Closer Look: Prince of Wales’ Top Hat

 Reader Chicago Chuck, our resident expert on top hats, posed the following question during the first few days of Ascot:

I’ve noticed in the last few years that Charles’s top hat seems to be trending small. My guess is he’s had the same hat for many years and possibly his face has gotten fuller as he’s aged (happens to the best of us!) so his hat seems smaller than it used to. The fit looks correct – one should be able to put 1 or even 2 fingers between the bottom of the hat and the top of the ear. Possibly Hat Queen would be so kind as to post a few photos of Prince Charles from over the years to see if I’m correct.

ChicagoChuck- I apologize it has taken me so long to respond to your request but here goes:

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Ascot in 2016, 2013 and 2009

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Ascot in 2006 and 2003

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Ascot 1996

Prince of Wales, Ascot 1990 Prince of Wales, Ascot 1987 Prince of Wales, Ascot 1987
Ascot 1990, 1987 and 1987

Prince of Wales, Ascot 1981 Prince of Wales, Ascot 1978 Prince of Wales, Ascot 1972
Ascot 1981, 1978 and 1972

To my untrained eye, it appears that the hat in 1981 is taller than the hats from 1978 and 1972 (and the shiny, middle hat from 1987). Could it be in the 1980s, there were two black top hats? 
During Ascot this year, there were also comments about Prince Charles always wearing a black top hat to the event. Looking through his hat history to prepare this post, I found a grey fur felt design that he wore for at least three decades- perhaps some of you will remember the last time it made an appearance?

 

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Ascot 1968

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Ascot 1979

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Ascot 1986 and 1989

There you have it- I now defer to our resident experts for analysis!
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Top Royal Hats Ascot 2017

Not surprisingly, we have two very clear winners in our polls for top repeated and new royal hats worn to Ascot this year:

Duchess of Cornwall, June 21, 2017 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats 

Duchess of Cornwall’s pale blue upsweep with large rose by Philip Treacy worn on Day 2

Countess of Wessex, June 21, 2017 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats

Countess of Wessex’s plum straw oversized boater with silk roses by Jane Taylor worn on Day 2

Day two was the day to beat this year! I have to admit, I’m a little sad that Princess Eugenie’s amazing navy and red saucer by Bundle McLaren didn’t make the cut, but toppling the Countess of Wessex’s memorable boater was going to be a challenge for any hat. Jump back to the polls (new hats here and repeated hats here) to look at the results in greater detail or head over to the Fan Favourites page to see a growing tally of your favourite hats of 2017.

Photos from Mark Cuthbert and Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty; 

Top New Royal Hat: Ascot 2017

Ascot week always brings us royal hat fans the highest concentration of new royal hats we see all year, leaving some of you to affectionately nickname this week, “Hat Christmas!”

During the week, we saw 32 new royal hats, 14 of which, based on your comments, were widely admired. It is these 14 hats that we place in side-by-side comparison now to choose a winner (or two?!) to put forward to contend for Top New Royal Hat of 2017.

Please click on each hat to link back to its original feature post with additional photos and much informative discussion. Here are these 14 hats, shown in the order they were worn:

1.Duchess of Cornwall, June 20, 2017 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats    2.Duchess of Cambridge, June 20, 2017 | Royal Hats  
Duchess of Cornwall’s white upswept brim picture hat with feathers by Philip Treacy worn Day 1
Duchess of Cambridge’s cream cocktail hat with windowpane crin and floral lace worn Day 1
3.Princess Haya, June 20, 2017 | Royal Hats     4.Countess of Wessex, June 20, 2017 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats
Princess Haya’s white straw mushroom brimmed hat with navy lace trim worn Day 1
Countess of Wessex’s open weave natural straw saucer with black twist by Jane Taylor worn Day 1
   5.Princess Beatrice, June 20, 2017 in Goldust Millinery | Royal Hats   6.Queen Elizabeth, June 21, 2017 in RTM | Royal Hats
Princess Beatrice’s pink leather percher with hydrangea trim by Goldust Millinery worn Day 1
Queen Elizabeth’s yellow straw hat with bows and feathers by Rachel Trevor Morgan worn Day 2
7.Countess of Wessex, June 21, 2017 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats   8.Princess Haya, June 21, 2017 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats
Countess of Wessex’s plum straw oversized boater with silk roses by Jane Taylor worn Day 2
Princess Haya’s black and white Philip Treacy waved saucer with white flower and feathers worn Day 2
9.Princess Eugenie, June 22, 2017 in Bundle McLaren | Royal Hats 10.Princess Beatrice, June 22, 2017 in Nerida Fraiman | Royal Hats 
Princess Eugenie’s navy straw saucer with red flowers by Bundle McLaren worn Day 3
Princess Beatrice’s large black straw saucer with white lace roses by Nerida Fraiman worn Day 3
11.Countess of Wessex, June 22, 2017 | Royal Hats  12.Zara Tindall, June 22, 2017 in Emily London | Royal Hats
Countess of Wessex’s white straw upswept saucer with feathers by Jane Taylor worn on Day 3
Zara Tindall’s pale pink teardrop cocktail hat with flowers and ruffles by Juliette Botterill worn on Day 3
13.Princess Eugenie, June 23, 2017 in Bundle McLaren | Royal Hats   14.Queen Elizabeth, June 24, 2017 in Rachel Trevor Morgan | Royal Hats 
Princess Eugenie’s navy straw upsweep with yellow flowers by Bundle McLaren worn on Day 4
Queen Elizabeth’s magenta straw hat with silk flowers by Rachel Trevor Morgan worn on Day 5

The poll will remain open until Tuesday, June 11 at midnight GMT and and each computer or mobile device can vote twice per day for as many hats as you wish. Please do not feel constrained to vote for just one hat. Results will remain hidden until after the poll closes.

Top Repeated Royal Hat: Ascot 2017

Ascot week is the busiest and most interesting week of royal hats on the annual royal calendar and this year was no different! While most of the hats we see at the races are worn by British royals and are new designs, there are always a few repeats that catch the eye. Five repeated royal hats worn to Royal Ascot this year, based on your comments, stood out as particularly memorable. It’s these five hats that we face off now to find a single winner to put forward as a finalist for Favourite Repeated Royal Hat of 2016.

Please click on each hat to link back to original feature posts with additional views, information and lots of discussion! Here are these five hats:
1.Queen Elizabeeth, June 20, 2017 in Rachel Trevor Morgan | Royal Hats    2.Princess Michael of Kent, June 20, 2017 in John Boyd | Royal Hats
Queen Elizabeth’s lime green upsweep with flower by Rachel Trevor Morgan worn Day 1
Princess Michael of Kent’s white straw John Boyd picture hat with feather boa worn Day 1
3.Duchess of Cornwall, June 21, 2017 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats   4. Princess Michael of Kent, June 20, 2017 | Royal Hats
Duchess of Cornwall’s pale blue upsweep with large rose by Philip Treacy worn on Day 2
Princess Michael of Kent’s cream picture hat with bordered brim and square crown worn on Day 2 
5. Princess Annet, June 20, 2017 | Royal Hats
Princess Anne’s cream upsweep with feathers worn on Day 1
The poll will remain open until Tuesday, July 11 at midnight GMT and and each computer or mobile device can vote twice per day for as many hats as you wish. Results will remain hidden until the poll closes. Happy voting!

Overview of Royal Ascot 2017

 Here is an index of all the 41 royal women’s hats we saw at Royal Ascot 2017

Day 1, Tuesday June 20

              

Queen Elizabeth, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne, Autumn Phillips, Zara Tindall, Countess Snowdon, Princess Michael of Kent, Lady Frederick Windsor, Lady Gabriella WindsorPrincess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Sheikha Jalila

Day 2, Wednesday June 21

        

Queen Elizabeth, Duchess of Cornwall,Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne, Duchess of Gloucester,
Princess Alexandra, Princess Michael of Kent,
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein,
Sheikha Jalila
,

Day 3, Thursday June 22 (Ladies’ Day)

  

Queen Elizabeth, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne, Zara Tindall,
Countess of Snowdon, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Sheikha Jalila

Day 4, Friday June 23

    

Queen Elizabeth, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Duchess of York, Princess Marie-Chantal

Day 5, Saturday June 24
   

Queen Elizabeth, Princess Beatrice, Zenouska Mowatt

Royal Ascot 2017 Day 5: Wrap Up

Royal Ascot | Royal Hats Princess Alexandra’s granddaughter Zenouska Mowatt took in the final day of racing today in a Jane Taylor saddle hat in natural straw.

💛💛💛

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#tbt Ascot 👒👒👒@nataliesalmon @cocostrunck #wannabemadeleines #strawhatscrew

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Several of you have asked me what non royal hats caught my eye at Ascot this week- instead of a “Nod To Milliners” pick today, here are a few of the MANY hat at Ascot that stood out to me:

Rachel Trevor Morgan black saucer
Philip Treacy grass green picture hat
Juliette Botterill burgundy mesh brim picture hat
Martha Lynn Millinery black striped teardrop
Vivien Sheriff black and white feathered saucer
Harvey Santos colourful percher
Rachel Trevor Morgan black and white upsweep
Jane Taylor grey double brimmed hat
Edwina Ibbotson pink and orange upsweep
Rachel Trevor Morgan fuchsia flower-covered upsweep
Philip Treacy red flowered percher
Camilla Rose  navy straw percher
ITV’s Charlotte Hawkins in an orange and pink Cara Meehan percher, a pink Juliette Botterill percher, a grey Rachel Black feathered headpiece and a red Emma Ryans saucer
Buncle McLaren pink feathered cocktail hat
Jane Taylor red mesh headpiece
Edwina Ibbotson textured natural straw fedora
With Grace Millinery black lace halo with burgundy flower
John Boyd architectural pink percher
Bundle McLaren cheeky spaghetti hat (with Dolce & Gabbana’s pasta dress, of course)

This concludes our Ascot coverage for this year. Stay tuned for polls next week to choose our favourite Ascot hats. Until then, hats off to all of you!

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Photos from Getty and social media as indicated

Royal Ascot 2017 Day 5: Princess Beatrice

Royal Ascot | Royal Hats Princess Beatrice enjoyed the final day of Ascot races today in a simple, unembellished, black straw beret hat.

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Designer: Emily London. Dress by Amanda Wakely
Previously Worn: this hat is new
Photos from Getty as indicated