The Countess of Wessex celebrated her 51st birthday last week. As we have done with others this month, were going to take an inventory of the blue hats in her millinery closet. Here they are, shown in the order they have been worn:
1. 2. 3.
Designers: unknown; unknown; Philip Treacy
Introduced: May 27, 1999; December 24, 2000; June 2, 2003
Designers: all three are Jane Taylor
Introduced: June 15, 2011; December 25, 2011; June 5, 2012
UPDATE- two new blue percher designs (see above) were added in June 2016.
Sophie also wore three navy and white hats during the early days of her royal life:
Designers: unknown. I suspect the first and third were made by Philip Treacy
Introduced: June 12, 1999; June 10, 2001; June 16, 2001
Looking at this group of thirteen hats, there is considerable variation of colour and style. I suppose that’s to be expected for a hat career that now spans fifteen years, although you might notice a curious eight year span between 2003 and 2011 where no blue hats were introduced (and few were repeated). Nevertheless, this slice of Sophie’s millinery closet shows her experimentation with different shapes.
When it comes to current status, I suspect #1-3, #5 and the last three navy and white hats have all been retired, leaving seven percher designs (#4, #6, #7, #9-12) and a lone fedora still in service. Of the retired hats, I would love to see #3, with its sleek texture and beautiful raised brim, worn again. The proportion was lovely on Sophie and I think the shape is as relevant today as it was over a decade ago. I also have a soft spot for the cream hat with navy silk ribbon around the brim, trimmed with roses. It has such a classic Chanel-esque look to it that I adore.
What do you think of Sophie’s blue hats?
Photos from Antony Jones, Tim Graham, Tim Graham, Mark Cuthbert, Chris Jackson, Samir Hussein, Mark Cuthbert, Max Mumby/Indigo, Mark Cuthbert, Danny Martindale, Samir Hussein,Tim Graham, Tim Graham, andTim Graham, all via Getty