I am pleased to welcome James to Royal Hats today (not to be confused with JamesB who shared musings last week). James lives in Derbyshire, UK and while he doesn’t see the Royal Family often, tries to attend a few royal occasions each year. He is a longtime royal watcher, regularly called as guest on local radio and TV to discuss the Royal Family (listen to him on BBC Radio Derby at 1:10:00 or on BBC Radio Sheffield at 16:55 last Tuesday discussing Prince William and Prince Harry’s recent documentary tribute to their mother). I’m honoured to learn he has followed Royal Hats since the beginning and very pleased to welcome him here to share about the single-wear hats in Queen Elizabeth’s closet he’d like to see worn again. Welcome, James!
I. Hat from Canada Day, 2010
The first hat I would like to see for a second time is the white Angela Kelly design with mushroom brim that the Queen first wore on her last tour of Canada with the Duke of Edinburgh in 2010. This was a special outfit designed for the Queen’s presence in Ottawa on 1 July, Canada Day and featured a short red jacket – a departure from her usual long coat – and the maple leaf brooch she inherited from her mother.
Although the brim of the hat is slightly larger than it could be, I like the symbolism and the way in which it completes the ensemble. The dress and jacket were worn again for a reception for the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015 but I would enjoy seeing the outfit complete with hat again – it would have been a good choice on 19 July when the Queen and Duke attended a reception at Canada House in London for the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
II. Hat for the Diamond Jubilee Muster, 2012
The flat crown, flat brimmed design of Angela Kelly isn’t a favourite of mine – it can seem too austere – but I particularly like the honeycomb design on the crown of this hat. The feathers are a simple trim and are on the left hand side of the hat, usually the decoration is on the right. The dress was worn for the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014 – uncharacteristic since the Queen usually wears black for the event:
This outfit and hat would be an ideal choice for a future Trooping the Colour to allow the Queen to stand out among all of the scarlet uniforms of the guardsmen on parade.
III. Hat for the Diamond Jubilee Flotilla, 2012
IV. Hat for the 60th anniversary of the Coronation, 2013
V. Hat for arrival in France, 2014
This is the hat I predicted for the ‘dressed down’ State Opening of Parliament in 2017. I had expected a white outfit for the sake of political neutrality and this one seemed ideal for temperatures in London of more than 30°C. How wrong I was…
VI. Hat for the opening of the Commonwealth Games in 2014
In fact, this was my second choice for this year’s State Opening of Parliament – the silver appliqué reminds me of the embroidery on the evening gowns Her Majesty usually wears for the event.
VII. Hat for Trooping the Colour, 2016
One thing that has surprised me is the number of Angela Kelly hats I have chosen – I generally prefer the designs by Rachel Trevor Morgan. It proves to me, though, that the hats are made by the wearing and the occasion rather than simply the design.
Thank-you James! I particularly appreciated the context you provided for your last suggestion and the description of its detail from close up view. I wish all of the Queen’s hats regularly went on exhibition for us to study, closeup and from all angles! This reminder of Angela Kelly’s oblique brimmed hats might be slowly warming me to them…