Ascot Hats: Princess Eugenie

After looking at the hats Princess Beatrice has worn to Ascot so far, it seems only natural that we turn our focus today to her sister, Princess Eugenie:

2008: Making her Ascot debut in feather trimmed, Philip Treacy cocktail hats on June 17 and 19

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2009:  An eye catching lime green satellite saucer and dotted black trilby on Jun 18 and 19, both by Philip Treacy

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2010:  A pair of Philip Treacy perchers in bright pink and white feathers on June 17 and 19

Embed from Getty Images Princess Eugenie, June 19, 2010 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

2011: An emerald straw calot with flower trim by Stephen Jones on June 14; A black straw vertical saucer with silk roses and straw twists by Philip Treacy on June 17; a black silk percher with beaded veil of unknown design on June 18

 Princess Eugenie, June 14, 2011 in Stephen Jones | Royal Hats Princess Eugenie, June 17, 2011 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

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2012: Returning to Stephen Jones for pleated fabric covered pieces on June 19 and 21

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2013: A pair of pale perchers with an inverted crin brim and large rose from Nerida Fraiman on June 18 and 20

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2014: Rose trimmed perchers from Nerida Fraiman and Robyn Coles on June 17 and 19; red felt angular crowned hat with grey striped brim from Sarah Cant on June 21

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2015: Teal percher on June 18 and a repeated cream one June 19, both with black crin and from Nerida Fraiman

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2016: A pale pink open weaved pyramid from Jess Colletton June 15 and a pearl studded black straw hat with mushroom brim from Nerida Fraiman on June 16

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Looking at this group of hats, I see an eclectic mix with some very bold choices at the beginning tapering off to a trio of years 2012-2014 where things turn toward the more quiet and sedate (with the exception of that wide brimmed red and grey Sarah Cant design). There are a lot of percher hats here- understandably reflective of the massive popularity this shape has enjoyed over the past decade- which makes me more appreciative of the larger brimmed pieces Princess Eugenie wore last year. This recent change in shape makes me curious about what she’ll wear this year.
If forced to choose a favourite, my picks would be the Stephen Jones emerald calot from 2011 (the colour is sublime on Eugenie) and the exquisite pink and white feathered piece from Jess Collett last year.  Which hats here are your top picks? And, what do you notice about Eugenie’s millinery style evolution based on what we see here?

Photos from Getty as indicated; Max Mumby/Indigo and Anwar Hussein via Getty; Bauer Griffin via Zimbio

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15 thoughts on “Ascot Hats: Princess Eugenie

  1. Princess Eugenie has certainly made improvements in her hat wearing over the years and looks fantastic in jewel tones. My favorites are the emerald green calot from 2011, the lime green saucer from 2009 and the teal percher from 2015. That being said, she really wore two fabulous large brimmed hats in 2016! The pink latticed with the arrow feathers was my vote for Best Hat last year. It really helped that her hair was pulled back and both the York princesses should look to the DofC and CofW for their chignon prowess. It just screams royalty! I can’t wait for the next young lady in line to start attending Ascot (Lady Louise I’m looking at you sweetheart)! More millinery fun next week and I can’t wait!

  2. I think she looks so great in the wider brimmed hats, last year was ecxeptional for her. A few of the colors are good but the wider veins win out for me.

  3. Much like her sister she tries a lot of different shapes and sizes, but she’s got a less sure touch than Bea, I find Eigenie’s outfits often look a bit ill matched.

    That said I the past couple of years she’s got better, last year’s Ascot delivered some stunners, Eugenie looks great in large brims and jewel tones; the fuchsia and emerald hats are great on her, but my favourite outfit is the red Westwood with the black button hat, red is such a good colour on her.

  4. Eugenie wears a variety of styles well. In general, her choices have gotten more sophisticated, with 2015 & 2016 among her best. I love the scattered pearl effect of the black from last year, and I have renewed appreciation for the white and pink with the feathers.

    Does it seem that she wears a lot of black to Ascot? At this time of year, I’d expect more color or at least lighter neutrals.

  5. My favorites are the teal percher from 2015 and the pink pyramid from 2016.

    I agree with what was said downthread about hat wearing confidence. I certainly wouldn’t have it! I notice that both of the York princesses started out at Ascot with Philip Treacy designs. I wonder if they were given some encouragement in that direction from their hat wearing family members. As they have grown in confidence, they have branched out from the ‘approved’ milliner to try others. Some more successful than others, of course, but that’s what trying new things is like!

  6. Overall I prefer Eugenie’s hat choices more that her sister. I agree that Eugenie doesn’t often match her hat to her dress and a chignon looks better in my opinion which both ladies rarely do. That being said my favorites are the picture hats in 2014 & 16. While I rarely like a percher on anybody I do think she looks lovely in the teal percher in 2015.

    One last thought….I was struck by how much she looks like her mother in the cream Fraiman percher in 2014 and the black straw in 2016. A beautiful young lady!!!

    • Oh yes- that teal Nerida Fraiman percher from 2015. The colour is stunning on her and the mix of hat and hair was perfection. I need to add that to my list of favourites.

  7. Pss. Eugenie wears some beautiful saucer hats. She has some amazing wide-brim hats and looks gorgeous in them. However, the percher hats, while they can be pretty, seem to be unbalanced on the wearer and for the wearer.

  8. The Philip Treacy hats are over the top and fun for Ascot. However, I much prefer the Stephen Jones and Nerida Fraiman designs as being more attractive in themselves and more attractive for Princess Eugenie. My favorite hat is the Jess Colleton pink one; it is so light, feminine and elegant, with an interesting shape and texture.

  9. Eugenie had a some misses in comparison to her sister IMO, but you can definitely see the progression of how she became more comfortable wearing hats over the years. She seemed to really hit her stride in 2011, but 2014 was my least favorite year overall.

    As for some favorites: I know so many people probably dislike it, but I adore the lime disc headpiece from 2009; it’s perfect for Ascot! I’m not as keen on the placement, but the 2010 fuchsia cocktail hat is beautiful as well. I agree the 2011 emerald beret is a stunning color for her, and of course we just revisited the great Nerida Fraiman piece from 2013/2015. Finally, the wide brim Sarah Cant red and great hat was a nice departure from her normal styles and was definitely a great improvement over her other hats that year.

    • Yes Jake, I would have to agree. I don’t think Eugenie’s hat choices are as good as her sisters in general and I think it may come down to what you touched on- being completely comfortable with wearing a hat. Not that we will ever know Eugenie’s actual feelings, (sorry HQ- bordering on speculation I know), but I think we can see that with people everywhere, not only royalty. And indeed, interviews with milliners featured occassionally on this blog have highlighted that very fact that wearers need to feel at ease with donning a hat for the hat to look its best. Zara for example always looks completely comfortable as does Sophie and Maxima. Crown Princess Mary doesn’t always appear so IMO. A possible reason I have speculated on before being that she is Australian and it is not in our culture to wear them as often as people in the UK for example. For sun protection….definitely, but for dressing up, not so much!! I shall leave my ramblings for now, sorry if I stepped over the line HQ.
      Eugenie’s hats sometimes look a little flat on her head- Emerald 2011- for example. The black vertical saucer from the same year a better choice for her I think. Thanks.

      • You raise an interesting point- hat wearing is a required part of royal life (except for Queen Letizia, who seems to have sidestepped it completely!) and it makes sense that even the royals need to grow comfort and confidence wearing hats. Girls growing up in royal families have the disadvantage of all our eyes on them as they begin to do this (usually during years of one’s life where personal confidence isn’t exactly in abundance) and where they have not yet discovered their personal style.

        I imagine this time and transition is more difficult for some than for others and I wonder what makes it easier. A great stylist? Sympathetic current hat fashions? A mum who wears hats often and is comfortable with them? An established relationship with a trusted milliner? All of the above?!

  10. Sometimes it is all about the hair. I can’t help thinking a sleek chignon or ponytail makes a hat look better than flyway locks. Eugenie certainly isn’t afraid to take risks with her hats, or indeed with any of her clothes. I still am perplexed by some monumental headpieces that seem to defy gravity. It is also interesting that Eugenie doesn’t always match her hat to her dress. A brave woman!

    • Yes! Yes! Yes! Can the girls not afford an appropriate hair stylist? How about visiting Sweden for a while? Their blowsy, fly-away unstyled hair totally detracts from almost every hat here. While I cherish B & E for their desire to be trendy, edgy and/or sophisticated, they really need to step up their hair game. Kate Middleton managed to…

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