Queen Elizabeth and members of the British Royal Family attended the Order of the Garter Service today at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Founded in 1348 by Edward III, the Garter is the senior British order of chivalry awarded by the sovereign for outstanding public service and achievement. The Queen, The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, who are all members of the Garter, wore their robes and Garter hats – black velvet caps topped with large white ostrich plumes. The Queen’s cap also included a brooch of the Garter emblem which features St. George’s cross and its motto, Honi soit qui mal y pense (shame upon him who thinks evil upon it).
Also in Garter robes and plumed hats were the Dukes of Kent and York, the Earl of Wessex and Princess Anne. Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence wore a black silk top hat.
As the Duke of Edinburgh was released from hospital this morning and is continuing his recovery at Windsor Castle behind closed doors, The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall rode with the Queen for today’s events. Camilla repeated the turquoise Philip Treacy picture hat she wore last week for the Founder’s Day Parade. This appears to be the sixth time she has worn this hat and it continues to look great on her.
The Countess of Wessex unveiled a new hat- a wave- shaped disc in metallic silver that swept over the right side of her head and face. This design, which looks very similar to the hat Zenouska Mowatt wore on Saturday (and I’m quite certain is another Jane Taylor design), has a feather flourish and cluster of metallic silver roses beneath the upturned top brim. Sophie wore the slightly larger but similar shaped “Lady A” design, also by Jane Taylor, for the Luxembourg royal wedding last October.
UPDATE: Sophie’s hat is the “Lulu” design from Jane Taylor’s the upcoming Autumn-Winter 2013 collection.
Lady Helen Taylor and her husband Tim also attended the Service (I suspect one of their sons might have been a page for the Queen today). If you peek behind Camilla below, you’ll see Helen in the same grey feather headpiece she wore at the Trooping of the Colour on Saturday.
UPDATE: one of our readers was at this event and has generously shared her personal photo of some of the royal hats! Thank you so much E! Lady Serena Armstrong-Jones, Viscountess Linley, wore what appears to be a new black straw beret trimmed with tall black feathers. Her sister-in-law, Lady Sarah Chatto, wore a black straw Stephen Jones-designed saucer hat, tilted to the right side. Sarah wore this hat for Zara Phillips’ wedding in 2011 and for Ascot last year– it’s a hat style she likes so much that she has identically shaped hats in both grey and cream. I can’t argue- Sarah wears clean-lines very, very well and it’s a great hat on her. I’d just think that variety, especially in hats, is a good thing.
The Duchess of Gloucester wore the navy straw beret she unveiled earlier this month at the 60th Anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. This hat shape looks very good on Brigitte and its simple lines work very well with her more fussy and ruffled coat. The Duke, who is also a member of the Garter, looked quite distinguished in his Garter cap.
Photos from Getty as indicated and from private collection