Chatto Wedding: Royal Guest Hats

Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones and Daniel Chatto, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats


Yesterday marked 20 years since the wedding of Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones and Daniel Chatto. After looking at the gowns and headpieces worn by the bride and her bridesmaids, we now turn our attention to the hats worn by Lady Sarah’s royal relatives. Lady Sarah’s mother, the late Princess Margaret, wore a pale blue hat with large, flat crown, short brim and side spray of silk roses. The hat is very much in tune with early 1990s style and scale which I think was too large for petite Princess Margaret. The hat seemed to dwarf her although the colour was very pretty.

Princess Margaret, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats Princess Margaret, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats

Lady Sarah’s sister-in-law, Viscountess Linley, wore a large black straw hat with front raised brim designed by Philip Treacy. The transparent straw hat brim was edged in a wide black band of fabric and the crown of the hat looks like it was an oversize bubble of cream straw. It is a fascinating hat but again, the oversize 1990s scale seems a little too big for Serena.

Princess Margaret and Viscountess Linley, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats Viscountess Linley, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats

Queen Elizabeth wore a coral and white straw hat with a simple white band and bow around the crown. If you look closely, you will see that the front of the brim has a diagonal seam- the brim is coral on one side and white on the other (and vice versa on the underside of the brim). This two toned feature is a unique one for Her Majesty and was the design of Ian Thomas (who was once assistant to Norman Hartnell). The brim size is also unique- we seldom see the Queen in hats with such a large brim anymore and I think she wore brims very well. The scale and coral colour of this chapeau was lovely on her.

Queen Elizabeth,  July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats Queen Elizabeth,  July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats

Lady Sarah’s grandmother, the late Queen Mother, wore a cream hat with wide brim trimmed with a wrap of ostrich feathers around the crown (see bottom photo in this post for a better sense of the scale of this hat). The large brim of this hat now seems like it was quite a departure for the Queen Mum, who usually wore calot style hats with upturned front brims that did not obscure her face. This hat was a very stately departure in her millinery style and I think she looked marvelous.

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother,  July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats   Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother,  July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats

Princess Anne wore a smart cream hat with raised slit brim in the back. It is another hat that now looks rather dated but twenty years ago, I think it was a fairly stylish piece. Lady Helen Taylor wore an embroidered white skull cap. While her ensemble might look a little odd, I have a feeling the Punjabi kurta-style outfit might have been a gentle nod to the country where Sarah and Daniel met (and returned for their honeymoon). That being said, the form fitting hat was an interesting choice for Lady Helen, who was eight months pregnant with her first child at the time.

Princess Anne,  July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats Lady Helen Taylor,  July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats

Princess Diana wore a somber navy dress and picture hat with a large sash that wrapped around the crown and knotted on the side of the hat. The brim was gently raised in front and turned sharply downwards in the back. It is certainly not my favourite of Diana’s hats as it seemed a little severe on her.

Princess of Wales,  July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats Princess of Wales,  July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats

One of the surprise guests at this wedding was Sophie Rhys-Jones who accompanied Prince Edward. Sophie’s cream top hat with tulle around the brim and large trailing bow at the back seems to capture the essence of early 1990s millinery fashion. Thankfully, styles changed by the time she joined the British royal family in 1999.

Sophie Rhys-Jones,  July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats

While Lady Sarah’s bridal ensemble seems timelessly elegant, the hats at this wedding seem to reflect the fashion of the day. I am curious, dear readers, which royal hats at this wedding do you remember liking at the time? Which ones did not strike your fancy?

Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones and Daniel Chatto, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats

Photos from Tim Graham via Getty; Matthew Polak via Corbis; Chip Hires, Chip Hires, Stringer and Tim Graham via Getty; and APL and Topfoto via The Royal Forums

Chattos Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones and Daniel Chatto, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats


Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones and Daniel Chatto were married in London on July 14, 1994 and celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary yesterday. In celebration of this milestone, let’s look back at their wedding.

Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, who is the only daughter of the late Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, met Daniel Chatto while working as a wardrobe assistant on the Merchant Ivory film Heat and Dust in India. Their wedding was a family affair that reflected the artistic tastes of the couple (both are professional artists). This was immediately evident in their choice of venue, St. Stephen’s Walbrook, a small 17th-century church in London built by Sir Christopher Wren. Lady Sarah’s dress, designed by British designer Jasper Conran, was inspired by a Holbein portrait. Made of white silk georgette, the dress featured a square neckline, ruched corset bodice, long sheer sleeves and the most beautifully draped skirt that flowed into a train. Even in photos, we get a sense of the effortless movement of the skirt. I remember being awed by the graceful simplicity of this dress and by how authentically it seemed to capture Sarah’s streamlined and unfussy personal style.

Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones and Daniel Chatto, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones and Daniel Chatto, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats

Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones and Daniel Chatto, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones and Daniel Chatto, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats

Lady Sarah topped her dress with a full length silk tulle veil and the Snowdon Floral Tiara. The brooches that make up this tiara were a gift from Lord Snowdon to Princess Margaret when they married; Jasper Conran suggested they be put together to create a tiara for Sarah’s wedding and the Snowdon Floral Tiara was born. The floral tiara gave such a feminine touch to Lady Sarah’s bridal ensemble and I loved the addition of greenery in her hair. The greens seemed to make the diamond flowers almost come to life.

Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats

Lady Sarah’s bridesmaids wore gowns also designed by Jasper Conran. The fitted corsets, long sleeves, open neckline and flowing skirts of their white silk dresses closely replicated Lady Sarah’s dress. Their hair was pulled back into low chignons and studded with the same pink garden roses that made up their bouquets. These floral headpieces, which looked so painterly and romantic, remain one of my favourite royal bridesmaid headpieces of all time.

Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones and Daniel Chatto, July 14, 1994 | Royal Hats

Lady Sarah’s dress, veil and the Snowdon Floral Tiara are on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum until March 2015. If any of you have seen it in person, I would love hearing your thoughts! To see the hats worn by Lady Sarah’s royal relatives at her wedding, check out this post.

Photos from Chip HiresAdrian Clack via Getty; The Royal Forums; and Tim Graham via Getty

Hiatchi Royal Couple Celebrate Japanese Aid Association

On Thursday, Prince Masahito and Princess Hanako of Hitachi attended the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Japanese Rehabilitation Aid Association in Tokyo. For this centenary celebration, Princess Hanako wore a very smart hat with squared crown and upturned brim. The brim , which was edged in wide ribbon, was slightly higher on one side, which provided very attractive linear embellishment and movement to the hat. It is a very modern and chic millinery choice for Hanako and I adore it on her.

Princess Hanako, July 10, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is a new hat

Photo from The Imperial Family of Japan

Most Prolific Royal Hat Designers of 2013

Hat Query  Longtime reader Guiliana asked, “Of all the hat designers, whose hats did we see most last year? Which designers hats were the most popular?”

This is a question I can roughly estimate, at best. There are many hats that go unidentified so the following statistics are based only on hats with confirmed designers (about half of the overall total). I also decided to count the number of times a hat was seen (instead of the number of individual hats we saw) as I thought it would provide a more accurate indication of the popularity of each designer’s work. So, our rough summary of royal hats in 2013 looks something like this:

The Royal Hats Blog Designer Summary for 2013

The two newest queens in Europe are both longtime wearers of Fabienne Delvigne’s millinery so it’s no surprise that she is the designer whose work we saw most this year. If these two young queens keep wearing hats, I expect Fabienne Delvigne will be very busy again this year. It is also not a surprise that the number two and three spots belong to the designers of Queen Elizabeth hats, and the fourth spot, the designer of Queen Beatrix’s hats.

If you would like to look more closely at the work of any of these designers, I have added a section on the “In The Design” page linking to all of their individual websites. I understand that many readers are not interested in designer information but I think it’s an important facet to the royal hats we all know and love. There would be no royal hats without these talented designers.

Farewell, 2013

2013 brought us a Coronation Jubilee, a Ruby Jubilee, 3 major royal weddings, 2 enthronements and 365 days of wonderful (and wonderfully awful) royal hats. As we already determined our favourite and least favourite hats of 2013, here are the top trends that defined the overall scope of royal millinery this year.

The Royal Hats Blog

2013 Royal Hat Trend #1- Rebirth of the Toque 

2013 Royal Hat Trend #2- The Young Queens Wearing More Hats  

2013 Royal Hat Trend #3- Embellished Small Brimless Hats Replace the Fascinator 

2013 Royal Hat Trend #4- Beautiful Hats from the York Princesses

2013 Royal Hat Trend #5- The Diagonal Brims

With 2013 wrapped up, I wish you a very Happy New Year. I can’t wait to enjoy all of the surprises (and groans) in store for us as we enjoy another year of royal hats!

Jan 1 2013

Querry: Royal Millinery Closet of Choice

The Royal Hats Blog Reader Del posed this delightful question, “If you could get into any royal hat closet and be allowed to wear the hats in that close for the rest of your life whenever you wanted, whose closet would you choose?”

Marvelous question! I’m turning this over to you, dear readers. Indeed- in whose hat closet would you like to have an open invitation? And why?

 The Royal Hats Blog

Queen Elizabeth; Empress Michiko; Princess Beatrix; The Duchess of Cambridge; Crown Princess Mary; The Duchess of Cornwall; Princess Beatrice of York; Crown Princess Victoria; Queen Máxima; Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein; Princess Michael of Kent; Prince Harry; Queen Margarethe; The Countess of Wessex; Crown Princess Mette-Marit; Grand Duchess Maria Teresa; Princess Anne; Queen Mathilde; The Duke of Edinburgh; Zara Phillips; Queen Silvia; Princess Laurentien

Year One

One year ago today, the first post appeared here on the Royal Hats Blog. The first sentence of that post read, “I love hats”. That truth remains unchanged. What is unexpected, however, is the incredible response this blog has received. I had no idea that so many wonderful readers would find this little corner of the internet…and keep coming back! I had no idea how much I would enjoy the comment discussions that unfolded, how much fun it would be to talk with the designers I admire, how many kindred souls I would encounter and how much this little blog would grow.  I am overwhelmed, inspired, humbled and filled with gratitude.

As I understand, the traditional first anniversary gift involves paper. To celebrate our “Paper” anniversary here on the Royal Hats blog, I searched high and low for a suitable gift. Enjoy!

Princess Mathilde, April 24, 2006 | The Royal Hats Blog

Princess Mathilde receiving a papier mâché hat at the CKG Bethlehem Help Centre For Children, April 24, 2006

Queen Elizabeth, February 22, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog A  cardboard Queen Elizabeth greeting Prince Charles on his visit to in Uley on February 22, 2013 

Prince Henrik, September 5, 2012 | The Royal Hats BlogPrince Henrik toasting Bornholm during a visit on September 5, 2012

Photos from Stringer via Getty; Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty; and Keld Naventoft via