Dutch Prinsjesdag 2016

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).

Prinsjesdag 2016 #kingwillemalexander #queenmaxima #princeconstantijn #princesslaurentien #glazenkoets #coach

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Queen Máxima gave new life to a much worn natural straw hat, pairing it with a royal blue silk blouse and embellished gold skirt by Claes Iversen.
Queen Máxima, Sep 20, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats   Queen Máxima, Sep 20, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal 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?)
 Closeup, the combination of hat, hairstyle, sash and earrings is a quartet also balanced to perfection.
Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Bellissima” design
Previously Worn: August 30, 2014May 24, 2014May 30, 2013; January 24, 2013January 21, 2013; July 2, 2011
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.
Designer: Eudia
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Two wonderful hats paired with fantastic ensembles today in The Hague, don’t you agree?
Jump over to this post to see all of Queen Máxima’s past Prinesjesdag hats.
Photos from Netherlands Royal Pool, Netherlands Royal Pool and Michel Porro via Getty; Getty as indicated

Christening of Prince Christian: Royal Guests

Royal Hats When Prince Christian of Denmark was christened ten years ago, the event was attended by numerous royal relatives and close friends. After looking at the hats worn by his mother, grandparents and godparents, we now turn our attention to those worn by royal guests.

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 Theodora, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats  Princess Laurentien, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats

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 Mathilde, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats  Princess Mathilde, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats

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 Märtha Louise, January 21, 2006  in Anja Irgens| Royal Hats  Princess Märtha Louise, January 21, 2006  in Anja Irgens| Royal Hats

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.

Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats   Countess of Frederiksborg, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats

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?

Dutch Royals Celebrate Prinsjesdag 2015

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.
Queen Máxima, September 15, 2015 in Jan Taminiau | Royal Hats   Queen Máxima, September 15, 2015 in Jan Taminiau | Royal Hats

Queen Máxima and Princess Laurentien, September 15, 2015 | Royal Hats

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.

Princess Laurentien, September 15, 2015 in Eudia | Royal Hats

Designer: Eudia
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Prinsjesdag usually brings us some memorable fashion and I thought the millinery this year did not disappoint. What are your thoughts, dearest readers, on these two new pieces?

Photos from Getty as indicated; Patrick van Katwijk/dpa, Patrick van Katwijk/dpa, Patrick van Katwijk/dpa, and Rpe/Albert Philip Van Der Werf/dpa via Corbis

Orange-Nassau Wedding, Ten Years On: The Guests

Royal Hats After looking at the marvellous hats worn at Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Princess Anita’s civil wedding ten years ago, it is now time to look at the hats worn by guests at their religious ceremony.

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.

 Prince Pieter-Christiaan of Orange-Nassau and Anita Van Eijk, August 27, 2005 | Royal Hats

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 Marilène, August 27, 2005 | Royal Hats

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.

Aimée Söhngen, August 27, 2005 | Royal Hats

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.

Queen Beatrix, August 27, 2005 | Royal Hats

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 Carolina, August 27, 2005 | Royal Hats

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?

Photos from ANP; Michel Porro via Getty; and Getty as indicated

Dutch Royals Celebrate Tenth Anniversary

Royal Hats 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.

Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Anita van Eijk, August 25, 2005 | Royal Hats

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.

On Thursday, we’ll look at the hats worn at Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Princess Anita’s religious wedding which took place on August 27, 2005. You’re in for some real corkers.

Photos from ANP and Getty as indicated

British Royal Wedding Ten Years On: Royal Guests

Royal Hats 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.

That concludes our fashion tour of this wedding! I am curious, dear readers- which hats do you think made the best style statement at the time? Which hats do you think translate best to today?

Photos from Getty as indicated

Royal Hats this Year: The Netherlands Part I

Royal Hats Year In Review 2014We 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.

Princess Margriet

1. Princess Margriet, April 26, 2014 | Royal Hats 2. Princess Margriet, May 24, 2014 | Royal Hats 3. Princess Margriet, June 14, 2014 | Royal Hats 4. Princess Margriet, November 10, 2014 | Royal Hats 

Princess Laurentien

5. Princess Laurentien, April 26, 2014 in Eudia | Royal Hats 6. Princess Laurentien, September 16, 2014 in Eudia | Royal Hats 

Princess Annemarie and Princess Margarita

7. Princess Annemarie, April 5, 2014 | Royal Hats 8. Princess Margarita, April 5, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Beatrix

9. Princess Beatrix, January 11, 2014 | Royal Hats 10. Princess Beatrix,March 21, 2014 | Royal Hats 11. Princess Beatrix, April 5, 2014 | Royal Hats 12. Princess Beatrix, April 26, 2014 | Royal Hats 

13. Princess Beatrix, May 20, 2014 | Royal Hats 14. Princess Beatrix, May 21, 2014 | Royal Hats 15. Princess Beatrix, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats 16. Princess Beatrix, May 24, 2014 | Royal Hats 

17. Princess Beatrix, June 5, 2014 | Royal Hats 18. Princess Beatrix, June 10, 2014 | Royal Hats 19.  Princess Beatrix, June 14, 2014 | Royal Hats 20. Princess Beatrix, June 25, 2014 | Royal Hats 

21. Princess Beatrix, June 28, 2014 | Royal Hats 22. Princess Beatrix, September 2, 2014 | Royal Hats 23. Princess Beatrix, September 4, 2014 | Royal Hats 24. Princess Beatrix, September 5, 2014 | Royal Hats 

25. Princess Beatrix, September 20, 2014 | Royal Hats 26. Princess Beatrix, October 10, 2014 | Royal Hats 27. Princess Beatrix, October 3, 2014 | Royal Hats 28. Princess Beatrix, October 25, 2014 | Royal Hats 

29. Princess Beatrix, October 28, 2014 | Royal Hats 30. Princess Beatrix, October 29, 2014 | Royal Hats 31. Princess Beatrix, October 31, 2014 | Royal Hats 32. Princess Beatrix, November 10, 2014 | Royal Hats 

33. Princess Beatrix, November 14, 2014 | Royal Hats 34. Princess Beatrix, November 20, 2014 | Royal Hats 35. Princess Beatrix, November 28, 2014 | Royal Hats

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.