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:
Ascot in 2016, 2013 and 2009
Ascot in 2006 and 2003
Ascot 1990, 1987 and 1987
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?
Ascot 1986 and 1989
There you have it- I now defer to our resident experts for analysis!
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’s pale blue upsweep with large rose by Philip Treacy worn on Day 2
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;
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Photos from Daniel Leal-Olivas, Philip Toscano-PA Images, John Walton-PA Images, Mark Cuthbert, Samir Hussein, Stuart C. Wilson, Mark Cuthbert, Mark Cuthbert, Mark Cuthbert, John Walton-PA Images, Mark Cuthbert, Mark Cuthbert and Mark Cuthbert via Getty as indicated
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:
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 Windsor, Princess 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,
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
Princess Alexandra’s granddaughter Zenouska Mowatt took in the final day of racing today in a Jane Taylor saddle hat in natural straw.
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:
Princess Beatrice enjoyed the final day of Ascot races today in a simple, unembellished, black straw beret hat.
Designer: Emily London. Dress by Amanda Wakely
Previously Worn: this hat is new
Photos from Getty as indicated