Queen And Duke of Edinburgh Reopen Canada House

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at Canada House this morning to officially open high commission after extensive renovation and refurbishment. For this reopening, 90 years after her grandparents King George V and Queen Mary opened Canada House for the first time, Queen Elizabeth repeated her teal straw hat with band of lace wrapped around the base of the crown.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

The first time we saw this hat, at last year’s christening of the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier, I declared the hat a success but overall ensemble ruined by an ill fitting and unattractive coat. My opinion of the coat has not changed (further proven by the bunched neckline below) but my thoughts on the hat are less complimentary. The colour is beautiful on Her Majesty but the flat shape and lace trim is… it’s SO flat and one note.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Today’s photos did provide one insight-  the lace trim looks black on nearly every photo we have seen of this hat so far but I think it is actually navy blue, as shown below. While this colour combination works marginally better, it still does not make this hat and accompanying outfit a success.

Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: July 4, 2014

Since today’s royal engagement was all about seeing renovations, let’s brainstorm our own renovation, dearest readers. What renovation does this hat and accompanying ensemble need to work for our much loved Queen? What changes would rescue this ensemble?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

33 thoughts on “Queen And Duke of Edinburgh Reopen Canada House

  1. The Queen is all at 6s and 7s. A straw hat in winter. A cowgirl shaped hat for a formal visit. Black lace during the day. Tweed panels on the coat with a pattern that doesn’t line up where the panels meet. A brooch that gets lost in the pattern of the coat. This is one of the Queen’s worst hats and coats.

  2. I think this hat looks too odd. It is winter and the hat is straw with lace on it. It is too much like a cowboy hat in the shape, like hats in Spaghetti Westerns. The coat is tweed but it also has black lace on it. Black lace is usually intended for evening wear, lingerie and slumberwear. The whole outfit looks out of harmony. The teal is good for this Queen, but the rest of the ideas are not the best ones. That paisley brooch is quite Indian so it does not work with this coat and hat at all. I am very confused by all these pieces that are expected to make a whole outfit that is in harmony.

    • I don’t like this hat or the outfit or even the Palm Leaf Brooch, so I am in full agreement with you Tatsuya.

  3. Her Majesty really suits that clear acqua palette but unfortunately neither the cost nor the hat are really worthy of her. She suits more tailored and structured coats with a proper well fitted collar and lapel. Some by Stewart Parvin come to mind. I find these unstructured coats almost never hang properly and bunch badly at the neckline. There is another dusty pink one that she wears which has similar issues. The fussy lace detailing does not help either.

    The hat is much too flat and one dimensional. I agree with those who would like to see a curve or a flower to break it up. I had the same argument with the yellow hat worn for the Cambridge wedding.

    Like other Canadians, I would have loved to see her Majesty in one of her red coats for this particular engagement. She suits red well and we love our red!

  4. Love the comment about red to Canada House -odd that the Queen didn’t of this, since she seems to be very aware of such things. Surprisingly, I don’t mind the coat at all, but…first of all, ditch all of the lace, then add a upwave form to the hat brim, perhaps a more masculine shape though, to offset the tweed. And one of her modern brooches instead of this fussy Edwardian one -perhaps her recently acquired horseshoe one? As far as the shoes and purse, well, speaking from 42 below air temp, I can safely say not even when that place freezes over will those change.

  5. There is just something about this hat shape that I don’t like. I think “flat” is a very good description-perhaps an asymmetrical crown and/or upturned brim would keep it from looking so one-dimensional. I do love this color combo.

  6. It is surprising how often Her Majesty’s coats do not fit well at the shoulder – so often her neckline seems pulled to one side. I think the dressmaker does not fit it to her body, which probably has one shoulder wider than the other (most of us have some such flaw!!) but just makes it on a standard dummy. As for the hat – well I don’t like such hard sharp shapes on her. All in all, not a great success but a lovely lady under it all!

    • If that’s the case, her dressmaker needs a good talking to! I’ve only ever had one thing made bespoke, my wedding dress, and my dressmaker was a) unsurprised that I had one shoulder higher than the other (most people do), and b) able to tailor the bodice of my dress so that it sat perfectly without the neckline being lopsided. It was a revelation, having had wonky necklines for years. And I’m only a humble commoner, using a humble local dressmaker, so it jolly well ought to be possible for the Queen!

      I agree about the hat – it needs a curve somewhere.

  7. Love the colour in dreary weather. I like the hat as well. The rough texture of the coat and the questionable fit make the coat the piece I would remove. The lace on the coat is extremely fussy

  8. Of all the Queen’s current outfits, this is one of my two least favorites. Just removing or shortening the hat’s lace trim might help (the hat) a little, but as several have pointed out, it’s the coat that ruins this outfit. Not only is it ill-fitting (just as it was on its initial wearing), but it’s poorly constructed. While it may not have been apparent to the person cutting the fabric (who was close to the fabric and may not have surveyed the fabric from a distance), there is a pattern in this material and that pattern was never matched properly. The front and back have sort of a barber-shop pole pattern. The fronts match pretty well when both halves are viewed together; the back, with a seam, is slightly off. The side panels must have been cut at a different angle or upside down, however, and they look absolutely terrible with the front and back, making the coat appear like an oil slick or an optical illusion Pictures 2, 3, 4 and 5 above show this. If they didn’t have enough fabric to match this properly, they should have abandoned the project or made a short jacket — with no lace trim. (Perhaps someone thought that adding the ridiculous lace trim to the patterned fabric would distract one’s eye from the poor matching.)
    If the dress is plain turquoise, I suppose the dress alone might look all right worn just with the hat as is; then the hat’s over-exuberance of trim might add some interest to a plain dress. Maybe. But ditching the coat is the only real solution.

  9. Love the color. (I wanted to start with something positive!) I don’t like the matchy-matchy business with the lace trim. The coat isn’t improved by the lace. If the lace on the hat were only an inch or so high it might be a tiny bit better. And, I wonder if the hat might be a bit better worn at an angle rather than flat. Or maybe if it were curved upward on one side…

    And, maybe next time wear red to Canada House!

    • Queen of Canada Rule # 1 Don’t wear red where there will be Mounties! Either one disappears, or one clashes. White with touches of red is acceptable.

      • The Queen tries to pick a color that makes her stand out (like she wore bright blue when she went to see the field of poppies at the Tower of London). I’m not surprised she didn’t wear red but I wish she would have worn her maple leaf brooch!

      • Jan has it right, HM needs to wear a colour that will stand out against a sea of maple leaf red. However the Maple Leaf brooch would have been a nice nod to Canada. And one can always tell the Angela Kelly fit – not! Stuart Parvin does a much better job of tailoring.

  10. What I like about the black/navy lace is that it ties in with her black shoes and purse. Half the time, those black shoes and purse stand out like a sore thumb.

    Here’s my reno plan for this outfit:

    1. Ditch the coat and start from scratch. Maybe use the same fabric put on a blue collar and cuffs. AND FIT THE SHOULDERS PROPERLY.
    2. Take off the black/navy lace on the hat. Put on some large feathers that swirl around the brim and maybe even fly off the side a bit.
    3. Get blue shoes!

  11. I am shocked, because Angela Kelly’s designs are usually much nicer than this and honestly, I don’t think there is a way to save this. The lace trim is kind of over the top on the hat and the coat both, so that needs to go for starters, but the whole thing needs a serious redesign. I think she might have been going for a Chanel like look, but it didn’t succeed. I have great affection and respect for HM, but this outfit has to go! Maybe a lighter fabric and no trim for starters. I also think the hat is all wrong because it draws the eye down. HM is petite so the design should draw the eye up to her pretty face, not down to the coat. A different hat would definitely have helped. Has she ever worn a bowler or something jaunty like that? Would that help?

  12. Odd choice IMO for Feb – it looks more like a spring hat. I do agree with you that it’s not a flattering look on HM

    • I thought the exact same thing about the straw! The temperature where I live is -15 Far. this morning! Actually, I like the shape of this hat occasionally, since it’s a pleasant change from the usual. . . just fix the trim!

    • I agree beachgal. In winter, a straw hat with a band of lace wrapped around the base of the crown as well as lace trim on a coat looks so out of place.

  13. As a proud Canadian I was disappointed at Her Majesty’s choice of attire. This really is a mismash of fabrics and trim. One of the Queen’s least successful outfits. I would just burn it all

      • I don’t think GG’s comment was uncivil. It was expressing extreme dislike of an outfit, not of the wearer.

        • Saying that the Queen should burn her hat and coat is teetering on the edge of what is a respectful comment. The tone in comments here in recent weeks has become quite caustic, something I do not want to see continue.

      • “Inflammatory comments”. HA!!!

        I love the color of the hat and dress on QE and the fabric of the coat is nice enough. Give the coat to Stewart Parvin to work his magic (fit it, add collar and cuffs), put something on the hat to give it some asymmetrical movement and QE is good to go.

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