Queen Elizabeth and Hat Modifications

Last fall, we looked at some interesting modifications made to hats worn by Queen Elizabeth (hats designed by Rachel Trevor Morgan and Philip Somerville). For the Queen’s departure and arrival in France today, we saw confirmation that Angela Kelly’s hats also undergo renovation. Eagle eyed reader JamesB noticed that this white piqué coat looked somewhat familiar:

Embed from Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth in France, June 5, 2014 

Embed from Getty Images

In Canada, June 29, 2010

It is indeed, the same coat with the navy applique bows removed. But take a closer look at the hats. The colour is the same. The shape of the crown? Same. The white bow trim is identical. The wide binding around the brim (seen closeup in 2010 below) is also the same. If you look closely at the brims on the two hats above, you’ll notice that they appear to be the same size. One is turned up, the other turned down. A number of you suspect the brim was resteamed- whatever the case, it’s quite a remarkable hat remodel, isn’t it?!

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Reader Snug Harbour also noticed also made a fascinating observation- Angela Kelly’s 2012 book Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe includes photos of a white hat trimmed with the same silver pixel print as the dress and jacket the Queen wore for her arrival in Paris today (see below). The original hat was not worn in public and seems to have been replaced by today’s hat- a hat with similar basic shape but much sleeker trim. Between these two hats, I much prefer the one we saw today.

2012 Angela Kelly design Queen Elizabeth, June 5, 2014 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats

2012 Angela Kelly design

Thanks to everyone who shared observations and links. It was a most fascinating day of millinery for Her Majesty! I can’t  wait to see what she has in store for us tomorrow.

Photos from Getty as indicated; Royal Collection Trust and private collection


18 thoughts on “Queen Elizabeth and Hat Modifications

  1. I also prefer the remodels on the queen. I get a little bit of an Audrey Hepburn vibe from version one of the navy that I would love to wear myself, but upturned brim better suits HM. On a side note: have we seen her wear that coral and cream number in the background of the last photo? I think that color would be fabulous on her.

    • Oh Gransgirl, my 10 year old son noticed this hat in the background too! I’m afraid he did not like it one bit, especially the colour. I tried to talk him round, but to no avail I’m sorry!!! I kinda like the lattice brim myself. Thanks for the laugh.

    • No, we have not (I believe) seen the Queen wear that coral and cream number, and I can’t imagine what current outfit it might go with. Since AK’s book was published several ago, the hat is now about 3 years old.
      Perhaps the hat still will appear someday. If not, it makes one wonder how many other hats the Queen has commissioned but never has worn in public.

  2. Both hats are more interesting in their revised form, especially the gray-white suit. The new hat is of a similar style to the suit jacket; the first hat, while it used a little strip of the dress fabric, looked out of place with the jacket.
    Took someone a lot of time, though, first to cut out those little blue anchors/bows for the navy blue coat, then to sew them on the coat, then to remove them — all for one wearing that I know of.

    • Do you think they might be buttons? That would make it less work. I liked the extra navy trims at the time as the Queen was celebrating a Naval event. She seems very supportive of sailors.

      • They look too close to the fabric and are too consistently aligned to be buttons, I think, but I like your idea. I’ve tried blowing up a few pictures but can’t detect anything that indicates for sure that they’re buttons. A lot of planning goes into planning Queen Elizabeth’s clothing for a specific event, doesn’t it? (Some of the details probably are lost on the rest of us.)

  3. I just don’t like the bow either way I’m afraid. I don’t really like the shape of the first version but I do like the shape of it’s reincarnated version.

  4. Upturned brims suit the Queen more and we can see more of her face, and she looks tres chic for her tour of France. Well done Your Majesty.

  5. I do enjoy this sleuthing! (I should get out more!) I actually now think the brim was resteamed though, but whatever, in preferred original (though losing all the Mabel bows was a grand idea!)

    And spotting that second link was nothin short of genius! Well done.

    I await more fun today!!

  6. I also prefer the up brim look on HM — it’s a better shape for her age and does not pull her face down like the downward brim does

  7. I prefer the upturned brim. And only Princess Mabel would like those bows! Or Sarah Ferguson 😉

    • I agree. While I love the bow on the brooch, the bows on the coat are just too much, and too twee. She was definitely channeling Fergie here.

  8. As hobby sewer, I really enjoy these posts where you show how hats are made or how they are changed. The navy hat is beautiful both ways!

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