British and Greek Royals Attend British Society Wedding

A wedding On Saturday, the great-granddaughter of the late Lord Mountbatten of Burma, Alexandra Knatchbull, was married to Thomas Hooper at Romsey Abbey, near the bride’s family estate Broadlands, in Hampshire.

Alexandra Natchbull, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats   Alexandra Natchbull, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

The bride looked wonderfully elegant in a structured silk gown topped with a lace veil, anchored with the Mounbatten Star Tiara.

 Alexandra Natchbull, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats   Alexandra Natchbull, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

The bride’s family has very close ties with the British royal family – she is a great-great-great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, her grandmother and the Duke of Edinburgh are first cousins, one of her godmothers was the late Princess of Wales, her mother and the Duke of Edinburgh are long-time carriage driving partners, her family’s estate played host to royal honeymoons of the Queen in 1947 and the Prince of Wales in 1981 –  and it was no surprise to see British royals attended the wedding. The Prince of Wales stepped in to escort the elegant bride into the church (her father Lord Brabourne is unwell and rumours are that relations are strained with his daughter following this scandal).

Alexandra Natchbull, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats  Alexandra Natchbull, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

The bride’s mother, Lady Brabourne, topped her silver silk dress with a pale grey straw picture hat with sweeping brim and squared, flat topped crown. The hat is trimmed with a hat band, side bow and wide brim piping all made of the same silk as Penny’s dress, bringing the two pieces together in a unified and very elegant ensemble. We have seen Lady Brabourne in several similar picture hats with upswept brims and the style and scale suits her very well.

Lady Brabourne, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats  Lady Brabourne, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats  Lady Brabourne, June 25, 2016 | Royal HatsLady Brabourne, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: I believe it is Dillon Wallwork
Previously worn: This hat is new

The bride’s grandmother, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, wore a delphinium blue hat with upturned brim, edged in a wide stripe of silk. The same silk formed a ruched a pleated hatband around the base of the crown.

Countess Mountbatten of Burma, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

Queen Elizabeth surprised not only by appearing at this event with the Duke of Edinburgh, but by also wearing a new hat. In a light coral straw, her hat features a short, sharply upswept brim on one side and a flat crown. The hat is embellished with silk edged ribbon bows on the side (the same ribbon looks to be used for overlapping hat bands around the base of the crown) and silk flowers. I think it’s a great hat for Her Majesty and really like the contrast between the hat’s crisp angles and it’s very soft, romantic trim.

Queen Elizabeth, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats  Queen Elizabeth, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

Queen Elizabeth, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats  Queen Elizabeth, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unconfirmed
Previously worn: This hat is new

As she is apt to do, Princess Anne wore a hat we’ve not seen on her in a while. With a pink silk ruched crown and slightly duller, thulian pink straw brim, the hat features a gently raised brim on one side and three straw calla lilies on the side. It’s nice to see Anne in some colour- I really like the shape of this brim and the straw flowers- but I’m not sold on the shiny silk crown. My favourite part of the ensemble is how the different shades and textures of pink combine to create a harmonious look that’s interesting and unified but not overly matchy.

Princess Anne, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats  Princess Anne, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously worn: June 21, 2001 (and likely numerous others)

Princess Alexandra wore a cream straw hat with rounded crown and cartwheel brim embellished with a cream widely woven net veil, pale green silk roses and tiny curling feathers. It’s a great hat for her and I really like the height of the crown- slightly elevated but not as high as some of the other designs she wears.

 Princess Alexandra, June 25, 2016 in Rachel Trevor Morgan | Royal Hats

Designer: likely Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously worn: This hat is new

The wedding was also well attended by members of the Greek royal family (I didn’t realise until preparing this post that Alexandra Knatchbull was one of the bridesmaids at Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantall’s wedding back in 1995). Queen Sofia of Spain topped her grey suit with a headpiece made from grey silk leaves, beaded berry clusters and a swath of very fine grey net tulle. Her sister, Princess Irene of Greece, wore similar style headpiece of dotted navy net tulle, anchored with a simple navy bow.

Queen Sofia, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats   Queen Sofia, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats   Princess Irene of Greece, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

Queen Anne-Marie of Greece topped her navy lace dress with a simple pillbox hat, trimmed in a slim bow. Anne-Marie’s short hairstyle favours small hats and she wears this navy pillbox well.

Queen Anne-Marie, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats   Queen Anne-Marie, June 25, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously worn: April 13, 2011; April 16, 2010

I thought there were some beautiful hats at this event- which ones stood out to you, most?

Photos from Rex Features and Rachel Adams via the Southern Daily Echo

Greek Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Families

Prince Pavlos and Marie-Chantal Miller, July 1, 1995 | Royal HatsRoyal Hats

When Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Prince of Denmark, married Marie-Chantal Miller on July 1, 1995, the event was a family affair. Because of the Greek royal family’s close relations to several other royal houses, that also made it a major royal event. Here is a look at the hats worn at this wedding by members of the couple’s families.

Queen Anne-Marie topped her sea foam green silk coat with a straw headpiece in the same hue. With an open top, the headpiece wrapped in a circle around her head and was trimmed with a wide straw ribbon tails on the side.

Queen Anne-Marie, July 1, 2015 | Royal Hats

Queen Anne-Marie, July 1, 2015 | Royal Hats  Queen Anne-Marie, July 1, 2015 | Royal Hats

Princess Alexia wore a wide brimmed hat in natural straw while Princess Theodora, as bridesmaid, wore a floral wreath in her hair. Both Alexia and and Queen Anne-Marie were dressed by London-based Austrian designer Inge Spronson.

Greek Royal Family, July 1, 2015 | Royal Hats

The mother of the bride, Chantal Miller, matched Queen Anne-Marie’s ensemble in a hat and dress in sea foam green topped by a pale peach hand embroidered and beaded Valentino couture coat. The hat followed the shape of a ruched turban at the back but was brimmed with a halo brim around the front that framed Mrs. Miller’s face. Trimmed with a stylized silk flower, the chic hat has a wonderful sense of movement that almost draws my attention away from her pearls.

Chantal Miller, June 1, 2015 | Royal Hats  Chantal Miller, June 1, 2015 | Royal Hats

Princess Marie-Chantal’s two sisters, Alexandra Miller and Pia Getty wore what I suspect were very fashion-forward hats for the time. Pia’s round burgundy percher hat was edged in scalloped pink ribbon and trimmed with a spray of pink and burgundy feathers at the back. While this hat shape is familiar to us now, it was a very avant garde millinery look 20 years ago that left me wondering at the time if she had stuck a cushion on her head.  Alexandra toped her blue suit with what can only be described as a pink headscarf, worn as a headband and loosely tied in a bow behind her ear. This headpiece (if you can call it that) has always left me scratching my own head.

Pia Getty and Alexandra Miller, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Princess Benedikte, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Looking at the groom’s extended family- Queen Anne-Marie’s sister, Princess Benedikte of Denmark (above, right) wore a large rose pink hat with high ‘slice’ brim that folded up over the square crown on one side. We see these ‘slice’ brim picture hats often these days but I suspect it turned heads at the time. Their mother, Queen Ingrid of Denmark, wore a memorable hat in sky blue. With a traditional round crown, the brim of the hat was wider around the front and folded up to frame Queen Ingrid’s face. The straw was light embroidered in monochrome blue vines and embellished with a small spray of flowers at the side. We seldom see patterned royal hats and this one still stands out in my mind as a unique piece.

Queen Ingrid, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats   Queen Ingrid, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Queen Margrethe, the eldest of Queen Ingrid’s three daughters, also wore an unusual and distinctive hat. Her headpiece, in steely blue straw,  featured a large disc atop a calot base. The disc was sliced to the radius at the top of the headpiece- a large bow was placed in the slice, leaving one side of the bow visible on top of the hat and the other, behind the back of it (which also curled up that side of the disc). A spray of silk violets completed the striking hat.

Queen Margrethe, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats   Queen Margrethe, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

While King Constantine’s sister, Queen Sofia of Spain, did not wear a hat, her daughters  Infanta Elena and Infanta Christina both topped their dress suits with simple cream picture hats.

Infanta Elena, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats   Infanta Cristina, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Looking at these hats today, I am surprised how current many of them seem. Which ones stand out most to you?

Greek Royal wedding, July 1, 1995 | Royal Hats

Photos from The Greek Royal Family; The Royal Forums; and Lord Lichfield via Getty

British Royal Wedding Four Years On: European Royal Guests

A wedding  Our look back at the marvellous royal hats worn at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge four years ago now moves from family members to royal guests. First up is hats worn by guests from the reigning royal houses of Europe.

The Norwegian Royals (who are cousins to the British Royal family) were represented by the King and Queen. Queen Sonja thoughtfully turned to British hat makers Lock and Co. for her hat. In white straw and trimmed with a simple curled white feather, the ceterpiece of this hat was its lattice brim which was folded up over the crown. The resulting shape was a modern departure for Sonja but it looked wonderful on her.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark topped her Twitter blue wool coat with a brimless calot hat covered in the same fabric. The calot was trimmed in a  band of the same patterned blue silk fabric as her dress over which several spiky, spiralled feathers were placed. The hat is a characteristically quirky piece for Margrethe and I thought she wore it well. The overall ensemble, however, was an overkill of the same blue fabric and needed breaks in both colour and texture.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa topped her slate blue dress and jacket with a large dove grey picture hat trimmed with a single, oversize blue ombre rose. The hat is a beautiful one and while I covet it for my own millinery closet, I don’t think it was the right choice for Maria Teresa. Both her suit and the hat seemed to dwarf the Grand Duchess, which was most unfortunate.

The Spanish Royals seldom wear hats and this wedding provided us an opportunity to see their millinery style. Queen Sofia chose a light fascinator to in the same shade as her Margarita Nuez lavender silk suit. Made of layered organza and net tulle, the headpiece was studded with the same periwinkle blossoms that formed the floral pompom buttons on her jacket. The Princess of Asturias (as was her title then) topped her Felipe Varela embroidered pink 1930s inspired dress with a coordinating cloche hat. Designed by Pablo Y Mayaya, the cloche hat was a great scale and colour for Letizia. I’m afraid, however, it suffered from over-trimming. With four kinds of feathers (including large pheasant ones). a wide ruched sash around the crowd, a net tulle veil, rosettes and even bits of appliqué lace, this small hat held everything but the kitchen sink and suffered for it.

Princess Máxima (who was not yet Queen) was the picture of refined elegance in a pale pink lace Valentino suit and a silk calot hat designed by Fabienne Delvigne. Head-to-toe ensembles in pale pink risk looking rather boring and flat but the different textures of lace and draped silk created a look that was as interesting as it was harmonious. The artfully ruched silk on the hat gave it a wonderful sense of movement despite its small footprint. The addition of diamond star brooches to the side of the calot gave it a touch of glamour and we now all associate with Máxima and I adore her for adding this bling.

Princess Mathilde (who also was not yet Queen) chose teal blue for her ensemble. Her Armani dress and jacket was crowned with a large picture hat by Philip Treacy. A similar shape to the navy hat worn by Lady Frederick Windsor, this piece featured a wide round brim, moulded crown and vertical looped Treacy signature bow. While I loved the colour on Mathilde, the impact of the wonderful hat was lost against her overly shiny suit.

Crown Princess Victoria followed the pattern of head-to-toe in a single colour, choosing cantaloupe orange for her ensemble. Her large straw picture hat, designed by Swedish milliner  Britta von Koenigsegg, was a welcome departure from the smaller fascinators Victoria usually favours and it looked great on her. This shade of orange is one of the more difficult colours to wear and while Victoria she managed it well, I think the overall ensemble is just too peachy for me.

Rounding out this group of European royals was Charlene Wittstock (just two months later, she would become Princess of Monaco). Her palest-of-pale bluey grey straw picture hat featured a low, rounded crown and gently waved wide brim. With her Akris coat and pearl earrings, the hat made for an extremely elegant and refined ensemble.  High collared coats and picture hats can be a tricky combination but the rounded, slightly open neck on this coat and the easy movement of the hat made for such a perfect compliment.

As we might have expected, the European royals wore wonderful hats to this wedding. Whose hat did you admire?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Funeral of Queen Fabiola

The Belgian Royal Family was joined by monarchs and representatives from numerous other royal houses for Queen Fabiola’s funeral today. Empress Michiko of Japan wore a petite black saucer hat that featured a flat fan bow and net tulle veil.

Empress Michiko, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Margrethe of Denmark repeated her a black Karakul fur toque with feather pouf trim.

Empress Michiko and Queen Margrethe, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Margrethe, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Margrethe, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Silvia of Sweden wore a black felt cloche hat with wide, folded black velvet band around the crown.

Queen Silvia, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Silvia, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Silvia, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Sofia of Spain wore a black pillbox which was covered in net tulle and wrapped with a band of black velvet around the outside of the hat.

Queen Sofia and Princess Beatrix, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Sofia and Princess Beatrix, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands repeated her black fur felt hat with pointed crown and upfolded felt and straw double brim.

Princess Beatrix, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Empress Farah of Iran wore a black silk pleated turban that was interlaced with strands of metallic black straw and trimmed with a loosely woven black straw rosette.

Empress Farah, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Astrid of Norway, who accompanied King Harald, wore a black bumper hat. At first glance, I thought this hat and coat combination were made from the same Karakul fur but after a closer look, I believe they are made of textured wool.

Princess Astrid, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

And finally, the Duchess of Castro wore a black calot trimmed with a silk ruffle that spanned the side and back of the hat. Duchess of Castro, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

I think that includes all the royals who attended this event (please let me know if I missed anyone). The hats were all rather simple, but simple elegance is exactly what was required. Did any of these royal hats stand out to you today?

Photos from Vincent Kalut, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van KatwijkPatrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van KatwijkPatrick van KatwijkPatrick van Katwijk, Didier LebrunPatrick van Katwijk, and Albert Nieboer, all via Corbis

Royal Hats this Year: Monaco & Spain

Royal Hats Year In Review 2014Over the next two weeks, we’re going to look back over all the royal millinery we saw this year and begin nominating our favourite and least favourite royal hats of 2014.

To kick this off today, we’re going to look at the two reigning royal houses that wear the fewest hats – Monaco and Spain. Here are all the royal hats we saw this year on Monegasque and Spanish royal heads (click on each photo to link its original post with larger views of each hat):

1. Princess Charlene, November 19, 2014 | Royal Hats 2. Princess Caroline, November 19, 2014 | Royal Hats 3. Tatiana Santo Domingo Casiraghi, November 19, 2014 | Royal Hats 4 & 5. Baroness Elisabethe-Anne de Massy and Mélanie-Antoinette Costello de Massy, November 19, 2014 | Royal Hats 6. Princess Charlene, March 8, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog

 7. Infanta Elena, May 4, 2014 | Royal Hats 8.Queen Sofia, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Do any of these hats make your list of favourite royal hats this year? Is there one you want to nominate for your least favourite hat of 2014? Are you saving your nomination for hats worn by other royals?

*Update: Queen Sofia’s hat, worn on December 12, 2014, has been added to this lineup.

Remembering the Duchess of Alba

Royal Hats

The Duchess of Alba passed away this morning at the age of 88, following a period of illness. Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y Silva,18th Duchess of Alba de Tormes, was one of the few women in the royal world of male primogeniture to carry her title in her own right (she was the only child of the 17th Duke of Alba). She was well known for her glamorous lifestyle, her record number of noble titles (more than 40), her controversial marriages, her passions for art, culture and flamenco dance, and her very colourful fashion.

Duchess of Alba | Royal Hats

Duchess of Alba, 1955| Royal HatsIn Cordoban costume for the 1955 Seville fair

 Duchess of Alba | Royal Hats

Duchess of Alba, 1962 | Royal Hats

 Leading a pre-bullfight parade during Spain’s 400th anniversary in 1962

Duchess of Alba, 1966 | Royal Hats At a bullfight with the Countess of Quintanilla and Jaqueline Kennedy in 1966

Duchess of Alba  | Royal Hats  Duchess of Alba  | Royal Hats

Duchess of Alba  | Royal Hats   Duchess of Alba  | Royal HatsDuchess of Alba, May 3, 2010  | Royal Hats

At the May 3, 2010 wedding of Pepito Marquez y Gonzalez de Gregorio and Edina Zichy

Duchess of Alba, April 4, 2011  | Royal Hats Duchess of Alba, August 14, 2013  | Royal Hats

At the Seville Fair in April 2011; Enjoying Ibiza in August 2013

Duchess of Alba, October 11, 2013  | Royal Hats

At the October 11, 2013 wedding of Maria Colonques and Andres Benet

Duchess of Alba, 1980 | Royal Hats

In the garden of the Palace of Liria, 1980

Photos from Elmundo; Jerry Cooke via Getty; Rex via London Express; Loomis Dean via Getty; The Daily Mail; Enfemenio; The Telegraph; Lecturas; Europa Press, Europa Press and Aurora Fierro via Getty