Hat Cousins: Queen Elizabeth and the Boater Hats of Angela Kelly

Last Thursday, Queen Elizabeth visited Royal Regiment of Scotland at Dreghorn Barracks in Edinburgh. She wore a new royal blue hat with a round, flat crown and a very flat brim.

Several readers commented and emailed that the very simple shape of this hat looked familiar. Take a look at this:

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Visiting Fortnum & Mason on Feb 29, 2012 and Australia on October 23, 2011

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At the Armed Forces Diamond Jubilee Parade and Muster, May 19, 2012 

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July 4, 2010 in Canada and October 9, 2009 attending a commemoration service 

UPDATE: Since this post was published, Queen Elizabeth has added these additional hats in this same shape:

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Maundy Thursday Service, April 17, 2014 and in Northern Ireland, June 25, 2014

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At Royal Ascot, June 21, 2014 and visiting Scotland, July 4, 2014

These hats, all confirmed to be designs of Angela Kelly, clearly used the same hat form for their construction.  I find the very flat lines of this hat form a little too harsh  the Queen, and think it needs much trim to soften it up. I do, however, find it rather fascinating to see how this group of hats, in exactly the same shape and all covered in fabric (except the last one in textured straw), can still develop individual character. It makes me wonder, dear readers, which one of these flat brimmed hats is your favourite?

Photos from Getty as indicated;  Associated Press 

28 thoughts on “Hat Cousins: Queen Elizabeth and the Boater Hats of Angela Kelly

  1. none. absolutely not one. She needs some feminine shape as she ages and I’m not seeing that . And I despise those Dr Suess hats that have the odd shape slanted crown on them. I wll say that Her Majesty does her best to make them work, but she needs someone that can work to give her femininity back. i do agree about the matchy-matchy thing going on all the time,too . I wish there was more creativity in maybe a wider skirt that would give back a waist? Her expression in the black and grey says it all. 🙂

  2. “It makes me wonder, dear reader which one of…….”
    Is that a trick question? Twee Angie designs, hard to like. I do think Lilibet looks good in grey and black with her snowy white hair. That is not an endorsement for the grey outfit or hat. A breath of fresh air to have a break from colour. This is possibly the only time I will ever say I like black!

    • The Queen only wears black hats for funerals. You will never see her in a black hat for a daytime engagement.

  3. The hat shape is a strong one, and can work well, I think. My own favourite is the turquoise one with the smocking for the Jubilee parade – I like that very much, partly because of the colours, and partly because I like the textural interest; and the whole ensemble co-ordinates in a very elegant way, not quite so obvious as some. I do like the yellow version too, though. By the way, I’m quite sure that some symbolism is being read into outfits when none is intended – there’s no way that the Queen would wear blue and red on the 4th July to reference the American celebration when she was on a visit to Canada, for heaven’s sake! (Canada Day is the 1st July, so she might well be tempted to wear red and white if there for such an occasion as that… But symbolism is partly what a monarchy is for, after all! Look how much notice was taken of the fact that she wore green to arrive in the Irish Republic.)

  4. I prefer the yellow. The edges on top of the crown seem just a touch softened by the draping of the fabric.

  5. Generally I prefer the taller asymmetric brimmed style she wears but of these great like the grey and black Iraq service one and close behind the turquoise armed forces muster one. I really like both the outfits as a whole. I really like the way. Angela coordinates the whole outfit totally. It would work for no one else except possibly Princess Beatrix but is perfect for this Queen!

    • Angela Kelly does coordinate the whole outfit. I like that most about her hats. I really like when the hat matches Queen Elizabeth’s coat and dress like these ones. She looks very well put together!

  6. I don’t mind the shape too much actually, it’s quite stark, but I like the boxiness of it. I like the yellow one for the wedding best. Her Maj actually has a few hat shapes she goes back to: the Wedgwood one with the rolledbrim has been used a few times and the magenta and black one with the split two level crown also gets used a bit in different colour ways. I think Angela Kelly goes overboard on cutesy embellishments, but as a principle I quite like the idea. Will you be doing the other shapes again?!

  7. The last hat looks like something my six year old granddaughter would design. (And I am Canadian, so it’s not a prejudice – I just don’t like it. I do like the black and grey hat, but my favourite is the yellow wedding hat with its rose trim. I was never fond of the turquoise and purple combination – from a distance the purple in the tweed is not noticiable, so the purple feather is distracting.

  8. I don’t mind the shape, I just wish Angie wasn’t quite so literal with the ornamentation, using the same lace as the coat, etc. Having just said that, I like the “pleating” on the turquoise one for the Armed Forces Muster because it was a bit different than usual. My favorite of these is the yellow though. I

  9. If I have to pick one of these hats, I would say the black and grey one works the best – at least in terms of ornamentation. I didn’t realize until seeing this photo (and spending some time on the Fortnum and Mason website last week) that HM’s coat and hat for her outing there were in F&M’s ‘colors’ – eau de nile and gold. The tribute seems a little heavy-handed, like wearing red. white and blue to a patriotic outing.

  10. Which one is the best of the series? The yellow one for the wedding. Commenting on the hat shape in general, I appreciate the stylistic uniformity which is appropriate for the Queen, rather than bold experiments in leading fashion trends.

  11. Sometimes this works for me and others not at all..one that is for me the big fail is the white with gold braid..looks like either a cake or a hat used in a Spaghetti Western from mid1960’s (those were Westerns for Hollywood filmed in Spain/Italy by Sergio Leone) like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly & Fist Full of Dollars…very So. American pampas style also.

  12. I like it when there is something going around the hat to break up the height and boxy shape a bit. The first and last renderings are best for this, although I am not crazy about the colour combination in the last one. I think the first one in royal blue wins it for me then because of the double row of bariding. Also the royal blue colour is quite lovely on HM

  13. The top of these hats is OK but the brim looks funny to me. I think it’s too flat. I do like the grey hat with the black applique flowers to match her coat. I also like the roses on the yellow hat. But I think the royal blue one is the best.

    • Woodn’t that be funny if the Queen’s designer was reading and listened to us! LOL! I guess we’ll know if she makes a hat like this for the Queen in red or pink! LOL!

      • I’m pretty sure that some designers DO read these blogs. I e-mailed Fabienne Delvigne a while back, and while I didn’t really get an answer to my question, she said she was not familiar with THIS blog, and asked for the link. I suspect that studio is reading this blob now.

  14. My favouriteis the black and grey hat she wore October 9, 2009 service commemorating the end of combat in Iraq. And I disagree with your opinion on this style of hat on the queen, I think this shape works very well on her.

    • I agree Gem. I just love this shaped hat on the Queen. I wish she had a pink one or a red one like this. I like the teal blue one with the red feathers.

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