Seeing Double: Princess Eugenie

Royal HatsWhen Princess Eugenie stepped onto the Buckingham Palace lawn for a garden party on May 25 in a lovely gold straw hat with inverted crin brim, I was filled with an unmistakable sense of déjà vu. A quick trip to the photo archives confirmed this Nerida Fraiman designed percher hat was not the first of its kind:

When a royal purchases the same hat in different colours, I often find myself completely perplexed by the action- in a world of so many wonderful millinery shapes, why go for something you already have? In this instance, however, I understand the double purchase. The scale is beautiful on Eugenie and the inverted brim is a wonderfully unique design feature that gives exquisite lightness to the hat. The simple knot on the side of the crin brim adds that little bit of something that not only adds interest to the overall shape but works so much better with the sleek lines of the piece than any flower, pouf, feather or bow could. The two colour combinations- both neutral but surprisingly different from each other- and the reversal of the side knot (on the Eugenie’s right in the black and white version and on her left in the gold one) give distinct personality to the two pieces. While the two hats are the same, they are different enough to each fill a vital role in the millinery closet of a young princess.

Princess Eugenie is one of the heads I’ll be looking out for at Ascot- she flies under the radar much of the time but I find her hat choices to be interesting, creative and modernly elegant, words I could easily apply to these two designs. What do you think of this pair of royal millinery twins?

Photo from Getty as indicated

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8 thoughts on “Seeing Double: Princess Eugenie

  1. Do you think Beatrice & Eugenie actually purchase all their hats ? They very seldom repeat anything and I have a feeling the hats are loaned for publicity ? Might be wrong !

    • I can’t agree with your “seldom repeat anything” statement. Of the 5 hats Princess Beatrice wore at Trooping the Colour and Ascot last year, 3 were repeated! When I look through her archive, a majority of hats are repeated which makes me strongly suspect they are purchased. Same for Eugenie- the first hat featured in this post was first worn to Ascot in 2013.

  2. I can’t add anything to your excellent description and analysis, HatQueen, except to agree that twin hats are justified. The black (or maybe grey?) trim on the first one and the position of the knot definitely keep these from looking too similar. Also, is it just the light, or does the gold have more of a sheen? The gold looks like it might be a better match to the first dress than the white.

  3. I agree with all your analysis here, Hat Queen, about this style of hat for Princess Eugenie. It definitely flatters her face and looks good with her hair down. I think it’s wonderful that she got two of them, yet different colors and trim.
    They’re just different enough to keep it interesting and as long as she doesn’t wear them two days in a row, I say go for it. When it’s such a high quality hat, each one can stand on its own.
    I really like both of them. I wouldn’t be able to choose one over the other either. Of course, it’s unlikely I will ever have to, but one can dream!

  4. I like them both, but I prefer the first one in light beige and black (although not with the dress pictured). I don’t mind her having two similar hats since the colors schemes are distinctly different (yes Camilla, I’m giving you side-eye for choosing so many hats in the same shades of beige and cream), and therefore each one would work well/better with different colored outfits.

    Also, in terms of choosing hats for one to wear, I can understand why someone would buy two (or more) similarly shaped hats (as long as they are different colors), because if you find a shape you find very flattering, why not go for it? Most of my recent hat purchases have all been pretty much the same shape, but different materials and colors help distinguish them; granted, as a guy who sticks to more traditional gender roles when buying my hats, I don’t have as much variety (or fun!) with my hat choices, but maybe someday that will change haha.

  5. I like both of these hats. I think they’re great choices for someone who wears hats fairly frequently but who doesn’t have a different hat for every single outfit. I also think they have a modern contemporary feel that suits the Princess and go well with many of her outfits. Can’t wait to see her at Ascot!

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