Members of the British Royal Family attended a Service of Commemoration at St. Paul’s Cathedral this morning, honouring the British military’s involvement in Afghanistan which has now come to an end. I suspect this service was made all the more personal for this family as Prince Harry, who was in attendance, served two terms of duty in this military operation.
Queen Elizabeth led her family at this event in a repeated her blue straw stovepipe hat, trimmed with a prim felt bow. This remains one of my favourite colours on the queen and I adore the pattern woven into the straw. With her bouquet of tulips and hyacinths, the Queen looked the picture of spring.
The Duke of Edinburgh, who holds the rank of Lord High Admiral in the navy, wore his uniform and cap. He gallantly offered his hand to his wife as they descended the steps of St. Paul’s, a sweet gesture that was caught on camera below.
The Prince of Wales, who holds five star ranking in all three branches (Army, Navy and Air Force) of the British Armed Services, also attended this service in uniform.
The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her black winter hat with a ruched crown and faux-fur cuff, pinning the cap badge of The Rifles to the crown of the hat. While I loved the addition of this military brooch to her hat, I am afraid it feels a little informal for an event with as high a profile as this one. We’re going to look at this hat (and its many clones) in greater depth next week.
Also in military uniform were Princess Anne, as Commodore-in-Chief of HMNB Portsmouth and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.
The Duke of Cambridge wore his uniform and cap as Flight Lieutenant of the Royal Air Force. The Duchess topped her simple navy dress and coat with a navy felt saucer hat which was trimmed by a navy silk abstract bow. The outfit and hat are rather austere but very fitting for this event. We have not seen Kate in a saucer hat in a very long while and it was a nice change from her go-to embellished berets. I thought her low chignon showed this hat to great effect and that Kate looked very elegant.
Designer: Jane Taylor. UPDATE: This hat appeared months later in the AW 2015 collection.
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Prince Harry, who served two terms of duty in Afghanistan, was in attendance in his uniform as Captain of The Blues and Royals.
The Earl of Wessex wore his uniform and cap as Royal Honorary Colonel of the London Regiment. The Countess wore a new embellished percher hat with black felt beret base, trimmed in PVC ribbon. My first impression of this made me question the use of the shiny ribbon, which looks like patent leather. At second, third and fourth glances, however, I have come to really appreciate this piece. The sense of movement in this hat is absolutely exquisite and the contrast of texture between the two materials gives such visual depth and interest. I think this new hat will serve Sophie very well.
Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: This is a new hat
The Duke of Kent, the Duke of Gloucester, and the Duke of York also attended the service, each in their respective military uniforms and caps.
While royal hats are the focus of this blog, the aim of today’s commemoration service was to pay tribute to the service personnel who did not return home. This article at the Daily Mail includes photos of all the British service men and women who lost their lives during the course of this military intervention.
Photos from Getty as indicated