Queen Elizabeth’s Official Birthday Celebration, Trooping the Colour was held today in London. This display of military pomp and pageantry originates from traditional preparations for battle when colours (military honors and promotions) were carried or “trooped” down the rank so that they could be seen and recognized by the soldiers. Today, more than 1,000 soldiers took part in this royal salute to the Queen, who wore a white diagonally brimmed hat covered in royal blue lace appliqué. This hat, designed by her dresser Angela Kelly and made by in-house milliner Stella Maclaren, coordinated with her royal blue coat and white dress, which was trimmed in the same blue lace. I think this is one of Angela Kelly’s better designs and it looked quite becoming on her. I loved how the royal blue colour stood out in the sea of red uniforms.
The Queen’s cousin Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (who is also Colonel of the Scottish Guards), stepped in for Prince Philip (who remains in hospital following surgery) and accompanied The Queen today. Edward recently suffered a stroke and it was wonderful to see him looking so well.
A number of members of the Royal Family took part in the ceremony, directly. Joining on horseback were the Prince of Wales (Colonel of the Welsh Guards), the Princess Royal (Colonel of the Blues and Royals), and the Duke of Cambridge (Colonel of the Irish Guards). Prince Charles, Prince William and the Duke of Kent’s uniforms included the famous Canadian bearskin hats while Princess Anne’s uniform included the Home Service Helmet with its distinct red plume.
The Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Cambridge both repeated hats from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee last year. Camilla wore the Philip Treacy designed picture hat she wore for the Jubilee Flotilla (she also wore this hat last year to Ascot and a the Battle of Britain Commemoration Service). This hat, in a sparkly oyster coloured straw with a large upturned brim, has grown on me over the past year and reminds me less and less of the rings of Saturn. Kate’s hat, designed by Jane Corbett, was unveiled at last year’s Jubilee Garden Party. There was a debate here on the blog yesterday about Kate’s percher hats and it appears she listened to all of you in making her choice of this asymmetrical, brimmed more substantial hat for today! It’s a pretty hat with intricate detail that I like on her quite well.
Prince Harry wore his British Army Uniform which includes a light blue beret. He wears it very well, don’t you think? Prince Andrew, the Duke of York (the Queen’s second son and father to Princess Beatrice and Eugenie who appears on our blog for the first time today!) is retired from the navy (this is an army event) so opted for a morning suit with a very dapper black silk top hat.
Princess Beatrice repeated the “Thesus” hat by Rosie Olivia that she wore on Christmas Day last year. She’s wearing it further back on her head than she did last time (she wore it more like a beret on the side of her head at Christmas) which makes me like this hat much more. I’m just not sure about those wide, wiry bow loops. Princess Eugenie continued her surprising streak of beautiful hats with another new one- the “Blue Ivory Disk” design from Sarah Cant’s spring 2013 collection. This ivory saucer, trimmed in flat blue ombre loops and curls, is interesting, flattering and very, very pretty – all the things you want a royal hat to be. Well done Eugenie!
The Earl and Countess of Wessex were both in hats today – Prince Edward wore the uniform of the Royal Colonel of The London Scottish Regiment which includes a kilt and black and white feathered cap. Sophie wore the “Lauren” hat designed by Jane Taylor, described on the designer’s website as a “tear shaped cocktail hat in straws with sinamay loops with Parisian vintage glass bead detail.” I think I prefer Sophie in larger brimmed hats that balance out her oval-shaped face but this is a fun hat that fit today’s festive mood very well. The rosy brown colour looks great on Sophie and the vintage glass beads lend a lovely bit of sparkle.
All in all, I thought the Brits choose wonderful hats for the festivities today (for hats worn by the extended family Kents and Gloucesters, check here). For now, which hat is your favourite?