probably means the wrong hat has been chosen for the event. Not that I think Stephanie’s should be far enough forward to obscure her face, though.

  3. I like both hats despite small issues. I agree HGD Stephanie’s purple cocktail hat is a too far back but I don’t want it placed as a percher over the forehead. An inch or two forward and to the side, while remaining off the face is enough. Percher hats always look uncomfortable to me. Someone identified Stephanie’s hat as Gina Foster.
    The Marchioness of Douro’s hat would have looked better with an updo.

  4. Happy to see a modern lilac hat, coordinating with lovely amethyst jewelry. Unfortunately the placement is wrong, too far back, and the detailing of the hat does not show up to its full potential

  5. I like the hat up on her head where hats belong. Lovely color. You can see her pretty face without worrying if her hat is about to fall right off her head. Can not stand perchers.

  6. Even without a hat, Queen Mathilde stole the show. She is so gorgeous. The HGD, Stephanie, looked good with her new little hat, but was with all the bows?! Did she raid Princess Mabel’s closet?! Everything she wore either had bows, or gave the impression of bows. I was not a fan. She is small and delicate and the suit was too big and too fussy for her. Something more streamlined would have been a better choice, but she is young and dressing for events is a tricky thing. There will be successes and some lack of successes, as she learns. She and the HGD, Guillaume, always bring a delightful smile and sparkling personality to any occasion, so I shouldn’t bemoan the clothes, but, bows! Sigh. The countess looked fine, but I agree that it would have been nice had she she pulled her hair back or up. All in all, Marhilde was the clear winner. She has great style and always dresses appropriately and with effortless style. I think she and Sophie Wessex are certainly at the top of the fashion game.

  7. A gorgeous color for Stephanie and certainly this would be a fantastic look for her had this hat been placed on the front of her head instead of in the back. I like the Countess of Mornington’s golden coat and hat, but her she should’ve done something with her hair. Random side note: rather rare we see Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoleon in any sort of official capacity, so it’s nice to see him.

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