Inventory: Queen Mathilde’s Orange Hats

 As promised, we’re going to continue our inventory of orange hued royal hats with a peek into Queen Mathilde’s closet. So far in 2015, we have seen the young Belgian queen wear twenty-two different hats – in 2014, she wore just twenty. This makes her a moderate royal hat wearer and with this frequency, it is a little surprising to find that she has three orange hats currently in rotation:

1.July 21, 2014 in FD | Royal Hats   2. Queen Mathilde, May 21, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats   3. Queen Mathilde, October 2, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: all three are Fabienne Delvigne
First Appeared: July 21, 2014; May 21, 2015October 2, 2013

UPDATE: a fourth orange hat was introduced on October 11, 2016 while on state visit to Japan, In keeping with the others, it is also not a traditional shape or style! This piece was further renovated before reappearing in Canada on March 13, 2018 as an entirely orange design. A fifth design with open crown was also introduced during the Canadian state visit on March 15, 2018.

4. Queen Mathilde, Oct 11, 2016 | Royal Hats  Mar 13, 2018 in FD | Royal HatsMar 13, 2018 in FD | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
First Appeared: October 11, 2016; revamped and reintroduced March 13, 2018

5. Mar 15, 2018 in FD | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
First Appeared: March 15, 2018

Prior to becoming Queen, Mathilde wore hats much less frequently (sometimes just four or five per year). Despite this low frequency, there are two more orange headpieces which were worn during her time as princess. I suspect both have now been retired:

P1.    P2. 

Designer:  #P1 is Fabienne Delvigne and #P2 is unknown
Last Appeared: May 2, 2009; July 21, 2004

Finally, there is one more hat that deserves inclusion here- a natural straw picture hat with wide orange stripe around the brim. Queen Mathilde first wore this piece for National Day in July 2010 (below left) and repeated it most recently while on a July 2012 visit to Burundi (below right).


Four orange hats in one’s current millinery closet might not sound like much but in relation to the size of Mathilde’s overall wardrobe, I think it is significant. I’m also struck by the bold shapes and brave shades she has chosen- this is not orange for the faint of heart! Queen Mathilde wears orange well and my guess is that we will see more hats in this colour appear in coming years. For now, what do you think of this collection?

Photos from JULIEN WARNAND/epa/Corbis; Philip Reynaers/Photo News S.A./Corbis; Le Soir; Photonews and Pascal Le Segretain via Getty; Benoit Doppange via Belga; The Belgian Monarchy; The Royal Forums;  Albert van der Werf/dpa/Corbis; Newscom


11 thoughts on “Inventory: Queen Mathilde’s Orange Hats

  1. The last picture hat is my favorite followed by Hat 3. The rest I wouldn’t even dream of wearing. When this Queen gets it right, she really gets it right, but most of the time, I don’t like her hats, as there are too many bandages and strange fascinators for my taste.

  2. I like Mathilde in orange, and again, it’s good to have a queen who embraces boldness! Having said that, I don’t think hat number 1 quite works. I do like the second, especially having looked at your original post and seen the back of it. And I like the third. I think I like P1, but would want to see a back view. The fifth little headpiece is good as far as it goes, which is not very far. I do like the big straw hat very much. I wonder if the edge trimming could be replaced in another colour? That would make it very versatile!

  3. My favourite hat in this Queen Mathilde collection is the last hat, the natural straw picture hat with wide orange stripe around the brim. She carries off a picture hat so well, and the orange shade is bright and contrasts well with the beige straw colour. Hat 3 has an unusual rust colour that is quite flattering to her colouring and its intriguing shape gives it some drama, without going into costume mode. The fascinator at photo P1 is an interesting shape and the dark orange colour contrasts well with her light blonde hair. I don’t like the others at all.

  4. I love the variety in Mathilde’s hats. I wonder if at one point she will go for one style and stick to it, like QEII, Beatrix etc. Mathilde gets it wrong from time to time but that’s how it goes when you’re not afraid to take a risk and experiment a bit;

    About these hats: I never liked #1. #2 is ok, #P1 and #P2 are very nice. But #3 is a clear winner. Reminds me of some old school glamour.

  5. I guarantee that I’ll be all alone on this, but I ONLY really like #P2! With no disrespect in mind, I think #1 is ridiculous. What if it rains? It reminds me of a wonderful 2 minute clip of Lucy (I Love Lucy) falling into a swimming pool. HQ, may I send the link for all to enjoy? Happy Halloween.

  6. Going with the (thus far) unanimous consensus that #3 is also my favorite and deserves another appearance soon! While the distressed edge portrait hat worked so well for Máxima, it was less successful for Mathilde; clean up the brim’s edge, and #1 would be a winner as well (the hat paired amazingly with her shoes that day too!).

  7. Love this color for Mathilde! Number three is far and away my fave. I like number one in theory, and have adored similar styles on both Max and CP Victoria. I find it a little overwhelming for Mathilde’s more delicate features.

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