Reader Guest Post: Musings On Repeat Royal Hats

A few weeks ago, a comment conversation unfolded about which hats readers would like Queen Elizabeth to repeat more often. I extended an open invitation to anyone to turn their wishes into a guest post. Several accepted this challenge and we will enjoy these posts in coming weeks. First up is longtime commenter JamesB who describes himself as “a royal obsessive since the age of about 7 (much to the bemusement of my parents!).”  Despite living in London, he seldom sees the Royal family although he has had the pleasure to meet Princess Anne and Princess Michael of Kent. I was humbled to learn that JamesB has followed Royal Hats since the very beginning and am very pleased to welcome him here today!

So clearly I have too much time on my hands, but in those moments where my mind is wondering (often during important work meetings, thank heavens people can’t read minds), I find myself pondering the rules of rotation for the Queen’s outfits. I say rules, but I think patterns is more like it, as clearly she (and/or Ms Kelly) are reading this blog, and like to keep us on our toes by throwing in a curveball. What I have observed (utterly unscientifically) is this…

1. Some events nearly always merit a new outfit and hat. Christmas is a dead cert, and Ascot and a tour usually see a good bunch of new rigouts.

2. But some are a time for old favourites. Trooping the Colour and Holyrood Week normally fit this brief, but damnit if she hasn’t been playing with us recently.

3. Thicker (and therefore more expensive) winter outfits get more wear than lighter summer ones. Well that and the fact she has more need for summer clothes I guess…

4. Outfits tend to be repeated once per season. Ooh, she’s been testing me on this one lately: the Trooping outfit plus the blue from the last day of Holyrood week have had some quick repeats, I guess she was just having ‘one of those days’..

5. And lastly, and most importantly; she’s thrifty, and likes to get her wear from an outfit.

Hold the phone… this last one falls apart pretty easily. The Queen’s legendary parsimony does not mean she wears and wears her clothes. All of these ‘rules’ (which I have obviously invented!) prove that rules are meant to be broken. Which leads me to the point of this post: which are the one-wear hats and outfits I’d love to see again?! Here goes…

I. The garden party candidates

If these festive little numbers don’t scream garden party I don’t know what does. The first two practically have a garden party on her head. I was sure we would see the green one for such an event this year, alas not, and I keep waiting…

II. The absent standards

These hats should so be in the running for being continual repeats; I’m mystified why they’ve only seen the light of day once, lets hope they’re dusted off again soon. I guess at least the red and white was a Canadian tribute, but it could have easily slotted into the rotation. All sadly overlooked.


 JamesB- your memory for hats is amazing- I had forgotten about some of the floral trimmed hats and join your call for them to be repeated. Your theory about outfit rotation is also spot on! Everyone- stay tuned for Part 2 of JamesB’s post tomorrow and enjoy the photo he shared below of his meeting Princess Michael (he is in the centre, beside her turbaned lady-in-waiting). 
Photos from Getty as indicated and from the private collection of JamesB

Queen and Duke Celebrate Canada

 Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Canada House in London this morning to mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. For this event, she repeated her cornflower blue straw hat trimmed with black and white feather flowers and blue straw bow loops. On each of its previous wearings, the hat has been worn with a matching cornflower blue coat but today, Her Majesty wore it with a shorter white jacket. Today’s pairing gives us a great view of the accompanying blue flowered silk dress (showing how well the hat and its trimmings coordinate) and places the hat as the focal point of the ensemble. 


Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 1, 2016April 19, 2015; May 18, 2014July 28, 2012; June 2, 2012
Interesting side note- during today’s visit, Canadian Governor General David Johnson presented this gift to Her Majesty.

Do you prefer this hat with its original blue coat or with the short white jacket we saw it paired with today?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Top New Royal Hat: May 2017

While May saw a lot of repeated royal hats, there were a number of new designs that stood out to you, dearest readers, based on your comments, as particularly successful. Six hats, all worn by members of the British royal family, received particular praise and it is these six that we now place in competition.

Please click on each hat to jump back to its original feature post with additional views and information on the design. Here are your six finalists for favourite new royal hat worn in May, shown in the order they were worn:

1.Princess Anne, May 20, 2017 | Royal Hats    2.Duchess of Cambridge, May 20, 2017 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats
Princess Anne`s cream straw hat with upswept brim and curling feathers worn May 20 in Scotland
Duchess of Cambridge’s dusty pink crin hat with rose and straw twists by Jane Taylor worn May 20
3.Lady Gabriella Windsor, May 20, 2017 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats   4.Princess Eugenie, May 23, 2017 in Sarah Cant | Royal Hats
Lady Gabriella Windsor’s Philip Treacy cream straw hat with upswept brim, moulded crown and rose trim worn May 20
Princess Eugenie’s orange straw saucer hat by Sarah Cant worn to a May 23 garden party 
5.   6.Princess Anne, May 26, 2017 | Royal Hats
Princess Eugenie in a gold straw hat with inverted crin brim hat by Nerida Fraiman worn May 25
Princess Anne’s cream straw hat with sharp upswept brim, stacked hatband & feathers worn May 26
The poll will remain open until next Friday, July 28 at midnight GMT and and each computer or mobile device can vote twice per day for as many hats as you wish. Happy voting!

Top Repeated Royal Hat: May 2017

The breakneck pace of royal hatted events in June usually means we often spend July catching up and this year is no different! While we crowned our favourite Ascot hats last week, we need to go back and choose our favourite designs worn in the months of May and June.

Between garden parties, National Day celebrations and regular engagements, the month of May brought us eight repeated royal hats which, based on your comments, were met with particular admiration. Please click on each hat to jump back to its original feature post with additional views and information. Here are these 8 hats, shown in the order they were worn:

1.Queen Margrethe, May 2, 2017 | Royal Hats    2.Princess Benedikte, May 7, 2017 | Royal Hats  
Queen Margrethe’s turquoise hat with pork pie crown and velvet hatband worn May 2
Princess Benedikte’s purple straw hat with pink hatband and silk flower worn May 7 
3.Queen Elizabeth, May 16, 2017 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats   4.Duchess of Cambridge, May 16, 2017 in Lock & Co. | Royal Hats  
Queen Elizabeth’s pale pink boater with wide hatband by Angela Kelly worn at a May 16 garden party
The Duchess of Cambridge’s blue straw raised saucer with straw calla lily by Lock & Co worn May 16
5.Queen Sonja, May 17, 2017 | Royal Hats   6.Queen Elizabeth, May 18, 2017 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats
Queen Sonja’s cream straw hat with navy hatband and brim binding worn May 17
Queen  Elizabeth’s mint brimmed boater with textured white straw crown by Angela Kelly worn May 18
7. Queen Elizabeth, May 24, 2017 in RTM | Royal Hats   8.Queen Elizabeth, May 25, 2017 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats
Queen Elizabeth’s vibrant green hat with domed crown, feathers & silk flowers by Rachel Trevor Morgan worn May 24
Queen Elizabeth’s orange straw hat with roses and cornflower blue feathers by Angela Kelly worn May 25
The poll will remain open until next Friday, July 28 at midnight GMT and and each computer or mobile device can vote twice per day for as many hats as you wish. Happy voting!
Photos from Martin Høien; Ole Hartmann Schmidt via Konghuset; WPA Pool and WPA Pool via Getty; VVegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix via the Royal House of Norway; John Stillwell, Mark Cuthbert and Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty; 

Dutch Monarchs Unveil National Memorial

King Willem-Alexander Queen Máxima attended a remembrance ceremony yesterday in Vijfhuizen to unveil a memorial for the 298 victims of the July 17, 2014 MH17.  For this event, Máxima repeated her black straw hat with sharply upswept ‘slice brim’ and Petersham ribbon hatband with flat bow at the back. Máxima has several black hats in her wardrobe in simpler shapes with very restrained trim, clearly for occasions such as these. It’s a great hat on her that was well suited to this memorial event.


Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: Nov 7, 2016
Photos from Getty as indicated

New Hat For Queen Margrethe

Queen Margrethe arrived aboard the royal yacht Dannebrog at Aabenraa Port on Saturday morning, en route to her summer residence at Gråsten Palace. Her official visit was short (long enough to greet the mayor and listen to a brass band) and she surprised with the debut of a new hat for the occasion. In pale pink straw, the hat features a tapered crown and medium length brim, gently upswept on one side. The brim is edged in slightly darker pink fabric with a slim stripe of white piping repeated from the Queen’s jacket that also peeks out atop a pink hatband. White silk flowers on the right side of the hat complete it. It’s a less vibrant look than we’re used to seeing on the Danish queen but a decidedly refined one. That simple use of white piping gives such a polished look to both the whole ensemble.

Queen Margrethe, July 15, 2017 | Royal Hats   Queen Margrethe, July 15, 2017 | Royal Hats

Queen Margrethe, July 15, 2017 | Royal Hats   Queen Margrethe, July 15, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: this hat is new
What do you think of Queen Margrethe’s new hat?
Photos from Claus Thorsted via Scanpix