British Royals Attend Braemar Gathering

Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales attended the Braemar Games today in Scotland. For this traditional Scottish sporting  event, The Queen repeated her cream and gold split crown hat with black and gold feather trim. Texturally speaking, this hat is so pretty and I really like how the black and gold feathers coordinate with the ruffled trim on her coat. It is the perfect outfit for a heather bouquet (presented to Her Majesty every year at this event) and I must admit, I wonder if that ever factors into the royal pondering of “What shall I wear today…?”

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

Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: May 6, 2014March 12, 2014; March 20, 2013October 31, 2012July 19, 2012

Photos from Getty as indicated

28 thoughts on “British Royals Attend Braemar Gathering

  1. I agree that the Stewart Parvin outfits are sometimes better tailored than those of others including Angela Kelly. However,when it comes to fine tailoring Queen (now Princess ) Beatrix’s tailor/dressmaker has the running in my opinion although her outfits are often a little eccentric for my taste. Farah Pahlavi on the other hand wears genuine haute couture items which are wonderfully elegant (and I guess much more expensive) but perhaps too elegant for this queen whose fashion sense was shaped during a period of wartime austerity.

    I understand that the Queen employs Angela Kelly for reasons of economy and uses her workshop to make some of her hats and outfits presumably at a lesser price than for those made by Parvin and Rachel Trevor Morgan. Good on her I say. I sometimes notice a small difference in quality and finish but not always and not enough to worry me.Year in and year out the Queen is simply one of the best presented and most appropriately dressed octagenarians around. Beautiful fabrics, bold and adventurous colours, styles suitable for an elderly person, invariably appropriate, showing considerable flair with rarely a hair out of place and always displaying those gorgeous jewels. I marvel at the discipline, organisation and commitment this takes which is more than most of us could manage for a day. As a constitutional monarchist I am more than satisfied , I am invariably delighted with her appearance as my head of state.

    • In addition to having impeccable taste, Mme. Pahlavi has more money than most reigning monarchs and is not required to account for her income or to justify her expenditures.

    • I have often wondered about the financial argument you raise- it is really cheaper to employ an entire dressmaking department than it is to have 4-6 new outfits and hats made each season? That being said, I suspect the dressmaking department does much more than create a few new hats and coats every year. The benefit of having such a department is there is overall leadership for the Queen’s wardrobe- something someone would still have to do, even if all hats and clothes were made by outside designers. Rachel Trevor Morgan might create the hats but someone still has to organize them.

      • Indeed, surely that is why Angela Kelly’s official title is- Personal Assistant, Advisor and Curator to Her Majesty the Queen (Jewellery, Insignias and Wardrobe). A lot more goes on behind the scenes, than we will ever know, I’d imagine. In addition Ms Kelly has been employed by the Queen for a very long time so it would appear that HM is happy with her service. I’m with Kew Gardens hatter in her respect and admiration for Her Majesty and thoroughly look forward to and enjoy whatever it is she wears. I agree that the Parvin outfits are beautifully tailored and look clean and crisp and have some individuality to them, no mean feat, as Melly points out.

      • I don’t know the answer on costs but as other posters make clear AK seems to have a broad role. My own view is that it includes acting as a liaison with the Royal School of Needlework in planning and commissioning work for the Queen such as (my guess) the 2000 handmade shamrocks on her evening dress for her visit to the Republic of Ireland and the embroidery on her long dress for the Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012.

        I remember reading that it was AK who first approached Stewart Parvin and did a quality assurance assessment on his work before he made anything for the Queen which some may find ironic. (See the Daily Mail 27 May 2012 “Stewart Parvin: ‘The Queen looks in the mirror and likes what she sees’” By Liz Jones.) He indicates that for the Diamond Jubilee year he submitted 40-50 sketches to the Queen with fabric swatches which were returned with the Queen’s comments noted on the sketch. He then made eight outfits (more than the 4-6 you suggest) for HM for that year and speaks very respectfully about her fashion consciousness and willingness to experiment with colour. He gives the impression that the Queen is very much in control of what she wears no matter who makes it and I have heard similar comments from AK. So much about the work of AK seems to be hidden behind his words:

        “The whole point is that everything is there, perfect and waiting. It’s all been fitted and all she (the Queen) has to do is choose.”

        And that applies whether the Queen is in Buckingham Palace, Balmoral, Windsor or indeed Timbucktoo. Phew!

    • Amen to that Kew Gardens Hatter! I agree with you. There Is never a misstep sartorially when Her Majesty presents herself to her public and the world at large. One of the reasons she is a icon, in my eyes.

  2. Thank you for this beautiful post. I am a huge fan of her majesty for many reasons one of which is her dress sense as it pertains to her role. To my mind, in that department she is a champion, bar none. If she were an actress playing a role in a movie, the department that handles clothing could not outfitted her more perfectly, that even the throw covering her legs coordinates perfectly. The hat has a interesting feature, for lack of a better description, that part of it that rises up as it were from the top of the hat–unique to say the least. In closing, I am sure we will see this hat reworked to go perfectly with another of her outfits–nothing goes to waste.

  3. I do like this outfit on the Queen, and I particularly like this hat, as it suits the Queen’s face shape, and the black and gold feathers add a touch of interest without there being too much trim, which is often an issue with her hats. The whole look works partly because those boring standard black accessories coordinate with this outfit.

  4. I like to see a touch of black in an outfit….and more than the Queen’s customary bag and shoes. This works nicely…and that last photo of HM is great!

  5. I continue to like this outfit. Yes, the hat style is a favorite of the Queen’s, but it’s one of many favorites. (It’s one of only 5 split crowns, incidentally, and the split crowns aren’t even Angela Kelly’s most prolific design — although the Queen could use a new design or two this fall, I hope!) A standard coat pattern has been dressed up this time with trim that means that the Queen’s standard black accessories actually make sense with this outfit. The black and gold feathers on the hat continue the theme. An excellent choice for the Braemer Games, since the outfit’s already had its regular run of outings in London.

  6. A favourite this one. And the Queen clearly agrees. Re Jane’s point about the Queen essentially always going for the same style – I’m sure it’s no accident! She understands the power of her image, she knows she is iconic, and that her clothes are a huge part of this. So she goes for outfits that are unmistakeably ‘The Queen’! At least she mixes it up more than her mother did – I think if you look closely, she tries lots of different goings, not bad going for an 88 year old!

  7. It seems ok but it is still the same coat style and the same hat style…I know it has been worn before..tiring…boring…I wish her designers would come up with new and better designs. The coats look so homemade and yet we know what they likely really cost.
    I can just see them in the sewing room stacking layers and layers of different fabric and cutting out the same pattern…sewing in batches and gluing on the trim..factory production.
    I wish her better.

    • I don’t want to open an unfair can of worms but here goes- do you feel this way about all of the Queen’s clothes, or are you referring to the Kelly designs?

      I ask because I find Stewart Parvin’s designs to be better tailored. I believe the following coats and dresses were designed by Stewart Parvin- how do these compare, in your opinion?
      Lilac coat
      Periwinkle blue coat and flowered dress
      Lime green coat
      Pale blue bouclé coat
      Jade green coat and jade & royal blue floral dress
      Turquoise coat with black velvet trim
      Similar dark purple coat with black trim
      Pink bouclé coat
      Mint green coat

      • I know this wasn’t directed to me, but… I tend to agree that the Parvin pieces are better tailored. They also seem to suit the Queen a bit better, but that’s just my take. Parvin pushes the comfort zone a tad more, which isn’t easy, I suspect, when you’re tasked with dressing the world’s most famous octogenarian primarily in coats.

      • Stewart Parvin’s designs are much better tailored than the Angela Kelly ones. The Queen is short like me, and it’s hard to create a long, lean line, which you need to get a coat to look good, when you are short. Parvin also seems to push the Queen a little bit more out of her comfort zone, eg the lilac and dark purple coats you mention above, as the Queen clearly doesn’t like purple, and rarely wears any of her amethyst jewels, despite the fact that she looks lovely in purple. The lime green also looks great on her, but she tends to shy away from that color also.

        • Hmmm… do we really know if the Queen likes purple or not? She has numerous purple outfits currently in her wardrobe.

          Lime green is a difficult colour for anyone to wear. I don’t think it’s fair to assume that because the Queen does not wear it often, she doesn’t like it. I like lime green but NEVER wear it!

      • You have picked out some of the Queen’s most beautiful outfits.
        Except for the turquoise (clicking on which I get the purple and black again, but I know the turquoise), these dresses tend to be of different fabric from the coat, and the hats are different material yet. With AK’s designs, all three elements (dress, coat, hat) often are one fabric. While this does guarantee that everything matches in photographs (the Parvin purple coat/dress above with black buttons is a perfect example of how a supposedly matching hat, different material, photographs a different shade), using one fabric for everything can make the dresses bulky or the coats tight or the hats thick and ungraceful. My suspicion is that AK compensates for this by over-decorating the hat or coat, and this frequently gives the impression of (or adds to) poor tailoring.
        Actually, I think purple of one of QE2’s favorite colors, like turquoise, bright pink, light pink and mid- to bright blue. Throughout her entire reign, she’s always worn numerous dark and light purples, all seasons. This is not true of red, orange or mid- to dark green, for instance, which are frequently worn in some decades, less so in others.

      • Snug Harbour said “You have picked out some of the Queen’s most beautiful outfits.”

        YES. This just goes to prove that Angela Kelly should STOP making clothes and hats for the Queen and leave it to the professionals.

      • If you look at these coats you listed above, they all fit Queen Elizabeth perfectly. The shoulders are fit very well and that makes the coats hang nicely. On many of the Queen’s other coats, the shoulders do not fit as well and the bust seams don’t always line up. A lot of those coats are also cut fuller through the body and that makes the coat look like it is swallowing up the Queen. When the coat fits better, the whole outfit looks better (including the hat).

      • In the list above, ar all of the hats designed by Rachel Trevor Morgan? She does such a good job of matching the straw and other materials to the color of the coat. Angela Kelly’s coat-hat combinations in the same fabric obviously are a perfect match but they look so flat and one dimensional. The cream and gold hat today is an exception.

      • Thanks so much for this collection, it’s so interesting. One of your regular commenters has written before about the tailoring aspects of clothing an older woman to distract and enhance, rather than simply encasing the changing physical shape. This was particularly enlightening to a non-sewer. The Parvin coats are all well tailored and have a lovely crisp finish. I don’t mind the black and white coat worn to Braemar but, like several others, I am tired of the hat fabric matching the coat fabric.

      • It’s oft commented that Stewart Parvin’s tailoring is better, and I absolutely agree. He and Rachel Trevor Morgan make some of the Queen’s most elegant outfits. But… The Queen obviously likes her numbers by Angela Kelly, and I agree with what you’ve said before, some of them are fantastic. It’s when she gets the glue gun out that I wince, and yes, some of he lighter summer outfits suffer in the fit department. But given the sheer volume of clothes the Queen needs, IMHO it’s right much much more than wrong. And we have to remember, she sees this as her uniform, so she’s not going to stray too far from the formula.

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