Wednesday 12 December 2018

Dutch Queen Máxima chooses an Irish designer for her much-hyped state visit to the UK

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attend the Dutch ship HNLMS Zeeland, anchored on the Thames next to HMS Belfast, to watch an on-water capability demonstration by Royal Marines and HNLMS Zeelands Marines company during day two of their state visit to the UK on October 24, 2018 in London, United Kingdom Netherlands was by Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus in 1982. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attend the Dutch ship HNLMS Zeeland, anchored on the Thames next to HMS Belfast, to watch an on-water capability demonstration by Royal Marines and HNLMS Zeelands Marines company during day two of their state visit to the UK on October 24, 2018 in London, United Kingdom Netherlands was by Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus in 1982. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands arrive to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May outside Number 10 Downing Street on October 24, 2018 in London, United Kingdom
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (C) greets King Willem-Alexander (L) and Queen Maxima outside 10 Downing Street in London on October 24, 2018, ahead of a lunch on the second day of the Dutch King and Queen's two-day state visit. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)
King Willem-Alexander (L) and Queen Maxima arrive in Downing Street in London on October 24, 2018, ahead of a lunch with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May on the second day of the Dutch King and Queen's two-day state visit. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands (L) and Britain's Sophie, Countess of Wessex, react as they prepare to watch an on-the-water capability demonstration between the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps and the Royal Marines, from the deck of HMS Belfast on the River Thames in London on October 24, 2018, on the second day of the Dutch King and Queen's two-day state visit. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP)
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands are greeted by British Prime Minister Theresa May (C) outside Number 10 Downing Street on October 24, 2018 in London, United Kingdom
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands are greeted by British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) outside Number 10 Downing Street on October 24, 2018 in London, United Kingdom
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Queen Maxima of the Netherlands watches an on-the-water capability demonstration on HMS Belfast between the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps and the Royal Marines on October 24, 2018 in London, England. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands accompanied by Queen Maxima are staying at Buckingham Palace during their two day stay in the UK. The last State Visit from the Netherlands was by Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus in 1982. (Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attends the Dutch ship HNLMS Zeeland, anchored on the Thames next to HMS Belfast, to watch an on-water capability demonstration by Royal Marines and HNLMS Zeeland's Marines company during day two of the state visit to the UK on October 24, 2018 in London, United Kingdom
(L-R) Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Sophie, Countess and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex on HMS Belfast to watch an on-the-water capability demonstration between the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps and the Royal Marines on October 24, 2018 in London, England
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands reacts as she arrives to view the Ohbot, an educational robotics system, at the UK-Netherlands Innovation Showcase at Mansion House on October 24, 2018 in London, England
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Dutch Queen Máxima, one of Europe's most stylish royals, opted for an Irish designer to add that certain je ne sais quoi to her outfit during a state visit to the UK.

The mother-of-three, who worked as an investment banker in her native Argentina before marrying King Willem-Alexander in 2004, has become a royal fashion icon for her preference of bold colours and dramatic headwear. Her second day appearance in London was no exception to the adventurous Máxima that royal watchers have come to expect as she beamed in a fuschia fit and flare dress by Oscar de la Renta, and chose a  handblocked coffee bean beret in velver with spine and Swarovski crystals charm by Galway native Philip Treacy as her most statement-making accessory of choice.

Her pink-and-black combination encapsulates her penchant for devil-may-care dress and her refusal to play by anybody's else's wardrobe rules but her own. Treacy was a fitting choice for the queen as he has long-standing links to royals the world over, including Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, and he's the milliner of choice for A-listers like Victoria Beckham and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Treacy, who was born and raised in Ahascragh, said he was always drawn to his craft, making clothes for dolls even as a child, and will never forget his father's support in his passions from an early age.

King Willem-Alexander (L) and Queen Maxima arrive in Downing Street in London on October 24, 2018, ahead of a lunch with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May on the second day of the Dutch King and Queen's two-day state visit. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)
King Willem-Alexander (L) and Queen Maxima arrive in Downing Street in London on October 24, 2018, ahead of a lunch with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May on the second day of the Dutch King and Queen's two-day state visit. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

"I have come from a very humble background, I have made hats for kings and queens," he said. "One of the strongest memories I have is being in somebody's house and my father's friend saying 'don't you think that's a little odd, don't you think it's a bit strange this child is doing this?' And I remember distinctly my father saying: 'Whatever makes him happy.' It moves me still."

The London-based designer said he would not be where he is today without the support of the British royal family. "If the royal family decided not to wear hats... then I wouldn't be sitting here having this conversation with you, because hats are part of the culture of Britishness," he said.

Their stamp of approval has granted him an international platform, which has officially reached the Netherlands - or, at least its queen.

Much has been made by the couple's arrival as it marks the first official visit by the Dutch royal family to the UK in 35 years. A number of European royals have visited Britain in recent months as royals on both sides attempt to foster a positive working relationship in preparation life post-Brexit.

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands reacts as she arrives to view the Ohbot, an educational robotics system, at the UK-Netherlands Innovation Showcase at Mansion House on October 24, 2018 in London, England
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands reacts as she arrives to view the Ohbot, an educational robotics system, at the UK-Netherlands Innovation Showcase at Mansion House on October 24, 2018 in London, England

On Tuesday night, a state dinner was held in Buckingham Palace to honour the visitors.

Online Editors

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