British Royals Attend Palace Garden Party

Queen Elizabeth hosted her second garden party of this summer season yesterday in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. For this event, she was vibrantly attired in her mauve square crowned, rolled brim hat with wide mint green hat band and brim edging. While I have always wanted to like the fuschia, pink and green feathered blooms adorning this piece, it just reads too costumey for me to embrace.

Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: June 30, 2015; June 12, 2014; June 19, 2013

The Duke of Edinburgh was his dapper self in an antique silk top hat, shown off to full effect with a dotted tie.

The Duchess of Cornwall topped her neutral coat dress with her cream straw hat with up-swept brim. The gentle curve in this design is shown off so well with this delicate windowpane straw and while it’s huge in scale, Camilla pulls it off. I think, however, I prefer this hat paired with a more colourful ensemble.

Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: June 13, 2015;  June 19, 2013; June 14, 2011; April 29, 2011; June 16, 2009

Princess Anne repeated the ecru straw hat she first wore to Ascot last year. With a double crown wrap in chocolate straw and ruched duponi silk, a chocolate straw underbrim and a mass of feathers at the side, there is a lot happening visually with this piece. I think, however, the muted colour palate and pairing with Anne’s simple ecru bouclé suit balances the hat and maybe even makes it work.

Princess Anne, May 20, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 19, 2015; November 19, 2007June 2006

The Duke of Kent wore a grey felt top hat while his sister, Princess Alexandra, surprised in a new design. In white straw, the picture hat features a wide, flat brim and domed crown with straight sides. Trimmed with Alexandra’s signature swath of tulle net, the hat is also decorated with what looks to be a striped green and white bloom on the side.

Duke of Kent, May 20, 2016 | Royal Hats

Princess Alexandra, May 20, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: likely Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

What hats stood out to you most at this event?

Photos from Getty as indicated and The British Monarchy

Queen Dedicates Memorial

Queen Elizabeth visited the National Memorial Arboretum this morning to officially dedicate the Duke of Lancaster’s Regimental Memorial. She was a vision in blue for this event in a straw hat with a high, stepped crown and an upturned brim on one side. It’s a hat we’ve seen before but a hat I’m so pleased to see again. The sharp shape of this design is lovely in its own right but the hat is made spectacular with Rachel Trevor Morgan’s exquisite handmade feather flower trim and the navy edged side bow and triple sash around the crown. That sliver of navy adds such dimension to this hat (especially against the Queen’s collarless coat) and beautifully references the print of her dress.

Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: July 16, 2015; June 19, 2014
I’m admittedly a great fan of this hat’s proportion and embellishment- what do you think of this design?
Photos from Getty as indicated

British Royals Celebrate Queen’s Birthday

Members of the British Royal Family gathered this weekend at Windsor for a jam-packed weekend of events that combined two favourites- the Queen and the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Over the weekend, Her Majesty was spotted enjoying the show as a kerchiefed spectator.

To present the day’s awards, she popped back to the palace to change. On Saturday, she repeated her magenta hat with silk crepe crown and edging around the straw brim, trimmed with flowers and striped feathers.

Queen Elizabeth, May 14, 2016 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats Queen Elizabeth, May 14, 2016 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats

Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: July 5, 2015June 20, 2015

For yesterday’s awards, Queen Elizabeth repeated her pale blue straw hat with domed crown, asymmetrical upturned brim, and silk flower and ribbon trim. While the photo here does neither the hat nor the wearer justice (jump over here to see much better views during its last outing), it remains a beautiful piece and it was nice to see the Queen in it again.

Queen Elizabeth, May 15, 2016 in Rachel Trevor Morgan | Royal Hats

Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 4, 2015June 17, 2014; April 20, 2014

The Duke of Edinburgh, who is an accomplished carriage driver, took part in the show throughout the weekend. He looked dapper and relaxed in a white straw fedora with curved brim along with two wool plaid flat caps.

Prince Michael of Kent also joined in some carriage driving, looking most distinguished in a cream straw fedora. The high crown and exaggerated pinches on this piece give it an interesting shape and the pleated navy band adds a refined touch.

Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella Windsor joined their father. Ella’s take on a fedora in dark green featured a tall crown, wide brim and simple bow at the side in coordinating grosgrain ribbon. Freddie’s straw fedora featured a cowboy-hat shaped brim that I’m not fond of. Thankfully, the smart grey and red trim added some polish to the piece.

The weekend’s climax was a variety show set up in an arena in Windsor Great Park that featured more than 1200 performers, 900 horses and numerous other animals (cows, dogs and a goat). While the Queen did not wear a hat for this evening event, the Princess Royal, Earl of Wessex, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and Zara Tindall, who all took part in the pageant riding horses belonging to the Queen, did.

So many of the hats we see here lean toward the formal side and it’s a fun change to see more informal pieces. There will be more celebrating (with lots of hats) on the Queen’s official birthday celebration on June 11.
Photos from Getty as indicated; Press Association and NS News Agency Ltd.

British Royals Host Garden Party

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh hosted the second Buckingham Palace garden party of the season (see the first one here, hosted by Princess Alexandra). The Queen repeated a vibrant hat I am always happy to see make a return. In bright pink straw, this piece features a squared crown, upturned brim on one side and is trimmed with a trio of silk peonies. Such shades of pink can easily read as childish but the crisp lines and restrained trim of this design make it work. I have always thought it to be a marvellous hat on Her Majesty and I adore that she matched her lipstick to it.

Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: May 28, 2014; July 4, 2012; October 25, 2011

The Countess of Wessex repeated a hat we first saw at Ascot last year. Today’s photo gives a better view of the piece, showing a cream straw beret base with striped crin brim folded up into flutes at the back. With grey and cream crin curls and a pair of black feathers for trim, the hat is a lavish piece that remains incredibly sophisticated thanks to a streamlined colour palate. Sophie has become such a force when it comes to royal millinery and this piece illustrates why.

Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: June 17, 2015

Princess Alexandra repeated the turquoise suit and matching hat she first wore at the Epsom races last summer. With a gently upswept brim on one side, a swath of net tulle resting on the brim, dark blue feather trim and a lower crown than most of her other hats, this remains a fantastic design for Alexandra and she wears it beautifully.

Designer: Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 6, 2015

The Duchess of Gloucester joined in today’s rainy festivities in her much loved navy straw beret. While I would love to see a few new pieces make their way into Brigitte’s closet, the streamlined design of this piece looks great on her and allows her jewellery to take centre stage.

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 16, 2015; March 26, 2015; June 29, 2013June 17, 2013; June 4, 2013

Not to be outdone, the Duke of Edinburgh and Duke of Gloucester looked most handsome in grey felt top hats while the Duke of York looked to be braving the bad weather in a black silk design.

The start of Buckingham Palace garden parties not only showcases wonderful hats, but indicates how close we are to the biggest of all royal hat events in mid June. What did you think of these repeated hats in London today?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Seen It Before: Queen Elizabeth’s Somerville Swirls

Royal HatsLast year, Queen Elizabeth surprised us by repeating a black and white hat by Philip Somerville with distinctive crown in white swirled silk.

Many of you will remember a similar hat with swirled crown the Queen wore several years ago, also by Somerville, in softest petal pink.

These, however, are not the only two swirled crown hats that Philip Somerville made for Her Majesty.

Visit of Queen Elizabeth II in France

On a visit to France, June 9, 1992

On a tour of Hungary, May 6, 1993

I find it fascinating to see Somerville’s experiments with this shape from the earlier hats to the later ones. I suspect most of us will prefer the later hats but I have great appreciation for the earlier ones as well. Looking at this group I’m left with admiration for Queen Elizabeth’s millinery bravery- while some royals find a particular hat style and stick to it for decades (or more!), she has has continued experimenting with different shapes and styles of hats. Thanks to the immense creativity of her milliners, hers is truly an evolution of style. 
Photos from Getty as indicated and Bisson-Le Segretain-Orban/Sygma/Corbis

 

 

Birthday Wishes

Birthday milestone 90I’m sure you all join me in wishing Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, the most joyous 90th birthday today. Three cheers for the Queen!

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Photos from Getty

Queen Elizabeth Celebrates 90th Birthday

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh took part in an extended royal walkabout in Windsor today to greet thousands of well wishes on the occasion of the Queen’s 90th birthday. Not surprisingly, she chose a new hat and coat for today’s celebration, designed by trusted personal dresser Angela Kelly and described by Buckingham Palace as a “spring grass green wool and silk weave coat and dress with hat to match adorned with flowers”.

The white straw hat follows a very similar shape to Kelly’s split crown design used on several other pieces with the silk wool fabric from the Queen’s coat used to wrap half of the hat’s tall crown and edge the short brim. The hat is trimmed simply with a spray of silk orchids anchored with a slim green bow at the side. The white hat balances the green outfit well and the fresh colour is youthful and very pretty. I just can’t help feeling that the the execution on this piece feels a little clunky and awkward and I wish that today, of all days, it was more refined.

Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella MacLaren
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Despite my foibles about this piece, the Queen and Duke both look to be happily and thoroughly enjoying this special day. What do you, dearest readers, think about this birthday hat?
Photos from Getty as indicated