It's been far too long since we've had royal wedding hattery fun on the blog, hasn't it? Good thing the Dutch royals were happy to oblige us today!
Today's royal bride is Princess Carolina of Bourbon-Parma, the daughter of Princess Irene of The Netherlands (and therefore the niece of Queen Beatrix and the granddaughter of the late Queen Juliana) and Prince Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma, who died in 2010. Carolina, who works for the UN, married Albert Brenninkmeijer, a member of the mega-rich Brenninkmeijer family, in Florence, Italy; the couple married in a civil ceremony in The Netherlands back in April.
The Bourbon-Parma branch of the Dutch royal family has sometimes been fraught with controversy; Carolina's parents married against the wishes of her mother's parents and of the Dutch government, and her father's role as the Carlist claimant to the Spanish throne was often touchy at best. But the four B-P children were raised in the royal palaces of the Netherlands after their parents' divorce, and they're close to their Dutch royal cousins.
So it's very appropriate that Carolina's wearing a Dutch tiara on her wedding day: the Dutch Laurel Wreath Tiara, which is a newbie to the blog! It's actually the oldest tiara that the Dutch royal family owns; it dates to the early nineteenth century. Carolina's cousin-in-law, Princess Laurentien, also wore the Laurel Wreath Tiara for her wedding in 2001. I love the whole look -- the delicate lace of the veil with the delicate diamond tiara is just too beautiful!
Carolina's mother chose bold purple for her mother-of-the-bride hat outfit and hat -- y'all know how much I love a purple hat, but I think I might biff my mother if she showed up in purple satin at my wedding. Of course, my mother isn't a rebellious Dutch princess, so that probably wouldn't be an issue. (Also -- that's Carolina's hunky brother, Prince Jaime, escorting his mother. He's single and he's a diplomat. Hello!)
And the penchant for bright colors seems to run in the family -- Carolina's sister, Princess Margarita, wore quite the flattering little turquoise chapeau, but oof, that coat has definitely appeared on at least one episode of The Golden Girls.
Also in purple and teal were Queen Beatrix and Princess Margriet's daughter-in-law, Princess Marilène. Bea's purple, however, is a more subdued shade -- can you imagine the blinding glory of a cake hat in Irene's purple satin? Come to think of it, that's pretty much my ideal Dutch royal crown, actually. Also, Marilène needs to learn that a flower stuck to the side of one's head =/= a hat.
Carolina's remaning royal Dutch aunts, Princesses Margriet and Christina, went for carefully nurtured plants, sprouting artfully from their heads.
So did Princess Mabel, though her fascinator had more of a "Zara Phillips at the races" feel about it. (Honestly, though, you guys, I cannot bring myself to say anything bad about Mabel's hats anymore. She's got a penchant for wackiness, and we all know it, but seriously, ugh, poor Mabel and Friso.)
Princess Aimée went a bit twee with her headband, but I kind of like it -- even if it's maybe better suited for little Magali...
... while Laurentien and Máxima made a statement about European austerity by recycling wadded-up pieces of fabric as fascinators. Thrifty!
And Princess Sophie of Prussia, one of our recent royal brides, went with a hat that could also double as a flotation device in an emergency.
But finally -- last but not least -- a hattery debut!
This is Countess Eloise, the ten-year-old daughter of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien, and a granddaughter of Queen Beatrix. I'm always excited when we get a new Dutch hatter -- she may be just in a bridesmaid's headband now, but think of the cake hat possibilities to come!
That's all from Florence, everyone -- stay turned for Garter Day on Monday, and then ... HAT CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!
PHOTO CREDITS: (1) Jacopo Raule/Getty Images, (2) Jacopo Raule/Getty Images, (3) Jacopo Raule/Getty Images, (4) Jacopo Raule/Getty Images, (5) Jacopo Raule/Getty Images, (6) PPE, (7) PPE, (8) Jacopo Raule/Getty Images, (9) Jacopo Raule/Getty Images, (10) Jacopo Raule/Getty Images, (11) Jacopo Raule/Getty Images