Who Wore It Best: July 2014 Poll Results

Royal Hats

A WWI Best

Facing off these three summery straw berets yielded one very clear winner:

2014-07 results

Princess Marie of Denmark, April 14, 2011 

Thanks to everyone who voted! Stay tuned for another lineup of summery straw hats that will compete beginning tomorrow.

Photos from Chris Ison and Max Mumby via Getty and Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis

Belgian National Day 2014

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium celebrated their country’s national holiday today by attending aTe Deum at the Cathédrale des Saints Michel-et-Gudule in Brussels with their young family. Queen Mathilde wore a dramatic dark orange straw picture hat with an asymmetrical brim. The focus of this new hat, designed by Fabienne Delvigne, was the rough, shredded edge of the brim. I’m not sure if this unfinished straw leans toward the festive… or the messy. I do however, believe that Mathilde is one of the few royal women who looks beautiful in orange. It’s a great colour on her.

Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Little Princess Eléonore wore a pale pink bow in her hair while Princess Elisabeth added pale pink roses to her curled chignon.

Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

This afternoon, the royal family was joined by the King’s siblings for the annual military parade along the Place des Palais in Brussels. Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este wore what I believe is her Lieutenant-colonel uniform and hat from her time in the Belgian Medical Component.

Princess Astrid, July 21, 2014  | Royal Hats  Princess Astrid, July 21, 2014  | Royal Hats

Prince Laurent wore his naval uniform and cap while and Princess Claire topped her white lace dress with a flat black bow fascinator. Black and white is always a classic look although I would have preferred Claire in a full-on hat. It was lovely to see her and Prince Laurent looking so animated after his health struggles earlier this year.

Prince Laurent, July 21, 2014  | Royal Hats  Princess Claire, July 21, 2014  | Royal Hats

Princess Claire, July 21, 2014  | Royal Hats

 King Albert and Queen Paola did not attend this event- a decision, presumably, to keep the current King and Queen at the center of national day festivities.

Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

What did you think of Queen Mathilde’s showstopping hat today?

Photos from Belga via Lavenir

Danish Royal Couple Arrive in Sønderborg

On Saturday, Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik arrived in Sønderborg Harbour aboard the Danish royal yacht ‘Dannebrog’, en route to their summer residence at Gråsten Palace. For their arrival by sea, Prince Henrik donned a suitably nautical cap while Queen Margrethe repeated a red straw hat. The scale of this hat is really good on Margrethe and the square crown and square rolled brim makes it visually interesting. The embroidered ribbon daisy is a sweet and personal touch as well.  It’s a great hat for her, don’t you think?

Queen Margrethe, July 19, 2014 | Royal HatsQueen Margrethe, July 19, 2014 | Royal HatsQueen Margrethe, July 19, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: September 5, 2013June 7, 2013September 3, 2012;  May 25, 2011June 7, 2011November 6, 2009July 23, 2009; and June 2, 2009

Photos from Poul F.Skøtt via JV.dk

15th Anniversary of Wessex Wedding

Earl and Countess of Wessex, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats

Royal Hats

Last month during Ascot, the Earl and Countess of Wessex celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. Let’s belatedly celebrate their anniversary with a peek back at their wedding.

When Prince Edward and Sophie married on June 19, 1999 in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the couple had dated for eight years. Their wedding reflected the maturity that comes when marrying in one’s 30s and appeared to be a deliberate departure from the grand scale Windsor weddings of Edward’s elder siblings. Nowhere was this departure more evident than in the bride’s dress (no 1980s bow-covered meringue here!). Designed by Samantha Shaw, the gown was a medieval inspired dress coat with a deep v-neckline, long bell shaped sleeves and a slim silhouette. Made of hand-dyed ivory silk organza and silk crepe, the coat was embellished with several hundred thousand  pearl and cut-glass beads and swept into a modest train. For the private party following the ceremony, the coat was removed to reveal a simple silk dress.

Sophie Rhys-Jones, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats Sophie Rhys-Jones, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats

Sophie topped her dress with a long gossamer silk organza veil studded with seed pearls; the veil caught the wind when she exited St. George’s Chapel and its delicacy was shown to full effect. Her pearl earrings and necklace with cross pendant, also in a Medieval style, were a gift designed by Prince Edward. Her tiara was a surprise as it was a ‘new’ piece made of four separate Victorian pieces from Queen Elizabeth’s private collection (you can read more about it here).

Sophie Rhys-Jones, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats Sophie Rhys-Jones, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie Rhys-Jones, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats

Sophie Rhys-Jones, June 19, 1999 | Royal HatsPrince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie Rhys-Jones, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats

The four young bridesmaids and pages wore outfits inspired by the Knights of the Order of the Garter, complete with black velvet Tudor bonnet-inspired headpieces trimmed with a plume of white ostrich feathers on the young ladies. The unusual choice of attire for the children was a nice connection to the wedding chapel (St. George’s is the chapel of the Order of the Garter) and gave us one of the only royal weddings with hat-wearing attendants!

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie Rhys-Jones, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats

While the vast majority of British royal weddings take place in the morning where morning suits, day dresses and hats are required, Edward and Sophie married in the late afternoon; the dress code for the wedding was full-length formal wear with no hats. Old habits die hard, however, as was evidenced by headgear sported on several of Prince Edward’s relatives. Queen Elizabeth wore a beaded 1920s flapper style headpiece with a spray of sweeping lavender feathers. This remains one of the only times the Queen wore a fascinator and I think it was wonderfully sassy on her.

 Queen Elizabeth, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats  Queen Elizabeth, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats

The Queen Mother ignored the dress code (as is the prerogative of anyone 99 years of age) and wore a mauve hat trimmed in coordinating osprey feathers. I’m not a fan of the spiky feathers covering the entire hat but I’m a great fan of the Queen Mother’s unapologetic sense of both style and tradition so I’m not going to complain.

Queen Elizabeth, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats

The Duchess of Kent wore a feathered fascinator in white, tan and chocolate while Princess Anne topped her green ensemble with a spray of upright green feathers. My favourite fascintor of the day, however, was the pale pink headpiece organza bow loops Lady Romsey tucked into the back of her elegant hairstyle. Feathers sticking out of the back of one’s head have a tendency to look like a rooster but Lady Romsey’s headpiece hit exactly the right note.

Duchess of Kent, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats Princess Anne,  June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats Lady Romsey,  June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats

While this was not a wedding of memorable hats, I am curious, dear readers – what did you think of the headpieces?

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie Rhys-Jones, June 19, 1999 | Royal Hats

Photos from The Royal ForumsJohn Stillwell, Anwar Hussein, Anwar Hussein, Anwar Hussein, Ian WaldieGerry Penny, AFP/Stringer; and Ian Waldie via Getty; UPPAUPPA, UPPA and UPPA via The Royal Forums; Tim Graham via Getty and Camera Press via The Daily Mail

Reader Question and Response from Rachel Trevor Morgan

Royal Hats The most common reader question here at Royal Hats is “How do royals store all their hats?”. British milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan (who regularly makes hats for Queen Elizabeth and other members of the British Royal Family) joins us today to offer 4 simple recommendations for hat storage (for both royal and non-royal hats!) Royal Hat Storage

 

1  Always keep your hat in a box.

2 Sit the hat the right way round and not upside down when in its box. It keeps its shape better that way.

Goorin hat3 Use plenty of tissue and make sure that the tissue is supporting the hat. If the brim is a down-brim the put lots of tissue in the crown of the hat so that it is sitting on that tissue and not on the brim that could otherwise go out of shape.

4Likewise with a small hat with a veil, make sure the veil sits over a ball of tissue so that it does not lose its shape. This is especially relevant to veils that have been blocked (shaped) which we always do.

 

 

 

Thank you so much Rachel! It seems the equation for successful hat storage is simple: store the hat upright in a box entirely supported with tissue. I suppose if you have many hats, a photo or description on the box would be helpful for organization as well. I imagine Queen Elizabeth’s hat closet is a large set of shelves filled with hundreds of hat boxes in varying sizes, perhaps organized by colour.  Do you have other handy tips for hat storage you can share?

Royal Hat Storage
**Thanks to all of you readers who have patiently awaited a response on this question!

Queen Elizabeth Opens Reading Station

Queen Elizabeth visited Reading Railway Station this morning to view the station’s recently completed redevelopement and renovation. For this visit (she officially reopened the venue and posed with some of the many workers who worked on the project), she repeated a blue hat we have not seen in a while. One of Angela Kelly’s flat crown and flat brim hats, this hat was covered in the same blue silk as the Queen’s jacket and trimmed with a spray of curling s crimson, yellow and orange ombre feathers and blue fabric leaves. On its own, this hat is brought to life by the interesting and colourful feather trim. I’m less certain of its success paired with this fussy blue jacket and embroidered dress

Queen Elizabeth, July 17, 2014 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats        Queen Elizabeth, July 17, 2014 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats

Queen Elizabeth, July 17, 2014 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats               Queen Elizabeth, July 17, 2014 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats

Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: July 4, 2010

Designer Interview: Philip Treacy

Royal Hats One of the most prolific royal hat designers these days is Irish milliner Philip Treacy. He was interviewed by the Investec Derby Festival (which is held each June at Epsom Downs and attended by Queen Elizabeth) about his approach to design. It’s a short but interesting interview. Enjoy!