Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to August 1997 and the 97th birthday celebrations of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. In white straw with a characteristic upturned front brim, a swath of green dotted pink veil and painterly silk blooms at the side, the hat she wore this day is the very epitome of romantic millinery she favoured during her later years.

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16 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. Such a typical Queen Mum hat. It looks to have some kind of fabric underneath, going across her forehead and down the side. Any ideas what that is?

    • I’m hoping someone else can answer this too. I notice that a number of TQM’s hats from this period appear to be set on top of a visible chiffon lining or cap. I am wondering if the lining is there to secure the hat — the QM’s hair may have become too sparse and fine for hatpins to do their work. Or perhaps the QM found the inside of the hat irritated her scalp due to sensitive skin (a very common condition among the elderly, along with thinning hair).

    • I was told by someone ‘in the know’ that the inside of the Queen Mum’s hats had a wide hat band of soft elasticated fabric that held the hat comfortably in place without the need for hat pins or too much tightness on the head.

      • What I read in the book ‘God Bless Her’ (seriously, its hilarious, buy it!) is that they were two hats. A fabric turban of sorts which fits tightly and the straw hat then was put on top of that and could be pinned to that (as I guess her hair was pretty thin by this stage). In some pics you can see that, as the fabric underband is more visible.

  2. That video is hysterical, Baxter, I had not seen it before. I love the bottom one of the photos in the post – she looks so genuinely delighted to see the people who had come out to wish her well. And though I know she wore other styles of hat in her younger years, it’s hard now to imagine her in anything else!

  3. Such a beautifully shaped hat and the veil is delightful. I love that she developed a signature look in her later years and rarely deviated from it.

    I can’t help but think of this Spitting Image clip. “I’ll have a gross of ’em.”

    • I loved the Queen Mum on Spitting Image – giving her a Brunmie accent was genius! If any of our non British friends don’t know it, look on YouTube, there are some corkers!

  4. I always think of her with the floaty coats and dresses, and the hats with the upturned brim. She was a true original, and she liked what she liked. She had a wonderfully ironic sense of humor, and I miss her greatly. There will never be another like her.

    • For someone who was tough as nails in her younger days, she exhibited such sweet, grandmotherly charm in her twilight years. I love seeing her riding in a golf cart, just like us!

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