Back in August, I answered a reader question about Queen Elizabeth modifying her hats. It appears that the Queen does modify her hats more than I initially thought and some of you eagle eyed readers found an example of this last week! The aubergine velvet wool Homburg hat the Queen wore to Southwark Cathedral on November 21(and to church back in February, as shown here in the photo below on the right) has a noticeably smaller brim from the hat that debuted on November 11, 2009. The black velvet oak leaf trim on the side of the hat has also been rearranged.
Reader Baxter noticed several more examples of these millinery modifications. This blush pink wool hat initially featured a large upturned brim (below left in April 2007). Since 20011, the brim has been quite small and rather flat (below right in September 2013 at the Braemar Games).
The beautiful textured white hat worn to celebrate the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s diamond wedding in November 2007 (below left) had some significantly reduced feather trim when the Queen repeated it again in 2010 (shown below right in November 2011).
Some hat changes are very subtle and rather perplexing. If you look closely, in between the time Queen Elizabeth wore it the to Commonwealth Day Observance Service in March 2009 (below left) and a visit to Brasenose College in December that year (below right), the buttons embellishing the hat had been rearranged (and the pleated blue collar on her coat was removed). Curiously, the Queen has worn this hat just once since then, making me wonder why the changes were even made.
Rachel Trevor Morgan is not the only royal millinery designer making modifications to hats. When the Queen first wore this pale blue straw Philip Somerville design, the brim featured a distinctive wave shape (below left at Ascot in 2003). When Queen Elizabeth repeated this hat in June 2005 for Trooping the Colour the brim was replaced with one that was straighter and slightly upturned in the front.
Queen Elizabeth wore this grey wool hat designed by Philip Somerville while on a tour of Canada in October 2002 (below left). This hat was unchanged when she wore it again in March 2003 at the Romford Market. By the time it was worn in November 2003 to the unveiling of Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner (right), the felt brim had been replaced by a translucent straw brim, the lilac silk band around the crown had been rearranged and the grey quills had been removed.
And finally, Queen Elizabeth wore a black velvet toque designed by Philip Somerville on New Year’s Eve 1999 ( below left). When she repeated the hat in October 2003 during a visit to The Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire (below right), the stripped quills along the front had been removed and a spray of feathers added to the side.
I’m curious about your thoughts on these hat changes- did they improve these hats? My sincere thanks to Baxter for pointing out all of these fascinating millinery modifications.
Photos from Getty as indicated