Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot, Part One

Royal HatsOne of the most anticipated days on the millinery calendar ear year is Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot. To help me review the royal hats we saw today at the Ascot Racecource are talented milliners (and enthusiastic hat wearers!) from American Jill Courtemanche, Ireland’s Fiona Mangan and Australian Christie Murray

Queen Elizabeth in a repeated hat designed by Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren

Queen Elizabeth, June 18, 2015 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats

Jill: I love that the queen has chosen to go with a completely different hat silhouette today! The color combination is light as air and it is fun to see that the straw which was chosen for the crown has a texture, it makes the whole thing a bit more interesting. I am not a fan of the tight organza loops in the trim but I do like the feathers very much and overall I find this hat very pleasant and cheerful

Christie: I quite like Her Majesty in pastel mint. It’s quite a delicate colour, fitting for Ladies Day. The material on the crown could nearly pass as vintage American blocking material ~ It’s quite lovely. I don’t quite think this hat is balanced though.  The drape around the crown is lovely from the front, I’m not the biggest fan of the ostrich feather trim.

Fiona: I definitely prefer an upturned brim on the Queens hats, this is a little harsh for her with the flatter brim though the woven straw on the crown is quite interesting. Mint green overall is very fitting for her colouring and quite classic. Overall a nice ensemble save for the flat hat brim.

Royal Hats: Queen Elizabeth débuted this hat last year in Northern Ireland and I was wondering when it would resurface! It’s not my favourite shape for the queen and I find it over-trimmed. Jill and Christie both suggest removing different trims… if you gave me scissors, I’d snip off the feathers as they are lost against the textured straw crown.

Princess Anne in a repeated hat of unknown design

Royal Hats:  This feels like another version of the hats we have seen each of the past two days. Has Anne entered a brown phase? I really hope not.

Fiona: I have to say this is a nice outfit today and I much prefer this hat to the last two days. Similar in shape and size, it seems to be a better fit and the lighter colour is far more appropriate. I can’t seem to pinpoint why I like the coat with its fleur-de-lys type pattern – It does remind me somewhat of the embroidery on an Irish dancing costume, but I think it is quite subtle and overall a very elegant look. Well done Princess Anne.

Royal Hats:  I honestly did not notice the coat in my disappointment over another brown hat. It really is beautiful.

Jill: Well, this is a much better look than we have seen so far this week for Princess Anne. The open-weave straw is airy and light and the feathers are festive and perky, I still find the crown a bit heavy for her but this brim angle is very flattering. Overall it is very lovely with her embroidered coat and quite pleasing for the occasion.

Christie: It’s nice to see that she’s broken up the brown today with… nude.  Although the pattern on her jacket is really beautiful. It’s good to see that the crown is in nude, even though they’ve managed to work pleated brown dupion and sinamay in to the look.  I am just not a fan of brown and fluff, I’m sorry! The shape of the hat is beautiful, I love how the sweep in the brim is balanced with the angle of the crown but this is Day 3 of brown now. Will we see any other colour?

Princess Marie Chantal of Greece in Philip Treacy. Coat by Chanel

18 Jun 2015, Ascot, Berkshire, England, UK --- Ladies Day at Royal Ascot at the Ascot Racecourse in Ascot, Berkshire, UK on June 18, 2015. Pictured: Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece --- Image by © James Whatling/Splash News/Corbis    Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

Christie: What can you say about this. It looks so gorgeous – very signature Philip Treacy. I am just absolutely in love with this hat. What is there not to love? That colour.. the shape.. the swirls. Those silk flowers. Absolutely divine. Love it, by far my favourite hat of the day.

Jill: This hat is divine and even though it is large, Princess Marie carries it nicely. The trim is incredibly sculptural and full but still seems light and airy which is perfect. My issue is I don’t think it’s a great match for her Chanel suit which feels more edgy while her hat is decidedly more feminine.

Royal Hats: The hat is an amazing statement piece that Marie-Chantal wears incredibly well. I suspect this hat could easily overwhelm many wearers but she has it in firm control!  With this coat, it’s a very editorial fashion / haute couture look. I couldn’t pull it off in a million years but since Marie-Chantal is all about high fashion, it works.

Fiona: Beautiful from head to toe. The hat obviously is a faultless Philip Treacy and I love the offset domed crown. The coat with crackled graphite colour detailing on the edges is exquisite. I would love to see the dress underneath, the collar looks very interesting. Really beautiful outfit on her today.

This is certainly a trio of most diverse royal hats, isn’t it? We’ll look at the remaining three royal hats from Ladies’ Day in the next post. For now, what did you think of these three hats?

Photos from James Whattling/Splash News, James Whatling/Splash News and James Whatling/Splash News via Corbis; and Getty as indicated

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20 thoughts on “Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot, Part One

  1. Queen E- is that a doily on her head? Not feeling this hat at all.
    Anne- the coat is nice but she is on massive brown feather overkill this week.
    Marie-Chantal- EPIC. Love the hat, love the Chanel coat. LOVE EVERYTHING. If there is one royal whose closet I could steal, it would be hers hands down.

  2. I love Marie-Chantal’s hat and her coat but don’t think they work together. The hat is a warm cream colour and summery material, while the coat is a heavier material in a cool shade of white.

  3. Ann certainly loves brown…the outfit does not seem to fit in with the event. Several other royals have worn detailed coats ..Norway …wonderful and maybe Lord Linley…sp..wife……too colourful if I remember correctly..the brown here seems drab..the hat is just a repeat really of the passed two days. Either Ann does not care how she looks or thinks she looks nice.
    The Queen does not look put together , the hat is fun like and the coat looks military.
    Princess mc hat needs colour as she is pale and it does not go with her outfit at all.

  4. I still like the Queen’s hat from last year but do not particularly like the coat: too many front buttons too close together, and the buttons on the pocket flaps look a little too 1970s. Actually, I rather like all the trim on the hat since lots is white and doesn’t jump out against the fascinating white woven straw crown but adds even more texture.
    This is the best of Princess Anne’s outfits this week, I think. Still looks a little fall like for June, but the coat is fascinating (beautifully cut to match while not being mirror images on the two sides), and the hat goes perfectly with it. She should repeat this outfit (in the fall).
    Marie Chantal’s hat is impressive, of course, but would look better on the Duchess of Cornwall, I’m afraid. I think it’s rather overwhelming on someone of Marie Chantal’s stature and public reserve.

  5. Best hat is undoubtedly Marie-Chantal – really superb. But not with that coat, which definitely is too heavy-looking for the season despite its pale colour (partly also because the higher neck of her dress underneath makes for a wintry feel too).

    Anne also looks very elegant indeed – very similar in overall style to the other outfits this week, but the best day so far, I do hope she hits a different note tomorrow, though!

    The Queen’s hat – fine, not a favourite.

  6. Compared to other hats we’ve seen in this shape, I think the extra trimmings help stave off the harsh boxiness. HM looks wonderful, although it was sad to hear one of her horses ended up in the hospital.

    This is Anne’s best hat and look of Ascot thus far, and that coat is gorgeous! Like everyone else, I’m disappointed she has yet to choose another color scheme.

    Marie-Chantal is divine in this Treacy hat. I only wish the detailing on the coat wasn’t charcoal grey and black, because it doesn’t go with the rest of her ensemble. Otherwise she would’ve been my favorite of the day.

  7. The Queen looks great. Princess Anne too, although I would prefer this suit and hat in light green or blue or any other colour. Marie-Chantals hat is beautiful, but I never like chanel and this day is no exception: although the suit cost more than my car it is way too heavy, furry and boxy and not a good match with the hat.

  8. I think Anne wants to go pheasant hunting or something. She is totally channeling birds and the country so far this week. If we hadn’t seen her in browns/earth tones twice previously this week the outfit, especially the jacket, would have been nice. But I’m bored with her looks at this point.

    So great to see the Queen enjoying herself so much. How she keeps going is beyond me. I’ve been to 3 days in a row of Ascot myself and by the third day I was done. She has 2 more days and clearly enjoys it. Good on her!

  9. I am not usually a fan of these flat brim styles on Her Majesty, but this one is working for me, so much so that I didn’t even really notice that it was one. I think this is because of the pastel colour, the different colour and texture in the crown and the mixed colour trim that seems to join the two parts together. I think it’s quite nice.
    I am not feeling the love for Marie-Chantels choice of outfit for today however. Like others I just don’t think the jacket and the hat go together at all. A beautiful pale pink or cream suit would have been divine.

  10. Anne looks great, but I would be more impressed if it were not day three of brown. HM great color. Not my favorite hat shape, but far from the worst example of it. MC- agree with others that hat and suit are both exquisite, just not great together. I could maybe get on board with the style contrast if the colors were more related (hat in a pale gray or suit with a rosy hue for instance)

  11. And under that nude-coloured hat, M-C needs some lipstick to brighten her up (she looks a bit sickly, probably a colour reflection from the hat).

  12. Wow, Anne really is channelling Downton (probably Violet) with her Ascot hats. I love this ensemble on her.

    Marie-Chantal, not so much. The hat and the outfit don’t go together, but it is a glorious hat. The curls are reminiscent of the decoration on Camilla’s hat on Day One.

    Her Maj looks lovely, although I dislike the heavy buttons on her coat. Why does she rarely have covered buttons, I wonder? The hat works with the outfit, but I agree – either the feathers or the ribbon, but not both (I think I prefer the ribbon as it has a softness to it).

  13. I love love Marie-Chantal’s hat but it doesn’t work with her dress which feels too heavy for such a light and airy hat. Beautiful pieces on their own, but not such a great look together. I thought Anne’s hat suited her outfit well, but it would have been nice to see her in something a little more colorful.

  14. It certainly looks like a brown phase! Anne’s coat is beautiful but not with this hat.

    I wonder what the Queen was laughing about. For a woman of her age she not only looks beautiful, she looks like enjoys life. Her hat today is very pretty.

  15. I hoped this outfit would see a repeat on Her Maj. I love it and it’s Ascot perfect. It’s just so fun and fresh, and I find that the hat trimming lifts the plain shape of the hat, rather than being overdone.

    Anne! That coat! Wow it’s beautiful. The hat – standard in afraid.

    Marie-Chantal has great pieces, just not together. The colours and styles just don’t go together. Which is a shame – pair that lovely but fussy hat with a plain white suit and it would have been fabulous.

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