Dutch Princess Opens UNICEF Facility

Princess Beatrix was in The Hague today to open the new office of UNICEF Netherlands. For this event, she repeated a periwinkle blue hat with rounded felt crown and tall bumper brim in textured straw. I really want to like this piece but the brim looks a little too crafty and homespun for me. What do you think of this interesting piece?

Princess Beatrix, February 12, 2016 | Royal Hats

Princess Beatrix, February 12, 2016 | Royal Hats Princess Beatrix, February 12, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: likely Suzanne Moulijn
Previously Worn: uncertain. I think it has been worn before.

Photos from Rpe/Albert Ph.Van Der Werf/dpa/CorbisRpe/Albert Ph.Van Der Werf/dpa/Corbis and Rpe/Albert Ph.Van Der Werf/dpa/Corbis

Hats From The Past

Royal Hats Here are three royal hats worn on this day by three generations of the British royal family. While the timeline here covers sixty years, we still see iterations of these hat styles and shapes today.

Queen Mary, February 12, 1932

Queen Elizabeth in Kuwait, February 12, 1979

Princess Diana in India (wearing a Philip Somerville design), February 12, 1992

Photo from Getty as indicated

Inventory: Princess Mary’s Red Hats

As we continue building royal hat wardrobe inventories, February will focus on all things red. To kick off this month’s first millinery tour, we’re headed into the closet of Princess Mary of Denmark who celebrated her 44th birthday on February 5. So far, there are three red/burgundy pieces in her millinery wardrobe. Here they are, in the order they were introduced:

1. Crown Princess Mary, January 10, 2012 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats  Crown Princess Mary, January 10, 2012 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats      

Designers: Philip Treacy; 
Introduced: October 9, 2004

2. 2006-11-01 football game 2     3. Crown Princess Mary, May 6, 2009 in Jill Courtemanche | Royal Hats

Designers: likely Susanne Juul; Jill Courtemanche
Introduced: November 1, 2006; May 6, 2009

While we might debate on counting hat #2 in this list (obviously a very informal piece, worn to a football match), Mary has so few red pieces in her wardrobe that I thought it warranted inclusion. While the first hat seems to be Mary’s favourite (with seven public outings so far), I have always had a soft spot for the third headpiece which is the most glorious colour and frames Mary’s face so beautifully. I’ll admit- this is not the most exciting group of royal red hats which is unfortunate, as Mary wears red so very well (I’d love to see her pick up this raspberry straw design from her go-to Danish milliner, Susanne Juul) Do any of these pieces strike your fancy?

Don’t worry, dear readers. We have a few more royal hat wardrobes to peek inside this month and there are some marvellous red designs that await us. Stay tuned!

Photos from Albert Philip van der Werf/dpa/Corbis; Albert Philip van der Werf/dpa/Corbis; unknown; Carsten Rehder/POOL/epa/Corbis

One Coat, Two Hats

Royal HatsOn Sunday, Queen Elizabeth surprised us by wearing this new red hat to church:

Designer: I suspect Angela Kelly
This was unusual for a couple of reasons. The Queen does not usually use Sunday church as an occasion to début a new hat- she usually saves new pieces for big events such as Trooping the Colour, state visits and Ascot. The new hat was also paired with a red coat and printed black and red silk dress we’ve seen before, back in April 2012, on a Diamond Jubilee visit to Greenwich:
Designer: I suspect Angela Kelly
The original hat worn with this dress and coat was a rather stark design with tall, flat crown and flat brim. Now here is where things get interesting (thanks to additional sleuthing from readers Baxter and Snug Harbour)- this original hat also appears to have made its debut at Sunday church in Norfolk, back in 2010 (below).  If you look closely, you’ll see that the hat was paired with the same coat usually worn with a Rachel Trevor Morgan designed hat (below, bottom).
This begs some interesting questions- was the flat topped hat brought in to replace the beautiful flowered RTM design and didn’t cut the mustard? Was it lurking about in the Queen’s closet without an assigned coat to accompany until 2012? Is it more than coincidence that these two red coats are exactly the same shades? And is there a reason why the flat topped hat was worn just once with Sunday’s coat before being replaced (I assume) by the red and black hat?
All these questions and millinery mystery aside, I think this retirement was a good call. The flat-topped hat’s shape, reminiscent of a Pilgrim or Puritan hat, combined with its lack of embellishment makes for an extremely austere piece that I don’t think works with the floral print dress and Peter Pan collared coat nor is flattering on the Queen. I suppose that sometimes, designs on paper just don’t translate well in reality and when that happens, going back to the drawing board is the best option.
I much prefer the new hat but I do not expect you all to agree! So I’m curious- which hat do you prefer?
Photos from Getty and Rex Features as indicated

Duchess of Cambridge Celebrates RAF Cadets

The Duchess of Cambridge attended the 75th anniversary of the RAF Air Cadets yesterday, held at St. Clement Danes Church in London. For this occasion, she topped her sky blue McQueen coat dress with a navy felt percher hat (the same one worn to a private memorial service last March). Trimmed with large leaves placed on the back, the hat follows a modified saucer shape from front view.

I like the leaf trim at the back but don’t find the hat particularly memorable from the front. This quibble aside, I think Kate wears this simple hat well and it worked wonderfully with her blue coat (fitting in beautifully amidst a sea of uniforms) for this event.

Designer: Lock and Co. 
Previously Worn: March 26, 2015 (private event)
While this hat is technically a repeat, this event was its first outing to a public event so we’re going to consider it a new hat this month (jump over here to see it included in our inventory of Kate’s blue hats).That leaves just one question- what do you, dearest readers, think about this piece?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Queen On Post Church Walkabout

After attending church yesterday at the Church of St Peter & St Paul n West Newton near their Sandingham Estate, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh took part in a ‘walkabout’, meeting members of the public gathered to greet them. The Queen wore a repeated vibrant red coat, paired with a new hat. The modified cloche, covered in the same red wool crepe as Her Majesty’s coat, featured a tall, squared crown, and short, downward facing brim. Finished off with black and red bands around the base of the crown, black side bow loops and two curling red feathers, the high contrast hat coordinates well with the black and red print of the Queen’s dress. While my verdict is out on the shape, the trim is tightly executed (no feather explosions here) and the hat is all the better for it.

Designer: I suspect Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Later this week, I’ll contrast this hat with the design previously worn with this coat. In the meantime, what do you think of the Queen’s new hat?
Photos from Getty as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

Queen Máxima wore a new pillbox covered in brown feathers last weekend to a meeting in Delft about sustainable energy (Royal House of the Netherlands). I missed this in our January new hat finals so if you like this piece, leave a comment and I’ll include it in our February poll.

Queen Elizabeth wore a hat to church last Sunday that has not been seen out since 2007 (see its last outing here). Princess Anne joined her parents for Sunday service in a floppy velvet and tweed hat we’ve seen before as well. (Daily Mail)

One of milliner Stephen Jones’ sketches has been turned into a lovely limited-edition brooch for Brain Tumour Research and Wear A Hat Day (Stephen Jones)

Holyrood House is set to open a landmark exhibition this spring of more than 150 of Queen Elizabeth’s gowns, dresses, coats and hats (Daily Mail). I dearly hope that one of our Edingburgh readers will visit and share their experience with us!

Royal Hats

Happy news from Bhutan’s King and Queen who welcomed a prince yesterday (King Jigme’s Facebook)

Interesting Danish documentary on Queen Margrethe’s art and design (DR.dk)

Interview with Princess Marie on the occasion of her 40th birthday (Crown Chronicles)

The Imeperial couple looking even more adorable than usual on vacation (Imperial Family of Japan blog)