Christening of Prince Christian: Royal Guests

Royal Hats When Prince Christian of Denmark was christened ten years ago, the event was attended by numerous royal relatives and close friends. After looking at the hats worn by his mother, grandparents and godparents, we now turn our attention to those worn by royal guests.

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 Theodora, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats  Princess Laurentien, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats

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 Mathilde, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats  Princess Mathilde, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats

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 Märtha Louise, January 21, 2006  in Anja Irgens| Royal Hats  Princess Märtha Louise, January 21, 2006  in Anja Irgens| Royal Hats

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.

Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats   Countess of Frederiksborg, January 21, 2006 | Royal Hats

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?

Inventory: Queen Mathilde’s Blue Hats

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.Princess Mathilde, February 2005 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  2.Princess Mathilde, April 29, 2011 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats  3.2012-02-06 mass for deceased royals 4

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne; Philip Treacy; Maison Van den Borne
Introduced: February 2005; April 29, 2011; February 16, 2012

4.Queen Mathilde, September 27, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  5.Queen Mathilde, Dec. 2, 2013 Elvis Pompilio | Royal Hats  6.Queen Mathilde, March 30, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne; Elvis Pompilio; unknown
Introduced: September 27, 2013; December 2, 2013March 30, 2014

7.Queen Mathilde, May 6, 2015 in Dior | Royal Hats  8.Queen Mathilde, Novemer 12, 2014 | Royal Hats  9.Queen Mathilde, May 20, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

 Designer: Christian Dior; unknown; Fabienne Delvigne
Introduced: June 6, 2014; November 12, 2014May 20, 2015

10.Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Introduced: July 21, 2015

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?

Photos from LesoirChris Jackson and Mark Renders via Getty; Patrick van Katwijk/dpa/CorbisPatrick van Katwijk/dpa/CorbisJULIEN WARNAND/epa/Corbis; Albert Nieboer/dpa/Corbis; AFP/Emmanuel Dunand and Michel Porro via Getty; Patrick van Katwijk/dpa/Corbis

Your Winners! Best New Royal Hats of 2015

2015 best hat small

After nine polls, ten finalists and more than twenty thousand votes, your favourite new royal hats of 2015 have been named. With no further fanfare, here are the top five winners (jump back to this post for a peek at all the finalists):

#5 Queen Mathilde’s red straw saucer by Fabienne Delvigne worn on June 25 in China

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

#4     Princess Madeleine of Sweden’s magenta silk flower and ribbon twist headpiece by Philip Treacy worn for the christening of Prince Nicolas on October 11

Princess Madeleine, October 11, 2015 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

#3 The Countess of Wessex’s soaring cream straw slice hat with lattice woven ribbon detail by Jane Taylor, worn for Ascot on June 16 

And by an incredibly slim winning margin of just twelve votes, your#1  favourite new royal hat of 2015 was Beatrice Borromeo’s natural straw hat with textured mushroom brim of unknown design worn at the christening of Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques on May 10

                         2015-05-11 Monaco Christening 49

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!

For those of you wondering about the best repeated hat of 2015, I think it’s safe to say that this Jane Taylor design on the Countess of Wessex (which won our Ascot 2015 poll) would likely win. It received far greater positive response than any other hat we saw last year.

Photos from Getty as indicated; Philip Reynaers/Photo News S.A./Corbis;  Patrick van Katwijk/dpa/Corbis; and Eric Gaillard / Reuters

Best New Royal Hats of 2015

2015 best hat small

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):

#1 and #2

Queen Mathilde, June 25, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats      Crown Princess Victoria, May 31, 2015 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde in a red straw Fabienne Delvigne saucer on June 25 in China
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in a pale pink angled Philip Treacy picture hat for the Indian State Visit, May 31

#3

3.Beatrice Boromeo, May 10, 2015 | Royal Hats

Beatrice Borromeo in a natural straw hat with textured mushroom brim at the Monaco twins’ christening on May 10

#4 and #5
#7 and #8

#9 

Princess Madeleine, October 11, 2015 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Princess Madeleine of Sweden in a magenta silk flower and ribbon twist headpiece by Philip Treacy
for the christening of Prince Nicolas on October 11

#10

Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde in a pale blue Fabienne Delvigne picture hat with fluted brim on July 21 for Belgian National Day

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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!

Photos from Getty as indicated; Philip Reynaers/Photo News S.A./Corbis; Sören Andersson / TT via The Swedish Royal Court; Eric Gaillard / Reuters; Patrick van Katwijk/dpa/Corbis, and  Patrick van Katwijk/dpa/Corbis

Best New Royal Hat of 2015: Belgium

2015 best hat small

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.

Queen Mathilde:

   1.Queen Mathilde, February 12, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats     2.Queen Mathilde, May 20, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats      3.Queen Mathilde, June 12, 2015 | Royal Hats    4.Queen Mathilde, June 22, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

5.Queen Mathilde, June 23, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats     6.Queen Mathilde, June 25, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats    7.Queen Mathilde, June 26, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

8.Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats      9.Queen Mathilde, October 14, 2015 | Royal Hats   10.Queen Mathilde, October 15, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Princess Astrid:

11.Princess Astrid, February 12, 2015 | Royal Hats   12.Princess Astrid, June 17, 2015 Royal Hats

Princess Claire:

13.Princess Claire, February 12, 2015 | Royal Hats   14.Princess Claire, July 21, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

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.

Belgian Monarchs Attend Mass in Mechelen

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.

Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2015 | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2015 | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2015 | Royal Hats

Designer: unconfirmed
Previously Worn: December 13, 2014November 11, 2011; November 15, 2008

Photos from Stephanie Lecocq and Stephanie Lecocq via EPA; and EPA via HLN

Inventory: Queen Mathilde’s Orange Hats

Royal Hats 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:

1. Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats   2. Queen Mathilde, May 21, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats   3. Queen Mathilde, October 2, 2013 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: all three are Fabienne Delvigne
First Appeared: July 21, 2014; May 21, 2015October 2, 2013

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:

4. Princess Mathilde, May 2, 2009 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats   5. Princess Mathilde, July 21, 2004 | Royal Hats

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).

Queen Mathilde, July 3, 2012 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Princess Mathilde, July 21, 2010 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

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?

Photos from JULIEN WARNAND/epa/Corbis; Philip Reynaers/Photo News S.A./Corbis; Le Soir; Pascal Le Segretain via Getty; The Royal Forums; CRIENGLISH.com/Zheng Zhi; and Albert van der Werf/dpa/Corbis