What is a Hat?

Hat Query  Reader Gottfried recently asked a great question- what exactly constitutes a hat here on the Royal Hats blog? I love reader questions and thought this one might help put some parameters on this blog.

The Oxford Dictionary defines hats and fascinators as:

hat (noun): a shaped covering for the head worn for warmth, as a fashion item, or as part of a uniform
fascinator (noun): a woman’s light, decorative headpiece consisting of feathers, flowers, beads, etc. attached to a comb or hair clip.

These definitions cover a wide spectrum of millinery and leave lots of room for personal interpretation; brims are not required and headpieces of all varieties are fair game. The one thing you won’t see here is a tiara, unless worn during daytime hours (which VERY rarely happens). That means that all of these questionable following hats, fasincators and headpieces officially qualify for coverage here:

Queen Silvia | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Elizabeth | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Mathilde | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Mette-Marit | The Royal Hats Blog

Queen Silvia of Sweden in a veiled headpiece at the christening of Prince Carl Philip, August 31, 1979
Queen Elizabeth in a printed silk turban boarding the royal yacht Britannia, August 1996
Princess Mathilde of Belgium in an avante garde Fabienne Delvigne design for National Day, July 21, 2009
Princess Mette-Marit of Norway in a medieval inspired headdress, June 18, 2001

Prince Harry | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Amalia | The Royal Hats Blog Sophie, Countess of Wessex | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Mathilde | The Royal Hats Blog

Prince Harry in a silk top hat for the Epsom Derby, June 4, 2011
Princess Amalia of the Netherlands in a warm ski hat at Lech, Austria, Feburary 26, 2006
The Countess of Wessex in a gravity-defying feather explosion at Ascot in June 2006
Princess Mathilde of Belgium in an orange curly-cue headpiece on National Day, July 21, 2004

Prince William | The Royal Hats Blog Queen Silvia | The Royal Hats Blog Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall | The Royal Hats Blog

Prince William in a uniform baseball hat during Naval training in Monserrat, July 7, 2008
Queen Silvia of Sweden in an abstract shell hat designed by Fabienne Delvigne, April 16, 2008
The Duchess of Cornwall in a flowery fascinator for the wedding of her daughter Laura, May 6, 2006

Empress Michiko | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Letizia | The Royal Hats Blog Duke and Duchess of Cambridge | The Royal Hats Blog Princess Mary | The Royal Hats Blog

Empress Michiko of Japan in a teeny tiny sailor hat worn on a visit to Canada, July 14, 2009
Princess Letizia of Spain in a beaded hair ornament for the Prince of Asturias Awards, October 2012
The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge in floral headdresses during a visit to Tuvalu, September 18, 2012
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark in JC Millinery’s “Clarice” red silk headpiece in Germany, May 6, 2009

While I have not included tiaras in this definition (because there are so many excellent tiara blogs out there), we might venture into tiara territory from time to time, just for special occasions (like the upcoming Dutch Enthronement and Swedish Royal Weddings). Gottfried, wherever you are….. thanks for the question!

Photos from Getty, Getty, My Royals, Getty, Tatler, Getty, Getty, The Royal Forums, Getty, Billed Bladet, Getty, Getty, Getty, Getty and Rex via Hello Magazine

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6 thoughts on “What is a Hat?

  1. I really like that you cover all of these things and not just the boring hats. Keep up the good work!

    Queen Silvia’s hat is very similar to the one worn by Stephanie of Luxembourg in your post yesterday.

    • Thankfully, most royals have abandoned the tradition of wig wearing! How’s this- if a royal wears a toupée or a wig, I’ll devote a post to it in the spirit of fairness! Thanks for all of your great comments.

    • And hairnets? Headbands? This definition seems very wide. Princess Mette-Marit’s hat is obviously a costume and not a formal hat.

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