Trooping the Colour 2021

The Queen’s Colour of F Company Scots Guards was trooped at Windsor Castle today to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday, followed by a flypast by the Red Arrows.  

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For this event, the Queen repeated  the same grey hat we saw her wear a few weeks ago to the opening of parliament. The design features a flared crown covered in silk cloque fabric and a mushroom shaped straw brim overlaid in pleated crin and is trimmed with a grey goose feather mount and vine of gold silk flowers that wrap around the front that echo the floral applique around the neckline of her coat.

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It’s unusual to see the Queen repeat the same hat within such a short timeline, to two high-profile events. We’re also used to seeing Her Majesty in a colour that sets her out in a crowd and this grey ensemble uncharacteristically blended in. I was hoping for a bright new chapeau today and while I’m a bit disappointed, rumours are swirling that we’ll see the Queen next week at Ascot where she usually debuts a few new hats.

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Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: May 11, 2021;  June 20, 2019

The Queen was joined by her cousin, the Duke of Kent. The texture of his hat looks to be faux fur (the British military no longer uses real bearskin pelts for their famous dress uniform hats).

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This is the second year running that we’ve seen a mini Trooping the Colour at Windsor Castle- next year’s event will be celebrated as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and it will be wonderful to see a return to the full event complete with  the Queen and her family back on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Images from Getty as indicated

Ascot Hats: Countess of Snowdon

With recent news that Royal Ascot is going ahead next week (albeit, at a reduced capacity), there’s no better prep for the races than to look back at races past! As such, here is a peek at all of the hats the Countess of Snowdon has worn to Royal Ascot:

1993:

1994 and 1995:

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Exaggerated lilac lampshade covered in feathers; veiled white lace capulet

1996 and 1998:  

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Ecru straw funnel percher with black stripes; Purple lace cloche

2002 and 2008:


Gold braided straw disc with flying feather bow; Ecru and brown feather spray with tan jinsin bow by Philip Treacy 

2012: 

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Black silk button percher with roses by Rachel Trevor Morgan June 19;
Taupe silk percher with bow, curling quill and silver arrow feathers June 23

2013:

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Burgundy pheasant feather calot June 18; buff straw bandeau with ecru cut petals June 19, both by Stephen Jones

2014 and 2016:

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White Laura Cathcart button percher with floral vine;  White textured straw picture hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan

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Pale grey straw extended brim cloche June 20; Ivory textured straw Stephen Jones saucer with black feathers June 22
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Repeated ivory textured straw Stephen Jones saucer with black feathers
There are some brave and bold designs here, especially during the earlier years. The Countess’ style has certainly evolved over time, the later years showing a confident elegance that we have come to associate with her. While royal divorces are always sad news, I’ll particularly miss her fashion and hats at large family and racing events.
What do you notice about this evolution of the Countess’ Royal Ascot hats?

Hat From the Past

Royal Hats74 years to this day in 1947 when Princess Elizabeth visited Radley College in Oxfordshire in this most interesting bonnet design with flat frown and ruffle trimmed brim.

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Our thoughts and well wishes are extended to the Queen today, on what would have been Prince Philip’s 100th birthday.

Images from Getty as indicated

Dutch Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Guests

We finish our look back 20 years at the May 2001  wedding of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien today with hats worn by royal guests and extended members of the Dutch royal family to the couple’s religious ceremony.

Princess Mathilde wore a white parasisal straw hat with slightly flared, flat-top crown and generous mushroom brim. The classic black and white scheme always works and I really like how the black stitching on her coat was reversed in white on the hat’s black hatband.

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Crown Princess Victoria took a more neutral path with a tan and cream subtle plaid coat and dress topped with a picture hat in beige straw. It was not a dynamic look (it’s all rather biscuit!!), not helped by the low curve of the hat’s gently sidesweeping brim that sat awkwardly low over Victoria’s face.

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Mette-Marit Tjenssem, who would become Crown Princess of Norway three months later, wore a blush coat with sequin detail repeated on the hatband of her cream picture hat. It was another quiet ensemble (despite the sequins) but nice, from today’s vantage point, to see Mette-Marit in a brimmed design.

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We can usually count on Princess Märtha Louise to bring some colour and she did not disappoint at this event, pairing her lilac shantung silk suit with a deep orange statement hat. Between the hat’s vibrant shade, extended brim with point ends, fuchsia brim binding and brim stitching and hatband of cut orange and fuchsia silk leaves, it was a memorable design.

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Princess Kiko was in head to hem pale butter yellow. Her hat was a most interesting shape with a bumper style overtop a downward facing visor- it really defies description. Can you remember seeing her in another design of this shape? It feels unique.

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Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg topped her red suit with a natural straw woven hat with rounded crown and fluted brim bound with chocolate binding and topped with a layer of silk petal studded crin… or a large patterned lace? The hat was finished with a large flower on the left side.

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The Countess of Wessex wore two toned hat with green fluted crown and palest seafoam parasisal straw with very interesting, inverted brim and trimmed with peacock feathers. We don’t see many two toned hats and while this one reflects millinery styles of the time, still was a well balanced and interesting (in a good way!) design.

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Princess Alexandra De Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berlebourg (Princess Benedikte’s eldest daughter) contrasted her pale blue ensemble with a copper straw picture hat. The unexpected scheme worked, as did the hat’s scale on Alexandra’s tall frame. I really like the proportion between the hat’s crown and wide brim and the textural contrast provided by the stitched silk bow.

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Princess Miriam of Bulgaria wore a folded black sinamay design with black and white feathers and a black veil.

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Princess Margriet wore a wide brimmed hat in red sinamay with long sinamay sash folded over the hat. That folded sash was unique, as hat trimmings go, but seemed at odds with the rest of the design.

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Princess Marilène (back row behind Prince Constantijn) wore a dark hued, wide brimmed hat. Princess Irene (front row on right, beside Maxima) wore a lime green straw boater with extended brim. Princess Christina (second row, in between Prince Constantijn and Queen Beatrix) looked to be in a hat with black brim and royal blue crown.

It’s always interesting, looking back at past events, which hats seem timeless and which ones reflect specific styles of the time. Looking back 20 years at this event, which hats stand out most to you?

You can see hats worn by immediate family (and the bride’s attire) at the religious ceremony here and hats at the civil ceremony here.

Images from Getty as indicated  

Dutch Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Religious Ceremony

Last week, we looked back 20 years at the hats worn to Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien’s civil wedding on May 17, 2001. Today, we continue with their religious ceremony, held May 19, 2001 at St Jacobs Church in The Hague.

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Laurentien’s gown, made of radzimir silk, was designed by Edouard Vermeulen of the House of Natan (she and Constantijn resided in Brussels at the time so a Belgian designer wasn’t surprising or controversial). The bodice followed a straight boat neckline, modernized with a cowl-like fold.

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Three quarter length fitted sleeves opened to a dramatic pointed calla lily shape.

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The gown’s unique silhouette continued with a fitted empire waist, below which the skirt opened, as a coat, to reveal a column skirt beneath.

The coat’s train flowed to a length of 3.5 meters (12 feet) over which Laurentien wore a full length, layered silk tulle veil. Unfortunately, the veil obscured the deep V at the back of the dress, a design feature that beautifully balanced the gown’s high neck at the front. At the time, I thought it was beautifully modern and sleek gown, elegantly regal in scale and design.

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Laurentien anchored the veil with the diamond Laurel Wreath Tiara from the Dutch royal jewel collection. With her pearl and diamond drop earrings and voluminous veil, the tiara has just the right amount of sparkle, gravitas and height to complete this bridal look.

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Queen Beatrix topped a blush silk floral collared dress and variegated pastel woven coat with a wide brimmed rose straw hat. The hat featured a wide, round crown with straight sides and flat top and an upturned kettle brim, trimmed with a layered pink silk hatband and swath of tulle wrapped around the crown.

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Laurentien’s mother, Jantien Brinkhorst, wore a red straw hat with wide, sidesweeping brim. Notice the gentle brim pleats on the lower side.

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Máxima Zorreguita, who would marry Prince Willem-Alexander the following February wore a brimmed taupe straw hat. The brim’s binding and triple layered hatband looked to be in the same silver silk as her suit, linking the pieces together.

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We’ll look at hats worn by other members of the Dutch royal family and royal guests in tomorrow’s post. For now- what do you think of Laurentien’s bridal look, 20 years on?

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Images from Getty as indicated