Queen Launches Commonwealth Hub

Queen Elizabeth visited Marlborough House this morning to launch a Commonwealth Hub (a sort of headquarters to bring Commonwealth organisations together in the same location). For this event, on the eve of her formal 90th birthday celebrations which begin tomorrow, she repeated a hat with Commonwealth connections. Worn once before in Australia, this design centres around a unique, marshmallow shaped crown covered in the same white piqué as Her Majesty’s jacket and trimmed with contrasting cerise piping.

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While I have always liked the punchy white and pink colour scheme of this outfit and appreciate how the white hat balances the patterned dress (which we see in this ensemble much more than most others thanks to the short jacket), the proportion of this hat has always felt way off to me. The cerise band half way up the crown emphasizes how puffy, oversize and, well, marshmallowy its shape is while the floral bow looks almost comically miniature in comparison. Between the hat shape and the oddly scooped neck on the jacket, I think the ensemble falls short of its great potential.
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Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: October 29, 2011
I know several of you have waited years to see this hat reappear and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts after seeing it again today.
For those of you planning to catch tomorrow’s Service of Thanksgiving which kicks off Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday celebrations, you can follow along in the program here.
Photos from Getty as indicated

26 thoughts on “Queen Launches Commonwealth Hub

  1. While I usually have no negative comments about HM I am sorry to say I don’t care for this hat. I think the dress and jacket are fine, though not a favorite but the hat is a no for me. My first reaction was it looks like a birthday cake.

  2. I’d assumed we wouldn’t be seeing this one again… I like the outfit and the colours a lot. I dony even hate the hat, it just needs someone to prick it with a pin and deflate it a bit.

    That said, she is having a good delve through the wardrobe lately, which makes me quite excited for what we might be seeing over the next week of hattery!

  3. Oh my, I just have to comment on this one!! The last and only time this hat has been worn was at the Aussie BBQ that was hosted in Perth, the capital of Western Australia (where I live), indeed the final engagement of the Aussie tour! The city is nearly 4 hours drive away so I didn’t attend although I probably could have done. Anyway the whole afternoon’s activities were shown live on TV which was great fun but I clearly remember thinking….no not white, pure pristine white at an Aussie Barby!! And of course the moment I saw the hat I just shuddered. Not only is it particularly clumsy looking and disproportionate, it was just soo out of wack with WA’s laid back relaxed vibe. I’m smiling now at the memory. Sorry Your Majesty not for me….either here or in the UK….but all the very best for your Birthday Celebrations this weekend. Hip Hip Hooray.

    • I remember that occasion – I live in Sydney but watched it on the TV and thought “My, she’s brave – white at a barbie! Someone didn’t advise her household correctly!” Love the colour combination but not the hat – one of her few failures.

  4. The puffy crown is definitely my least favorite thing about this ensemble, followed by the scoop neck of the jacket (although I do appreciate showing off more of HM’s dress underneath). If the crown was straighter and they removed the little bow (but not the stripe around the crown), this hat would be awesome. Close, but definitely some mistakes. Fingers crossed for even more oldies-but-goodies to show up!

  5. I agree with you re the hat – not one of The Queen’s best by a long shot. I don’t mind the dress and jacket (love the brooch!) but WHY would she wear black accessories with all that white?? Just looks wrong to me.

  6. Considering how often most of Angela Kelly’s hat blocks are reused, I think it is telling that this particular marshmallow hat is unique.
    From a distance (particularly in the first picture), the double boiler effect makes the hat resemble some sort of medical device for those with head injuries. Your suggestion that the outfit be worn with the RTM pink and white is excellent, and there probably are other pink and white hats from the years that would go beautifully with this pretty dress fabric.
    It is nice to see a shorter jacket, but I don’t understand the its trim. The cerise piping on the hat is solid color except for the bow, but the trim on the jacket appears to be a combination of the dress fabric and the solid cerise hat trim.
    This outfit is all right but not one of the Queen’s (or AK’s) best.

  7. I really like this hat,and the puffiness doesn’t bother me! I am with you on the oddly low-cutness of the jacket though. It makes me feel like it’s sliding forward at the shoulder because it’s poorly tailored even though it isn’t and that’s just the cut.

  8. I am not a fan of the hat, but the colors went well with the outfit she was wearing. To be honest, I have so much admiration and respect for HM, that I don’t really care what she wears when she turns up somewhere; I am just delighted that she is still out there. She dresses in a particular style, and this hat loosely fits into that category, so I can’t knock it too much – but if it were retired tomorrow, I wouldn’t miss it!

  9. Throwing out a crazy idea here… what would you all think about this dress and coat paired with this hat instead?

    Embed from Getty Images

      • No- today’s dress is a floral pattern while the dress above is a more graphic pattern (looks like horseshoes!). The two are such similar colours it takes a close second look to tell them apart!

    • I don’t see horseshoes – I see fermatas (a musical term meaning “HOLD!”) I concur; this would be a millinery improvement.

      • Indeed- the print is rows of inverted fermatas. I just thought more readers would relate to horseshoes than fermatas! You must have some musical training, Jimbo!

        • You guessed it – I’m a music educator. (choral and keyboard)
          If you recall from one of my recent entries, however, you can tell I’m NOT a techno type of guy!
          Oh, to be talented like YOU, HQ!

  10. As Bristol says, this hat does add a sense of fun to the queen’s attire, but on the whole, it is so out of proportion to the queen that I can’t really enjoy it.

  11. Actually, I really enjoy this hat. Taken on its own, it would be rather bizarre, but added to a conventionally pretty outfit, it injects a lovely sense of fun that seems quite appropriate for an occasion like this (it would be out of place for many engagements). I’m sure the play with proportions is deliberate – the bulgy hat, the tiny little bow – to create that sense of fun. I think one is *meant* to smile on seeing it!

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