Last week, Queen Elizabeth wore one of my favourite royal hats to present new standards to the Household Cavalry. A number of you commented about the success of this particular hat shape, one we have seen a number of different times in the Queen’s millinery. Before we begin what will be a very busy month of royal hats in June, I thought I would take this opportunity to look at one of Angela Kelly’s most successful (and frequently used) hat shapes, one with a domed top crown and gently upfolded brim.
The Queen in Northern Ireland, June 26, 2012; at Ascot on June 19, 2013;
opening a memorial garden with the Belgian King on Nov 6, 2014
Variations with a more tightly rolled brim worn at the Braemar Games, Sep 5, 2009 and a wider, diagonally upfolded brim for Trooping The Colour, June 15, 2014
This hat shape works well for several reasons: it is usually a great size and proportion for petite Queen Elizabeth (excepting the yellow hat where the brim is too small). The upturned brim is a great brim for royal life because it keeps the Queen’s face and bright smile unobstructed from public view. The upturned brim makes it difficult to adorn this hat shape with too much of the feathery/flowery/bowed bric-a-brac that adorns many Kelly designs – this hat shape seems to yield hats with more subtle details on the brim or around the crown, avoiding the Kelly tendency to become overdone. Well, perhaps except for the second pink and green hat at centre top.
While Angela Kelly has made numerous designs in this shape for Her Majesty, they follow earlier hats of a similar shape made by Rachel Trevor Morgan:
Celebrating the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act on March 27, 2007
and visiting the television set of ‘Emmerdale’ on July 11, 2002
I really like the idea of one milliner building on the work of others to create new, beautiful designs and I think that’s what we see here.
I am curious, dear readers, what do you think of this signature Kelly design? Which one is your favourite?
**The other posts in this series include: the “Diagonal Crown Hats”, the “Flat Brim Hats”, the “Teardrop Crown Hats“, the “Split Crown Hats”, the “Oblique Brim Hats”, the “Wrapped Crown Hats“and the “Hourglass Hats”, all designed by Angela Kelly.
Photos from Chris Jackson, Samir Hussein, WPA Pool, Alan Crowhurst, Pascal Le Segretain via Getty; Ian Pace/Demotix/Corbis; Martin McNeil, Max Mumby/Indigo, Max Mumby/Indigo and Chris Jackson via Getty; Richard Lewis via Corbis; and Tim Graham via Getty