Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece threw a lavish party at their Gloucestershire home over the weekend to celebrate Pavlos’ 50th birthday and Princess Olympia’s 21st birthday. Guests have shared that the party theme was “Prince And The Revolution” with a dress code that called for revolutionised black tie. The costumes that resulted are quite spectacular. While this was officially, a private event, so many photos were shared by both hosts and guests on social media that it does not seem intrusive to share.
Host of the party, Crown Princess Marie-Chantal, wore a Philip Treacy headpiece of silver stars unlike anything else we’ve seen on a royal head.
King Felipe is visible in the far left of this picture. Spanish media have reported that Queen Letizia, Infanta Elena, Infanta Cristina and Inaki Urdangarin also attended but no photos have surfaced so far (same for members of the Danish royal family along with Prince Pavlos’ parents and other siblings). The woman in the centre with butterflies and a feather headpiece is Pia Getty, Princess Marie-Chantal’s older sister.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore what looks to be an embellished metallic headband (again!).
John and Lady Carolyn Warren were part of the royal carriage procession today, accompanied by horse breeder, The Hon. Peter Stanley, and his wife, Frances. Lady Carolyn wore a beautiful icy grey-blue disk hat with button crown, trimmed with a silk bow and spray of feathers in the same hue. Frances Stanley wore a large Philip Treacy hat with off centered crown, trimmed with a gold silk signature Treacy bow and spray of feathers.
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?
While many of you are eagerly awaiting this year’s new millinery from the British royal family, we must first peek at hats from Monaco, Greece, Dubai and Qatar. Some of this year’s most luxurious hats were worn by princesses and sheikhas from these countries- click on any of the photos to jump back to original posts to see additional description and detail of the hats.
The hats with the most votes across this semifinal will move forward to a final poll. If you don’t think any of these hats are worthy of the title of Best of 2015, save your vote (or jump back to vote again for hats from Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands or Luxembourg and Norway). You can vote for multiple hats up to four times per day so please, get voting!
Princess Charlene of Monaco and Princess Caroline of Hanover and Monaco
1. 2. 3. 4.
Beatrice Borromeo and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
5. 6. 7.
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan, Sheikha of Dubai and Sheikha Mozah of Qatar
8. 9. 10.
Do you think any of these hats deserve to be named best royal hat of the year? Cast your vote below. Voting will remain open until January 1, 2016.
On July 1, 1995, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Prince of Denmark married Hong Kong raised British-American socialite Marie-Chantal Miller at a lavish ceremony at St. Sophia’s Cathedral in London. Attended by one of the largest assembled groups of royals this generation, the 20th anniversary of this happy day is a wonderful opportunity to look back at it.
One might think that a royal family in exile might celebrate passages of life on a more modest scale but such was not the case with this event. With 1400 guests, a reported budget of eight million US dollars, a reception at Hampton Court Palace, and 62 pieces of Valentino couture worn by the bridal party and guests, this wedding was as extravagant and grand-scale as they come. I suppose when the bride is the daughter of a billionaire entrepreneur and the groom (who was born crown prince of a reigning monarchy) counts the Queens of Spain and Denmark as his aunts, modest is not an option.
It was therefore, no surprise that Marie-Chantal went to Valentino for her wedding dress. Made of ivory silk, the gown featured a four and a half metre train and was trimmed with twelve different varieties of handmade lace. The high-necked lace bodice with long sleeves was encrusted with pearls, forming a garden of flowers against a delicate lattice background. My favourite detail on the dress was the bottom of the skirt, which was appliquéd with silk roses in a medallion motif.
Marie-Chantal’s veil, made of handmade Chantilly lace, was woven and embroidered with motifs of flowers and butterflies. The wide border of intricate scallops wrapped around the piece, framing both Marie-Chantal’s face and the train of her gown. The veil was anchored by the Greek Antique Corsage Tiara, on loan from Queen Anne-Marie.
This tiara was a wonderful pairing for this ensemble- the lightness and delicacy of the design was perfect for Marie-Chantal’s inaugural tiara while the height and heft of the piece stood up to her elaborately patterned veil.
I think this is one of the royal dresses and veils that requires a close-up look to appreciate its immense and intricate detail (detail that required twenty-five Valentino seamstresses four months to create at an estimated quarter of a million US dollars at the time it was made). Unfortunately, this detail is lost on many photos and the petite Marie-Chantal is left looking swamped by a dress that overwhelms her. While the ensemble is incredibly royal and is undeniably, a couture masterpiece, I think it was simply too much for this young bride.
One of the most anticipated days on the millinery calendar ear year is Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot. To help me review the royal hats we saw today at the Ascot Racecource are talented milliners (and enthusiastic hat wearers!) from AmericanJill Courtemanche, Ireland’sFiona Manganand AustralianChristie Murray.
Queen Elizabeth in a repeated hat designed by Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren
Jill: I love that the queen has chosen to go with a completely different hat silhouette today! The color combination is light as air and it is fun to see that the straw which was chosen for the crown has a texture, it makes the whole thing a bit more interesting. I am not a fan of the tight organza loops in the trim but I do like the feathers very much and overall I find this hat very pleasant and cheerful
Christie: I quite like Her Majesty in pastel mint. It’s quite a delicate colour, fitting for Ladies Day. The material on the crown could nearly pass as vintage American blocking material ~ It’s quite lovely. I don’t quite think this hat is balanced though. The drape around the crown is lovely from the front, I’m not the biggest fan of the ostrich feather trim.
Fiona: I definitely prefer an upturned brim on the Queens hats, this is a little harsh for her with the flatter brim though the woven straw on the crown is quite interesting. Mint green overall is very fitting for her colouring and quite classic. Overall a nice ensemble save for the flat hat brim.
Royal Hats: Queen Elizabeth débuted this hat last year in Northern Ireland and I was wondering when it would resurface! It’s not my favourite shape for the queen and I find it over-trimmed. Jill and Christie both suggest removing different trims… if you gave me scissors, I’d snip off the feathers as they are lost against the textured straw crown.
Royal Hats: This feels like another version of the hats we have seen each of the past two days. Has Anne entered a brown phase? I really hope not.
Fiona: I have to say this is a nice outfit today and I much prefer this hat to the last two days. Similar in shape and size, it seems to be a better fit and the lighter colour is far more appropriate. I can’t seem to pinpoint why I like the coat with its fleur-de-lys type pattern – It does remind me somewhat of the embroidery on an Irish dancing costume, but I think it is quite subtle and overall a very elegant look. Well done Princess Anne.
Royal Hats: I honestly did not notice the coat in my disappointment over another brown hat. It really is beautiful.
Jill: Well, this is a much better look than we have seen so far this week for Princess Anne. The open-weave straw is airy and light and the feathers are festive and perky, I still find the crown a bit heavy for her but this brim angle is very flattering. Overall it is very lovely with her embroidered coat and quite pleasing for the occasion.
Christie: It’s nice to see that she’s broken up the brown today with… nude. Although the pattern on her jacket is really beautiful. It’s good to see that the crown is in nude, even though they’ve managed to work pleated brown dupion and sinamay in to the look. I am just not a fan of brown and fluff, I’m sorry! The shape of the hat is beautiful, I love how the sweep in the brim is balanced with the angle of the crown but this is Day 3 of brown now. Will we see any other colour?
Princess Marie Chantal of Greece in Philip Treacy. Coat by Chanel
Christie: What can you say about this. It looks so gorgeous – very signature Philip Treacy. I am just absolutely in love with this hat. What is there not to love? That colour.. the shape.. the swirls. Those silk flowers. Absolutely divine. Love it, by far my favourite hat of the day.
Jill: This hat is divine and even though it is large, Princess Marie carries it nicely. The trim is incredibly sculptural and full but still seems light and airy which is perfect. My issue is I don’t think it’s a great match for her Chanel suit which feels more edgy while her hat is decidedly more feminine.
Royal Hats: The hat is an amazing statement piece that Marie-Chantal wears incredibly well. I suspect this hat could easily overwhelm many wearers but she has it in firm control! With this coat, it’s a very editorial fashion / haute couture look. I couldn’t pull it off in a million years but since Marie-Chantal is all about high fashion, it works.
Fiona: Beautiful from head to toe. The hat obviously is a faultless Philip Treacy and I love the offset domed crown. The coat with crackled graphite colour detailing on the edges is exquisite. I would love to see the dress underneath, the collar looks very interesting. Really beautiful outfit on her today.
This is certainly a trio of most diverse royal hats, isn’t it? We’ll look at the remaining three royal hats from Ladies’ Day in the next post. For now, what did you think of these three hats?
We have come to the last post in our review of the fantastic hats worn at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge four years ago this week. We conclude coverage with a look at the hats worn by royal guests from non-reigning royal families.
The Greek Royal family have close ties to the British Royals (Prince Philip is a Greek Prince by birth) so it was not surprising to see five members in attendance. Queen Anne-Marie of Greece wore a cream pillbox hat designed by Philip Treacy. The straw was woven with gold threads which gave a shimmering quality to the hat which was trimmed by another signature Treacy bows.
Princess Marie-Chantal topped her pale blue and grey embroidered Chanel dress with a statement hat, also by Philip Treacy. The moulded saucer hat was edged in a wide band of silk piping around the brim and was trimmed with large dove grey silk roses that balanced the underside of the vertical brim. This is not a hat for the faint of heart and together with the dress, made for an edgy and extremely haute couture ensemble. While there is every reason for me to dislike the oddly shaped hat, I adore it as part of this ensemble.
Queen Margarita of the Bulgarians, pictured behind Princess Victoria in the orange hat below, wore a simple black hat with flat crown and mushroom brim. The hat was trimmed with a wide ruched band around the crown and a large bow at the side.
Crown Princess Margareta of Romania wore a most perplexing open-crowned hat by Romanian milliner Kristina Dragomir. Built on a gold ring base, the headpiece consists of swirling loops of pleated crin in three shades of pink. While the photo above shows the headpiece as a soaring swan of sorts, the close-up view here looks like a giant pink slinky on steroids circling her head. Neither look is optimal.
Princess Katherine of Serbia wore a simple cream hat made in the same oyster lace as her dress. The fold-back halo brim of the hat was edged in the same ecru satin as her shawled coat and the hat was trimmed with a bow at the back. While it’s not the most modern of royal hats, the shape and scale suited Katherine beautifully and it added the right touch to her ensemble.
That draws our week-long royal hat tour at this wedding to a close! If you haven’t already watched the nuptials on video, I suggest you pour a tall glass of your favourite tipple and settle into your comfiest chair. The camera work inside Westminster Abbey is breathtaking and the hats are thrilling. You can watch the entire day’s events here.