British Royals Celebrate Order Of The Garter

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

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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.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: May 19, 2016; June 13, 2015;  June 19, 2013; June 14, 2011; April 29, 2011; June 16, 2009

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.

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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.

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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.

Designer: unknown
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.

While the weather certainly dampened this event, there were some lovely millinery designs worn today by some of the British royal ladies. Which hats stood out most to you?
Photos from Getty as indicated
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18 thoughts on “British Royals Celebrate Order Of The Garter

  1. The Duchess of Cambridge looks amazing, and I agree that the fun hat is a perfect counterpoint to the simple coat dress.

  2. I always loved that particular hat worn by the Duchess of Cambridge. The color and structural style of it are so flattering on her. It really is a work of art.

  3. I thought all the ladies looked very nice. I love Kate in red. She seems to be copying the Queen’s style of dressing, almost always in a solid color, which makes her stand out. She rarely wears separates or patterns. She wears coats a lot and seems to prefer a very fitted, tailored look. It’s almost a uniform for her as the Queen’s style is for her and is quite effective that way.

  4. Zenouska looked nice from.thw front but the dress creased terribly at the back which was a shame. In the flesh , Kate s red dress didn’t look as vibrant, it looked quite a dull red and really quite meh. It photographs much better
    Sophie on the other hand looked great , I love her style . Camilla always wear a good hats for Garter that stand out and are appropriate

  5. I prefer to see Camilla’s hat paired with that gorgeous green jacket she sometimes wears with it, just to add more color. It’s a perfect hat for her.

    Was beyond excited to see this red ensemble for Kate and the return of this beautiful hat from the Diamond Jubilee (can’t believe it’s been over 4 years ago now!). On some people this would be a lot of red, but Kate pulls it all off so well. The winning look of the day.

    For me, Sophie was going in the right direction, but I feel her hat has slipped too far to one side and looks like it’s about to fall off. Rectify the placement and it would be a true winner for me.

    Glad Birgitte had a new had on Friday, but did she really have to repeat it so soon??

    I like Zenouska’s ensemble overall, but it seems like there might be a little too much going on with her cocktail disc hat; a little hard to tell though without more detail. Very interesting how she was at the Garter service before many other royals.

  6. Everyone looks good! I’d love a closer look at Sophie’s. I appreciate the Duchess of Gloucester’s timeless style.

  7. I thought Kate looked smashing in her all-red outfit! She wears everything with a sophistication that is hard to match by the other ladies present. Something about her looks clean, pressed, and totally tailored to her figure. Camilla has beautiful clothing and she wears those big hats beautifully. Camilla has a nice figure, but whoever tailors her clothing needs to do a better job so it shows off her figure to best advantage. I think Sophie’s hat is very nice, but she always looks smashing when she wears white or pastels. The black hat is a beautiful hat; it is just hard to see detail on a hat when it is all black. What to say about Zenouska’s hat? She is young and has many more events in the coming years in which to hone her style. As is, it is a youthful style and matches her age perfectly.

  8. I like all three Duchesses’ hats and the Countess’s too. Even in the four we have about as wide a variety of millinery as one could get, but they all work extremely well both with their respective outfits and for their wearers. Zenouska’s hat trim looks like leaves, feathers and blue blobs of some kind. I’ve never heard the expression “rubble trim” before, but I see on searching that it is a Thing. I’m still not sure exactly what kind of a thing it is, though… HatQueen?

    • It’s an autocorrect nightmare is what it is! The post has been corrected to read “ruffle” trim.

      Yikes. It’s Ascot hasn’t even started and I’ve already gone to the dogs.

      • Ah, autocorrect! How interesting – does that mean that when I Googled it, and came up with some other examples of dresses etc with “rubble trim”, that they were the victims of autocorrect too? If it really doesn’t exist, maybe we should invent it?!

  9. I’m on board with what Kate’s done here – two pieces that haven’t been seen in a good few years, reused in different ways. She uses this strategy a lot, if you look, the only time she’s ever repeated a whole look in the same way was when she repeated the suit and hat from George’s christening a couple of weeks ago.

    Anyway, it’s a lot of red, but it works. The shades might be slightly out, but as you say, the colour looks different in each photo, so it’s fine. It’s a good strong look – I think I don’t even mind it going through to shoes and bag too… As I say a lot of red but she pulls it off.

    Camilla looks great in this every time, but I feel a bit underwhelmed by Sophie, not sure why. I hope they re planning to bring it for Ascot!

    • You’re right- Kate always does change up her outfits and not wear them the same over and over. I do that all the time so I don’t get bored with my clothes. Thanks for pointing that out!

      I want to like her hat but it looks so craft project and that dress is SOOOOOO ageing her. It’s way too old for her and it’s soooo bad. I wish she wore the blue and pink dress from the picnic yesterday with a fun hat today instead! That was such an awesome dress on her. This dress belongs back in the 1990s.

      • I don’t agree that Kate’s outfit is ageing or outdated, I think she is getting adept at dressing appropriately for different occasions. The simple dress for Sunday was fine for an informal occasion, but the Garter ceremony isn’t the place for informality or fun hats. Along with Trooping the Colour and Remembrance Sunday, it’s really one of the most formal occasions of the royal year. Kate has understood that and dressed appropriately – and I think she looks really wonderful.

      • I LOVE her dress and hat. She and Kate are both in red but Zen actually looks her age (so cute!). Kate looks 1 or 2 decades older.

      • Agreed JamesB and Gigi. Zenouska looks young and stylish. Kate’s dress is dated and the hat doesn’t go with it. It was way better with the McQueen dress the first time around.

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