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

Spanish Royal Wedding

Marriage of the Prince and Princess of Asturias, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats

What fun we have had this week, celebrating the 10th wedding anniversary of King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain with a look back at the fantastic hats and headpieces worn at their grand wedding:

The Bride

The Attendants

Spanish Royal Family
Queen Sofia, Infanta Elena, Infanta Cristina

The Bride’s Family
Paloma Rocasalano, Telma Ortiz Rocasolano, Erika Ortiz Rocasolano,
Menchu Alvarez del Vaille, Enriqueta Rodriguez

Extended Spanish Royal Family
Infanta Pilar, Simoneta Gómez Acebo, Laura Ponte, Infanta Margarita, María Zurita y de Borbón,
The Duchess of Calabria, Princess Victoria of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, The Duchess of Alba

Greek Royal Family
Queen Anne-Marie, Crown Princess Pavlos, Princess Alexia, Princess Irene

Belgian Royal Family
Queen Paola, Queen Fabiola, The Duchess of Brabant, Princess Astrid, Princess Claire

Norwegian Royal Family
Queen Sonja, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Martha Louise

Swedish Royal Family
Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Madeleine

Dutch Royal Family
Princess Máxima, Princess Laurentien

Queen Margrethe of Denmark

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg

Queen Noor of Jordan

Princess Caroline of Hanover and Monaco

Crown Princess of Bahrain

Bulgarian Royal Family
Princess of Turnovo, Princess of Preslav, Princess of Panagyurishte,
Princess of Vidin, Princess Kalina

Other Non Reigning Royals
Empress Farah Dibha of Iran, Grand Duchess of Russia, Duchess of Bragança, Princess Béatrice of Orléans,
The Princess of Naples, Princess Clotilde of Savoy, Princess Inaara Aga Khan

 Marriage of the Prince and Princess of Asturias, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats

Spanish Royal Wedding Ten Years On: The Attendants

The Royal Hats Blog  At her wedding to the Prince of Asturias on May 22, 2004, Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (now Queen Letizia of Spain) was attended by four pageboys, three young bridesmaids, and two older bridesmaids. The attendants’ 18th century themed attire was designed by Spanish designer Lorenzo Caprile who took inspiration from Francisco de Goya’s painting The Duke and Duchess of Osuna and their Children (1787).

"The Duke and Duchess of Osuna and their Children" by Francisco de Goya (1787)

The elder two pageboys (Prince Felipe’s nephews Froilán and Juan) wore white knee breeches and frilled shirts with embroidered waist coats and knee-length coats in gold silk. The younger pageboys (Prince Felipe’s nephews Pablo and Miguel) wore cream silk trousers, lace trimmed shirts and gold silk waist sashes.

Wedding of The Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasalano, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Wedding of The Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasalano, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

The three young bridesmaids (Prince Felipe’s niece Victoria, Letizia’s niece Carla Vigo Ortiz and Victoria Lopez-Quesada y de Borbón-Dos Sicilias, granddaughter of Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria) wore cream and gold silk dresses trimmed in lace embroidered with the same motifs as Letizia’s veil.The young girls also wore cream headbands with cream and gold multi-looped bows on the side. I thought it was adorable how the size of the hair bow was directly proportional to the size of the bridesmaid!

Wedding of The Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasalano, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Wedding of The Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasalano, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

The two older bridesmaids, Ana Codorniu Álvarez de Toledo (daughter of the Marquess of Casa Loring) and Claudia González Ortiz (Letizia’s first cousin) wore gold silk dresses with a tightly corseted bodice, square neckline, three quarter length ruffled sleeves and full, pleated skirts. A white lace apron overlayed the front of the skirt and a white lace shawl was added for the ceremony. The bridesmaids’ ensemble was topped with a white snood which covered the back of their heads.

Wedding of The Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasalano, May 22, 2004 | Royal HatsWedding of The Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasalano, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats Wedding of The Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasalano, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Wedding of The Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasalano, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Spanish Royal Wedding, May 22, 2014 | Royal Hats

I have always been intrigued by the attendants’ attire at this wedding as it was such a striking contrast to Letizia’s rather modern dress. The 18th century fashion gave a sense of long-rooted history to the event and added a very romantic touch. As much as I loved it, it seems incredibly fussy (especially those snoods!). As always, I am interested to hear your opinions- what did you think of the ensembles worn by attendants at this Spanish royal wedding?

Tomorrow, we will focus on the hats and headpieces worn by family members of the bride and groom.

Photos from Museo Nacional del Prado; AFP via Getty; Dusko Despotovic via Corbis; Julia Munoz, AFP, Javier Soriano, Pedro Amestre, Javier Soriano and Odd Andersen via Getty

Spanish Royal Wedding Ten Years On: The Bride

Royal Hats

Royal Hats

King Felipe and Queen Letizia are vacationing in Mallorca this week with their daughters and other members of the King’s family. In May this year, they celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary; as they and most other royals are on vacation this week, we’re going to take advantage of this lull in royal engagements to take a look back at the many hats worn at their grand wedding, ten years ago.

Journalist Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano’s wardrobe was filled with business suits when she and the Prince of Asturias shocked the world with the announcement of their engagement. As such, Letizia followed the the recommendation of Queen Sofia and asked 87-year old Spanish designer Manuel Pertegaz (longtime designer of Spanish royal gowns) to create her dress. Pertegaz  designed an elegantly simple gown with high collar, v-neck, bell sleeves, slim bodice, and A-line skirt that flowed into an unusual circular train. Made of silk from Valencia, the creamy-hued dress was embroidered with intricate patterns of clover, strawberry tree berries, wheat, flowers and the Asturias fleur de lys in luminescent gold and silver thread.

Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats  Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal HatsLetizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats  Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Amazingly the dress was cut from single, continuous panels from shoulder to the end of the fifteen-foot train. While the circular design of the train flowed beautifully out from the dress and looked absolutely stunning when Letizia was stationary, it dragged in heavy, folded layers behind her when she walked up and down the aisle of Almudena Cathedral.

 Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

It appears that a slinkier lace dress was worn underneath the main gown.

Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Letizia topped her dress with an ivory silk tulle veil cut in the same circular shape as the train of her dress. It was also hand embroidered with motifs of ears of wheat, flowers, and the the Asturias fleur de lys. A gift from Prince Felipe, the veil was a lovely match for Letizia’s gown.

Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal HatsLetizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats  Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

The veil was anchored by the Prussian Diamond Tiara, on loan from Queen Sofia (the history of this tiara is detailed here and here). I think The Greek key and laurel leaf design of this tiara coordinated well with the embroidery on Letizia’s dress; the scale of the tiara was also perfect for this very petite bride. Letizia’s only other jewelry were a pair of delicate diamond drop earrings, a gift from King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.

Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats  Letizia Ortiz, May 22, 2004 | Royal Hats

I love this dress but wonder if it would be better suited to a taller bride. I think the cut overwhelmed Letizia and the incredible visual effect of the circular rain was lost when Letizia moved. In many photos, she appears to be drowning in fabric- not a good look for a royal bride. On a more positive note, the intricate embroidery gave a personal touch to the dress and coordinated so beautifully with the veil and tiara. Looking back at it now, I am afraid that this bridal ensemble looked best from a closeup view. I am curious, dear readers, what do you think?

Later today, we will look at the unique outfits (with headpieces!) worn by the attendants at this wedding.

Photos from Odd Andersen, Pascal Le Segretain, AFP, Pedro Armestre, and A. Jones/J. Whatling/J. Parker/M. Cuthbert via Getty; Boris RoesslerDusko Despotovic and Gustavo Cuevas via Corbis; AFPPool, Javier Soriano, Pedro Armestre, Pool, Pool, AFP and AFP via Getty

Millinery Style: Princess Letizia

With the big announcement this morning that King Juan Carlos will abdicate, Princess Letizia will soon find herself Queen of Spain. This monumental change in her role warrants a look at her millinery style, don’t you think?

When the Prince of Asturias announced his engagement to journalist Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano in November 2003, he took the public by complete surprise. While Letizia was cast into public spotlight (or rather, moved from one spotlight to another!) overnight, her fashion transition was fairly simple- she continued wearing the tailored business suits she had worn for her journalism career in her new royal life. This business approach to fashion, combined with Queen Sofia and the Infanta’s practice of not wearing hats, made us royal millinery watchers wait six years for Princess Letizia to finally wear a hat. Since this first hat in 2011, Princess Letizia has only worn two other hats (all three were at major royal events where hats were required):

Princess Letizia, April 29, 2011 in Pablo Y Mayaya | Royal Hats  Princess Letizia, April 29, 2011 in Pablo Y Mayaya | Royal Hats

Princess Letizia in a Pablo Y Mayaya design for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, April 29, 2011

Princess Letizia, October 20, 2012 in Pablo Y Mayaya | Royal Hats    Princess Letizia, April 30, 2013 in Maria Nieto Royal Hats

 Another Pablo Y Mayaya design for Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume’s wedding, October 20, 2012;
In a grey a Maria Nieto design for the Inauguration of King Willem-Aleander of the Netherlands, April 30, 2013

I think these hats all betray Princess Letizia as a hat novice. The first, in pink straw, is a lovely shape and proportion for her but is terribly over trimmed – with a ruched sash around the brim, net veil, four kinds of feathers, and beaded rosette, it seems to be carrying everything but the kithchen sink. The second hat is simply too big and overwhelms petite Letizia while the third vertical plate with top explosion looks, unfortunately, like a giant earmuff. To be fair, I think it takes more practice choosing and wearing hats to get things right.

Two areas of Princess Letizia’s millinery style have been marvelously successful. The first are beaded hairpieces:

Princess Letizia, October 26, 2012 | Royal Hats  Princess Letizia, March 26, 2012 in Pablo Y Mayaya | Royal Hats

A bejewelled hair clip for the October 26, 2012 Prince of Asturias awards and a fantastic flapper-style
Pablo Y Mayaya design for the March 26, 2012 wedding of Prince Felipe’s longtime friend Alvaro Fuster

And the second is the traditional lace mantilla. If my recollection is correct, we have only seen Princess Letizia in a peineta comb once; I suspect that as Queen, we will see this beautiful Spanish headpiece on her much more often, and certainly more often than a hat. This is something to look forward to as she wears a matilla and peineta so beautifully.

Princess Letizia, June 28, 2004 | Royal Hats  Princess Letizia, April 30, 2011 | Royal Hats  Princess Letizia, March 19, 2013| Royal Hats

Mantillas worn for visits to the Vatican in June 2004, April 2011 and March 2013

When Princess Máxima and Princess Mathilde became queens in The Netherlands and Belgium last year, there was a noticeable increase in the number of hats we saw them wear. I do not think we will see this trend continue in Spain, as evidenced here by the few number of hats Princess Letizia has worn in the past. I will however, keep my fingers crossed that she has some millinery surprises in store for us!

Photos from Bauer Griffin via Style Bistro; Chris Jackson via GettySemanaJulian Parker and Carlos R. Alvarez via Getty; HolaEric Vandeville via Getty; AFP via Vogue; Patrick van Katwijk via Monarchy Press Europe

Birthday of the Princess of Asturias

Royal Hats The Princess of Asturias (née Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano) celebrates her 41st birthday today. Of all the crown princesses in Europe, Letizia wears the fewest hats- not surprising as the Spanish royals are simply not a hat wearing bunch. They do however, have the most wonderful tradition of wearing mantillas. These lace or silk veils, worn over the head and shoulders, are often worn with a high comb called a peineta. The look is characteristically Spanish and Letizia wears it well. In honor of her birthday today, I thought it would be fun to look back at the mantilla and peineta she wore back in June 2004 for her first visit to the Vatican. It’s quite unlike most other royal headgear we see here but it’s very beautiful, isn’t it?

The Princess of Asturias, June 28, 2004 | The Royal Hats Blog The Princess of Asturias, June 28, 2004 | The Royal Hats Blog

The Princess of Asturias visiting the Vatican, June 28, 2004

Photos from Eric Vandeville and Eric Vandeville via Getty

Dutch Enthronement: Royal Guests

graphic 2

As expected, the royal guests attending this inauguration pulled out all the stops when it came to their hats!

The Duchess of Cornwall wore an ice blue leaf fascinator designed by Philip Treacy. She wore this previously to the weddings of Peter Philips and Autumn Kelly in 2007 as well as her son Tom in 2005 but it looks totally reinvented with her ice blue gown. In the past, I have not always been a fan of these halo fascinators but today, I thought Camilla looked absolutely beautiful.

The Duchess of Cornwall  | The Royal Hats BlogThe Duchess of Cornwall  | The Royal Hats Blog The Duchess of Cornwall | The Royal Hats Blog

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden wore a cream straw hat with a dramatic diagonal brim and large spray of flowers and feathers on the side designed by Philip Treacy. I think this hat would have benefited from a trim of some of those feathers (it was a little too messy on the side I thought) and I prefer Victoria in smaller hats but overall, she looked great.

Princess Victoria | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Victoria | The Royal Hats Blog

Princess Victoria | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Victoria | The Royal Hats Blog

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wore a delicate grey flowered, feathered, netted, fascinator. There was a lot going on in this headpiece but I loved it. I thought it was gorgeous with her handpainted silk kimono-inspired gown. The whole look was unexpected but beautiful.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark  | The Royal Hats Blog Crown Princess Mary of Denmark  | The Royal Hats Blog

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark  | The Royal Hats Blog Crown Princess Mary of Denmark  | The Royal Hats Blog

The Princess of Asturias, who does not wear hats very often, suddenly developed some hat bravery and appeared in this Maria Nieto designed asymmetrical signature hat in dove grey complete with a flower and feather explosion on top.  I’m going to give her points for her new-found hat bravery but something about the shape of this hat didn’t work for me. The crown ended up looking like a giant earmuff and that’s never a good thing. Leitizia’s column dress would have been better contrasted with a hat with a horizontal brim, don’t you think?


The Princess of Asturias   | The Royal Hats Blog

Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein wore the loveliest shade of green silk from head to toe… but even in the loveliest shade, it was too much green Her hat looked like a folded green dinner napkin and fell flat for me.

Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein   | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein   | The Royal Hats Blog

Princess Mathilde of Belgium wore a blush pink picture hat designed by Belgian designer Fabienne Delvigne. I loved this hat- it was quietly elegant and looked beautiful on Mathilde. The rest of her ensemble was a bit to pink for me (we have to break her of this head-to-toe one colour obsession) but didn’t attract from how much I love that hat.

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

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway wore a wreath of beaded flowers??? I know. I didn’t really get this either.

 Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway   | The Royal Hats Blog Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway   | The Royal Hats Blog

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway   | The Royal Hats Blog Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway   | The Royal Hats Blog

I thought that the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg looked all right in this latte brown straw hat with rolled brim. While I liked the colour with her newly darkened caramel hair, I think the brim was to chunky for Princess Stephanie’s delicate features and the hat aged her WAY beyond her 29 years.

 Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie of Luxembourg  | The Royal Hats Blog Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie of Luxembourg  | The Royal Hats Blog

Crown Princess Masako of Japan was all smiles this morning. Much has been speculated about Masako, whose attendance at this event ended a decade-long period of her missing out international royal events (officially, the Japanese court says she is being treated for adjustment disorder but unofficially, it’s widely understood she’s suffered chronic depression after giving up her international diplomacy career to marry the Crown Prince). Masako repeated the silk dress and matching pillbox hat she wore for Emporer Akihito’s birthday celebrations in 2010. The hat alone, I love on her. With the dress, it’s a lot of fabric. That being said, it was just so wonderful to see Masako back out in public. Her cute husband, Crown Prince Naruhito, beamed non-stop from ear to ear, clearly thrilled to be attending this event together.

 Crown Princess Masako of Japan | The Royal Hats Blog

 Crown Princess Masako of Japan | The Royal Hats Blog

 Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Misned  of Qatar wore a navy turban to coordinate with her couture outfit and serious bling. I don’t think there’s any point commenting about her hat since we’re all just staring at her necklace! And yes- it’s real. Mozah doesn’t do jewels that aren’t real.

Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Misned  of Qatar   | The Royal Hats Blog

Photos from Pool, Julian Parker, and Robin Utrecht via Getty; Hello Magazine, Belga via Skynet;  The Daily Mail and Dutch Photo Press