Funeral of the Duke of Marlborough

Viscount and Viscountess Linley gathered with other mourners yesterday in Woodstock to pay final respects to  the 11th Duke of Marlborough, John Spencer-Churchill. Serena wore an angular beret in black textured woven straw trimmed with a pair of clipped black feathers.

Viscountess Linley, October 24, 2014 | Royal Hats

The Dowager Duchess of Marlborough, Lily Spencer-Churchill, wore a black straw lampshade shaped hat with rolled crin underbrim and crin rosette at the side.

Dowager Duchess of Marlborough, October 24, 2014 | Royal Hats

Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece were also in attendance (it appeared that Princess Marie-Chantal did not wear a hat). 

Danish Royals Conclude Visit to Croatia

The Danish Royal Couple continued their visit to Croatia this week with native art exhibit and a tour of the Carlsberg factory in Koprivnica yesterday and visits to the archaeological complex of Salona and a Diocletian palace in Split today. Queen Margrethe wore her natural straw small-brimmed hat both days, as she is prone to do when traveling. Even with the changed fabric bands (obviously, to coordinate with each outfit), this hat does not excite me. Perhaps that’s because we have seen it so much?

Queen Margrethe, October 23, 2014 | Royal Hats

Queen Margrethe, October 23, 2014 | Royal Hats


Designer: unknown
Previously Worn (with plaid band): September 9, 2014July 3, 2014June 20, 2014September 3, 2013August 29, 2013;  June 4, 2013June 9, 2011
Previously Worn (with green band): September 10, 2014; September 1, 2014April 28, 2013August 30, 2013September 5, 2012

British Royals Visit Science Museum

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the “Information Age” exhibition at the British Science Museum. For this visit, where the Queen watched part of her coronation on a television set from that era and sent her first ‘tweet’, the Queen repeated her sky blue wool hat with feathered chrysanthemum trim. I continue to have a change of heart about this hat (first seen at Prince George’s christening last year) because the colour is so lovely on Her Majesty and the feathery flower trim works so well. When I see pictures of it like these ones today, it’s easy to forget it still has that awful seam in the back). From the front however, it looks great on Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth, October 24, 2014 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats

Designer: Angela Kelly. The handmade feather flowers were made by Stella McLaren.  
Previously Worn: April 8, 2014; October 23, 2013

Photos from Chris Jackson/WPA Pool via Corbis and Getty as indicated

Who Wore It Best: October Poll

Royal Hats

Royal Hats

The second fall-themed poll this month is going to face off another pair of Philip Treacy designed hats worn by two British royals. Both hats are made of wool felt, both have indented crowns and both brims are upturned and worn at an angle. Both hats are trimmed in a trio of large maple leaves made of the same wool felt as the main body of the hat (although the Duchess of Cornwall’s embellishment also includes a trio of three-leaf clovers). Amazingly, both hats were worn on holidays within 3 months of each other. That leaves me wondering, dear readers, who wore it best?

2006-01-01 Sandringham   2006-03-17 Cheltanham

Countess of Wessex celebrating New Year at Sandringham, January 1, 2006
Duchess of Cornwall enjoying the Cheltenham Festival on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2006

Photos from Anwar Hussein and Tim Graham via Getty

80th Birthday of Empress Michiko

Royal HatsEmpress of Michiko of Japan celebrated her 80th birthday earlier this week, a milestone which provides us a wonderful opportunity to look back through her history of interesting hats. Click on any of the photos below to link with the photo’s original source (which usually includes the date the photo was taken and a larger version of the photo).

Michiko Shōda was born in Tokyo on October 20, 1934 and married Crown Prince Akihito (as was his title at the time) in 1959. The first period of her millinery style, through the 1960s and 1970s, certainly reflected the fashion of the day.

Crown Princess Michiko in 1960 | Royal Hats Crown Princess Michiko, September 1, 1960 | Royal Hats Crown Princess Michiko, 1963| Royal Hats 

Crown Princess Michiko| Royal Hats 1960s late Crown Princess Michiko, May 7, 1972 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Michiko, March 7, 1974 | Royal Hats Crown Princess Michiko, June 8, 1978 | Royal Hats Crown Princess Michiko, June 15, 1976 | Royal Hats Crown Princess Michiko, September 11, 1978 | Royal Hats

The next period in Michiko’s millinery style began when she started working with Japanese milliner Akio Hirata. As Hirata provided hats for Michiko in the shapes popular in 1980s fashion, the hat style that we all now associate with the Empress began to emerge.

Crown Princess Michicko, October 27, 1980 | Royal Hats Crown Princess Michicko, August 4, 1983 | Royal Hats Crown Princess Michicko, March 17, 1985 | Royal Hats

When Akihito and Michiko became Emperor and Empress of Japan in 1990, Michiko’s distinctive hat style was well established. During her first decade as Empress, flowers were the dominant motif embellishing Michiko’s hats and there was much play with colour.

Empress Michiko, November 18, 1990| Royal Hats Empress Michiko, September 3, 1993| Royal Hats Empress Michiko, September 9, 1993 | Royal Hats Empress Michiko, June 12, 1994 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, June 13, 1994 | Royal Hats Empress Michiko, September 19, 1993| Royal Hats Empress Michiko, May 29, 1997 | Royal Hats Empress Michiko, May 27, 1997 | Royal Hats Empress Michiko, December 1, 1999 | Royal Hats

Since 2000, we have seen another type of trim on Empress Michiko’s hats in a series of origami inspired bows and folded embellishments.

  Empress Michiko, July 14, 2002 | The Royal Hats Blog Empress Michiko, May 7, 2005 | The Royal Hats Blog Empress Michiko, 2009 | The Royal Hats Blog Empress Michiko, June 14, 2009 | The Royal Hats Blog

Empress Michiko, May 15, 2012 | The Royal Hats Blog Empress Michiko, March 28, 2014 | The Royal Hats Blog Empress Michiko, August 13, 2009 | The Royal Hats Blog Empress Michiko, November 18, 2012 | The Royal Hats Blog Empress Michiko, May 2013| The Royal Hats Blog

I can’t think of a contemporary royal who has such a consistent and distinctive personal millinery style. While it might not appeal to everyone, we can probably all agree that it is elegant, refined and perhaps even a little quirky in its own way. What I appreciate about Michiko’s millinery style is that it appears to both balance and reflect her royal status, her quiet personality and her culture, three things that I suspect might be difficult to do with one’s hat.

 Empress Michiko, November 1, 2013| The Royal Hats Blog  Empress Michiko, July 17, 2002| The Royal Hats Blog Empress Michiko, May 8, 2003| The Royal Hats Blog 2006-05-08

  Empress Michiko, June 9, 2006| The Royal Hats Blog   Empress Michiko, April 21, 2014| The Royal Hats Blog

Empress Michiko, May 9, 2005| The Royal Hats Blog  2013-12-06 Empress Michiko, November 7, 2003| The Royal Hats Blog  Empress Michiko, June 11, 2006| The Royal Hats Blog

I am curious to hear your thoughts on Empress Michiko’s history of hats, dear readers. Are there any in particular that you would claim for your own closet? Are you warming to Michiko’s petite saucers, pillboxes and percher hats?

The Empress released an interview about her life earlier this week- you can read the English translation here. Her words are thoughtful and give profound insight into her royal life- I highly recommend it.

Who Wore it Best: October Poll Results

Royal Hats

Royal Hats

In the first of our fall themed polls this month, we faced off two tall Philip Treacy hats trimmed with trailing red oak leaves. It seems that in the end, shape was the deciding factor this race and your favourite of these two hats emerged as:

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, December 6, 2004 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, December 6, 2004

Stay tuned early tomorrow for the next poll.

Original photo sources are unknown. Photos from My Royal’s Blog and Mary From the Start Blog

Danish Royal Couple Visit Croatia

Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik of Denmark have been on a shortvisit to Croatia this week. For their arrival yesterday in Zagreb, Margrethe repeated the pale blue bumper hat we saw her recently wear for the opening of parliament (a hat we have seen so frequently this year, I have simply run out of words to talk about it).

Queen Margrethe, October 21, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: October 7, 2014September 14, 2014June 24, 2014May 19, 2014April 25, 2014

Today, the Danish Queen gave us a delightful surprise in the debut of a new hat! Queen Margrethe has worn numerous hats with upfolded brims (like the one above as well as this one, this one and this one) and while they can be reminiscent of sailor hats, the vibrant burgundy color of this hat enables it to stand on its own. The hat appears to be embellished by a brooch of gold foliage (or feathers?)- a thoroughly modern, creative and striking touch. I like the embellishment and colour of this hat much more than its shape and am curious what you, dear readers, think o f it.

Designer: unknown

Photos from Stella via Svenskdam, Hanne Juul via Billed Bladet and Getty as indicated