British Royal Wedding Four Years On: International Royal Guests

Royal Hats The wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge four years ago was attended by representatives from several royal houses outside Europe. Several of these guests attended the wedding in national dress, giving us a glimpse of traditional royal headwear we do not often see here on the blog.

The Raja Isteri of Brunei (below, left with her husband, the Sultan) wore a headscarf in the same blue patterned silk as her baju kurung which was edged in ornate gold threaded lace. Queen Tuanku Nur Zahirah of Malaysia (below right) also wore a traditional baju kurung; her tunic and skirt was heavily appliquéd in pale blue lace. Her headscarf, in pale blue silk, was further edged in intricate silver embroidery.

The wife of King Mswati III of Swaziland (I think it is wife #10, Inkhosikati LaMahlangu) wore a tall vertical black hat. The straw brim was studded with polka dots and the hat was trimmed with large sprays of feathers on both sides of the brim. The hat suited her well and provided a little calm against her printed suit. My main qualm with her ensemble was the odd placement of her diamond brooch. King George Tupou V of Tonga (below left), on the other hand, looked so very handsome in his top hat. I adore a top hat with a morning suit and King George both very well.

Princess Mabereng of Lesotho wore a vibrant orange and tomato red Basotho blouse, skirt, sash and beautifully folded headscarf. She looked beautiful in this colour and I adore that her husband, Prince Seeiso (who co-founded the charity Sentibale with Prince Harry) matched his tie and pocket square to her ensemble.

 The Saudi Arabian royal family was represented by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal and Princess Ameerah. Princess Ameerah was one of the break-out fashion stars at this wedding in a breathtaking lace coat and dress by Zuhair Murad. Built on a light mushroom brim of pale pink crin, the crown of her coordinating has was formed from a mass of multi-looped crin bows studded with slim pink feathers (see a close-up view here). The fussy hat was kept looking light and effortless thanks to the gossamer crin and the ensemble put Ameerah on the international fashion map.

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Of Thailand and Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco were also in attendance but as their national dress does not include headwear, they did not wear hats. Did any of the hats or headpieces in this group strike your fancy?

Stay tuned first thing tomorrow morning when we draw our look back at the hats at this wedding with those worn by guests from the non-reigning European royals.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

A Few Updates

After the whirlwind of royal hats we saw this month, there are a few we missed that we need to catch up on!

Photos and discussion of hats worn by Lady Helen Windsor, Viscountess Linley, Lady Sarah Chatto and the Duchess of Gloucester at the Order of the Garter Service have been added to this post (thanks to one of our readers, E. who graciously shared her personal photos!)

Viscountess Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto, June 17, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

A new queen to our blog, Queen Mesenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho, attended the opening day of Royal Ascot. Photos of her along with a discussion of her hat was added to this post.

Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho, June 18, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

And last but certainly not least, I finally tracked down photos of Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan, Sheikha of Dubai at Day 4 of Royal Ascot and added them to this post. I regret I was not able to find photos sooner because I suspect this hat may be considered one of the best of the week. I would have loved to include it in our Ascot 2013 poll.

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan, Sheikha of Dubai, June 21, 2013 | The Royal Hats Blog

Photos from Reader Gabeyslave via TwitterMax Mumby via Getty; and Rex Features via AP 

Ascot Day 1

Royal Hats  Welcome to the first day of Royal Ascot 2013! I am thrilled to welcome British Milliner Katie Vale of Katie Vale Designs to the blog! Katie, who makes some wonderful hats, is joining us this week to chat about hats and share her millinery expertise. So with no further adieu, here is our review of the royal hats we saw today for the first day of the Royal Ascot Races.

The Queen  in Rachel Trevor Morgan

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Katie Vale: I love the soft pink colour, she doesn’t wear it very often.  The shape of the hat suits her and this is very popular with the Queen, we saw her wear this exact same shape on Saturday for Trooping of the Colour.  It’s come from the same block.  The pink straw is lovely and the loops add an element of modernity to it.  If it was just a flower on there it would be too dull.

Royal Hats Blog: I absolutely adore this hat. The brim size is lovely on the Queen and I agree that the colour is just wonderful on her (without looking twee). My first thought was that the side bow loops make this hat interesting  but you’re right- it makes it modern and fresh.  I love the graduated layers on the brim and crown- one more soft and subtle bit of interest on this hat. The crown shape looks different to me than the one she wore on Saturday (less diagonal on top) but no matter! All in all I agree- it’s a beautiful hat.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Princess of Jordan, Sheikha of Dubai

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Katie Vale: Urm…..she has orange flowers on her hat and lime & lilac flowers on her dress.  This doesn’t work for me at all.  It looks like it’s been in the bottom of her wardrobe for years and she’s found it squashed under a pile of shoes……and has just plonked it on her head.  This is not for me.  Sorry!

Royal Hats Blog: I agree- this looks seriously disjointed. The rough weave of the hat does not work with the very elegant and formal lines of her dress. The flowers are flat and the large keyhole just looks awkward.

Queen Mesenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho

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Katie Vale: I like the apple green colour, it’s very fresh. But it doesn’t go with her dress. We’ve seen lots of skull caps and disc hats this week, and I’d say this is the least successful. To me, the skull cap and the disc look completely separate are and not joined smoothly. It looks like a disc just balancing on top of it! Which is a shame because actually I love the flower and material.

Royal Hats Blog: I want to like this hat- like Katie, I love the colour and the flower embellishment. There’s just something wonky about how the top of the hat is attached to the cap. It looks like a gust of wind might set it teetering back and forth.

The Duchess of Cornwall in a design by Philip Treacy

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Katie Vale: Camilla always wears a big hat with a very wide brim.  This upturned brim is typical Camilla style, but the crown has an unusual shape to it too, leaning to one side.  To get a bright white is quite unusual and she likes her muted tones, so it’s nice to see this on her.  I like the unusual knotted design too.  I think it softens what could be a very harsh hat.  It suits the outfit, I’d just like to see her in a little more colour.

Royal Hats Blog: I had no idea that getting a bright white straw was unusual! Camilla has many large-brimmed cream coloured hats (she has worn the ones herehereherehere and here in the past eight months alone!) and while I like a neutral hat from time to time, I would like to see her in more colour as well. That being said, this hat is a beautiful shape and I really like the pleated band and knot around the crown. That feature really makes this hat.

Princess Anne, The Princess Royal

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Katie Vale: The colour is lovely but the crown is too complicated. It’s too high, has draped material and a flower! I’m not a fan. But it is very delicate and light weight so matches her outfit very well. I love the feathers but the boxy crown and the fabric draping is not a good look. Maybe 50% smaller it would be better?

Royal Hats Blog: I also really like the colour but I find the hat too big for her. Anne is wearing a great tailored suit and the fussy, voluminous hat just isn’t flattering. I find this hat tired and dated.

Princess Eugenie in a design by Nerida Fraiman

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Katie Vale: I actually really like this. It’s a cream sinamay disc with a black crin edging and loose knot on it.  I love the simplicity of it, yet it also has loads of wearability as it could go with anything!  She’s definitely got it right with this one.  The only thing I would say is that it needs to be pushed up a little more so that it is more of an angle and a little more upright. From the side view (below with Princess Beatrice) seeing the make of Eugenie’s makes me love it even more 🙂  Gorgeous!

Royal Hats Blog: Princess Eugenie continues her streak of amazing hats! This one seems very modern but still light and pretty which is a great look for her, I think. This hat gets two thumbs up from me.

Princesses Beatrice in a design by Nerida Fraiman

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Katie Vale: What can I say?   But from the side (photo above) it just looks like a large grey crin pancake on her head.  There is little shape to it. From the other side (photo above with Princess Eugenie) it just makes me squint even more!   It is also very light in contrast to her very heavy brocade jacket!  This doesn’t do it for me!  Sparkly metallic base……not working…..especially with that outfit! Put it this way……I’d not let it go out of my studio!

Royal Hats Blog: It’s another very disjointed look. Lace, net, brocade, polka dots- it’s too much. The combination of this hat and coat does not work. I’m not sure the hat would works for her at all. The brim is too flimsy and I don’t like the overall shape. I’ll pass on this one as well.

The Countess of Wessex in a design by Jane Taylor

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Katie Vale: I’m a big fan of colour blocking and it’s everywhere at the moment.  But to me this isn’t the right blue.  It might just be the sunlight, but it either needs to be an exact match or a completely different shade of blue altogether.  I also think she’s wearing it in the wrong position.  Fascinators like this are either on the side or completely central…..rather than be positioned at 12 o’clock or 2 o’clock, she’s stuck at 1 o’clock!  However…..I like the idea and design, and the flowers are fine where they are.  And I actually really like the over-sized edging.  It’s still worn incorrectly though I think 🙂

Royal Hats Blog: I think this is a fantastic hat! I love the colour, shape, flower trim, and the position Sophie is wearing it! It is a beautiful percher hat and, I think, my favourite hat of the day!

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of York

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Katie Vale: They are in traditional top hat attire-  worn as expected and made in the standard way.  I have to say, a top hat can be extremely expensive.  The reason for this is due to the sheer amount of work that goes into them!  They take days and days to make!

Royal Hats Blog: Only the British men can wear a top hat and make it look handsome (and not ridiculous). I had no idea they are so labour intensive (they certainly look simpler than most of the women’s hats).

Viscountess Linley in a design by Stephen Jones

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Katie Vale:  I love this hat!  The bright pink plummage is stunning!  And it really goes well with her coat.  I also like the beret style design.  It’s very reminiscent of the 20s which is so “in” at the moment with The Great Gatsby film out.  But I’d say so far out of all the designs this is the one that I would be wearing!

Royal Hats Blog: For an all feathered hat, it’s quite good. A pillbox covered in feathers doesn’t sound like a great idea to me but it’s a fun hat that actually works. This shade of magenta pink is also very striking on Serena. It’s interesting how a movie can influence hat fashion so much!

Lady Helen Taylor in a design by Stephen Jones

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Katie Vale:  The black satin material is way too heavy for her delicate dress.  They have draped the satin which makes it look even larger and heavier.  Also this is very modern, but her dress is very old fashioned looking… the two just don’t work.  Some times opposites like that work, but for me this is a big no no.

Royal Hats Blog: I think this looks like a huge piece of fabric rolled up and stuck it on her head. I’m not a fan.

Princess Michael of Kent

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Katie Vale: OMG!  I love this!  My favourite so far! The upturned brim is lovely as it’s quite delicate; and the white feathers are stunning!  I love the very shallow crown that you can see on the hat….and the echo of the flowers that are placed in the bowl of the hat as well as underneath it.  High 5 for this hat!

Royal Hats Blog: Princess Michael wore this hat to the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation earlier this month. For that event, I thought it was a little much. I think it’s a much better hat for Ascot. I’m not personally a fan of all the roses but Marie-Christine does have a penchant for dramatic hats and this one certainly is dramatic!

There were a few noteworthy hats worn by non-royals today: Lady Penny RomseyDanielle Lineker, Ruth Langsford, The Earl and Countess Spencer, Katherine Jenkins, Aishwaya Rai and Isabella Kristensen (who was one of the attendants at the wedding of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco)

Katie and I will be back tomorrow with more hats from Ascot!

Photos from Hello Magazine; Hello Magazine; The Daily Mail; Max Mumby via Getty; Max Mumby via GettyBauer Griffin via Zimbio; Mark Cuthbert via the Huffington PostEamonn M. McCormack via Zimbio; SvenskdamMark Cuthbert via Getty; and Stuart C. Wilson and Chris Jackson via Getty