European Royals Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation

Members of six royal houses gathered at the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland today to commemorate the 70th anniversary of its liberation. Gathered together to remember the horrific history of this place, where more than one and a half million people lost their lives, were the King and Queen of Belgium, the King and Queen of the Netherlands, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and the Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg.

For the outdoor commemoration ceremony, Queen Mathilde wore a large black faux fur hat.

Queen Mathilde, January 27, 2015 | Royal HatsQueen Mathilde, January 27, 2015 | Royal HatsQueen Máxima repeated a black wool calot hat with wide, folded cuff around the perimeter of the hat. In a respectful and touching gesture, King Willem Alexander wore a traditional Jewish kippah.

Queen Máxima, January 27, 2015 | Royal Hats Queen Máxima, January 27, 2015 | Royal Hats Queen Máxima and King Willem Alexander, January 27, 2015 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Victoria and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stèphanie did not wear hats for this event. This commemoration, however, was not about hats or who attended. It was about taking time to remember a period of purest evil so that through this memory, humanity can keep it from becoming part of our future.

“What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it happening again.” – Anne Frank, 7th May 1944

Queen Máxima and Queen Mathilde, January 27, 2015 | Royal Hats

I encourage you to watch the full commemoration ceremony below.

Photos from Getty as indicated and Patrick van Katwijk via Monarchy Press

Belgian Monarchs Launch Mons as Cultural Capital

Members of the European Commission named two cities as the European Capitals of Culture 2015 – Mons, Belgium and  Plzen, Czech Republic. On Saturday, the ceremony launching Mons into this new role was held at the Sainte Waudru Cathedral and King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were in attendance. Queen Mathilde wore a version of a headpiece that gained considerable response here at Royal Hats last year (and tied for your choice for least favourite royal hat of 2014) – the infamous royal antlers. This version, in caramel brown, included a fury headband anchoring the piece.

Queen Mathilde, January 24, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal HatsQueen Mathilde, January 24, 2015 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

I continue to be surprised at the number of hats and headpieces worn by Queen Mathilde and Queen Máxima that are the same. As their main milliner is the same, one would think this could easily be avoided. That complaint aside, I can hardly wait to hear your responses on this headpiece!

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This is a new headpiece

Photos from Benoit Doppagne and Benoit Doppagne via Getty

Birthday of Queen Mathilde

Royal Hats January 20 is the birthday of two prominent royal women- the Countess of Wessex and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. While we’re going to celebrate the Countess of Wessex’s milestone birthday in depth  tomorrow, I didn’t want the day to pass without sharing our best wishes for Queen Mathilde on her 42nd birthday today.

Queen Mathilde has worn some very bold hats during her royal life (some are reviewed at this post) and it was difficult for me to choose one piece I would like to see return into circulation. My final choice is a quirky, creative and unique piece that surprised me when Mathilde first wore it in July 2009. It’s not a hat for the faint of heart and that makes me love Mathilde for being brave enough to wear it. I would love to see it brought out for another outing in 2015.

What hat would you like Queen Mathilde to bring back this year?

Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2009 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Devigne
Previously Worn: July 21, 2009

Photo from Bauer Griffin via Zimbio

The Winners: Least Favourite Royal Hats of 2014

Royal HatsAfter looking at all the royal hats we saw in 2014, we narrowed down our least favourites to twelve and then you, dear readers, got to work casting your votes.  In an unprecedented result here on Royal Hats, we have not just one but TWO ties within the category of least favourite royal hat of 2014. Here are the top 5 winners (or disasters, as may be the case here):

 5

Queen Margrethe, March 9, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Margrethe’s bright blue Teletubby beanie hat worn on March 9

Tied at 3 are:

Queen Máxima,May 6, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats    Queen Máxima, December 4, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Máxima’s fleshy pink head wrap worn May 6 and shiny oyster velvet turban worn December 4

And sharing the top spot at 1 are:

Queen Mathilde, July 5, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats   Queen Máxima, June 25, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde’s brown burlap head wrap worn at Prince Amadeo’s wedding on July 5
 and Queen Máxima’s black antennae fascinator worn June 25

With two royal head wraps topping this list, I think we can safely deem that the least favourite hat style we saw last year! You can see the other finalist in this category at this post. Stay tuned later this morning to see the winner of our favourite royal hat of 2014.

Photos from Birger Storm via Billed Bladet; Albert Nieboer and Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis; Elisabetta Villa/Stringer via Getty and via Patrick van Katwijk Corbis

Belgian Monarchs Commemorate Battle of the Bulge

On Saturday, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium attended a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne on Saturday. Queen Mathilde repeated a brimless hat made of the same silver-theaded navy fabric as her coat. I like this hat in front views, where it looks like a pillbox. From the side, however, its domed crown looks to have a slightly pointed top. I just can’t get behind a pointy pillbox.

Queen Mathilde, December 13, 2014 | Royal HatsQueen Mathilde, December 13, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 13, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: unconfirmed
Previously Worn: November 11, 2011

In a  homage to U.S. Army General Anthony McAuliffe, who had said “Nuts!” in response to an ultimatum from the German army, the royal couple threw nuts to the crowd.

Queen Mathilde, December 13, 2014 | Royal Hats

http://www.rtl.be/videos/page/rtl-video-en-embed/640.aspx?VideoID=519012

Photos from AFP and EPA via The Daily Mail

Funeral of Queen Fabiola

The Belgian Royal Family gathered today in the Cathedral Saints Michel et Gudule to bid farewell to Queen Fabiola. For this funeral, Queen Mathilde wore a new black fabric-covered headpiece that circled her head.

Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, December 12, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Paola wore a delicate veil in black Brussels lace.

Queen Paola, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Paola, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Queen Paola, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Astrid wore a headband trimmed with a stacked, double silk bow topped with a swath of dotted net tulle.

Princess Astrid, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Astrid, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Maria Laura wre a wide black felt headband while Princess Elisabetta, wife of Prince Amadeo, wore a small black pillbox hat with rounded crown and grosgrain ribbon trim around the hat. Princess Luisa Maria was the only grandchild of King Albert and Queen Paola who did not attend the funeral (presumably, she was not able to leave her studies in England).

Princess Maria Laura, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Elisabetta, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Claire wore a charcoal grey hat which was simply trimmed with a wide ribbon around the crown. The flat brim of this hat was slightly upturned around the edge and the straight sided crown was gently domed at the top.

Princess Claire, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Louise wore her first hat for this important family event. Her mottled grey felt cloche was trimmed with a petite bow at the back.

Princess Louise, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Louise, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Léa, widow of King Albert’s late half-brother Prince Alexander, wore a beautiful black lace veil. Princes Marie-Esméralda (younger half-sister of King Albert) wore a Victorian inspired black hat with net tulle trim. The back of the hat, which folded upward, was trimmed with several black satin bows.

Princess Léa and Princes Marie-Esméralda, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

You can see hats worn by royal cousins from Luxembourg and Liechtenstein at this post and hats worn by representatives of other royal houses at this post.

Photos from Patrick van KatwijkPatrick van KatwijkOlivier PoletPool/Luc ClaessenPatrick van Katwijk, Christophe Licoppe, Pool/Luc Claessen, Didier Lebrun, Albert Nieboer, Patrick van KatwijkDidier Lebrun, Christophe LicoppePieter Jan Vanstockstraeten, Didier Lebrun, Didier Lebrun, and Didier Lebrun, all via Corbis 

Royal Hats this Year: Belgium

Year in Review 2014Here are all of the Belgian royal hats we saw this year (click on each photo to link its original post with larger views of each hat):

Princess Léa and Princess Marie-Esmeralda (#2 and 3)

1. Princess Léa, February 18, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog  2. Princess Marie-Esmeralda, February 18, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog  3. Princess Marie-Esmeralda, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Maria-Laura (#4 and 5), Princess Elisabetta (#6) and Princess Astrid

4. Princess Maria-Laura, July 5, 2014 | Royal Hats  5. Princess Maria Laura, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats  6. Princess Elisabetta, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats  7. Princess Astrid, July 5, 2014 | Royal Hats  8. Princess Astrid, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Paola

 9. Queen Paola, February 18, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog  10. Queen Paola, July 5, 2014 | Royal Hats

Princess Claire and Princess Louise (#15)

11. Princess Claire, July 5, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats 12. Princess Claire, July 21, 2014 | Royal Hats 13. Princess Claire, November 15, 2014 | Royal Hats 14. Princess Claire, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats 15. Princess Louise, December 12, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde

16. Queen Mathilde, February 6, 2014 in Dior | The Royal Hats Blog 17. Queen Mathilde, February 17, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog 18. Queen Mathilde, February 18, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog 19. Queen Mathilde, February 19, 2014 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

20. Queen Mathilde, March 13, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog 21.  Queen Mathilde, March 30, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog 22. Queen Mathilde, April 1, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | The Royal Hats Blog 23. Queen Mathilde, June 3, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

24. Queen Mathilde, June 6, 2014 | Royal Hats 25. Queen Matilde, July 5, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats 26. Queen Mathilde, July 10, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats 27. Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

28. Queen Mathilde, August 4, 2014 | Royal Hats 29. Queen Mathilde, October 28, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats 30. Queen Mathilde, Novemer 12, 2014 | Royal Hats 31. Queen Mathilde, Decmeber 12, 2014 | Royal Hats 32. Queen Mathilde, Decmeber 13, 2014 | Royal Hats

Do any of these hats make your list of favourite royal hats this year? Is there one you want to nominate for your least favourite hat of 2014?

*Update: Belgian royal hats worn on December 12 and December 13 have been added to this list.