The wedding of Viscount Linley and The Hon. Serena Stanhope twenty years ago today was a “mini” royal wedding – while not a prince himself, David Armstrong-Jones was the son of a princess and a member of the extended British Royal Family. And we all know that being a member of the extended British Royal family means there will be some great hats at your wedding! After looking at the bride’s veil and dress earlier today, let’s now turn our attention to the guests’ hats.
David’s mother Princess Margaret wore a black velvet pillbox hat topped in pomegranate coloured spiky feathers to match her crushed velvet coat. His sister, Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones, wore an unembellished rust coloured straw cloche. At the time, I thought the mix of flowing pant suit, velvet scarves, large earrings and her cloche was a little odd. I’m afraid that time has not changed my view.
Queen Elizabeth wore a salmon pink fabric covered hat with rounded crown and high, upturned, pleated brim by Philip Somerville. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (and grandmother of the groom) wore one of her signature veiled capulet hats with upturned front brim and side spray of feathers.
Princess Anne, who had married Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence less than a year earlier, repeated the turquoise blue veiled pillbox with side rose she had originally debuted during the mid 1980s. (Anne would later wear this hat to Charles and Camilla’s wedding in 2005 and her grandmother’s 100th birthday in 2000).
Lady Helen Taylor wore powder blue bowler hat with wide ribbon wrapped around the crown. Princess Diana was also in blue- a large blue lampshade style hat with white ribbon trim around the brim and wrapped around the crown designed by Philip Somerville. At the time, I believe some were surprised to see her at this wedding as she and Prince Charles had announced their separation ten months earlier and her future royal role was unclear.
Princess Alexandra of Kent wore a dove grey hat with rounded crown wrapped in a black ribbon and trimmed with flowers and net. I think this hat translates fairly well today, as do the hats of Julia Ogilvy (her daughter-in-law) in black and and the Duchess of Gloucester in dark teal blue.
The only foreign royals I could find at this wedding were Queen Anne-Marie of Greece and Princess Salimah Aga Khan. Queen Anne-Marie wore a large black (or chocolate brown?!) hat with an upturned brim and a high almost Puritan shaped pointed crown. That hat was a little too Halloween-esque for my taste. My favourite hat at this wedding was the brown capulet worn by Princess Salimah Aga Khan. The shape is so chic and the black band around the crown and trim around the upturned brim gives a bit of punchy contrast.
While Princess Salimah’s hat was my favourite, the most memorable hat of the day probably needs to go to the bride herself. The new Lady Serena Armstrong-Jones wore this cowgirl-meets-disco ball whizpopper designed by (who else?) Philip Treacy to depart on her honeymoon to Zimbabwe after the wedding. It’s something else, isn’t it?!
Serena’s mother Virginia looked very elegant in a purple picture hat with slightly curved brim (she is to the left of Princess Margaret, below). Her hat, like several others, has aged very well- surprisingly well, in fact. While many hats at this wedding do seem rather dated, there are an equal number that could easily be worn today. This fashion longevity warms my heart and makes me so pleased to be a fan of royal hats. As I sign off this post and wish Viscount and Viscountess Linley the happiest of anniversaries, I can’t resist asking- Which hat at this wedding is your favourite?