Princess Royal Reviews Founder’s Day Parade

The Princess Royal was the Reviewing Officer at the annual Founder’s Day parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea today. The hospital is a retirement and care home for former members of the British Army and this annual parade celebrates the hospital’s founding founding by King Charles II in 1682. For today’s parade, Princess Anne repeated a lampshade style hat made from layers of loosely pleated sky blue straw. The hat is trimmed in coordinating blue silk flower and leaves on the side. It’s not the most current of millinery styles (it dates back to at least 1999!) and while I’m not sure the shape is Princess Anne’s best, the colour is really lovely on her.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 15, 1999 (and more than likely a few others!)

The British Monarchy wrote today, “The Chelsea Pensioners are the iconic faces of the UK’s veteran community, offering excellent accommodation, comradeship and the highest standards of care for veterans in recognition of their loyal service to the Nation.” The photo below shows these British heroes in the scarlet coat of their traditional dress and wonderfully distinctive tricorne hats. These hats are only worn for ceremonial occasions or in the presence of royalty.

Embed from Getty Images
Princess Anne looked like she enjoyed the parade immensely- what do you think of her hat today?
Princess Anne, June 9, 2016 | Royal Hats
Photos from Getty as indicated and Press Association via The British Monarchy
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19 thoughts on “Princess Royal Reviews Founder’s Day Parade

  1. The hat may be dated, but the Princess Royal wears it well. I was surprised that she didn’t opt for a uniform for the occasion. She always looks most comfortable in a uniform, country tweeds, or horse gear.

  2. I really like this hat. When I first saw it, I thought Anne had raided Princess Alexandra’s hat closet. Not surprised that it is an older model. I have a lot of respect for Anne though a part of me is annoyed that she can pull stuff out of her closet from 20-30 years ago and have it still fit. I sure couldn’t do that.

  3. MrFitzroy rather likes this chapeau on the Princess Royal (and has for simply years and years). It’s all the more becoming when one considers what some the other options might have been. Especially when one considers what many of the other options might have been. And, she appears delighted to have this duty!

  4. She looks wonderful! Everything about the outfit, from hat, to suit, to shoes and accessories, is just so “put together”. A+.

  5. This hat definitely has a 90s vibe going on, but Anne is able to pull it off quite well. What bothers me are the dark navy gloves and purse, which compared to the lighter blues of her hat and outfit, seem really heavy and a bit at odds with everything else. I think medium grey would’ve been a better color for these accessories.

  6. I am intrigued by the corsage. Or is it a brooch with silk leaves attached? Is there any significance to it?

    • The Oak leaves are traditional to the occasion, and are worn as an addition to the brooch in the way shamrocks or poppies might be at other occasions. Note that all in uniform also sport them, as does the statue base behind the Princess Royal in a couple of the photos. From the hospital web site:

      The Oak reference commemorates the escape of the future King Charles II after the Battle of Worcester (1651) when he hid in an oak tree to avoid capture by the Parliamentary forces, and is expressed through all Chelsea Pensioners wearing oak leaves on their famous scarlet uniforms.

      The gold statue of Charles II that stands in the centre of figure court is also adorned in oak leaves for the occasion. Over the years the statue oak leaf dressing has varied from a large wreath at the base to a wreath worn on the head, and from total covering where the statue is not even visible to a discreet skirt of oak branches around the base.

    • The Royal Hospital Chelsea website says: “The Royal Hospital Chelsea’s Founder’s Day, also known as Oak Apple Day, is always held on a date close to 29 May – the birthday of Charles II and the date of his restoration as King in 1660. The oak reference commemorates the escape of the future King Charles II after the Battle of Worcester (1651) when he hid in an oak tree to avoid capture by the Parliamentary forces, and is expressed through all Chelsea Pensioners wearing oak leaves on their famous scarlet uniforms.”

      A later note says the pensioners all wear 2 oak leaves with an acorn. Anne’s oak leaves (4?) appear to be threaded behind a floral brooch.

      Such an interesting tradition.

  7. She looks very happy, and her outfit is becoming so whatever reservations I might have over the shape of the hat are over canceled out by her look and demeanor.

  8. I think she looks glorious! This is my favorite Princess Royal look in a long time, maybe ever. Such a fabulous combination of suit/hat/gloves. really wonderful

  9. I think this is one of the best looks ever for The Princess Royal. I just found out today that I am going to be seeing her in less than a month. I will be watching closely to see what hat she wears!

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