Ascot Day 1: The Extended British Royal Family

Let’s wrap up coverage of Day 1 of Royal Ascot yesterday with a look at some wonderful hats worn by members of the extended royal family (you can see hats worn by Queen Elizabeth and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Princess of Jordan, Sheikha of Dubai as well as the immediate British royal family). I am so honoured to be joined by guest commenters British Milliner Katie Vale and American milliner Jill Courtemanche for this conversation.

Viscountess Linley in a bespoke hat by Laura Cathcart


 KV: LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!!! 🙂 The flow of the flowers is elegant and delicate, whilst still being very striking. And seriously gorgeous coat too btw! My favourite of the day.

 JC: I love this hat! So modern and so fresh yet still completely ladylike. Paired with her jacket it’s gorgeous for spring and really a breath of fresh air. It doesn’t have the harsh angles that a lot of modern designs have it’s just simple and refined, truly a lovely look with a lot of impact.

RH: On its own, this hat is pretty simple- a white fabric beret covered in a branch of white apple blossoms. Often, simple is perfect and that’s certainly the case today. I love the placement of the flowers, which is a little unexpected. The pairing of this hat with the amazing coat and dress is truly a ‘wow’ moment.

Duchess of Gloucester

JC: This hat, although perfectly lovely and well suited for her face is completely inappropriate for the occasion. This is a casual straw hat more fitted for a day of shopping than Royal Ascot. I am even having a hard time with the color paring as it is much too harsh. Glorious but all wrong!

KV: A standard upturned straw brim hat. It looks like it has a veiling band and bow on it too in a paler pink. I don’t see this going with her outfit at all, but a fairly pleasant, non-offensive hat.

Royal Hats: I agree that the shape is great for Brigitte. I just don’t understand how the pink hat goes with her blue suit. I agree with Jill- this is too casual for Ascot.

Princess Michaelof Kent

KV: I like the floral design, but I don’t like the upturned brim. It reminds me a lot of one we’ve seen Autumn Kelly in before. I like up turned brims usually, but it doesn’t suit this design, I think.

 JC: I am on the fence with this hat. The colors are lovely and very flattering and I love the flowers hugging her face, very soft and eye catching. I think if she gave it a tilt down on the left and a bit forward so the flowers really framed the eye it would be more pleasing to me (and you would be able to see more of the lovely detail work of the flowers on top). As it is sitting now it feels a bit too flying disk like for me, almost like a bumper.

Royal Hats: I have always found this hat a little weird. It seems flat as a pancake, which makes the flower detail (which by itself, is really pretty) look like a garden plonked on her head. Marie-Christine wears some dramatic and flamboyant hats but this one falls flat (literally) for me.

I hope you all enjoyed our conversation about the hats worn fir the first day of Ascot! We are so curious to hear which ones were your favourites!

Photos from Getty as indicated

8 thoughts on “Ascot Day 1: The Extended British Royal Family

  1. Actually, I like the combination of the Duchess of Gloucester’s blue with the raspberry pink of the hat, and I think it’s tied together in a wonderfully subtle way by her brooch which includes both! (I agree, it’s not the most earth-shaking hat…)

  2. Really? Loving Lady Serena’s hat? That flower sticking straight up on a stem a la Olive Oil? Take that off, and it’s a lovely hat. I don’t know why the designer took it from that to the ridiculous. I think I would have liked the floral motif better on a dress, paired with a plain coat.

    Princess Michael’s hat is so pretty, I don’t understand why she would take away from that with the odd placement.

  3. Yes, beautiful, lady Serena’s outfit, if I imagine I would just have heard a description I would not have expected it to be so very very elegant. Definitely has to do with the lady’s class as well. I think Brigitte’s hat suits her personality perfectly, two opposites: her and lady Michael of Kent. I don’t like the last lady’s hat: it is as if on the return home she has to buy some apples and oranges and put them there.

    Thank you again for this wonderful blog!

  4. Love Serena’s ensemble, although maybe coloured blossoms might have been lovely too. Do away with the blossom that sticks up like an aerial and the hat would be a tiny bit lovelier. (The coat couldn’t be any lovelier!)
    The DoG’s hat seems to be picking up the colour of one of the stones in her brooch so, as Jane says, maybe the colour of her shoes pull it all together.
    M-C, ha, kinda weird. Love the flowers under the rbim, hat the brim.

  5. Serena: the hat needs more colour in the flowers or the coat needs less colour in the flowers. Wonderful overall idea though.
    DofG ..seems to be a sweet person. The colour combo does not go together but maybe the shoes and purse melds the outfit and they cannot be seen. The hat is calm compared to what the women usually wear at this event and I think that is fine.
    The last hat is nice but bad angle so it is a pass. Like the colour though.

  6. I’m a bit on the fence about Serena. The coat is pretty amazing, but the hat’s a bit odd, some of those flowers stick out at weird angles. Not sure I like the combo. I do however like Birgitte’s combo – I like an unlikely colour match. And M-C, that hat could work if she angled it. The placement is just strange.

    All in all, a lot of serious hattery today! Bring on the next four!

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