Queen Elizabeth Lights First VE Day Anniversary Beacon

Queen Elizabeth was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of York and Princess Beatrice last night at Windsor Castle  to light a beacon marking the 70th anniversary of VE Day (three beacons were lit at the castle followed by 200 more across the UK). For this important anniversary, the Queen repeated a pale blue triangular hat with tall white feather trim. The ski slope shaped crown on the hat is an unusual shape for the Queen and it makes for an interesting millinery change. Less interesting is the colour- pale grey isn’t the best shade for Her Majesty and that makes this hat and coat ensemble fall flat for me.

Queen Elizabeth, May 8, 2015 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats

Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: January 27, 2013; November 27, 2012

What did you think of the Queen’s interesting grey hat last night?

Photos from Getty as indicated and Mark Kerrison via Corbis

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40 thoughts on “Queen Elizabeth Lights First VE Day Anniversary Beacon

  1. I don’t like this hat at all. When I went skiing a few years ago, the gift shop had for sale souvenir hats which were shaped like a ski-slope with a little male doll on the top in ski-gear. This hat reminds me of that. When you see the feather from the side, it looks a bit like someone about to ski down a slope. I don’t like the grey on the Queen. That piece of fabric on the coat sitting across the neck looks strange. The brooch is beautiful.

  2. I love this hat (and outfit), especially at this occasion. I gives me a slight reminiscence of the hats her great predecessor, Queen Elizabeth I., wore who was also a successful commander of armed forces. Here again a Queen celebrates a victory of her forces (albeit before her tenure), so this confident style is very appropiate. Well done, Your Majesty!

  3. Personally, I like the whole outfit which is “fit for purpose” for the event – a light colour so she stands out, a brimless hat so there’s no shadow on her face. She is meticulous about making sure she can be seen. I like the neckline on the coat, it’s good to see her in something different – and it’s perfect for the display of one of her stonkingly gorgeous brooches. Unusual to see her in glasses when not reading something. Does she wear contacts during the day, do you think, and glasses at night? It’s also nice to think at 89 years of age she can still mix up her fashions and have us chatting about it.

    • I agree. I saw her in some other photos and she was absolutely glowing in the evening light. A fantastic choice. I like the hat and I love the collar detail on the coat. I might have gone with pearlized or fabric covered buttons, but otherwise I think she looked great.

  4. I thought the whole ensemble was pretty and appropriate for the occasion…and very reminiscent of the Queen Mary era. I agree the color is pale compared to the bright colors normally seen on Her Majesty, but so pretty in the night light. Your Queen is beautiful.

  5. I love this hat combined with this coat. It’s exciting to see a more unique shape for Her Majesty.

    The color of her coat and hat, in the photos, make her stand out against the darkness and capture a sense of hopefulness coming out of the victory of WWII.

    Wonderful. I love seeing her face so well. There’s something that harkens to a 1940s style, like a stylized beret.

  6. I think what Angela Kelly was trying to do was to copy some of the Queen Mother’s old high hats, as in the photograph at the attached link. Unfortunately she didn’t succeed. The exaggerated ski slope, the huge feather, and the button on the hat, as well as that strange flap of fabric at the neckline of the coat which supports the brooch, made it all too busy. This drab grey didn’t look good on the Queen.
    http://queensjewelvault.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/the-queen-mothers-double-clip.html

  7. I do like the hat on her. One reason I like it is because it is not a repeat of every other one of her hats she has been wearing for quite some time. It has more imagination! And I do think it looks very good on her; makes her look younger.

  8. Think about this, people. This event was at night so a broad brimmed hat would not have done. She looks cold, though. As for calling it ‘a ski slope’ ………..really!! I think the grey looks great – white or cream would have been too harsh. Love the aquamarine brooches, too! And please, never call Her Majesty “silly”.

  9. The flap on her coat is too gimmicky and the hat runs the same risk. If the hat wasn’t as hard and as high I would like it better. Not the best colour but as others have pointed out – it’s somber and she stands out in the dark so a good choice. Brooch is perfect.

  10. I think the Queen looks silly in this hat. It looks like she is doing an advertisement to promote a ski resort. The ski slope and the tall white feather trim combined, makes no logical sense to me. The pale gray color is very unflattering to the Queen. The coat looks too large and the buttons look cheap. The only thing I like on her are the jewels. I hope she never wears this hat and coat again. Why aren’t you wearing a hat for this formal and historic occasion Princess Beatrice?

    • I don’t think I have EVER seen the Queen look “silly”! I think this hat was an appropriate choice for the occasion, and she looked as good as ever! Not my favourite shape of hat but it was fit for purpose.

      • HatQueen I am not calling the Queen “silly.” I was trying to say that I think the hat is so awful it makes the wearer look silly. I think I would look silly in this hat. I have the utmost respect for the Queen and I have been a keen follower of her all my life. When I went to England, I stood for hours to see the Queen and other Royals close up. I even stood in the pouring rain for 5 hours just to see the Queen close up. That is why I get very angry when designers make anything less than elegant clothes for the Queen. Being short myself like the Queen, I am aware of the difficulties in dressing her. However, if you take on the job of dressing the Queen, I think you owe it to her and to her many admirers to bring your A game every time.

  11. It’s never going to be one of my favorite hats, but I like it better now than at its first wearing, and I think choosing it for last evening’s ceremony was perfect: for the historic occasion a style reminiscent of the Queen’s grandmother (and a little of her mother), for the solemn ceremony a pale color but yet with a unusual plume to call the attention to the Queen that her customary turquoise or bright pink calls. The curve of the hat goes nicely with the curve of the yoke (both on the coat and on the dress). Although this outfit should not be in the standard rotation, it was perfect for this particular occasion.

  12. Wish we could get a good side view of the hat – side with plume. I’d love to find out the pin is actually some yummy brooch

    • Sorry to disappoint you, rgardner532. Please see the HatQueen’s “Previously Worn: November 27, 2012” link above. The plume is held in plase with a button that matches the buttons on the coat. No brooch. Sorry.

  13. I love the shape of the hat combined with the curved yoke on her coat and I am not put off by the color. It was a somber celebration and it was so much better than dark colors or black since it took place at night. I really think a bright color would have been inappropriate so this combination hits a good note.
    The brooch was a lovely touch of color.

  14. HM’s hat has a subtle military feel to it. I like it I also like the way the coat was fastened to highlight one of her aquamarine brooch clips. Gray enough to be somber, light enough to be seen. I don’t care for many of the individual elements, but that is why I am not a milliner!

  15. I like it a lot, both in itself and with the coat which is interestingly designed. I agree it might look better in a different colour. However, it was perfectly chosen for a night-time engagement to be plainly visible – see the group photo and you can instantly pick out the Queen.

    • I agree. Looks like a beret to me. I think she looks wonderful. I like the colour too. I think that sometimes the very bright colours overwhelm her.

    • I also agree it looks like a stiffer beret and the feather makes me think of the Scottish berets. I really like it. Makes a very nice change from the usual shape.

  16. I really like the shape of the hat, the feather is too much though. The pale grey blue is soft and charming.

  17. I think the hat to Princess Anne’s second wedding was similar to this if I recall correctly – don’t think it is the same though!

  18. This color falls flat because of her white hair and pale skin. She looks so much better in her bright colors. I am not a fan of the hat. It seems to be a younger woman’s hat; one who doesn’t have gray hair and a more modern hairstyle.

  19. Not a great look for HM with that color – but always happy to see her in the giant aqua broach that I think was her moms

  20. I’ve always seen shades of Queen Mary in this hat. It reminds me of hats she wore in her later years, like this one in a photo with her granddaughters.

  21. I agree, not a good color for her. Saying that, in the nighttime pictures the light color did make her visible in pictures.

  22. Well it is interesting – and I just can’t quite make my mind up. It’s the kind of small, brimless hat she wore in the 80’s (and which I by and large hated!) but she’s been in brimmed hats for some time now, so it’s quite a departure. I think I like it – though agree that feather is just a bit too pert, if it were angled that might work. The colour does wash her out a bit too, but she looks very appropriate.

    So we’re at 5 months of repeats from HM now I think! Not a single new hat since Christmas Day (unless I’m
    Mistaken). She’s certainly making the most of some very old favourites!

  23. It’s different from her usual, it’s rarely worn and I really like it for that. Would be nice if this is the start of a variety of different hat shapes! Her first brimless hat in a long time, I think apart from mink hats in winter? I quite like the colour as well!

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