Cheltenham Festival 2017 Day 1

The Cheltenham Festival kicked off yesterday with one royal hat enjoying the races, and what a royal hat it was. Zara Tindall sported a peacock blue velvet covered cocktail hat adorned with a silk abaca knot and trimmed peacock feathers. Juliette Botterill is a new milliner for Zara (her cousins Beatrice and Eugenie and sister-in-law Autumn have all stepped out wearing this British designer’s pieces) and this piece makes a smashing partnership debut. The textures of velvet, silk and feathers are absolutely exquisite on this hat and the vibrant colour is fantastic Zara.

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Designer: Juliette Botterill. It is the Peacock Bow Velvet Percher from A/W 2016
Previously Worn: This hat is new
I suspect some of you might not like the combination of this hat with navy coat and sky blue purse and while the styling here might not be completely on point, it doesn’t detract at all from the hat in my estimation. What do you think of this new design (and milliner) for Zara?
Photos from Getty as indicated
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29 thoughts on “Cheltenham Festival 2017 Day 1

  1. I really like this hat and the color is beautiful on Zara. I’m crying a little bit that the peacock feathers were trimmed away though. So I will just imagine that the rest of it is being used in another way!

  2. It is a lovely hat. I instantly thought of the hat Sophie Wessex wore a few years ago – different base made of straw, but the same peacock color, hugely exuberant, with curved, trimmed feathers just like the ones on this hat. This one looks like a somewhat subdued, baby version of the original idea (was Sophie’s a Jane Taylor?) Except for the same quibbles with the base that others have, I think I like this one better. Love the silk knot.

  3. What a gorgeous hat and how lovely it looks on Zara – and how lovely she looks, full stop. I get what others are saying about the handbag, but I do wonder if, like many fabrics we see here (and I know from personal experience when I was a wedding photographer’s assistant) it has photographed differently to how it looks to the eye. I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt and believe it may have looked better ‘in person’. (It was almost 40 years ago and I still remember those darn bridesmaid dresses that looked a shade of wine and photographed terracotta brown!)

  4. Great hat for Zara! She wears this style consistently well. The colors are gorgeous, the trim is lush but not overwhelming. I agree with the commenters who think the base could be less round. Still, a very successful hat. I actually like how she styled the outfit. I don’t find the handbag to be a huge clash. A great appearance for her, and it looks like she was having fun.

  5. Perfect! Lovely, bright spot of color on what appears to be a dreary day. And no place better than the races to wear such a showstopper!

  6. Does Zara ever wear a hat more than once? I cannot think of any that she has repeated – I wonder if she flogs them on eBay afterwards?!

    As for this one – I like it. It’s standard Zara; shape, colour, trim all very her. It’s just right for a trip to Cheltenham.

    • JamesB, I’ve wondered, too! Perhaps she has a borrowing arrangement with the designers? Most of her toppers deserve repeated outings.

      • I’m guessing there are several members of the royal family who have arrangements with designers. In consideration for wearing a designer’s gown (hat – jewelry – shoes – handbag), in a setting where it will be photographed, attributed and publicized, well…..just like we’re doing here….said royal might get free or discounted goodies. Or, designers may simply initiate by gifting the royal with an item, hoping it will be worn.

    • I also wonder if Zara’s stylist has struck some type of deal with milliners to provide hats for racing events. The designer of hats she wears to such things (Magic Millions, Cheltenham, Ascot etc.) is released early in the day, often before photographs are available. It’s noticeably different than information of hats worn by other British royals to the same event.

  7. I LOVE this hat, very stunning on Zara! I agree the coat and handbag would not be my first choice but the hat definitely overshadows them which I suppose is certainly the point!

  8. My word, that hat is a show stopper! A stunning and eye-catching choice. While the navy coat would not have been my first choice, I think it actually works rather nicely and allows the hat to shine. Having said that, I probably would have chosen a navy handbag, as well, to keep the focus on that gorgeous hat.

  9. This is an absolutely beautiful hat, and a great start to the Cheltenham millinery stakes! The color is gorgeous for Zara, and I like its pairing with the dark navy outfit. The sky blue of the handbag is one too many blues thrown in here, however (especially when you can see Zara’s dress is a dark royal blue); I understand it probably was meant to complement the hat, but it just doesn’t work for me. Looking forward to what the rest of the week brings!

  10. As the racing season progresses, we hat lovers will enjoy so many more millinery treats. While I thrill to see their loveliness, my enjoyment turns to pain when I think of the behind the scenes practices of the thoroughbred racing industry. And industry is what it is. Hat Queen, will you indulge me and allow me to use your forum to educate my fellow hat-lovers about the use of nurse mares and the shocking and tragic fate of the nurse mare foals?

    Horse breeders select a brood mare and stallion whose genetic make-up they hope will produce a winner. After the foal is born, it is removed from his/her mother. She is too valuable an asset to spend months nursing her baby. A mare can give birth once a year, provided she re-bred immediately. Her baby is taken from her and she is shipped off to her rendez-vous with the selected stalllion. Often as soon as 7 days after foaling.She must recover from pregnancy and birth and go back into estrous to be bred again.

    Her foal is then given to a nurse mare. A nurse mare is a mare who is a good milk-producer who has just given birth, in some cases a birth that was induced pre-maturely. She will be the one to nurse the hoped-for winner.

    And what of the nurse-mare’s own foal? Think pony-skin. It is against the law to send a foal under 6 months of age to slaughter. So the nurse-mare foals are either clubbed to death or allowed to starve and their skins sold to the fur trade.

    Don’t take my word for this, do the research yourself. And then,enjoy your next race.

    • Here at Royal Hats, we touch on numerous controversial topics (bullfighting, bearskin military hats to name two) as we admire royal hats and the events they are worn to. I don’t want to whitewash associated controversy but want to keep things here focused on the hats. Such whistle blowing discussion is important but I think it belongs elsewhere.

  11. Love the hat and I look forward to Zara styling it differently. When I saw these photos, I immediately thought it was too much blue and none of it matched. Maybe in person it doesn’t clash so much.

  12. I love this! What fabulous trimming on that hat!! And I like it with the Navy coat. A bit of brightness on top of a classic outfit, and coordinated without being matchy. Hooray!

  13. I really like this hat in its own, I love the color combination of the bright aqua/real with navy, but the proportions don’t seem quite right for Zara. I feel like the base, in particular, looks like an awkward size for her. Not in terms of it physically fitting on her head, but visually. Maybe because of the way it curves out slightly bulbously, but I’d rather the base be either bigger yet or much sleeker in order to strike a pleasing balance with her face.

    • Yes Loonytick, I think I can see what you’re saying re the size of the base. Am loving the colour of the base tho, so luscious looking and the way the peacock feathers are trimmed is fab. Nice one Zara…but you always wear these hats with panache.

    • I have the same impression, and “bulbously” is a perfect description. But the colors, textures and trim are so luxurious that I’m willing to overlook the base.

  14. Love this hat. With a hat like this it has to be the centerpiece hence that ‘plain’ navy coat works well. I think she was trying to pair that bag with the hat but the colours look slightly off.
    Wonder if her look will work if she just used a navy bag?

  15. I think this hat is near perfection on Zara and love the combination with the navy blue coat….not sure of the colour of the handbag but can see where the stylist was coming from…probably relates to a colour in the peacock feathers.

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