Day 6 of Belgian Royal Visit To China

Queen Philippe and Queen Mathilde continued their marathon trip to China today in the city of Suzhou where the Queen spent time at a centre for children with disabilities. She looked a vision in her pale pink mottled dress topped with a new headpiece made to match.

Queen Mathilde, June 26, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, June 26, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

The headpiece consists of pale pink straw petals rimmed finished with rims of brighter pink stitching- the petals are gathered together to create a large, stylised flower. Described by the designer as a “Hibiscus and Chinese rose coloured hat in banana fibres,” it is a modern and innovative headpiece that works beautifully with this particular dress.

Queen Mathilde, June 26, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, June 26, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

My favourite images today involve a curious little girl who just could not resist reaching out to feel Mathilde’s hat. I’m sure many of us can relate!

Queen Mathilde, June 26, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, June 26, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the ‘Aramana’ design
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

What do you think of this new floral headpiece? Can you imagine it with something other than this dress?

Photos from Philip Reynaers/Photo News S.A.Philip Reynaers/Photo News S.A.Philip Reynaers/Photo News S.A.Philip Reynaers/Photo News S.A.Philip Reynaers/Photo News S.A., and Philip Reynaers/Photo News S.A. via Corbis

Belgian Royal Visit to China

On Tuesday, King Phillipe and Queen Mathilde were received by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Queen Mathilde unveiled her second new grey hat on this tour, a round felt saucer percher style trimmed with two black feather quills. This is a new hat shape for Mathilde and the proportion was just right for her. The simplicity of the hat was  a perfect contrast to Mathilde’s printed dress and made for an ensemble which was stylishly modern but very pretty.

Queen Mathilde, June 23, 2015  in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, June 23, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Yù&me” design. Dress by NATAN
Previously Worn: This is a new hat

Yesterday, the fifth day of the royal tour, Queen Mathilde joined Peng Liyuan for visits to an academy of art and experimental school for deaf students followed by a dinner with leading Chinese women hosted by fellow countryman Juan Van Wassenhove, founder of the Temple Hotel Founder. For these events, Queen Mathilde repeated her pale grey silk covered calot hat trimmed with a wide grey straw twisted ribbon tail. The pairing of this printed hat with Mathilde’s silk suit made for a demure but very elegant outfit.

Queen Mathilde, June 24, 2015 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, June 24, 2015 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, June 24, 2015 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Designer: Philip Treacy. Suit from Ann Demeulemeester
Previously Worn: February 19, 2014

After three grey hats in a row on this tour, Queen Mathilde surprised today with the most beautiful red ensemble.

 Queen Mathilde, June 25, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats   Queen Mathilde, June 25, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

A nod to the host nation’s flag, this large red saucer hat, made of in Abaka and linen, was simply trimmed with large stylised straw leaves that curved around one side of the brim. While lovely on its own, this magic of this hat was in its pairing with Mathilde’s red dress. Together, the pieces are exquisite.

Queen Mathilde, June 25, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, June 25, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne. It is the “Chinatown” design. Dress by Bernard Depoorter.
Previously Worn: This is a new hat

With the exception of her first ensemble, I think Queen Mathilde has looked fabulous on this tour. What do you think of the three hats she has worn this week?

Belgian Monarchs Visit China

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium are in the midst of an eight-day visit to China. Yesterday, the second day of the tour, the royal couple were in Wuhan Hubei Province yesterday where Queen Mathilde visited a kindergarten and the Hubei Art Museum. She used these engagements to début a new headpiece made of pleated grey straw. The sculptural piece, made up of a base of layers of fluted straw, was trimmed with with a ruched straw ribbon that followed the free-flowing movement of the hat.

Queen Mathilde, June 22, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, June 22, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

From the front, the abstract piece frames Queen Mathilde’s face quite nicely;  from the side, looks haphazard and messy. I suspect the intent of this piece was “modern wearable sculpture” but I am afraid it ends up reading more “folded napkin”.

Queen Mathilde, June 22, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, June 22, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Belgian monarchs remain in China this week and I suspect we may see another hat or two before the tour concludes. What did you think of this new hat yesterday?

Photos from Sipa Asia/ZUMA PressSipa Asia/ZUMA PressSipa Asia/ZUMA Press, and Imaginechina/Splash News via Corbis

Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo

European royals gathered in Waterloo, Belgium yesterday to participate in a ceremony hosted by the Belgian government to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The 1815 battle, which saw the overthrow of Napoleon Bonaparte and the restoration of Louis XVIII to the French throne, is being celebrated during three days of grand scale re-enactments which include more than 5000 historical re-enactors from around the world. The Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg monarchs were on hand yesterday for the first event.

As hostess for this ceremony, Queen Mathilde stood out in a natural straw hat with large, flat crown and wide mushroom brim. The considerable scale of the piece was lovely on Mathilde and gave some neutral grounding to her vibrant goldenrod dress and jacket. We haven’t seen this piece worn since 2004 and it was lovely to see it again.

Queen Mathilde, June 18, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, June 18, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, June 18, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Mathilde, June 18, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: June 26, 2004

Queen Máxima repeated her silver grey silk ringed headpiece with new grey and blue lace dress. In the past I have been rather critical of these open-topped headpieces and while I’m still not in love with this one (and retain quibbles about the puckered seams), I appreciate it much more. The open top gives this piece a lightness needed for a summer hat and places the focus on  Máxima’s face.  This is the fourth outfit we have seen Máxima pair with this headpiece (we’ll look at those in greater detail in a few weeks) and is, so far, my favourite.

Queen Máxima, June 18, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Máxima, June 18, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Máxima, June 18, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Máxima, June 18, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: April 4, 2014November 24, 2013; Oct. 20, 2007

The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg topped her oyster-grey suit with a domed pillbox hat made of the same fabric. We have seen Maria Teresa in numerous pillbox hats over the past year and the shape suits her well. The ensemble is a little bland for my taste, however, and I would have loved even a subtle bit of colour to liven it.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, June 18, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, June 18, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, June 18, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Marchioness of Douro (née Jemma Kidd), who is the Duke of Wellington’s daughter-in-law, wore a Philip Treacy percher hat in cream, trimmed with a signature Treacy twist.

The Marchioness of Douro , June 18, 2015 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

It always seems that the European royals are delighted to get together and this event was no different. What did you think of the royal hats seen yesterday in Belgium?

European Monarchs in hats by Fabienne Delvigne, June 18, 2015 | Royal Hats

Photos from Pool / Frédéric Sierakowski/Photo News S.A.Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Patrick van Katwijk, Pool / Frédéric Sierakowski/Photo News S.A., Patrick van Katwijk, Olivier PoletPool / Frédéric Sierakowski/Photo News S.A., and Pool / Yves Herman/Photo News S.A.  via Corbis; and Getty as indicated

Swedish Royal Wedding: Royal Guests

Royal Hats A number of other reigning royal houses were represented among the guests at Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist’s wedding yesterday. Queen Mathilde of Belgium topped her blue gown with the bandeau bottom piece of the Nine Provinces tiara. The simple scroll motif and low height of this tiara make it a more modest piece but in combination with her diamond and pearl drop earrings and diamanté studded off the shoulder gown (in what is THE most perfect shade of blue on her), Mathilde looked classically beautiful.

Queen Máxima wore her Mellerio Ruby tiara, a piece made up of three large scrolls connected by suspended diamond swags. With a matching necklace and bracelet, the tiara makes a grand but very light, delicate statement. I thought it was the perfect piece to pair with her embroidered lace Jan Taminiau gown, a gown many of you will recognize from her and King Willem-Alexander’s inaguration in April 2013. As she often does at such formal events, Máxima looked incredible.

Queen Máxima and Queen Mathilde, June 13, 2015 | Royal Hats

The Countess of Wessex wore her Aquamarine tiara made up of diamond scrolls around a central aquamarine. It was beautifully paired with small drop earrings, an aquamarine pendant and a grey lace dress by Czech designer Taťána Kovaříková. While some might be underwhelmed by the streamlined gown, it was exactly the right cut and shade to show the aquamarines to greatest effect and I thought Sophie looked very elegant.

Countess of Wessex, June 13, 2015 | Royal Hats

Princess Hisako of Takamado wore a diamond tiara with small pearl drops that, like the tiara she wore for Princess Madeleine’s wedding two years ago, I assume is one from the vast Japanese Royal collection allocated for her use. This piece is a perfect proportion for petite Princess Hisako; it appears that it combines with her earrings and delicate necklace to form a diamond and pearl parure. Throughout the video stream yesterday, Princess Hisako seemed to be enjoying herself immensely, wearing a wide smile and looking most lovely in her pale green, gold embroidered gown.

Just two posts remain in our coverage of the Swedish royal wedding- royal representatives from non-reigning royal families are up next.

Photos from Splash News,  Patrick van Katwijk/dpa and Patrick van Katwijk/dpa via Corbis; Getty as indicated

Queen Mathilde Celebrates Belgium At Expo 2015

Throughout its six month duration, Expo 2015 in Milan will spend one special day highlighting each of the 145 participating nations. Today was Belgium’s turn and Queen Mathilde travelled to Italy to tour her nation’s pavillion and join in celebrating all things Belgian. For this visit, Mathilde topped an elegant pleated dove grey dress and coat with a new rounded pillbox in the same shade. The straw hat followed the sleek, clean lines of the coat and dress and was trimmed simply with a knotted twist at the back from which two ribbon tails wrapped up the side of the hat. While the ensemble is very elegant, I think a pop of colour from a shoe, bag or jewel (something larger than the odd insect pin) would bring it to life. I’m afraid it’s a little boring and one-note as is.

Queen Mathilde, June 12, 2015 | Royal Hats

Designer: unconfirmed. It is very similar to this headpiece – both are likely the work of Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Photos from Nick Zonna/Splash News via Corbis and Getty as indicated