As they do each year on the day before the start of Royal Ascot, members of the British royal family and distinguished guests gathered at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, for the annual Garter Service. This service, which celebrates The Order of the Garter (the highest order of chivalry and one of the most prestigious honours in the United Kingdom awarded at the Sovereign’s pleasure as a personal gift) dates back to 1348 and remains a highlight on the royal calendar each year. Unfortunately this year, inclement weather cancelled the Garter parade and carriage procession from Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel, giving royal watchers a far reduced view of the Garter members in their elaborate robes and black velvet Tudor-style hats with white ostrich plumes and black heron feathers
The Duchess of Cornwall attended the Garter service today in her cream straw hat with up-swept brim in gold-threaded windowpane lattice straw. The photos below give a good all-around view of the hat and its whimsical bow with flying, curled tails, a feature we don’t always see when Camilla wears this hat. It’s such a great scale and design for her.
The Duchess of Cambridge repeated a vibrant hat not seen since the Diamond Jubilee. In red felt, her saucer percher hat is trimmed with large daffodil flowers in red straw and felt with central cononas made from sliced felt (almost reminiscent of a pompom). This is a lighthearted design that Kate wears well- its mixed textures and playful feel give life to her unembellished dress and coat. While the shade of red photographs wildly different (as seen below!), the hat matches well with the rest of the ensemble.
Designer: Silvia Fletcher for Lock & Co.
Previously Worn: June 3, 2012
The Countess of Wessex wore a new hat today, a large black straw disk embellished with a tall straw twist. While we can’t see the detail of this piece, it looks to be a very flattering scale for Sophie.
Designer: Jane Taylor. It looks similar to the ‘Casanova’ design from SS 2016
Previously Worn: This hat is new
The Duchess of Gloucester repeated the steel grey straw bumper hat with tulle net veil trim she debuted on Friday for Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday service of thanksgiving. It’s a great new piece for her, particularly paired with her exquisitely cut blue-grey coat dress.
Previously Worn: June 10, 2016
Princess Alexandra’s granddaughter Zenouska Mowatt also attended the Garter service in a black straw cocktail hat with ruffle trim and what looks to be red feather quills (and some blue jewells?) decorating the brim. It is lovely to see her included in British royal events such as this.