Ogilvy Wedding, Twenty-Eight Years On

Anniversary  Over the weekend, James and Julia Ogilvy (James is the son of Princess Alexandra and the late Angus Ogilvy)  celebrated their twenty-eighth wedding anniversary. We don’t often look back at millinery fashion from the late 1980s so I thought we’d grab the opportunity of this milestone to do so.

James Ogilvy and Julia Rawlinson met during their first year at St. Andrews University and married on July 30, 1988 at St. Mary The Virgin Church in Saffron Walden, a small market town in the bride’s home county of Essex just south of Cambridge. Julia wore a gown in white dupioni silk with a v-neck, fitted bodice, and full, ballgown skirt that swept into a short train. The dress is firmly dated in the late 1980s by the voluminous leg ‘o mutton sleeves trimmed with bows (a popular design detail that in all likelihood was also on the back of the dress!). Devoid of lace or beaded trimming, the stars of this dress are its silhouette and the silk of which it is made. Not surprising for a country wedding of a more distant member of the royal family, Julia forwent a tiara and anchored her silk tulle veil with a crescent of fresh flowers to match her bouquet.

The bridesmaids, which included Lady Gabriella Windsor (front left, below), wore dresses in the same white dupioni silk with pale pink sashes and similar floral headpieces to the bride. The bridal party had a quintessentially English country look that might seem familiar thanks to the popular movie “Four Weddings And A Funeral” which screened just six years later.

Princess Alexandra topped her cerulean blue suit with a matching straw hat. While not as tall as the designs we see her favour today, the hat had many design elements that seem “oh-so Alexandra”- a pork pie shaped crown, wide brim and lavish silk flower trim. It’s a wonderful hat and the saturated colour was particularly beautiful on her. Alexandra’s daughter Marina, shown on the right in the photo below, wore a classically shaped hat in black textured straw with a wide brim.

Princess Alexandra, July 30, 1988 | Royal Hats

Queen Elizabeth wore a two toned straw hat with rounded black crown and flat, yellow brim. A wide yellow hatband and spray of black cherries completed the hat. The cherries were an unusual and fun trim and while the graphic hat did an excellent job of grounding the eye-assaulting paint splattered suit, I think the entire ensemble was so firmly rooted in the late 1980s that it’s best left there.


Diana, Princess of Wales, topped her Catherine Walker dress and grey coat with white straw picture hat by Philip Somerville. The hat, with a short upturn on the brim, was simply trimmed with a ruched white hatband and marks a time when the princess was transitioning from the smaller, fussier hats she wore in the early years of her marriage to the more streamlined style she adopted over the next decade.

The complete antithesis of Diana’s streamlined hat, Princess Margaret’s hat was textbook 1980s excess! In vibrant royal blue, her halo brimmed design was entirely covered in silk blooms on the underside of the brim that framed her face like a peephole in a rose garden. Attractive? I’m not sure. Memorable? Absolutely!

1988-07-30 Ogilvy wedding 1

While just twenty-two years old at the time of this wedding, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones (now Lady Sarah Chatto) was already showing signs of her uncluttered millinery style and preference for classic hat shpaes with a simple straw wide-brimmed hat with contrasting hat band.1988-07-30 Ogilvy wedding 3

The Duchess of Gloucester topped her red suit with a large boater style hat in straw trimmed with side sprays of flowers both above and below the brim and a monochrome hatband. The Duchess of Kent went for fashionable 1980s polka dots with her ensemble, matching her pale pink dotted suit to the bumper brim of her hat. It looks like the hat was finished with a bow at the back and a pale pink straw domed crown.

The Duchess of Kent’s daughter, Lady Helen Windsor (now Lady Helen Taylor) was typically fashion-forward in a crownless straw hat with upturned brim trimmed with a large scarf of blue organza at the back that trailed down her back (see it at the 6:00 mark in the video below)

1988-07-30 Ogilvy wedding 6

Finally, Princess Michael of Kent wore a pale pink straw hat edged in black piping, placed at a rakish diagonal angle on the side of her head. We’re so used to grand design elements (soaring brims, huge feathers etc.) on Marie Christine’s current hats that the smaller scale and gentle shape of this piece makes for a great surprise.

1988-07-30 Ogilvy wedding 7 1988-07-30 Ogilvy wedding 8

1980s fashion is often not regarded with kindness and while several design elements in the hats seen here seem rather dated, I think they are wonderfully elegant examples of the millinery fashions of the day. What hats stand out to you most at this wedding?

1988-06-30 group

Photos from Getty as indicated; Rex/Shutterstock; and Princess Diana Archive/Stringer via Getty

Trooping The Colour: Extended British Royal Family

Royal Hats

It has been a busy weekend of royal hats! Before peeking at the Queen’s pink choice for the Patron’s lunch today, I want to step back and finish our look at the designs worn for Trooping the Colour yesterday by the Gloucester and Kent families. The Duchess of Gloucester repeated a navy hat with squared crown and wide brim. This picture, taken during a previous outing, gives a much better look at the hat’s shape and interesting leaf trim. The Countess of Ulster topped her turquoise dress with a matching vertical saucer hat, trimmed with what looks to be coral feathers. I would really like a closer view of this piece because it looks like it could be a show stopper! Lady Rose Gilman borrowed a second hat from her mother’s closet in as many days, a grey straw beret that topped her pink floral dress.

Gloucester Family, June 11, 2016 | Royal Hats

Gloucester Family, June 11, 2016 | Royal Hats Gloucester Family, June 11, 2016 | Royal Hats Lady Rose Gilman, June 11, 2016 | Royal Hats

Gloucester Family, June 11, 2016 | Royal Hats

The Kent family was well represented for the second day in a row. The Duke of Kent was joined by his daughter, Lady Helen Taylor, in a folded white headpiece anchored with a navy ribbon. Lady Nicholas Windsor wore a cream disk saucer hat trimmed in feathers. Princess Alexandra of Kent repeated her grey hat with rounded crown, embellished with net tulle and floating feathers around the hat’s pleated hat band.

 Kent Family, June 11, 2016 | Royal Hats

Lady Helen Taylor, June 11, 2016 | Royal Hats  Lady Helen Taylor, June 11, 2016 | Royal Hats

UPDATE- The Countess of St. Andrews and Lady Marina Windsor were in attendance as well. Sylvanna wore an interesting white slice hat with wide, turned down brim (and some sort of waved decoration on the top) while Marina looked to be wearing a black or navy disc saucer hat.

Countess of St. Andrews and Lady Marina Windsor, June 11, 2016 | Royal Hats

Princess Alexandra’s daughter-in-law Julia Ogilvy (below, center) wore a tall crowned, cream picture hat with spiral quill trim while her daughter, Flora, wore a larger design in the same colour. Flora’s hat is lavishly trimmed with folded silk bows at the side. Her cousin, Zenouska Mowatt, topped her navy dress with the ‘Moselle’ headpiece from Jane Taylor, described by the designer as an “elegant transparent linear crin disc on straw base with angular feather detail.” It’s a lovely piece that Zenouska wears well.


A post shared by Z E N O U S K A M O W A T T (@zenouska1) on

Princess Michael of Kent to wore a new cocktail hat by John Boyd with white, bumper-style base trimmed with tall black feathers shaped as a gliding swan. The black swan feathers are anchored by a jewelled button and the hat is finished with swath of black net veil. Her daughter-in-law, Lady Frederick, wore a new pale blue percher beret trimmed with curled organdie ribbons and ecru feathers.

One of my favourite hats of the day draws our coverage of Trooping the Colour to a close and was worn Lady Gabriella Windsor. Her picture hat in oyster straw featured an angular crown and wide, gently upswept brim trimmed with wide curls of straw ribbon. On its own, the hat is outstanding but it is elevated to magnificence with Gabriella’s sleek Catherine Walker suit. We saw some fantastic royal fashion today and for me, this ensemble ranks near the very top.

Designer: Philip Treacy OC179 from SS 2016
Previously Worn: This hat is new

This completes our look at Trooping the Colour. Are there any hats here that stood out in particular to you?

Royal Family, June 11, 2016 | Royal Hats

Photos from Luca Teuchmann and WireImage via Getty; AFP via Zimbio;  BBC TV1; Getty as indicated

90th Birthday Service of Thanksgiving: Kent Family Part 1

Royal Hats

Today’s service of service of thanksgiving to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday was attended by most members of the Kent family. While the Duchess of Kent did not appear (perhaps we’ll see her tomorrow?), the Countess of St. Andrews entered St. Paul’s Cathedral today with her father-in-law and husband in an interesting navy hat. The ruched straw turban encircled her head, fanning into two tails at the front around which was wrapped a cream lattice bubble of sorts. Forgive my description, dearest readers, but I truly don’t know what to call this (beyond a bubble turban). We’ve seen Sylvanna wear some interesting millinery in years past but this one might take the cake.

Countess of St. Andrews, June 10, 2016 | Royal Hats

Lady Marina Windsor, eldest daughter of the Earl and Countess of St. Andrews, topped her black and white check suit with a black headpiece. The teardrop shaped piece is trimmed with transparent black lattice crim and a black bow. I want to like this piece but its open center makes it look, unfortunately, like a folded napkin.

Marina’s younger sister, Lady Amelia Windsor wore a white straw pyramid hat. I want to like this design but the hat’s lavish trims- a black net veil wrap, white straw bows, and mass of black and white feathers-  feel like a classic case of millinery overtrimming. Combined with Lady Amelia’s black dress, the look is a little overdone.


Lady Helen Taylor topped her navy dress and coat with a matching hat. In navy straw, the hat follows a very simple shape with downward sloped brim. What’s far from simple here, however, is the elaborate silk ribbon trim that winds around it. Without additional photos it’s hard to cast a final opinion on this hat but I’m worried that it too, overwhelms its wearer’s fine features.

Lady Nicholas Windsor joined several other guests in pale blue. Her hat features a beret style base covered in the same silk as her collarless coat dress and is trimmed with a massive cream silk flower, arrow trimmed feathers and net veil. I think the scale and colour of this piece are lovely on Paola and just wish we had a better view!

Lady Nicholas Windsor, June 10, 2016 | Royal Hats

What do you think of these five more neutral hued royal hats?

Photos from WPA Pool via Getty; BBC TV1 and Getty as indicated

Day Five of Royal Ascot

Royal Hats I’m sure you will all agree that the fun of royal hat watching at the Ascot races this year has been immensely enhanced by our marvellous guest milliners Jill Courtemanche,  Christie Murray, and Fiona Mangan.  Here are their thoughts on the final royal hats we saw today on the last day of Royal Ascot

Queen Elizabeth in a repeated hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan

Jill: This is my favorite hat of the week on the queen! I love the color on her, it’s a warm shade and incredibly complimentary to her complexion. The profiled brim and angled crown are perfectly in balance and the subtle coloration in the feather trim is wonderful with her sheath. It’s a very modern hat without making too strong of a statement, perfect for the Queen of England!

Christie: You just can’t fault Rachel’s finishing. She really is incredible.  It’s quite a difficult colour to work with, I have to say that I rather Queen Elizabeth in brighter colours.  Unfortunately, with the light shining through the brim and reflecting off her (albeit gorgeous) tweed overcoat, her hair takes on some of the pastel coral colour and it’s not quite the best with her skin tone. Rachel’s feather trim really is gorgeous, wispy and feminine. She’s done a wonderful job of cutting through the heaviness of the tweed and picking up on the paisley detailing in her dress.

Royal Hats: You’re right- the feather trim does reference the Queen’s paisley dress. I hadn’t noticed that before and explains why the trim works so very well.

Fiona: I like this soft peach colour on the Queen and the Rachel Trevor Morgan hat suits her very well with a very slight sweep on the brim. Again sinamay is perfect for this time of year and the trimming on the hat is delicate and beautifully finished. Her coat, appears a little heavy for summer but not atypical of the Queen’s coats for this time of year!

Lady Helen Taylor in a new hat by Stephen Jones. It is the ‘Charisma’ design

Christie: Stephen Jones – my favourite fashion Master Milliner!  He always likes to have a bit of fun! I would love to know more about the inspiration behind this piece, I know that it would have a story that would of resonated with Lady Helen. I’d also love to know how it is meant to sit – I can’t say that I like it at this angle. I’m not the biggest fan of these colours together, and don’t think the pink sinamay is well colour matched to her jacket, which makes me think that Lady Helen has bought one a ready-to-wear design vs having a bespoke headpiece made for the occasion.

Royal Hats: While I have been crying for more colour this week, this isn’t quite what I had in mind.I admire Lady Helen’s millinery fearlessness – she often wears very quirky, creative pieces – but this hat and suit don’t jive (you can see a full length photo of Lady Helen’s ensemble here).

Jill: I adore Stephen Jones and the slight irreverence he brings to his work but this hat is not working for me. The colors in the straw work nicely with her suit but I am not sure what is happening with the ball trim on the edge or the dragonfly tucked in between the two disks and I really do not like seeing her hair between the two layers which makes me think she must be wearing it incorrectly. Even so I am not sure proper placement here would make me like it anymore, this is my least favorite hat of the week.

Fiona: What a fun and playful headpiece by Stephen Jones. The colours are quite muted but work very well with her outfit. Loving the dragonfly sandwiched between the two layers of the hat trimmed with green pearls. Think this is a brave move wearing this quirky hat so fair play to lady Helen!

I suppose it is most fitting that we end Royal Ascot 2015 with an unexpected and most unusual hat!  I can not begin to adequately express my thanks to our guest royal milliners Christie Murray, Jill Courtemanche, and Fiona Mangan.  They have made this fun week of hats an absolute delight and I thank them all for taking time from very busy weeks to contribute here.

Tomorrow, you will all have the opportunity to nominate your three favourite Ascot hats. I can’t wait to hear about what you all choose!

Photos from via Corbis; and Getty as indicated

Trooping the Colour: Extended British Royal Family

Trooping the Colour is wonderful not only because it is Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday celebration but because it is attended by the many members of the extended British Royal Family who we seldom see throughout the year. While the Linley family did not attend this year (along with Princess Anne’s children and grandchildren), the Kent family was well represented. Princess Alexandra of Kent repeated a dove grey hat wrapped in wide ruched sash around the based of the crown and dotted net veil. With her tailored grey jacket, she looked most elegant.Lady Nicholas Windsor, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Lady Helen Taylor and the Countess of St. Andrews, June 13, 2015 | Royal Hats

The Duke and Duchess of Kent’s daughter-in-law, Lady Nicholas Windsor, wore the most avant garde hat of the day, a brimless moulded piece in ecru straw trimmed with a large u-shaped embellishment. While some might think her hat sprouted horns, I liked the unusual trim and Paola wore the piece very well. The Countess of St. Andrews wore a large navy picture hat with square crown and cartwheel brim edged in a wide white stripe; her hat was trimmed with a large white.

Lady Helen Taylor wore a black beret-based percher hat lavishly trimmed with opalescent paillettes and widely woven black net veil.  You can see a detailed photo is creative hat here.

Designer: Stephen Jones. It is the “Nerve” design from SS 2015
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Michael of Kent repeated her angular, pale grey pillbox with dramatic ostrich plume trim. This hat is an excellent pairing with her austere dress and coat and Marie-Christine looked fabulous.

Designer: John Boyd
Previously Worn: October 18, 2015June 18, 2014; June 16, 2014

Zenouska Mowatt,  Lady Gabriella Windsor and Julia Ogilvy, June 13, 2015 | Royal Hats

Princess Michael’s daughter, Lady Gabriella Windsor, wore a large picture hat in pale pink straw trimmed with three large curling sashes. If this hat is, as I suspect, the OC-875 design from Philip Treacy’s summer collection this year, it features a flat crown and large, cartwheel brim. Princess Alexandra’s daughter-in-law, Julia Ogilvy wore a pink beret trimmed with large flowers while Zenouska Mowatt (Princess Alexandra’s granddaughter) wore a dusty pink curved hat which appeared to be trimmed with silk flowers and a crin overlay on the brim.

The Duchess of Gloucester repeated her raspberry pink straw hat. It’s a fine hat that unfortunately, is not helped by the tulled scarf wrapped around it.

While not visible in photos from today, the Duchess of Gloucester’s daughter-in-law, the Countess of Ulster,  wore a navy percher hat. Lady Sarah Chatto repeated her black straw saucer hat. This draws today’s coverage of Trooping the Colour to a close. Which hat was your favourite on the Buckingham Palace balcony today?

Photos from WeirPhotos/Splash News and WeirPhotos/Splash News via Corbis; and Getty as indicated

British Royal Wedding Four Years On: The Kent Family

A wedding Some of my favourite hats worn at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding four years ago were worn by the Kent branch of the British extended royal family. Here is a peek back at these hats.

The Duchess of Kent channelled spring in a percher cocktail hat with pale pink base. The centrepiece of the hat was its trim- a large bouquet of silk flowers and leaves, ribbon loops and soft white feathers. We don’t see many percher hats on royal ladies of a certain age and while this one showed that Katharine’s millinery approach has stayed right on trend, the soft colours were very flattering and suited her well.

Lady Helen Taylor (the Duchess of Kent’s daughter)  topped her floral appliquéd Erdem dress and coat with a coordinating embellished beret. In electric blue straw, the beret was trimmed with a side spray of white silk flowers and a tall swath of blue dotted net tulle. I assume the white flowers were added to tie in with the flowers on the dress but they didn’t work for me- the hit of white created a jarring contrast that put the whole outfit into ‘too much’ territory. With a fussy dress and coat, I think Helen would have done better with a less fussy hat.

The Duchess of Kent’s daughter-in-laws wore contrasting pieces in pale hues. The Countess of St. Andrews topped her oyster lace trimmed suit with a large picture hat. In pale beige straw, the hat featured a flat crown and wide mushroom brim. The hat’s only embellishment was a large bow which fanned over one side of the brim (you can see the bow here at 36:30). Lady Nicholas Windsor topped her pale pink suit with a Philip Treacy fascinator of purple orchids and swirling feathers. I thought the styling on Paola’s ensemble was perfect- her clean lined suit, simple jewellery and elegant up-do allowed this statement headpiece to be showed to maximum effect. I adored it on her.

2011-04-29 Andrews 5

The Countess of St. Andrews’ two daughters, Lady Marina and Lady Amelia Windsor, both chose black hats. Lady Marina wore a large lampshade hat in black and grey straw. The graphic stripes of straw on each layer of the tiered hat were countered by a massive and curvaceous grey straw bow on the back of the hat. The end result was a dramatic and very classic hat reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Lady Amelia wore a more streamlined hat in black straw with a diagonally raised brim and a wide white band around the crown.

Lady Marina Windsor and Lady Amelia Windsor, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats

Princess Alexandra topped her blue brocade suite with a monochrome picture hat. With a blue straw base, the hat was covered in ruched silk organza and trimmed at the side with large blue silk roses and gold feathers. While the overlaid fabric on the hat gave considerable texture, it combined with Alexandra’s suit to make and ensemble suffering from fabric texture overload. I think this hat would have worked better sans overlay, keeping those romantic floral embellishments.

Princess Alexandra of Kent, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats   Princess Alexandra of Kent, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats

Julia Ogilvy, Princess Alexandra’s daughter-in-law, topped her taupe dress and ivory lace coat with a cream straw picture hat. The streamlined Philip Treacy design was simply trimmed with a band around the crown and a signature Treacy large flying bow.

Princess Alexandra of Kent and Julia Ogilvy, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats  Julia Ogilvy, April 29, 2011 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Princess Michael of Kent chose characteristically dramatic millinery for this event. While her white picture hat followed a fairly traditional shape, the scale of the wide cartwheel brim was larger than life. The huge hat was trimmed with a wide scarf of ruched silk that looked to be effortlessly thrown over the hat. Marie-Christine wears dramatic hats so very well and this was no exception. I adore the wide brim and appreciate the way the large scale hat balanced her shiny satin Andrea Odicini jacket.

2011-04-29 Michael 1

One of the newest members to the British Royal Family, Lady Frederick Windsor wowed with her millinery choice at this event. Designed by Philip Treacy, Sophie’s navy straw hat featured a moulded crown (as opposed to a seam-joined crown) with wide, oval brim. The elliptical brim was balanced by another Treacy signature multi-looped flying bow. While very simple, the hat is quite a bold design. I particularly loved the way the asymmetrical hat both complemented and contrasted against Sophie’s streamlined Armani coat and dress.

Wearing one of my favourite hats at this wedding, Lady Gabriella Windsor was a vision in peacock blue. Her vibrant picture hat featured an upturned ‘slice’ brim which was trimmed with large silk roses and an arrow feather. The shape was wonderful on Garbiella and I adored how her pale seafoam coat and dress created just the right background for her bright hat and matching purse to ‘pop’. This slice hat is a slightly smaller scale than others in this same style and while it works wonderfully as is, I think it could easily have handled an up-sizing.

 Prince Michael of Kent Family, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats
The Kents brought us stylish cocktail berets and sublime picture hats at this wedding. Which hat(s) stand out most to you? Stay tuned later today when we look at hats worn by some of the royal guests.
Photos from Getty as indicated, Woman and Home, and BBC TV via The British Monarchy. Source of final photo is unknown.

Poll: Least Favourite Royal Hat of 2014

Royal HatsYou have made your nominations, dear readers, and now it is time to choose your least favourite royal hat of 2014. Please click on each of the following photos to link back to the original post with larger photos and information about each hat. Your finalists, in random order, are:

Queen Margrethe, March 9, 2014 | Royal Hats   Crown Princess Victoria, March 2, 2014 | Royal Hats   Queen Máxima, May 6, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

1.Queen Margrethe’s blue bowl hat   2.Crown Princess Victoria’s white fascinator   3.Queen Máxima’s beige headwrap

Queen Máxima, June 25, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Paola, July 5, 2014 | Royal Hats  Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, June 23, 2014 | Royal Hats

4.Queen Máxima’s black fascinator  5.Queen Paola’s navy sparkle cap
6. Pink headpiece of Princess Stéphanie, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg  

Queen Mathilde, July 5, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Countess of Wessex, December 5, 2014 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats  Lady Helen Taylor, June 20, 2014 in Stephen Jones | Royal Hats

7.Queen Mathilde’s brown headwrap  8.Countess of Wessex’s burgundy stovepipe hat  9.Lady Helen Taylor’s black bow

Queen Máxima, May 16, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Princess Anne, April 5, 2014 | Royal Hats  Queen Máxima, December 4, 2014 | Royal Hats 

10. Queen Máxima’s rose straw leaf   11.Princess Anne’s navy feathered picture hat  12.Queen Máxima’s oyster turban

The poll will remain open until next Friday, January 16 at midnight GMT and you are able to vote once every 24 hours. Stay tuned tomorrow for polls for favourite hat and best overall millinery style in 2014.

 Please click on each photo to link back to the original post with additional information and photo sources