Queen Beatrix's hatmaker dies

16th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

16 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — Harry Scheltens, the creator of many of the striking hats worn by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, has passed away at the age of 78, his colleague and contemporary David Vos confirmed on Tuesday.

16 May 2006

AMSTERDAM — Harry Scheltens, the creator of many of the striking hats worn by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, has passed away at the age of 78, his colleague and contemporary David Vos confirmed on Tuesday.

Queen Beatrix in one of her more unusual hats

Scheltens has not worked for some time due to health problems. But over the years his large, eye-catching designs have been a trademark of the Queen's reign. The hats were said to be so striking in order to symbolise the crown. They also helped to differentiate her from her surroundings, particularly useful during crowded engagements such as Queens Day.

According to an encyclopaedia on the Dutch Royal House, compiled by royal experts, Beatrix's hats show a development from the 'daring conventional to risqué progressive'. The hats became larger, more colourful and varied in form through the 1990s.

"They almost deserve the name of fabric sculptures," the book says. "Queen Beatrix has evidently paved the way for the coming generation. Princess Maxima, in particular, has enthusiastically dived into the experimentation with hats," the writers note with approval.

The Queen’s hats have not always been greeted with universal approval. A cabaret performer once liked one of her hats to a frying pan.

Vos has himself made hats for Martine van Loon-Labouchère, Grand-Mistress of the Court of Queen Beatrix. Scheltens and Vos used to joke about their royal work: "Harry's hat in front and mine behind."

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

0 Comments To This Article