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?
As Queen Mathilde celebrates her 43rd birthday today, we’re going to take a peek at her blue hats. She has worn ten different ones so far during her royal life- here they are in the order that they have been worn:
1. 2. 3.
Designer: Fabienne Delvigne; Philip Treacy; Maison Van den Borne Introduced: February 2005;April 29, 2011; February 16, 2012
For hats of the same hue, it’s an eclectic mix! What is most interesting to me is that the first hat did not appear in Mathilde’s millinery wardrobe until 2005, more than five years after she became a princess. While I find the great similarities between hats #5 and #6 curious, I suspect that both calots were custom designs made in the same fabric as the clothes they accompanied. I don’t think #2’s grandness can be beat nor #4’s quirky sense of fun and I would adore seeing these two pieces worn again. What hats stand out most to you in this group?
It appears, dearest readers, that we have not completely joined in the current trend for cocktail hats but usually favour larger scale, dramatic hats with substantial brims. Thanks to everyone who cast a vote- you can review the detailed results of the poll below. And finally, if anyone can provide any design information about our winning hat, it would be greatly appreciated!
I am so excited to share your choices for the top ten best new royal hats we saw in 2015. You have chosen very well, dearest readers, and now is time to pick a winner. In random order, here are your ten finalists (please click on any of the captions below each photo to jump back to original posts to see additional description and detail of the hats):
You have seen the finalists- now it is time to cast your vote. Voting will remain open until January 15 at midnight GMT and we will celebrate the winner shortly thereafter. You can vote once every twelve hours for as many hats as you wish. To make things interesting, I have hidden results until the poll is finished. Happy voting!
As we are half way through December, it’s time to look back over all the royal hats we have seen this year and name our favourites. This year, we’re going to focus on all the new hats we saw- we’ll look back by country then bring forward our favourites to face off for the title of Best New Royal Hat of 2015.
We’re going to start today with all the hats débuted this year on Belgian royal heads. I’m exercising my editorial powers by not including Queen Mathilde’s open crowned hats (this one and this one), this nondescript calot and a certain pair of antlers. Click on any of the photos to jump back to original posts to see additional description and detail of the hats.
A note about voting- the hats with the most votes across this semifinal will move forward to the final face off. If you don’t think any of these hats are worthy of the title of Best of 2015, then save your votes for upcoming polls! The next one will be up on Friday.
1. 2. 3. 4.
5. 6. 7.
8. 9. 10.
Do any of these hats, in your estimation, deserve to be named best royal hat of the year? Cast your vote below. Voting will remain open until January 1, 2016 at midnight GMT and you can vote for multiple hats four times per day.
On Saturday, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde visited St. Rumbold’s Cathedral in Mechelen to take part in an installation mass for new Archbishop Jozef De Kesel. For the event, Queen Mathilde repeated a black calot hat with pointed crown and flying ribbon tail trim. The wool of this hat is woven with silver threads that lend a subtle but festive sparkle, giving lovely texture to the piece. I have always liked this piece from the front (where it looks like a pillbox hat worn on the back of Mathilde’s head) but the pointed shape combined with it’s odd pairing on this occasion with a burgundy coat and indigo accessories make it a miss for me.
As promised, we’re going to continue our inventory of orange hued royal hats with a peek into Queen Mathilde’s closet. So far in 2015, we have seen the young Belgian queen wear twenty-two different hats – in 2014, she wore just twenty. This makes her a moderate royal hat wearer and with this frequency, it is a little surprising to find that she has three orange hats currently in rotation:
Prior to becoming Queen, Mathilde wore hats much less frequently (sometimes just four or five per year). Despite this low frequency, there are two more orange headpieces which were worn during her time as princess. I suspect both have now been retired:
Designer: #4 is Fabienne Delvigne and #5 is unknown Last Appeared:May 2, 2009; July 21, 2004
Finally, there is one more hat that deserves inclusion here- a natural straw picture hat with wide orange stripe around the brim. Queen Mathilde first wore this piece for National Day in July 2010 (below right) and repeated it most recently while on a June 2012 visit to Burundi (below left).
Four orange hats in one’s current millinery closet might not sound like much but in relation to the size of Mathilde’s overall wardrobe, I think it is significant. I’m also struck by the bold shapes and brave shades she has chosen- this is not orange for the faint of heart! Queen Mathilde wears orange well and my guess is that we will see more hats in this colour appear in coming years. For now, what do you think of this collection?