Remembering Queen Fabiola

Royal Hats

It is impossible to remember Queen Fabiola of Belgium without mentioning her life with King Baudouin. From all accounts, theirs was truly a wonderful partnership.

Fabiola De Mora Y Aragon, September 25, 1960 | Royal Hats

The engaged couple, waving from the balcony of Brussels City Hall, September 25, 1960 

Wedding of King Baudouin of Belgium and Fabiola De Mora Y Aragon, December 15, 1960 | Royal Hats  Wedding of King Baudouin of Belgium and Fabiola De Mora Y Aragon, December 15, 1960 | Royal HatsWedding of King Baudouin of Belgium and Fabiola De Mora Y Aragon, December 15, 1960 | Royal Hats   Wedding of King Baudouin of Belgium and Fabiola De Mora Y Aragon, December 15, 1960 | Royal Hats

Their wedding, December 15, 1960

Queen Fabiola | Royal Hats

King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola | Royal Hats   Queen Fabiola, May 15, 1961 | Royal Hats

During a 1963 state visit to England

Queen Fabiola, 1966 | Royal Hats  Queen Fabiola |Royal Hats

King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola, May 1978

At a May 1978 reception in Brussels

King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola, May 5, 1975  | Royal Hats  King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola, October 6, 1981

At the Chegal Museum in Nice, 1975: at home in 1981

King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola, November 1985  | Royal Hats

1985

King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola, 1990

1990

All photos from Getty. Click on each photo above to link to the original source.

Remembering Queen Fabiola

Royal Hats

Queen Fabiola of Belgium passed away today at the age of 86. Throughout this weekend, we will celebrate her life with a look back at some of her many hats. Today, we’ll start with the hats worn during her first few years as queen. The 1960s was a fun era for hats and Queen Fabiola wore them well.

Queen Fabiola | Royal Hats   Queen Fabiola | Royal Hats

Queen Fabiola | Royal Hats Fabiola de Mora y Aragón, September 26, 1960 | Royal Hats    Queen Fabiola | Royal Hats Queen Fabiola, May 6, 1961 | Royal Hats

Queen Fabiola and Queen Elizabeth, May 17, 1963 | Royal Hats

Queen Fabiola, July 21, 1961 | Royal Hats Queen Fabiola, 1962| Royal Hats Queen Fabiola, May 1963| Royal Hats Queen Fabiola, May 12, 1963| Royal Hats

Queen Fabiola | Royal Hats

All photos from Getty. Click on each photo above to link to the original source.

Spanish Royal Wedding Ten Years On: Belgian Royals

The Royal Hats Blog Another royal family with close ties to the Spanish royals are those from the Kingdom of Belgium (due in part to Spanish born Queen Fabiola). These close ties were evident on May 22, 2004 when the entire Belgian royal family attended the wedding of The Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano.

Queen Paola looked very elegant in a burgundy printed floral dress, cream coat and burgundy accessories. The star of her burgundy straw hat was a wide, upturned brim with shredded edge (a signature Fabienne Delvigne design element at the time). On its own, this hat does not seem remarkable but in combination with the other elements of Queen Paola’s ensemble, looked stylish, polished and wonderfully vibrant on her.

Queen Poala, May 22, 2004 in Fabienne Delvgine | Royal Hats Queen Poala, May 22, 2004 in Fabienne Delvgine | Royal Hats

Queen Fabiola topped her dove grey dress and purple and grey floral coat with a lilac purple hat. With a squared crown and brim that gently turned upward around the sides and back of the hat, the shape of this hat worked very well with Fabiola’s hairstyle. Trimmed with silk blooms and ribbon around the crown, I thought this hat was a very pretty choice for her.

Queen Fabiola, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats  Queen Fabiola, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

The Duchess of Brabant wowed in a pale grey straw picture hat trimmed in a wrap of sea foam green and grey burnt feathers around the crown. I particularly love the fluid shape of this hat’s brim which was highlighted so beautifully against the open neck of Mathilde’s coat. Royal outfits in pale hues can easily look bland or washed out but I think the combination of Mathilde’s light green dress, pale grey coat and hat was absolute perfection.

 Duchess of Brabant, May 22, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne| Royal Hats  Duchess of Brabant, May 22, 2004 in Fabienne Delvigne| Royal Hats

Princess Astrid was downright plucky in her choice of ensemble for this wedding, topping her bright pink jacket and polka dot skirt with a black cocktail hat trimmed with large white and bright pink pompom discs. It was certainly a bold and adventurous look that displayed Astrid’s daring fashion sense (something I always admire). I just can’t shake the thought, however, that this hat looks like a black plate topped with scoops of vanilla and strawberry ice cream.

Princess Astrid, May 22, 2004| Royal Hats Princess Astrid, May 22, 2004| Royal Hats

Another hat I adored at this wedding was worn by Princess Claire. Her raspberry straw picture hat with square crown and cartwheel brim was embellished with just a simple band around the crown. The lack of embellishment was perfect for this hat’s pairing with Claire’s boldly patterned coat. The overall look was bright, fun, feminine and very chic.

Princess Claire, May 22, 2004| Royal Hats Princess Claire, May 22, 2004| Royal Hats

I thought the Belgian royals were a particularly well dressed bunch at this wedding- several of these hats are among my favourites from this event and seem to be as stylish today as they were a decade ago. Do any stand out to you?

 First thing tomorrow morning, we will look at the hats worn by the Swedish and Norwegian royal families.

Photos from  A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert via Getty; Corbis via The Royal Forums;  Pedro Armestre, Getty Images/Stringer, Getty Images/Stringer and A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert via Getty; The Royal Forums; El Mundo;  A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert, and A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert via Getty

Three Queens in Belgium

The Royal Hats Blog

Belgium celebrated National Day today along with the installation of a new King and Queen (if you haven’t already heard, King Albert of Belgium abdicated in favour of his son, Prince Philipe). Compared to the coronations we’ve seen in some other countries, this was a comparatively low-key affair without any foreign royals present but there still were some wonderful hats!

King Philipe and King Albert of Belgium

The new Queen, Belgium-born Queen Mathilde, looked her usually elegant self in a white Natan dress and rose beige hat by Fabienne Delvigne. According to the designer, the hat is named “Envolé” (which means flying) and “is made ​​from a blend of fibers of abaca and silk. The draped shape is reinforced with two asymmetrical sides and is made ​​from a carved openwork fabric. The hat is in beige color powder.”  I thought the shape had a lovely sense of movement and that the colour and the style of this hat was beautiful on Mathilde. It is simply stunning!

Queen Paola (the outgoing queen, who retains her title but takes on a sort of Queen Mum role) was also in a Natan designed suit and Fabienne Delvigne designed hat. Her hat, a mocha brown straw classic pillbox, featured a criss-cross design. I was a little underwhelmed by the hat and did not think it complimented her green flowered dress and jacket very well (what exactly do “x”es have to do with pretty green flowers? I don’t get it). My quibbles aside, Paola looked very nice. She really should wear green more often because it is beautiful on her.

Queen Fabiola (Queen Paola’s sister-in-law, dowager of King Baudouin) did not wear a hat. Dressed in bright pink, however, she joined Queen Mathilde and Queen Fabiola to create a poignant, unique and vibrant royal picture. While there have been other nations with three queens at once, Belgium is the only nation today able to make such a claim.

The entire Belgian Royal attended today’s important celebration- you can see hats worn by other family members in this post. 

Photos by Getty as indicated

Wedding Guest Hats, Ten Years Later

2013-04-12 Laurent ClaireAnniversary

The wedding of Prince Laurent and Princess Claire of Belgium ten years ago today was a “mini” royal wedding – Laurent was the son of a king but not the heir to the throne. A number of royals from across Europe attended and there were some great hats on display. After looking at the bride’s veil and dress earlier today, let’s now turn our attention to the guests’ hats.

Queen Paola and Claire’s mother Nicole looked like they coordinated their millinery as both were in unadorned  light brown natural straw hats with upturned brims. Nicole’s hat featured a square shaped crown while Paola’s was a more traditionally rounded shape to highlight her dramatic diagonal brim. Their hats were both winners for me and both were designed by Fabienne Delvigne.

Nicole Mertens Coombs in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog      Queen Paola of Belgium, April 12, 2003 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog

Queen Paola of Belgium, April 12, 2003 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats BlogClaire’s sister Joanna looked very demure in a soft pink 1920’s inspired cloche with side fan bow also designed by Fabienne Delvigne. In considerable contrast, Princess Mathilde (the groom’s sister-in-law) looked rather dramatic in a huge pink metallic straw conical pyramid hat designed by Maison van den Borne. It’s a lot of hat for this petite princess and I think it overwhelms her a little. Since we’ve never seen her repeat this one, I can only guess that she was on the fence about it, too (although, I can’t imagine the average daytime royal engagement warrants THIS big a hat!).Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Joanna Coombs | The Royal Hats Blog

Princess Mathilde of Belgium | The Royal Hats Blog     Princess Mathilde of Belgium | The Royal Hats Blog

Princess Astrid (sister of Prince Laurent) gave birth to her fifth child, Princess Laetitia only ten days after the wedding and thus was not able to attend. Her eldest daughter, Maria Laura, carried on her mother’s zany hat style with this ruched pink organza Peach Basket style hat. As this was this young Princess’ first major public hat occasion I’m going to give her a pardon and only comment one word: lampshade. Enough said.

Princess Maria Laura | The Royal Hats Blog       Princess Maria Laura | The Royal Hats Blog

The groom’s aunt Queen Fabiola of Belgium wore a hat in her favourite colour (lavender) with a wide upturned brim and silk flower trim. I loved how she placed it at a jaunty angle on her head and thought she looked just beautiful.

Queen Fabiola of Belgium | The Royal Hats Blog     Queen Fabiola of Belgium | The Royal Hats Blog

Princess Lea of Belgium wore a blue picture hat of ruched straw while Princess Esmeralda wore a large red straw picture hat with square crown and upturned brim edged in a wide stripe of straw.

Princess Lea and Princess Esmeralda, April 12, 2013 | Royal Hats

Princess Esmeralda, April 12, 2013 | Royal Hats

Most of the Luxmbourg Royals (who are cousins as their mother was King Albert’s sister) were in attendance. Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein (née Princess of Luxembourg) wore an elegant beige straw hat with mushroom shaped brim and back bow. Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg wore a large lilac straw hat with high upturned brim. I loved both these hats, although I could have done without the rest of Sibilla’s outfit.

Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein | The Royal Hats Blog    Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg | The Royal Hats Blog

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa must have also received a memo to wear a hat with an upturned brim because that’s exactly what she did- in bright orange.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg | The Royal Hats Blog     Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg | The Royal Hats Blog

The Swedish Royal Family was represented by Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine. Victoria wore a chocolate brown straw picture hat with a square crown designed by Philip Treacy (and trimmed by Treacy’s signature pink looped bow). This remains one of my favourite hats that Victoria has ever worn. Madeleine wore an ice blue straw hat with a slightly mushroom shaped brim and side fan bow.

 Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Madeleine of Sweden | The Royal Hats BlogCrown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine of Sweden | The Royal Hats Blog

The Dutch Royal family were represented by Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. Laurentien wore a watermelon pink straw hat with – you guessed it – another upturned brim! It’s a great hat, although I think Laurentien ‘s fine features would be better complimented with a more delicate hat (and no crazy collar necklace). It was also a Fabienne Delvigne design.

Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, April 12, 2003 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog Also in attendance were Prince Kardam and Princess Miriam of Bulgaria (before their awful car accident in 2008)  and the Duke and Duchess of Bragança. Miriam wore a peach straw hat with a small, flat brim and drown wrapped in organza net. With flowers also on the side, there’s a lot going on with this hat. Isabel wore a simple cream straw hat with rolled brim and side flower detail. It’s not the most exciting of hats but I like it much better than the chocolate brown hat streak she’s on these days.

  Princess Miriam of Bulgaria | The Royal Hats Blog  Duchess of Bragança | The Royal Hats Blog

And finally, all weddings have a crazy aunt and this one had Princess Inaara Aga Khan (wife of the Aga Khan) in this larger than life beige and purple shiny transparent straw confection. While I am all about memorable hats, this one does seem a bit much.

Princess Inaara Aga Khan | The Royal Hats Blog

Prince Laurent and Princess Claire celebrate this, their tenth anniversary with their children Princess Louise and twins Prince Nicolas and Prince Aymeric, who joined them in 2004 and 2005. The family does not play any official royal role but we see them joining the rest of the Belgian Royals for major events like the Remembrance Te Deums every February and the National Holiday in July.

Looking back at their wedding from a decade later, I have to name this “The Wedding of the Upturned Brim!” That being said, many of the hats were unadorned and could be easily worn today. I think my favourite was Princess Victoria of Sweden in that elegant brown and pink picture hat. Which one did you like best? And which one would you still wear today?

Photos from Photonews, Mark Cuthbert, Julian Parker and James Whatling via Getty Images; The Royal Forums; Svenskdam; and The Royal Forums