Buckingham Palace Garden Party Not Dampened by Showers

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh hosted their second Garden Party this summer season in the grounds of Buckingham Palace yesterday afternoon. Despite rainy weather, the Queen looked very sunny in her yellow hat with flat brim and crown, trimmed with rosettes and leaves on the side. Many of you will recognize this ensemble from its debut back in 2011 at Prince William’s wedding. I must admit that it has grown on me since then (I initially found all the right angles in the hat too severe) and have come to appreciate its simplicity. I particularly love that the Queen matched the trim on her umbrella to her ensemble (as she usually does).

 Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: June 16, 2012; October 23, 2011; April 29, 2011

The Duke of Edinburgh looked dapper, as always, in a dove grey top hat.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

This party was attended by two of the Queen’s four children and their wives, who both repeated beautiful hats.

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The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her magnificent pale turquoise blue picture hat with an asymmetrical brim trimmed with a spray of dove grey feathers. Camilla carries large, dramatic hats so very well and this shade of blue, which looks amazing on her, makes this one of my favourite of her hats.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: June 17, 2013; June 6, 2013; June 16, 2012; June 13, 2009; September 10, 2008; June 18, 2008 

The Countess of Wessex repeated her spectacular beigey-pink asymmetrical waved straw hat. This hat, trimmed with a rosette and long, curling feather spines, is so light and lovely- exactly the kind of hat I imagine for a garden party. I was a little perplexed, however, at her pairing it with this rather heavy looking skirt and jacket. I much prefer this hat with the light and airy Bruce Oldfield suit Sophie paired it with at its fist outing.

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Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: July 30, 2011

It was so lovely to see Princess Alexandra of Kent at the garden party yesterday, back on her feet after a long illness last year. She looked regal in a royal blue picture hat trimmed with silk flowers, net and gently curling feathers.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 2011

Alexandra’s brother, the Duke of Kent, also looked handsome in in a dove grey top hat.

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T’was a wonderful day of millinery at Buckingham Palace yesterday, despite the showers. Which hat was your favourite?

Photos from Getty as indicated


27 thoughts on “Buckingham Palace Garden Party Not Dampened by Showers

  1. Wow, I think this is my favorite Camilla look ever. She favors the coat/dress ensemble and this one fits her better than most. The hat is magnificent. I totally agree with HatQueen’s comments about Countess of Wessex (I almost abbreviated her as COW but that would be just wrong) pairing of that lovely hat with the heavy, boxy suit. A rare fashion misstep for her, I think. The hat remains one of my favorites, though.

  2. Yes, a fine display of hats today. I thought (as others did) that Princess Alexandra looked really special today, the colourful hat, flowing skirt and classic, square toed shoes. Stylish. Camilla looks smashing in this outfit, I think it really reflects who she is and I like the feathers for the movement and softness they add to the hat. The colour is gorgeous. Her Majesty’s outfit will always hold special memories and whilst I am not a fan of the flat brim on her, I think the fact that it is a generally softer colour allows it to go less noticed. Sophie’s hat is very her isn’t it. It reminds me of a stingray (not only because of the shape) but because of how they swim – graceful and fluid, and soft and easy. I like how she tucks the thick headband under a wisp of hair so that it doesn’t look as though it has just been plonked there. Thanks for the lovely blog, I enjoy it immensely.

  3. They all look wonderful!

    Here’s a question…..MrFitzroy is a bit surprised each time he sees this particular hat and outfit repeated by Her Majesty. It seems unusual for an ensemble she has worn to a family wedding to then go into the “regular rotation”.
    Can anyone recall HM repeating other wedding hats and outfits at additional events?
    Seems like the blue ensembles worn at Anne, Andrew, and Charles first weddings, the lavender of Edward’s nuptials, the buff yellow and the taupe brocade of Charles’ second and Peter Phillips weddings respectively, have all been one time wearings.
    Not sure about the green from the Princess Royal’s second wedding, or the peach explosion at Zara Phillips — those both look vaguely familiar but cant specifically peg them to other events…..

    Intrepid blog readers and hat detectives extraordinaire….any thoughts?

    • I too have wondered why this yellow outfit, so photographed and so commented on, has been repeated several times.
      I believe, however, that the yellow and taupe brocade to Charles’ second wedding has been repeated several times too, although all the other outfits you mentioned were single wears. No, the peach explosion at Zara Philips’ wedding has been worn many time too, both with and without the coat.
      I do think that determining why certain (very few) outfits are worn only once by the Queen would be an interesting insight into the scheduling of the Queen’s wardrobe. Of course, perhaps some of the outfits were accidentally ruined.

    • In my understanding, MrFitzroy, we do not have all the records of every single appearance of Her Majesty’s outfits & hats since Anne’s wedding in 1973, Charles in 1981 or Andrew in 1986 to determine if Her Majesty has repeated those wedding outfits. The Royals coverage and exposure at the time were less than now, plus not every Royals engagements have press coverage. For example, there was a Reception for current & recently-retired Lord-Lieutenants on Monday evening but I have checked all the agencies from PA to Getty, Rex Features and none of them had any pictures. The Queen’s outfits at Prince Edward & Peter Phillips were floor-length dress-like with fascinators which would usually require highly formal events to wear. I know she had worn the lilac dress from Edwards’ wedding once again in 2002 or 2003 but without the hat/ fascinator though.

      The hat for Charles’ second wedding has been worn a few times since 2005 unlike what you have said. You can find pics at the following for records:
      Maundy Thursday 2006: http://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/queen-elizabeth-ii-and-prince-philip-duke-of-edinburgh-news-photo/57334295

      Reception for Normandy Veterans in April 2009: http://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/queen-elizabeth-ii-receiving-flowers-from-well-wishers-news-photo/86296870

      The ensemble from the Cambridges’ wedding may hold a special place in Her Majesty plus she has a serious understanding of the economic recession and I once read that she would go for outfits that can be used for various occasions & every-day use: from a wedding to Trooping the Colour or putting the coat and hat aside, she can use the underneath dress for Investitures or an evening reception too.

      • Thanks, Lex! Your response is so helpful.

        I think it’s also interesting to watch the progression of events that the Queen has worn this particular outfit:

        1. Wedding of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
        2. Tour of Australia
        3. Trooping the Colour
        4. This garden party

        The first three events are all major ones- exactly the kind of event where the Queen will usually debut a new outfit. I suppose since this dress was so recognizable after its debut at the wedding, it was given further honor by the high profile nature of the next two engagements it was worn to.

        As I have catalogued her hats, I have noticed that the Queen saves her new outfits for major events (overseas tours, Maundy Thursday, Commonwealth Day Observance Service, Ascot) and after their debut, puts them in rotation for regular engagements.

    • Here you go, MrFitzroy, the lilac dress from the Earl of Wessex’s wedding, not only once but twice:

      At the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 2000, i think for the Queen Mother’s 100th Birthday: http://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/the-queen-at-covent-garden-opera-house-to-watch-the-kirov-news-photo/52110634

      And at the 50Th Birthday Gala Performance Of ‘The Mousetrap’ in London in 2002: http://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/the-queen-duke-of-edinburgh-attend-a-50th-birthday-gala-news-photo/158969028

    • Being a frugal person myself, I appreciate it highly that the Queen repeats becoming outfits every now and then. I see this approach as a subtle nod to the country’s economic situation when splurging on constantly new apparel would be pure waste. I think she still has such a wide choice of clothing that we will not be bored. I understand the notion that some garments carry strong memories and thus have also a symbolic character, but I enjoy seeing them again and remembering the first occasion they were worn. Perhaps this applies to the Queen, too.

      • I agree Anne. I like it when royals wear something more than once because they don’t always repeat the exact same ensemble, sometimes changing it up with different accessories etc, which makes for interesting comparisons. (HM almost always changes her choice of brooch). I think that they should wear outfits again for purely economic reasons as you say and I think they are very conscious of that. I just feel that if they like it, if it suits them and the engagement, if they feel comfortable etc why not. Camilla’s choice today is a case in point I think. Thanks.

      • I don’t see how the Queen had time for any engagements today: she was changing her clothes all day long, four outfits that we know of! Fabulous!
        Wearing high-profile clothes again is probably saved for special audiences, like today’s. This outfit really couldn’t be put in the regular rotation.

  4. The Queen’s angular hat goes well, I think, with the straight pleats around the neckline. The coat, dress and hat are all simple patterns — a welcome change from some of AK’s designs. The flowers on the hat are the only embellishment; as such they stand out. Excellent outfit.
    Also excellent were Princess Alexandra of Kent’s and Camilla’s hats.

  5. Very nice parade of hats even with the rain.

    I usually follow you on twitter- thanks for sticking up for us readers after what that horrible other blogger woman said. I love this blog for the hats and for the respectful way you write about people. It’s refreshing.

  6. Lovely to see Princess Alexandra and her outfit was so appropriate for the occasion. Camila can certainly wear hats and most colours look good on her. Sophie certainly knows how to dress. Overall nice collection of hats .

      • Glad it was alright to paste a photo. I have always thought the Wedgwood hat was near to prefect in what the Queen has worn in recent years. There are too many sharp edged brims and a constant flow of them. How I wish soft and sharpe brims could be alternated.
        Thanks again for allowing me to have a wee say.

  7. A lovely turn-out of hats. I’m not so fond of the flat-brim, straight-sided hat shape on the Queen, but this is a good example of it, and I love the colour. Camilla’s hat is also splendid, although I would like it better if the crown were a bit of a softer shape, I think. Princess Alexandra’s hat is the epitome of Garden Party! I love Sophie’s hat, and liked the combination with her outfit here. Although I thought the suit it was worn with at the wedding was really lovely, I felt that this outfit was a suitable pairing too; it’s a complementary colour, and the swingy skirt and polka dots gave it that slightly frivolous garden party edge. Toppers all very flattering!

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