Members of the Dutch Royal family celebratated Prinsjesdag today, the start of a new session of Dutch parliament. King Willem-Alexander, who addressed a joint session of the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives, was joined in The Hague by Queen Máxima, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. As per tradition, the women wore 18th century court dress (long gowns and hats).
This design is one of Máxima’s original upswept brim ‘slice’ hats in natural Parabuntal straw, simply trimmed with a grosgrain ribbon hat band and side bow (and according to the designer, in Máxima’s favourite colour). It is an incredibly versatile piece (evidenced by the five other ensembles she has paired it with) that balances beautifully with the gold skirt. In many ways, I think this ensemble works better as a whole picture than in smaller parts because the balance of colour and texture is so beautiful (how great is the contrast of royal blue against the gold hat and skirt?)
Princess Laurentien topped her Hardies Hague and Talbot Runhof chain mail armour inspired gown with a coordinating cocktail hat. With a beret base made of layered black and silver sinamay to replicate the multi dimensional gunmetal grey metallic colour of her gown, the hat is finished with a wide ruffle of pleated crinoline. It’s a strong look full of amazing texture that Laurentien carries very well.
Queen Margrethe’s sisters, Queen Anne-Marie and Princess Benedikte, both wore vibrant hats. In bright red felt, Queen Anne-Marie’s hat featured an unusually tall crown, a short, upturned brim; the piece was boldly embellished with a large knotted bow and curling black feather spines. Princess Benedikte topped her grey fur coat with a large beret-style design in raspberry felt. We have seen Princess Benedikte in numerous hats in this hue and the colour is fantastic on her.
Princess Marie-Chantal wore a Philip Treacy designed fascinator of straw twists and several different varieties of gold feathers. While some might argue that the spiky design gave some textural contrast to her tweed coat and dress, I have always found the combination of classic clothing and modern headpiece to be jarring and disharmonious.
Princess Alexia of Greece topped her grey fur jacket with a burgundy felt hat. With an indented crown and fluted, upturned brim, this hat is all about shape. I adore the grey and burgundy colour scheme of her ensemble but I’m afraid the stylised brim and crown shapes on her hat look rather dated today. Tatiana Blatnik (who would become Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark in 2010) wore a simple fascinator of navy feathers. The lightness of the piece, which feels better suited to a summer wedding or garden party, feels off balance against her winter coat
Princess Theodora wore an interesting loden green beret variation with high peaked side trimmed with a felt rose in the same colour. Dutch Princess Laurentien also wore an exaggerated hat- made of the same brown plaid as her tailored jacket, the piece featured a tall, indented crown and oval shaped brim. Unfortunately, the oversize fedora was too big for Laurentien and looked to be swallowing her up. In this pairing of exaggerated hats, I think Princess Theodora’s was substantially more successful.
Princess Mathilde (as was her title in 2006) topped her beautiful red coat dress and cape with a large matching hat. With a squared crown and upfolded brim, the hat was simply trimmed with a wide ribbon around the base of the crown. It’s a strong look for Mathilde but she carried it well. It’s a classic piece that I would love to see trotted out again.
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway wore a 1940s inspired hat by Anja Irgens. With a close fitting crown and diamond brooch detail, the star of this hat was its upfolded brim that swept around the hat in fluted waves. Märtha Louise has long been known for her quirky style and while this hat fits that style brief, the colour and shape are exquisite. Ten years later, it is still one of my favourite hats in her wardrobe.
Princess Benedikte’s daughter, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg topped her gold bouclé coat with a purple fascinator. The headpiece, consisting of a purple silk rose and feathers that swept around the top of her head, provided a spot of colour and textural contrast to her ensemble. The Countess of Frederiksborg, who arrived with her young sons Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, wore in an ivory felt hat with asymmetrical upfolded brim. The hat was trimmed in a pleated sash of the same fabric as her coat, drawing the two pieces together in a unified winter white ensemble. Some of you might recognize the hat as the same one worn for Prince Felix’s christening (the last christening to have taken place in the Danish royal family at the time) in 2002- an interesting choice but a hat that Alexandra wore very well.
It is only once in a generation that a royal house christens a future king or queen and the scale of this event reflects its importance. Looking back, I’m surprised at how many hats withstand the test of time and could successfully (and stylishly) be repeated today. Which hats stand out most here to you?
Today was Prinsjesdag in the Netherlands, the start of a new session of Dutch parliament. King Willem-Alexander, who addressed a joint session of the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives, was joined in The Hague by Queen Máxima, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. As per tradition, the women wore 18th century court dress (long gowns and hats). Queen Máxima’s dress had an interestingly royal connection, as it was inspired by the Japanese Room at Palace Huis ten Bosch. Designed by Jan Taminiau, the gown was made of palest sandy pink silk organza and featured flowers and birds that were painted, beaded and embroidered by hand.
The exquisite gown was topped with a coordinating headpiece of embroidered silk flowers that encircled Máxima’s head in a floral wreath. It is a smaller headpiece than Máxima usually wears for Prinsjesdag but the delicate scale and design of the piece perfectly complimented her dress.
Designer: Both the dress and the headpiece were made by Jan Taminiau Previously Worn: This headpiece is new
Princess Laurentien wore a Hardies Couture gown with cape sleeves in vibrant green chevron printed Missoni sweater knit balanced by a netural cocktail hat. The hat’s sinamay beret base was covered in a finely woven layer of gold French tulle that made the piece faintly shine and sparkle. The hat was trimmed in two parabuntal straw twists that gave the small hat a wonderful sense of space and movement. It’s a fantastic hat for Laurentien and it provided some much needed grounding to her dress.
The groom’s mother, Princess Margriet, topped her two toned pink suit with a magenta straw hat with a wide, upfolded brim. The hat appeared to have a double crown, thanks to a tall wrap of straw around the rounded crown, and the piece was trimmed with pink and red feathers on the side.
Anita’s mother, J.C.M. van Eijk-Steens, topped her ice blue suit with a straw hat in the same hue. This piece had a double brim made of translucent straw and was trimmed with straw rosettes, training bow tails, and pale blue feathers. While there is much going on with the hat, it was well balanced with her more streamlined suit.
Princess Marilène topped her gunmetal grey and aubergine ensemble with a navy straw hat. Trimmed with a large purple flower on the side (see it here), the simple straw piece swept off her face in a gently upfolded brim. It’s a fairly nondescript hat that seemed slightly at odds with the rest of her more fashion-forward outfit.
Princess Annette repeated the same cream straw hat she wore two days earlier to the civil wedding, replacing the black ribbon around the crown with a slim one in palest blue. I suppose it’s hardly a surprising move for a princess who has very few public engagements (and ever fewer which require a hat) to recycle a neutral piece in this kind of way.
Aimée Söhngen, who would marry the Princess Margriet’s youngest son two months later, wore a bright pink short Fez style hat wrapped in a large veil of dotted pink net. Clearly designed to coordinate with her pink dotted jacket and shoes, the hat seemed off balance and oddly squashed around the middle. Unfortunately, the piece was left looking like a 1960s lampshade.
Queen Beatrix (as she was then) topped her grey dress with a coordinating straw hat. The flat brimmed piece featured a wide straw wrap around the flat crown; from the front, the hat was streamlined and restrained. In contrast, the back of the brim raised slightly to reveal a mass of pink and silver blooms that nestled into the Queen’s hair. I adore this surprise around the back of the hat; the hidden blooms are reminiscent of the hat Beatrix wore to Princess Amalia’s christening which makes me guess that this piece is another design by Emmy Hill.
Princess Máxima (as was her title in 2005) wore one of her most memorable hats to this event. Made of stripes of transparent magenta and red straw, the wide brim of the picture hat was formed into large fluted ruffles that gave the Fabienne Delvigne design an incredible sense of movement and presence. On it’s own, the hat was a creative masterpiece but its pairing with Máxima’s shiny red coat and huge costume earrings took the ensemble way over the top. Máxima has not repeated this hat to date and I would love to see it make another outing with a more simple, neutral dress. As far as millinery goes, it is spectacular.
While I would love to see Máxima’s hat repeated, I’m pleased that Princess Laurentien’s hat has been left in the past. The Marianne Jongkind design, made of gold straw, featured a soaring, pointy crown and brim, each edged in brown straw. While the shape was unique, it overwhelmed the princess and looked like it was headed to a costume party instead of a royal wedding. Its pairing with her fussy brown dress and cartoonish belt seems like an experiment in avant garde fashion that went very wrong.
The daughters of Princess Irene (who was lecturing in South Africa and did not attend), Princess Carolina and Princess Margarita, wore much more demure pieces. Carolina topped her lilac printed jacket with a chic lavender hat with asymetrically raised brim; Margarita matched her dark raspberry straw hat to her skirt. While she did not wear a hat, Princess Mabel’s fashion choice had a very sentimental note- she wore the same dress Princess Beatrix wore for her engagement announcement in 1965.
Princess Christina wore an orange and coral feathered fascinator and her daughter, Juliana Guillermo, wore a headpiece of trailing copper feathers. While neither piece are particularly memorable, I adore that two family members chose hues of orange for this Orange-Nassau wedding.
The only guest from a foreign royal family was Princess Astrid of Belgium, who wore a sleek silver picture hat with cartwheel brim trimmed with a silk ribbon around the base of the crown. The austere hat combined beautifully with her textured Chanel suit, leaving no question that the ensemble was haute couture from head to toe.
The hats at this wedding covered the full spectrum from elegant to eccentric, exquisite to egregious. Keeping their age in mind, dear readers, I’m curious to hear which hats made the strongest style statement for you?
Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Princess Anita of Orange-Nassau are celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary this week. In honour of this milestone, we’re going to take a look back this week at the many hats worn at their civil and religious weddings.
Prince Pieter-Christiaan, third son of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and her husband, Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, met Anita van Eijk when they were both working in London, sometime between 2000 and 2003. Their civil wedding, on August 25, 2005, took place at Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn (the Prince was raised on a nearby estate) attended by family and friends. Following the trend set by other von Vollenhoven daughter-in-laws, Anita wore a brightly coloured Andrew Gn suit for the civil ceremony.
Printed with coral and trimmed with chunky beads at the collar and cuffs, the green and yellow ensemble was topped with a large headpiece in the same shades. Made up of splayed straw leaves around a central mass of yellow ranunculus blooms, I remain perplexed about how Anita’s garden headpiece related to the deep-sea theme of her suit.
The groom’s mother, Princess Margriet, topped her black and white suit with a coordinating pompom fascinator. Princess Marilène, wife of Prince Maurits, wore an avant garde hat with a stacked gold straw crown and transparent cream brim, attached most unusually at the top of the crown. With her gold bubble skirt, the ensemble had a decidedly futuristic, outer space vibe about it.
Princess Annette and Aimée Söhngen (Prince Floris’ fiancée who would join the Dutch royal family just two months later) both wore black and white ensembles topped with coordinating cartwheel brimmed hats. Aimée’s hat, with its black straw crown and white lattice brim, added a particularly lovely top note to her elegant ensemble.
At the time of this wedding, I wondered if the black/white/gold ensembles worn by Princess Margriet and her daughters-in-law were deliberately chosen to let the bride stand out. If this was indeed the case, it did not apply to Queen Beatrix (as was her title then), who topped her cornflower blue dress with a tall crowned hat in silver straw.
The loudest style statement at these civil nuptials was made by Princess Laurentien, who wore a vibrant turquoise and lime trouser suit. The oufit’s pairing with a coordinating turquoise gigantic, flat crowned picture hat by Fabienne Delvigne simply defies description.
While some of these Dutch royal hats make rather bold statements, I think overall, they have aged surprisingly well in ten years of changing fashion (much better than the outfits they were paired with!) and with some new frocks, could be successfully repeated today. I’m curious which pieces stand out to you most, dear readers, and for what reasons.
While the wedding of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall ten years ago was primarily a family affair, it was also attended by Dutch, Norwegian and Greek royal guests.
The House of Orange was represented by Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. While this period saw Laurentien in a number of experimental and very avant garde pieces of fashion and millinery, her hat and suit at this wedding uncharacteristically classic. Her hat, a large white straw piece with rounded brim, was trimmed in a black ruched sash around the base of the crown, wide piping around the brim and a spray of black feathers. It’s a beautiful hat but to me, it has always seemed at odds with Laurentien’s characteristic quirky style and short, funky haircut.
The most interesting fascinator at this wedding was worn by Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. Her headpiece consisted of a giant curved black feather topped with a mass of wispy, floating navy feathers. At the time, I remember thinking that while the scale of the piece was ridiculously large, it magically seemed to work. Maybe it was because the wispy feathers added another layer of navy texture to Mette-Marit’s intricately patterned lace and silk suit. Maybe it was because the hat was less of an eyesore than her stark silver shoes.
Queen Anne-Marie of Greece wore an elegant ensemble, as usual, to this event. Her pale blue straw lampshade style hat was clearly dyed to perfectly match her suit; fabric from the suit was used for a band around the crown and piping around the brim. The proportion of lampshade style hats can be difficult to get right but this one was successful and left this Greek Queen firmly wearing it (instead of the lampshade wearing her). The monochromatic nature of the hat was a great counterpoint to her grey lace trimmed suit and she looked perfectly polished.
We saw so many hats worn by members in the House of Orange this year that we need to break this review into two parts! First, we’ll look at all of the hats and headpieces worn by the Dutch princesses. Please click on each photo to link to larger views and detailed information on each hat.
1. 2. 3. 4.
Princess Annemarie and Princess Margarita
9. 10. 11. 12.
13. 14. 15. 16.
17. 18. 19. 20.
21. 22. 23. 24.
25. 26. 27. 28.
29. 30. 31. 32.
33. 34. 35.
Do any of these hats make your list for best of 2014? Are any of them on your list of least favourites?
Stay tuned later today for a review of all the hats Queen Máxima wore this year.