This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Disappointed to hear that the Order of The Garter service has been cancelled this year. The state opening of parliament is scheduled that day (postponed to accommodate the UK election) and for the first time since 1974, we’ll see Queen Elizabeth in a day dress and hat for this event instead of the Robes of State and the Imperial State Crown, which will be carried in on a pillow. (Windsor Observer & Telegraph)

Royal Ascot and legendary department store Fenwick teamed up with eight London-based milliners to create an eight piece collection of hats. Click on the photo to jump to their Facebook page then click again to open a slideshow of the eight designs.

Rachel Trevor Morgan shared this look at two of her beautiful saucer designs in one of the Fenwick display windows.

Following up the beautiful hat worn in last week’s roundup by the Duchess of Vendome- Princess Philomena has formally become an ambassador for French milliner Marie d’Argent. You can see her wearing several designs from this brand here (La Couronne blog)

I’d love to see this floral trimmed fedora from London milliner Bundle MacLaren on a royal head at Epsom or Ascot – slightly unexpected but SO pretty and right on trend.

Note- several of you have written to say how much you enjoy the “Hats From The Past” posts. As a treat, we’re going to start every day in May with an early morning hat post featuring a royal hat from the past. Stay tuned!

 Royal Hats

All smiles last Saturday for the baptism of prince Liam of Nassau at the Vatican. If you enlarge the photo collage below, you’ll see Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume accompanying a song on the guitar.

Lovely new portraits of King Willem Alexander taken for his 50th birthday this week- click the arrow at right to scroll through.

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Queen Silvia in a simple black straw hat at an April 18 memorial for victims in the recent Stockholm terrorist attack (Svenskdam)

Duchess of Cornwall in her red beret with pheasant feather trim last Sunday in Scotland

In case you missed the updated post, Queen Elizabeth’s turquoise Easter hat was confirmed to be the design of Rachel Trevor Morgan while the Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor’s hat and headpiece were from Jane Taylor. 

Crown Princess Victoria in a pink costume jewelled hair ornament by Lanvin for H&M  for her arrival Tuesday in Japan (Svenskdam)

Crown Princess Mary in military uniform for this week’s visit to the Home Guard Command in Vordingborg (Danish Monarchy)

Princess Akiko opened the 27th National Confectionary Exposition in a brimless white hat (Imperial Family Of Japan)

The Duchess of Vendôme in a lovely straw hat by French milliner Marie d’Argent

Princess Charlene at the races today in South Africa in an interesting black newsboy cap, worn to the side. Click on the photo collage below to open photos.

Princess Josephine and Princess Athina of Denmark in sweet hair ornaments, clearly enjoying themselves last Sunday at their grandmother’s birthday celebrations

 Royal Hats

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have been been all over the news this week speaking about their “Heads Together” campaign in support of mental health issues. If you missed Prince Harry’s interview with the Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon for the first episode of her new podcast, Mad World or Prince William’s conversation with Lady Gaga about the same, do check them out. And don’t miss the great conversation between the three, below.

Crown Princess Victoria wore a vintage dress from her mother’s closet during her trip to Japan this week.

Beautiful portraits of Princess Isabella of Denmark released for her 10th birthday (Danish Monarchy)

And finally, the Imperial royals held their first spring garden party this week. We usually see the ladies in suits and hats for this event but this year, they all wore kimonos and the sight is magnificent.

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Queen Margrethe wore her blue beanie hat again last Sunday for the rededication of Silkeborg Church (Kongehuset)

Milliner Nicola de Selincourt shared a better view of the hat she made for the Countess of Snowdon (worn to the late Lord Snowdon’s Service of Thanksgiving April 7 ). The more I see, the more I like.

A recently worn hat #pillbox @royalhatsblog #millinerycouture

A post shared by Nicola de Selincourt (@nicoladeselincourthats) on


Princess Hanako of Hitachi repeated a white hat April 7 in Okinawa at the 11ith Ikebana International Convention. (Imperial Family of Japan)

Real fur is always a very controversial choice but I’m intrigued by Australian milliner Neil Grigg’s recycling of a vintage mink into a hat. How many moth eaten old fur coats are out there, waiting to be turned into glamorous hats?!

 Royal Hats

Charming anecdotes from personal encounters with Queen Elizabeth (Express)

Our thoughts go out to Crown Prince Frederick, Crown Princess Mary and family who lost their beloved dog of 12 years, Ziggy, last weekend

A memorial garden for the late Princess of Wales opened this week at Kensington Palace. It’s one of several tributes planned this year, the 20th anniversary year of her death. Pop over to the link below to see some stunning pictures.

And finally, the Belgian Court shared this video off Princess Eléonore playing her violin, with a special musical message at the end for her Papa.

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Carina Axelsson shared a photo enjoying a walk with her dogs in her favourite hiking hat. The Court Jeweller also posted an interesting article this week about the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg inheritance and what it means for Carina and her partner Prince Gustav. 

Love the use of Petersham ribbon trim on this straw cocktail hat by Dutch milliner Eudia

Earlier this year, we saw Zara Tindall in a hat by Australian milliner Meg Rafter. I’d love to see her in more Rafter designs- these pieces from her new winter collection look fantastic. I adore the innovative uses of feather trim.

More is more? What do you think of this lavishly embellished butterfly themed design from Jane Corbett?

 Royal Hats

Princess Anne was in west Africa this week a looked to be enjoying her visit

Lovely snap of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall during their visit to Italy this week (which followed with a stop in Austria). Disappointingly, the trip did not include any hats.

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Queen Silvia in black straw hat with lovely twisted hat band detail at yesterday’s funeral of Carl Adam “Noppe” Lewenhaupt, a very close friend of the King since childhood (Svenskdam)

Queen Silvia, Mar 30, 2017 | Royal Hats

On March 22, members of the Imperial family joined the Emperor and Empress a concert by music college graduates at the Imperial Palace. Princess Kiko wore a blue bumper hat, Princess Kako a white bowler, Princess Nobuko a large white toque and Princess Akiko, a white trilby with sea foam green hatband. The same day, Princess Hanako attended the 75th Award Ceremony of All Japan Youth Invention and Innovation Exhibition. She wore a pale blue felt hat with jauntily upturned short brim. (Imperial Family Of Japan)

Princess Kiko, Mar 22, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Kako, Mar 22, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Nobuko, Mar 22, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Akiko, Mar 22, 2017 | Royal Hats Princess Hanako, Mar 22, 2017 | Royal Hats

On March 29, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko offered prayers for Emperors Showa and Kojun at the Imperial Musashi Mausoleum in Hachiōji, Tokyo. The Empress wore a grey saucer with raised rim around the back and a folded bow at the side. 

 King Carl Gustaf opened a ski resort on Monday in his trusty brown fedora.

I absolutely adore these very happy, bouncing pink polka dots on this John Boyd design. If I was going to Ascot, this would be my pick because I can’t imagine a happier hat to wear.

Don’t worry- I haven’t forgotten Prince Felix’s confirmation in Denmark yesterday. We’ll look at the hat and headpieces from this event in a full feature post tomorrow.

Royal Hats

Adorable snap of wee Prince Jigme Namgyel of Bhutan enjoying the snow with his father King Jigme Khesar and grandfather King Jigme Singye

We enjoyed the hats from this week’s two state visits- here’s a peek at the formal fashion

Exhibition Review: Chapeaux! Hats of Queen Beatrix

I am thrilled to welcome Dutch royal journalist and blogger Netty Leistra to Royal Hats today. Netty blogs at Netty Royal where I have followed her for almost 20 years and developed great respect for her thorough research and excellent coverage of European royal events. Over the weekend, Netty visited Het Loo Palace to see the new exhibition on Princess Beatrix’s hats and generously shares her thoughts with us about this experience. Welcome, Netty!

“A hat is part of the uniform,” Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain once said. And of course, they are also the finishing touch to the outfit of a royal and should make the wearer stand out in a group of people. They shouldn’t be too extravagant and the face of the person should be clearly visible. Thinking about royals and their hats, there are two names most people would mention immediately: Queen Elizabeth II, of course, and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands. Beatrix, who was Queen of her country for 33 years from 1980 to 2013, must have worn hundreds, or maybe even thousands of hats during her reign. 111 of them are on display in the exhibition ‘Chapeaux! Hats of Queen Beatrix’ at Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, from 23 March to 27 August 2017. A must see for (royal) hat lovers. The museum has worked close with the Royal Collections of the Netherlands in The Hague.

Since 1980, Queen Beatrix has made use of only three milliners. Harry Scheltens, who died in 2006, created hats for her between 1970 and 2003, Suzanne Moulijn has worked for her since 1982 and Beatrix’ dresser, Emy Bloemheuvel, has done quite a lot of work on the hats also. The three had a unique collaboration. But as the hats often were adapted later on, the makers of the exhibition decided not to mention the creator of a hat, nor the year it was created, as it often could be more than one milliner in the end. For someone with good knowledge, the hats should be recognisable anyway. Accidentally, I met an assistant of Harry Scheltens just after the exhibition and she could clearly recognise some of his work. And one thing: she said he didn’t really like bows very much.

As the exhibition says, as of 1986 the hats became more innovative and idiosynoratic than ever. Queen Beatrix’ influence as an artists shows off quite well also in the hats as they are almost sculptural, architectural and rather playful. The hats are always hand-made and unique. Suzanne Moulijn explains she first decides the type of hat, material and trim, then discusses the basic models with Beatrix, and after several fittings, the final hat still needs her approval. Moulijn mainly uses sinamay, felt, sisal and straw cloth and of course, a wooden millinery hat block. Looking at the hats at the exhibition, there is a variety of trim including feathers, flowers and bows. I loved some playful twists. Funny thing is that you often hardly notice on photos, unless you find a close-up of the back of a hat, as that is often where the hat looks at its best. Who looks at Beatrix’ hats might notice she often wears a hat pin, sometimes almost hidden in the trim. These pins are not always new. Some of them, as is pointed out at the exhibition, are heirlooms and were even worn by Queen Emma and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. Just a pity some of them are not on display either but just shown in a video.

The hats shown at the exhibition are often worn at Queen’s Day, Prince’s Day, during state visits and some other special occasions. Also included are the hats she wore at the funeral of her mother Queen Juliana and her husband Prince Claus, the civil wedding of her son Prince Constantijn and the weddings of her sons Prince (now King) Willem-Alexander and Prince Friso. 

Princess Beatrix’s hats for the christening of her grandchildren Princesses Amalia and Ariane are included and at the end of the exhibition is the first hat she wore as a Princess on 30 April 2013. But the exhibition also displays a funny hat her three sons created for her as a Saint-Nicholas surprise.

It is a pity you’re not allowed to take pictures at the exhibition itself but it is somewhat understandable. People probably wouldn’t stop making selfies of themselves with one of the Queen’s hats on their heads. Furthermore, the light in the show-cases has been carefully placed  so the light can’t do the hats any harm. The consequence is, however, that the colour of some of the hats looks different than in reality or on photos and videos. The hats are placed at the height of Princess Beatrix herself, who hardly reaches my shoulders (and I am 1.71m) so for me it was quite easy to stand on my toes and at least have a bit of a look at the top of the hats. A few hats had such a special top that they are placed lower, so people can have a look at it. There are several video screens next to the show-cases, so you can see her actually wearing hats, including some in the show.

Reading the texts on the wall, which are in Dutch and English, I noticed one nice piece of tex, that surely also applies to this blog and is something we all agree to:

“Queen Beatrix’s outfits and hats have attracted more and more interest since the turn of the 21st century. Readers of royalty magazines and fashion blogs enjoy following and discussing Queen Beatrix and her hats. Along with the Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Queen Beatrix is seen as an iconic royal hat wearer.”

Don’t forget to visit the restaurant in the ball room before you leave. Especially for the exhibition, a confectioner in Apeldoorn has created a small cake in the form of a red hat. I can tell you they’re sweet but really delicious.

Netty- thank you for this comprehensive review of the exhibition. Princess Beatrix is indeed, an iconic royal hat wearer and for those of us unable to attend the exhibition at Het Loo Palace this year, you have provided the most wonderful view inside. I had no idea that many of Princess Beatrix’s hats are changed throughout their ‘lives’ (and not always by the milliner who made them). This explains why it is sometimes very difficult to tell some of Princess Beatrix’s hats apart!

Those of you not already following Netty’s blog, Netty Royalty, should really do so. It’s an excellent royal source you can trust.

Photographs from Getty as indicated and from Netty Leistra. Netty Leistra photos may not be used, pinned, posted or reproduced without written permission. 

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

The Het Loo Palace exhibition featuring 111 hats worn by Princess Beatrix opened this week. If any of you are able to take it in, I would love to hear about it! (Vorsten)

Tessy de Nassau (former Princess of Luxembourg) having fun with a bowler hat

Queen Margrethe in her tweed trimmed red hat on Tuesday to present the “Queen’s Clock” military award. Is it me or is this piece looking a little worse for wear?

Some of you remember Belgian milliner Christophe Coppens, who made many a hat for the Belgian royals until he abruptly closed up shop in 2012. This article from the New York times details his departure from the millinery industry and what he’s up to now. 

Philip Treacy shared this lovely throwback photo of the late Duchess of Devonshire being fitted for a spectacular black cocktail hat. Magic.

When the Duchess of Cambridge visited the East Anglia Children’s Hospice (EACH) thrift shop in Holt last March, she tried on a smart navy fedora by Boden. This very hat is now for sale on Ebay as a fundraiser for the charity- perhaps one of you would like to buy it?! Speaking of Kate and blue hats- I updated her inventory of blue hats this week. You can see it here. 

Stephen Jones does it again, releasing this photo of another hat from his A/W 2017 collection. How much do I want to see this knit crown (with spotted lurex faux ermine) appear on a British royal head at Trooping the Colour this year?!

Haute Couture & Prêt-a-Porter AW17. Miss Jones 'Vivienne' handknit wool and lurex soft crown

A post shared by Stephen Jones (@stephenjonesmillinery) on

 Royal Hats

Princess Aiko graduated from the Japanese equivalent of Junior High School (Imperial Family Of Japan)

Great slideshow of Princess Eugenie to celebrate her 27th birthday (Express)

Swedish royal ladies looking fantastic in jewel tones for an official dinner they hosted this week (Swedish Royal Court)