Joined by my lovely guests, British Milliner Katie Vale and American milliner Jill Courtemanche, let’s look at the royal hats yesterday at Day 2 of Royal Ascot
Queen Elizabeth in Rachel Trevor Morgan
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KV: I love this hat! The colour matches the jacket perfectly and the pretty, delicate flowers pick out all of the colours in the dress so well. The shape is a standard for the Queen and she is comfortable in it but the flowers give a modern feel to it. I love how they go all the way around the crown too! My favourite hat that I’ve seen her in for a long time.
JC: I really liked the queen’s hat today. The shape and the proportion of the hat were very flattering and the trim was a lovely match with her coat and dress. I was particularly taken with the clean lines of the hat, how it created a modern look allowing her to do a bit more with the details in her outfit – the gathered neckline of the dress, floral broach and the pearls.
RH: As Katie mentioned, this is a familiar hat shape for the Queen and works so well for her. I think the simple shape also does well to hold more fussy decoration. The flowers on this hat would be too cutesey for anyone else (especially circled all the way around the brim) but on the Queen, it’s charming and very, very pretty.
Duchess of Cornwall in Philip Treacy
KV: It’s funny because we often speak about Camilla being “over hatted” in these large creations; whilst I do really like this hat I think the brim could easily be bigger! The brim and decoration are fairly big, and I do love the shape of the brim but it just seems a tad unbalanced. But I like the design & decoration!
RH: I have always loved this hat and don’t find it off balance at all. We see so many hats trimmed with flowers, feathers and bows, it’s such a fresh change to see the pleated origami-esque pinwheel trimming this hat. I think this focal point is balanced by the slightly raised brim on the other side of this hat. What’s most interesting to me is that this is an all cream ensemble- coat, dress and hat- but it’s not boring at all.
JC: This looks to be the same shape as the hat she wore on day one just with a more tailored trim. It’s a great and flattering shape on her and I love the ivory and the combination of the two types of straw. If I had to choose between the two, I think I liked the blue a bit more.
JC: I love a good pillbox and I am so happy that the shape is making a comeback on the millinery scene. I think this is a great shape on Princess Anne but I wish she had chosen to have it made in a straw (or silk) that complimented her suit rather than in the same fabric. I think the fabric makes it a bit matronly but I don’t dislike the overall look.
KV: I also love a large pill box shape (they remind me of Jackie O) but I don’t think this hat is enough for Ascot. The more I look at this design the more I like it actually; but it is too bland for a princess at ascot!
RH: I seldom like hats made in the same fabric as a coordinating dress or coat (what can I say, I’m a sucker for more textural contrast). This one however, is interesting as the pattern has been run diagonally on the hat and that provides some contrast. It has a rather global feel which is fun for a royal hat. That aside, I have to agree with Katie that while this hat is great for an average royal engagement, it’s lacks the visual punch we all expect to see at Ascot.
Countess of Wessex in Jane Taylor
JC: This is really an overall lovely look! The hat is incredibly flattering on her and I really like the saucer/picture hat shape. I also really like the sheer inset, it keeps the hat light and adds interest without piling on the trim. Her whole outfit has a nod to the 1950’s and I think she looks great.
KV: High 5! Absolutely beautiful! The brim shape with the pointed dip is gorgeous. I love the crin gap in it too, giving a lovely detail to the plain straw. I think the delicate flower just finishes it off so well too. By far my favourite hat today! Well done Sophie, you’ve picked a winner!
RH: Such a beautiful hat. The shape is interesting and I love the sheer crin stripe in the brim. I often find these all white outfits rather boring but this hat is the showstopper in this elegant ensemble. Also my favourite hat of the day.
Duchess of Gloucester
JC: Adorable, I love this entire ensemble. The perky beret is the perfect shape to wear with this high frill collar, it lifts her out of the suit and gives her nice height. The simplicity of the hat is a little sedate for Ascot but paired with the lively suit it works. She looks fantastic.
KV: I think I’ve seen her in this before. A plain beret shape is quite fashionable at present, but I can’t help feeling that it is a winter hat! It’s also dark in colour too, so again tells us it should belong in winter. It’s a nice enough hat, but with the lack of decoration it gives very little oomph! I just don’t think it’s enough to say it’s an ascot hat!
RH: She certainly has worn it before (in several colours!) Repetition aside, I think it’s adorable with her polka dot coat.
Princess Michael of Kent in John Boyd
KV: I really like this hat, the shape is gorgeous and there is so much silver grey around at the moment. The ostrich feather plume gives a lovely finish. My only negative thoughts about this is that it seems more of a winter hat.
JC: This feels a little costumey to me but I like it. Princess Michael looks very nice in the toque shape and the color is soft and simple plus it matches her suit perfectly. The puff of ostrich feathers for the trim adds just enough fun to make this right for Ascot, I give it a thumbs up.
RH: We first saw this hat last weekend for Trooping the Colour. It is rather costumey but so are most of Princess Michael’s hats and that’s why we love her. I think the addition of the ostrich plume to a classic hat is quite creative and fun. In a bright colour it would probably look ridiculous but in this cool silver, it’s lovely and oh-so fun.
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Princess of Jordan, Sheikha of Dubai in suspected Philip Treacy
RH: It’s an interesting shape but I’m not crazy about the mint green toothpastey colour on Princess Haya, nor how far back it is on her head. These points are moot, however, because this hat is competing with the Van Gough sunflowers. I find the dress confusing and this confusion takes away from the hat.
JC: The hat is the best part of this outfit…..that dress is ghastly! Normally I do not like hats worn this far back on the head but this frames Princess Haya’s face beautifully and with her hair back and her lovely earrings, I think it works. The hat itself is fantastic, I really like the shallow crown and the crin detail. (RH: I totally missed that pretty crin detail because with this dress, I seriously don’t see the hat!)
KV: The shape of this hat is lovely. The brim is placed very well and gives a fabulous as symmetrical shape whilst keeping her full face uncovered. The colour is light and summery. I’m not 100% sure about the bow detail though and I can’t figure out why!
Lady Brabourne in Dillon Wallwork
RH: A number of you have contacted me, requesting we include Lady Brabourne’s marvelous tomato red straw hat in our Ascot coverage. It is a lovely hat with the most elegant shape. I particularly love the modern, asymmetrical hat with her traditional 1960’s-esque cropped jacket. So chic!
All in all, another wonderfully entertaining day of royal Ascot hats, don’t you think? Which hats were your favourites yesterday?
Photos from Getty as indicated and Rex via The Daily Mail
Duchess of Cornwall my pick of the day, followed by Sophie Wessex.
Just want to point out the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were present on Day 2. The Duchess wore one of her favourite hats: the black straw beret.
Thanks, LauraM. I’ll make sure to add her in. I just added in Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Haya.
Thanks so much. HQ.
I think the Duchess of Cornwall gets more and more beautiful as time goes on. And this hat is absolutely divine on her. This hat on this Royal is my Ascot winner by lots more than a stretch.
Ice blue of late, now cream/vanilla!! Unlike Jane however, I’m okay with that. I think both The Duchess of Cornwall and The Countess of Wessex look divine. Sophie’s dress in particular is gorgeous, topped with a beautifully classic hat. Very elegant. I hadn’t ever really given much thought to the use of a sheer inset but it gives a lovely lightness to the hat and that kick up of the brim is special too. My favourite by far.
P.S. Re Her Majesty, I’m not big on this outfit I’m afraid. Don’t like the shiny fabric, don’t like the bow on the coat, not real keen on the flowers on the hat, but do like the neckline on the dress and the brooch. Sorry Ma’am.
Suddenly realised what the Queen’s hat reminds me of – a wedding cake! 🙂
I think her hat is minty green like her dress and the bow is ivory.
How should I put this? I like many of Angela Kelly’s total outfits, but I too thought this green and over-floraled affair was hers rather than RTM’s. The shape is fine and the front flowers are fine, but those going around the whole hat are precisely what people criticize AK for: have glue gun, will keep decorating. I don’t like the Queen’s coat either: with a row of small button loops, that tie around the waist gives her a frumpy housecoat look. Obviously someone didn’t count on HM wearing such a heavy pin on the lapel. The Queen is supposed to dislike fabric that wrinkles; I’d think she’d go crazy with this pulled, asymmetrical look. The neckline of the dress I like, however.
More power to the Princess Royal for finding all parts of such an old outfit and for being able to wear it again.
Even though Princess Haya’s hat is huge and dramatic, it’s not the hat that catches one’s attention: it’s the placement of that one sunflower. Is this picture shown in Jordan and in Dubai?
Totally agree on all points, Snug Harbor. Am giggling about the placement of the sunflower. Well said. I must say, however, that Camilla is my new style icon. Who knew???
“have glue gue will keep decorating–that was my thought exactly! You expressed that very well. I don’t often care for Angela Kelly outfits, and I was sure this was one of hers. dollar store plastic flowers and glue gun.
Camilla looked wonderful as usual. Her hat was very flattering. I disliked the Queen’s hat. The artificial flowers looked cheap. I also liked Sophie’s 1950s influenced outfit. Lovely hat.
I’m hot and cold over the Queen’s hat – from a distance, the flowers all round are lovely and quite spring-y/summer-y and add a nice dash of colour … but up close they look like they’ve come off a lei from the $2 Shop and been hot glued on in a rather amateur way. There appears to be no luxe to them (they may be silk but they look acrylic, especially the back view).
Really like the hats on Cornwall and Wessex but dislike the rest of their outfits. I feel like we’ve seen so many pale colours recently at massed Royal family events that I’m a bit over it.
Love Haya’s dress and style and am assuming that the glorious hat is in a pale green to complement the dress. Yes, the placement may be a bit off but this way the world gets to see her beautiful face.
I do not understand why so many are wearing white and or vanilla. Ascot is known for over the top designs and colour. Sophia looks completely washed out. The hat I think is beautiful but it is nearly lost in the ocean of off white. Camilla is the winner as she can wear vanilla. Excellent outfit….but not for Ascot. The Queen needs a new designer. Anne deserves credit for being cost conscious for sure. The shoulders are out of date. The Sheika fits into the ascot tradition but still the hat follows the vanilla theme. Why are they not wearing more colour?
Love Sophie’s hat! That green is a good color on HM – just not a fav silhouette for a hat of mine on her however.
her majesty looks so joyful and highly amused that i will give her a pass on the eliza-doolittle-touch of her hat. well, miss doolittle as granny, that is. not a favourite of mine.
One can only admire Princess Anne for still being able to wear the same clothes as 30 years ago (let alone her thrift), but I have to say that this one (including the hat) is one I’d have left in the wardrobe. Camilla’s is splendid, and I too like the fact that the trim is not the run-of-the-mill flowers, feathers or even quills. Sophie’s is also splendid, and I feel she can pull off wearing the statement hat because the rest of the outfit is very simple. The Queen’s – I do think it’s an attractively summery hat and outfit, just not on her, the colour doesn’t do anything for her (which is unusual, as I think she suits most colours).
My favourite hat of the day was Lady Brabourne’s hat. I really like it’s color and shape.
I love this one too. Also love the Countess of Wessex’s, the Duchess of Cornwall’s, the Sheika of Dubai’s …..OK, I just LOVE picture hats, and these are especially suitable for Ascot.
mine too. great and Color!
Great catch! It’s an absolutely fantastic hat.
The Princess Royal wore the exact same outfit to Ascot in 1988. I rather like it, though, and recycling from the ’80s (or even ’60s) is Her Royal Highness’ signature fashion statement, so I’ll give it a pass, haha.
So I think I like the Queen’s outfit. I did think it had all the hallmarks of Angela Kelly (bit cutesy, homemade look to the hat, lot of trim) so I was v surprised that it’s RTM. My first reaction was to dislike it, but seeing the whole look with the lovely coat, I’ve got on board. Not my favourite though.
I love Camilla’s hat – and as you said, origami is a fun trim. And as for Anne’s repeat from 1988 (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/529384131170236543/ yes, really, this is a 1992 showing!) well, if she can still get into in, why the hell not!
Do like the shape of the queen’s hat but I don’t think the color suits her nor do I like the contrasting colors of the trimmings.
Love, love, love Camilla’s hat (and the rest), my favourite of the day.
Don’t agree with you all on the countess of Wessexes hat: too much going on and I don’t like this combination of flower and the sculpture of the hat.
Thnx for the link, very nice pictures.
Sorry, this was not meant for me but for James B. 😦
Just an interesting note for you that Princess Anne’s pillbox & whole ensemble are as old as myself, dated back from 1988 🙂 She had dig deeply into her wardrobe isn’t she?