When 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:
Princess Eugenie at Ascot, June 19, 2015
Princess Eugenie at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Centenary Garden Party, May 25, 2017
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