Princess Michael of Kent is celebrating her 70th birthday today. In honour of this milestone event, we are going to look back at her royal life through her hats.
When Baroness Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz married Prince Michael of Kent on June 30, 1978 and became a member of the British Royal Family, her debut coincided with the start of 1980s fashion. While perhaps an unfortunate decade to start one’s royal life, Princess Michael’s first hats were somewhat sedate in comparison with the fashion of the times.
In her 40s, Princess Michael’s millinery confidence surged during the 1990s as the shapes and styles of her hats grew bolder, larger, and more dramatic. These hats show clear signs of the millinery panache we now associate with her.
The turn of the millenium marked a turning point in Princess Michael’s hats. She had established relationships with both John Boyd and Philip Treacy, two milliners known for pushing creative boundaries in their hat designs. Working with these designers, her hat style firmly established as one of strong shapes, large scale, and strong, dramatic embellishments. Paired with Princess Michael’s statuesque height and unfussy clothing, this dramatic millinery style shone.
We can’t look at Princess Michael’s hat style, however, without sharing her love for headscarf DIY turbans.
In recent years, the dramatic effect of Princess Michael’s hats has not decreased. While the colours are less vibrant, the shapes continue to be very strong, the scale (even on small hats) is large, and the trims are simple but bold. The hats are larger than life and I suspect that’s a big reason why Princess Michael is so popular among those of us who are fans of royal hats.
If there was one of Princess Michael’s hats I would love to see her bring back into circulation, it is the raspberry pink wool Philip Treacy design with flat brim, trimmed with two feathers and a knotted band around the crown (just above the turbans). What hat would you like to see repeated this year? And what are your thoughts on Princess Michael’s evolving personal hat style? Which hats would you like to steal from her millinery closet for your own?!
1980s Photos from Tim Graham, Tim Graham, Bob Thomas/Popperfoto, and Tim Graham
1990s Photos from Tim Graham, Tim Graham, Tim Graham, Tim Graham, Mark Cuthbert, Tim Graham
2000s Photos from Tim Graham, Tim Graham, James Whatling/Mark Cuthbert, Mark Cuthbert,Tim Graham, Max Mumby/Indigo, Eamon McCormack, Dave M. Benett, AFP, Photoshot, Carl de Souza, Antony Jones, Tim Graham
Turban Photos from Terry O’Neill, Carlos Alvarez/Stringer, Antony Jones, Wire Image
Recent Photos from Pascal Le Segretain, AFP, Dave M. Bennett, WireImage, Mark Cuthbert, Max Mumby/Indigo, Max Mumby/Indigo, Max Mumby/Indigo, Max Mumby/Indigo and Kirstin Sinclair. All photos are from Getty