Battle of the Somme Centenary Part II

Members of the British Royal Family gathered in France yesterday at The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Thiepval Memorial to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of The Somme. This WWI battle claimed the lives of more than one million men during the four months it waged, making it one of the bloodiest in history.

For this remembrance, the Duchess of Cornwall repeated her cream and navy straw hat with raised brim on one side and signature Treacy looped knot on the side. When we saw this hat at Ascot last month, it was also trimmed with a soaring cream feather (one of two that originally adorned this hat) that has now been removed. I must say, I’m sorry to see it go.

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The Duchess of Cambridge repeated a hat not seen since the very early days of her royal life. In black sinamay, the design features a windowpane lattice straw, upturned flyaway brim and is trimmed with an ostrich feather.  I have long admired the shape of this hat and the light, airiness that the brim’s shape and material gives the piece. I thought its pairing yesterday with Kate’s French lace suit was exquisite.

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When she first wore this hat, it seemed a daring design for Kate and gave hope that she would follow with similarly bold and daring millinery choices. While that didn’t exactly happen, her return to this piece yesterday reignites this hope for me and I was very happy to see it again.
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Designer: Silvia Fletcher for Lock and Co. It is the Lion Tamer design
Previously Worn: June 11, 2011

The Duchess of Gloucester, pictured at the far left below, repeated the grey cuffed bumper hat with veil she first wore last month.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 12, 2016June 10, 2016
What do you think of these three repeated hats at yesterday’s commemoration?
Photos from Getty as indicated
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26 thoughts on “Battle of the Somme Centenary Part II

  1. Camilla: I do like the navy and blue hat on her and in my opinion I think it looks a bit better without the feathers.
    Kate: I really love this hat, very original. I wish there had been a link to a picture of her first wearing it. I wouldn’t agree she hasn’t worn some beautiful hats since.
    D of G: Her hats are simple yet elegant and timeless.

    • There is a link in the post of Kate’s first outing with this hat- scroll down and under the last photo of her and you’ll find a link next to “Previously Worn”. You can do the same with most posts here at Royal Hats.

  2. This will always be a favorite hat of Cams, feathers or not. Maybe some new feathers will adorn it the next time she wears it. I think Kate looks really great, I have been waiting to see this hat again. The only thing that bothers me is the stem of the feather on the underside of the hat – does it go through the brim? It seems a poking hazard if someone gets too close. I want to get a pair of scissors and snip it! Birgitte looks lovely as always. She doesn’t have the clothing budget the other ladies have despite carrying out so many engagements on behalf of HM so she makes her wardrobe work hard. I’d just like her to space things out a bit.

    • We don’t know what the Duchess of Gloucester’s clothing budget is so let’s please stick to what we DO know- our own opinions about the hats!

  3. Something is off about the feather in the Duchess’s hat. Note that in earlier outings it was much more tightly curled. In yesterday’s outing, much looser – almost as though it has been stretched out in some pics. It ruined the effect for me.

  4. I never tire of Camilla’s navy and white hat – the colour combo is so perfect on her; and this hat, even minus its feathers, is still a beauty (not to mention her whole outfit.)
    I like Kate’s hat a lot – except for the projecting quill, which looks far too much like the tail end of a looped cable tie. I have a dreadful urge to snip it off, and replace it with something else. Yet, I liked the quill fine enough on its outing in 2011. Not sure whether the quill looks odd now because the Duchess has her hair up — or whether it’s because I’m finding the pairing of the hat’s simple modernist style rather stark against the twee lace dress. I’d love to look at this hat worn differently again — same updo, but with a simpler, plainer dress.

  5. NO, RIP feathers! I like this hat least without the feathers, since I think the feathers help balance it out. Like @JamesB, I’ve become bored with this hat because she’s worn it so much recently (even though it’s still one of my favorites for her).

    Kate looked fantastic here, and this ensemble was a great mixture of textures, patterns, and colors. I’m so glad to see the return of this hat, and interesting how they slightly modified the feather. In my opinion, this is one her best appearances of 2016 so far.

    Just a reminder, this is the third time Birgitte has worn this hat (the second being the Order of the Garter). And since it is the third time in less than a month she has worn this hat, I’m already getting bored, even though it’s new. I would’ve liked to see a repeat of one she’s worn on Remembrance Sunday, like this one from 2008:
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    or how about this fantastic hat from 2006:
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  6. Having returned from Princess Anne, I took another look at the three hats pictured here. They are all very nice and appropriate but I do agree that the placement of the stem of the feather on the Duchess of Cambridge’s hat is rather weird. Another thumbs up to the chignon!

  7. While I liked the DoCa’s pillbox yesterday, I REALLY like this lighter, younger style on her. The airy lattice is beautiful.

    The DoCo’s hat was better with the two feathers, but I think the current version is better than the one-feather version. That single feather looked like an afterthought.

    The DoG’s bumper was easy to overlook amidst the riches we saw in June, but it’s an attractive, versatile piece for this low-key Royal, and she wears it well.

  8. Don’t forget Princess Anne! I was ten feet away from her as a volunteer, when she was in St. John’s yesterday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel! The Princess Royal is Colonel in Chief of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, a position she takes VERY seriously. She looked ravishingly in a pale aqua ensemble with a very chic hat. We were all thrilled to see her and have her so engaged with us,

    • Thank you, Glitter Girl, for mentioning Princess Anne at the centenary of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel. I googled and watched an interview she gave as Colonel in Chief of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and also saw photos of her as you describe in a beautiful outfit with flattering hat to match.

  9. I thought all three hats were very suitable repeats. I think Kate’s hat is a really excellent design. One of the thing I’ve enjoyed seeing over the last month or so is that Kate has worn her hats with her hair up. It’s more sophisticated looking and I would say generally suits the standing of the events Kate is attending better. Having said that, I looked back at the previous occasion Kate wore this hat, at the 2011 Trooping the Colour, and it’s one of the few hats that I’ve thought looked excellent with Kate’s hair down, such that I didn’t immediately think “good hat, would look better with her hair up”. Clearly a very well-designed hat! I think it is deceptively simple, not only well-designed but also beautifully executed, with the perfect curl of the feather, and the way the brim crosses at the front.

  10. The Duchess of Cambridge looks stunning in that hat and dress. I prefer to see her in these larger hats she has been wearing as opposed to the small hats she wore so often early in her marriage. Her hair, in a chignon, looks elegant and sophisticated, complimenting her hat. Camilla, on the other hand, wears big hats beautifully, but it would be nice to see her in something other than the same style. Don’t know why, but I think a solid dark color would be more appropriate for this occasion and would look smashing set against Camilla’s blonde hair.

  11. The Duchess of Cornwall has made a breakthrough recently: she’s graduated to color-coordinated umbrellas. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Queen with a navy blue umbrella handle. (Of course, she only has a couple of navy blue outfits.) The Duchess always used to have regulation black umbrellas until recently getting white and light greige ones. Umbrella included, the Duchess of Cornwall looks fabulous here. I like the hat with the solid navy coat. I think its lack of feather(s) makes the hat more appropriate for a somber occasion — not that feathers aren’t somber somehow.
    I really like the Duchess of Cambridge’s outfit, however. The hat and dress make a surprisingly sophisticated look. Someone was clever to think of this pairing. As others have commented recently, her wearing her hair up more and more makes the Duchess of Cambridge look more adult and serious (while still gorgeous and youthful.

  12. Another very polished ensemble from Kate, the dress is exquisite and the pairing with this hat is perfect for this occasion. Yet another fantastic undo too. She looks very chic.

    I’m bored of Camilla’s hat – just feel I’ve seen it so many times now. A new navy hat for Cams please.

  13. My only quibble with the ladies’ hats is that the Duchess of Cambridge’s, although it went perfectly with her lovely dress, might have been a little light-hearted for the occasion. She did look lovely, though.

  14. I really like the Duchess of Cambridge’s outfit here. To me it echoes back to the early days of her marriage when she was often more adventuresome in her styling. Lately her style has become a bit drab to me. Not enough hats or not enough hat if you know what I mean. Today the hat and dress hit the mark.

    Thank you for your marvelous blog. I look forward to seeing them appear in my inbox almost daily. They put a smile on my face despite what else is happening around me.

  15. I just love this hat and think it tempers the lace dress, which might look a little prissy with a different hat.
    I’m trying to remember the last time we saw Catherine with her hair down. Pre-Ascot, I think? I have been admiring all the chignons – they certainly add a level of sophistication/confidence.

  16. Three very nice hats. The only thing I would change is to put the stem of Kate’s feather inside the brim of her hat. It looks dangerous sticking out.

  17. I don’t care for this hat on Kate much now – though I did think I liked it when she first was wearing it a number of years ago. I think it’s much too busy with all the straw lattice to be paired with this equally as busy dress for such a somber occasion. Cams looks very nice at this outing. I do like this hat now, despite it’s had a ‘clipping’ of wings. The no frills Duchess of G. certainly gets her miles out of that gray hat!

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