This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

The Swedish and Norwegian royals hanging out together at the Nordic World Ski Championships (Getty). It seems, the Norwegian royals had cause to celebrate (Twitter feed of Kjell Arne Totland)

Royal Hats

Overviews of the Duke of Cambridge’s visit to Japan and China by ITV News and The Telegraph. In coordination with this tour, Getty put together a gallery of past British Royal visits to the land of the rising sun (Getty)

Lovely photos of the Dutch Royal Family on their annual ski holiday (Getty). I adore the shots of Princess Beatrix with her granddaughters.

Part two of the BBC documentary, Reinventing The Royals

Check out the preview of “A Royal Night”, a new movie about one of our favourite royals at the end of WWII


Duke Becomes Samurai

If you have followed the whereabouts of the Duke of Cambridge this week, you’ll know he is in the midst of a trip to Japan and China. Earlier today, he paid a visit to the set of a historical drama at NHK Public Broadcasting Studios in Tokyo where he was offered to try out the costume of a Samurai warrior. The resulting photos are wonderful and the hat- well, it makes the British bearskins look downright boring in comparison!

Prince William, February 28, 2015 | Royal Hats Prince William, February 28, 2015 | Royal Hats

Prince William, February 28, 2015 | Royal HatsPhotos from Getty as indicated. Click on each photo to link with the original source. 

Japanese Princesses In Two Chic Hats

On Thursday this week, the Exhibition of Ikebana (traditional Japanese flower arrangement) in Tokyo was attended by Princess Hanako. For this event, the Princess, who is Honorary President of Japan Ikebana Art Association, wore a pale periwinkle blue variation of a bowler hat with raised brim on one side. I am not usually a fan of this hat shape but the asymmetrical raised brim transforms this hat style into something fashionably modern and the colour looks wonderful on Princess Hanako. It’s a rather chic hat, don’t you agree?

Princess Hanako, February 26, 2015 | Royal Hats

Princess Hanako, February 26, 2015 | Royal Hats

Yesterday, Princess Hisako of Hitatchi travelled to Osaka to attend the 9th Japan Bio Venture Awards. Princess Hisako topped her cream suit with a tan felt curved-brim Sailor hat trimmed with a grosgrain ribbon around the crown and feathery ‘claw’ cascading from the back.  While the feathery ‘claw’ is not very attractive on its own, I like this hat better with it than I would if it were removed. The Countess of Wessex has a hat with similar trim and both hats benefit from the lift, focus and slight edginess this trim brings. This hat style works very well for Princess Hisako and the combination of her hat, suit and jewellery make for a very stylish ensemble.

Princess Hisako, February 27, 2015 | Royal Hats   Princess Hisako, February 27, 2015 | Royal Hats

I used the words “chic” and “stylish” to describe these two Imperial royal hats- these two Japanese Princesses have certainly stepped up their hat game so far in 2015. Well done!

Photos from Sankei 

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats 55 years ago today, Princess Alexandra of Kent stepped out in this large, lemon chiffon yellow braided pillbox hat with matching coat. The event was a visit to the London Association for the Blind in Peckham on February 27, 1960 – don’t you think she looked the epitome of early 1960s style?

Princess Alexandra, February 27, 1960 | Royal Hats

Photo from Getty as indicated. Click on it to link with the original source. 

Hat Cousins: Queen Elizabeth and the Mushroom Brim Hats of Angela Kelly

Royal Hats It has been a long while since we looked at one of Angela Kelly’s signature design shapes. Over the past two years, we have looked at her designs with: Diagonal Crowns,  Flat BrimsTeardrop Crowns, Split Crowns, Oblique Brims, Wrapped CrownsHourglass Crowns, and Square Crowns with Rolled Brim. Today we’re going to pick up this series with a look at Kelly’s flat crowned hats with mushroom brims.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Touring Turkey, May 15, 2008; Visiting Canada on June 29, 2010

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

 In Canada, July 1, 2010; At Ascot, October 19, 2013

Embed from Getty Images

Hosting a Buckingham Palace Garden Party, May 30, 2013

The large, rounded brim (similar to a mushroom) makes this hat shape rather distinctive… and perhaps slightly reminiscent of a 1960s era lampshade. Kelly consistently pairs this rounded brim with a flat crown, a pairing which works well to balance the hat. What works less well, in my humble opinion, is the proportion of this hat on a petite queen. I think it’s slightly too big for Her Majesty and slightly overwhelms her fine features. The palest pink hat (with feathers, above center) has a slightly smaller brim than the rest of the hats in this genre and this scale reduction works very well (minus the haphazard feathers). I’m not sure the hat will ever shake it’s retro feel but that’s also what I kind of like about it. What do you, dear readers, think of this particular millinery design?

Photos from Getty as indicated

Bow or No Bow?

Royal HatsIn early February, the Swedish Royal Family attended the funeral of a family friend. For this event, Princess Victoria wore a black felt Garbo hat with wide brim, trimmed with a simple grosgrain band and bow at the base of the crown. The last time we saw this hat, it was at a similarly sombre occasion but was without the band and bow trim. This simple piece of trim significantly changes this hat and this makes me curious, dear readers, if you are in camp “Bow” or “No Bow”?

UPDATE: These two hats are in fact, different hats! See this post for further explanation. 

Crown Princess Victoria, February 4, 2015 | Royal Hats Crown Princess Victoria, February 4, 2015 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Victoria on February 4, 2015

Crown Princess Lilian, March 16, 2013 | Royal Hats Crown Princess Lilian, March 16, 2013 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Victoria at the funeral of Princess Lilian, March 16, 2013

Photos from TT, Stella Pictures and All Over Press via Svenskdam and

Who Wore It Best: February 2015 Poll

Royal Hats

Royal Hats

It seems that those of us watching royal hats love a good fedora. Over the past year, we have seen three navy fedora hats on three different royal heads. The shape, scale and embellishments have been different but the chic and effortlessly stylish nature of a fedora has certainly been present in each hat. The question remains, dearest readers, who do you think wore it best?

Autumn Phillips, March 12, 2014 in Gina Foster | Royal Hats   Princess Beatrice, November 19, 2014 | Royal Hats  Princess Claire, February 12, 2015  | Royal Hats

Autumn Phillips at the Cheltenham Festival, March 12, 2014; Princess Beatrice on
December 19, 2014
 and Princess Claire at a memorial mass, February 12, 2014

This poll will remain open until March 4 at midnight GMT and we will celebrate the results shortly thereafter. Happy voting!

Photos from Rex via Hello; Jessal/Tanna/Splash News via The Daily Mail and  Robin Utrecht/Hollandse Hoogte via Corbis