Closer Look: The Green Chain Pillbox

Royal HatsOne of the surprises from this year’s amazing exhibition on the Queen’s fashion over the past 90 years is a celery green silk hat with distinctive hanging chain trim that I do not remember ever seeing before:

This design (I suspect made by Aage Thaarup) is all about that interlocking chain veil on the back- a detail that is unique and unlike anything we’ve seen on a royal hat. It’s not a design detail that is very beautiful but it makes for a fascinatingly interesting design. While I have been unable to find any photos of the Queen wearing this particular hat, several similar lavishly trimmed over size pillboxes she wore in the 1960s and 1970s give us hint of how this piece might have looked on her.
What do you think of this design, now that we’ve had a closer look?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Swedish Royals Join Car Rally

On Saturday, King Carl Gustaf brought out his prized 1946 Volvo PV-60 to take part in the twelfth annual ‘King’s Rally’ on the island of Öland.

Queen Silvia, August 27, 2016 | Royal Hats
Queen Silvia joined in the automotive fun in a colourful, summery hat. Made of loosely woven straw printed with a pink, purple, lime and turquoise argyle diamond pattern, the hat features a flat crown and curved brim finished with a magenta hatband and bow at the back. We don’t often see such vibrantly printed royal hats and the simple shape of this one allows the diamond print to take centre stage. It’s not a serious or formal hat and as such, was perfect both with Silvia’s bright dress and for this informal event. She and the King, who sported a classic cream Panama hat, made a very handsome, hatted royal pair.
Queen Silvia, August 27, 2016 | Royal Hats Queen Silvia, August 27, 2016 | Royal Hats
Queen Silvia, August 27, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I suspect this hat is new

Most of the working royal hats we see err on the more serious side of things and it’s lovely to see such a whimsical and informal design such as this. I think it is as wonderful as her iPhone cover (adorable!) but I’m curious- what do you think of Queen Silvia’s diamond printed hat?

Queen Silvia, August 27, 2016 | Royal Hats

Photos from The Swedish Monarchy; IBL and StellaPhoto

Princess Mary At Glostrop Festival

Crown Princess Mary was in Glostrup on Saturday to take part in festivities celebrating the city’s 850th anniversary. For the occasion, she reached into the depths of her millinery closet for a cream straw fascinator that has not been worn in over a decade.

Crown Princess Mary, August 27, 2016 | Royal Hats

The fascinator features a multi-looped straw bow surrounded by arrow trimmed feathers. The styling of this piece- tucked into Mary’s chignon and paired with a lace frock- was very well done, minimising its slightly outdated style and creating an ensemble that felt fresh and festive.  I think Mary’s strength is her styling (or stylist!) and this headpiece certainly benefited from it.

Crown Princess Mary, August 27, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn:  April 27, 2010; May 12, 2005

I love seeing older pieces of millinery recycled in ways that bring them into current fashion and I think Mary’s ensemble on Saturday was elevated by this headpiece. We don’t often see this style of fascinator any more – what do you think of it on this outing?

Photos from Stella

This Week’s Extras

Royal Hats

King Harald is participating in the World Sailing Championships in Toronto (Royal House of Norway)

Crown Princess Mary took part in the Baltic Sea Challenge (Daily Mail)

Have you heard that the Countess of Wessex is taking up a Duke of Edinburgh challenge (raising funds for charity in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s 60th anniversary) that involves many, many hours wearing a bike helmet?

While not exactly a sport… Princess Camilla of of Bourbon Two Sicilies was spotted hat shopping in St. Tropez back in early July (Pure People)

Princess Camilla, July 2, 2016 | Royal Hats

In early August, she was also spotted out on the town in some snazzy headpieces (Pure People)

Princess Camilla, August 2016 | Royal Hats

 Royal Hats

Lovely new photo of Prince Carl Philip, Princes Sofia and Prince Alexander (Svenskdam)

Photos from BestImage

Closer Look: The Thaarup Blue Lattice Hat

Royal HatsWhen the British Royal Family visited Norway in August, 1969, Queen Elizabeth wore an interesting hat that looked to be an oversized, braided pillbox:

This hat was included in the Holyrood House section of this year’s three-part exhibition, ‘Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe’. The Royal Collection Trust shared this photo of it as displayed in the exhibition:

This view shows the piece is actually a complex design featuring a straw base through which silk organza is woven- a design that creates a hat with amazing textural contrast. These days, we usually expect trim (feathers, flowers etc.) to provide most of a hat’s visual interest, something that this hat creates entirely through its interwoven design. It is not a hat that transcends time particularly well – the shape and design are firmly rooted in 1960s style – but for its time, I think this is a compelling piece.
What do you think of this design, now that we’ve had a closer look?
Photos from Getty as indicated and The Royal Collection Trust

Who Wore It Best: August 2016

Royal Hats When a pair of royal sisters favour a particular milliner’s designs, it seems inevitable that eventually, both will fancy the same hat. That’s precisely what happened a few years ago to the York princesses and a straw pyramid percher hat trimmed with burnt feathers by Sarah Cant:


Princess Eugenie at the Epsom Races, June 1, 2013

Princess Beatrice at the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation June 4, 2013

Who do you think wore it best?

This poll will remain open until next Monday, September 5 at midnight GMT the results will be celebrated shortly thereafter. Happy voting!

Photos from Getty as indicated

Closer Look: The Dotted Feathered Blue Turban

Royal HatsWhen Prince William was christened in August 1982, it was a major event which, naturally, called for new hats all around. Perhaps as a nod to her new grandson, Queen Elizabeth chose head-to-hem blue dotted silk chiffon for her ensemble.

Using the turban shape Her Majesty often wore during this time, milliner Frederick Fox formed the silk chiffon into fine horizontal pleats around the hat and topped it with a cascade of blue ostrich feathers. This hat is included in the Holyrood House section of this year’s amazing three-part retrospective on the Queen’s fashion and, thanks to the Royal Collection Trust, we get a better view of it than we have seen before.

I think the feathers make this piece. While certainly whimsical, they break up the turban shape and give this small design a wonderful sense of movement and fun. The pleats soften the dotted print, barely saving the Queen from “death by dots” overkill on the overall ensemble. I think it’s a masterful use of a difficult fabric and an even more difficult millinery shape – I can only guess that the Queen also liked it, as she repeated the outfit several times through the 1980s, including on a trip to the Solomon Islands in October 1982.

What do you think of this hat design, now that we’ve had a closer look?
Photos from Getty as indicated and Press Association