Seeing Quadruple: The Duchess of Cornwall

Royal HatsThe Duchess of Cornwall and her milliner, Philip Treacy, have developed her millinery wardrobe around two main styles of hats: large, embellished picture hats and smaller embellished berets. Don’t let the word ‘smaller’ deceive you – these are still substantial hats that make a significant style statement. Interestingly, four of these beret hats share the same trimming of sweeping, looped ribbons and large, silk cabbage roses:

  Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
At a Service of Thanksgiving in November 2007 and a November 2009 visit to Canada

Embed from Getty Images  Embed from Getty Images
Receiving the Freedom of Thame Award, May 2, 2012; at a Service of Thanksgiving in March 2014

While the character of each hat above is distinguished by a different colour and slightly different takes on the embellishment, their design is pretty much the same (along with a fifth variation without the ribbons). We have seen over the past decade that Camilla takes a no-nonsense approach to her hats and wardrobe, repeating shapes and styles that work for her. I suppose that is the reason between this group of quadruplets- they work and she obviously likes them- but doesn’t it seem a little curious to have four hats that are so similar?

Photos from Getty as indicated

11 thoughts on “Seeing Quadruple: The Duchess of Cornwall

  1. I’ll never understand why the Duchess of Cornwall would want four similar hats. These hats are too zany for me. The only one I would consider wearing would be the last hat. I think she should stick to her large picture hats. Unless you were opening some sort of Cartoon Convention featuring the Jetsons, I don’t see why this series would be of interest.

  2. I think Camilla is one of the best hat-wearing royals today. While she definitely has a lot of repeats, she rarely misses the mark in my opinion. As a male hat-wearer, I have a much more limited selection of shapes compared to women, but even then there is variety. I have found what works for me and what doesn’t, and as such have bought many hats in the same style/shape; I imagine Camilla has done the same.

  3. I too think the Duchess of Cornwall looks better in large picture hats than in this somewhat odd design à la Jetsons. Nonetheless, if she likes a particular style, she might as well stick with it when one considers the number of hats that the Duchess has needed and will continue to need over the years. As QE2 knows, at this level of public interest one can’t create entirely new outfits from scratch often enough to remain creative indefinitely. Hat #4 is my favorite. Hat #3 looks a little like a skull cap with an extension, and the embellishment on hat #2 resembles a messily wound ball of yarn. All hats would stand out in a crowd and make the Duchess visible, though, and I that’s the reason for her hats, I suspect.

  4. Although I tend to think of Camilla in larger hats, this is still a style that’s substantial enough to suit her – I think she can take something that makes a statement. It’s very interesting seeing all these together. The brown is not her usual colour palette, so interesting for that reason, and the stark contrast between the hat and the roses is very striking. However, in terms of structure, this is the one that seems to me to look a little unbalanced, with the actual hat part looking a little bit too small to counter the exuberance of the embellishment. The other three appear slightly larger and therefore better balanced to me. I find I like the diagonal element introduced by the outward-pointing feather in the first and last, compared to the rounder decoration in the second and third. But the shape suits velvet too, so the second one is handsome. That just leaves the third one as my least favourite, but actually it isn’t bad at all!

  5. I’m so relieved to see that some of the other posters have already mentioned the Jetsons. As a child of the ’60s, that was the first thing that came to mind for me! I have to say I like Camilla’s picture hats much better, but if I were to choose one of these for my own, I’d go with No. 3, the light blue, giving in to the “full Jetson” vibe.

  6. Looking at these assembled together, they are quite an array. It is indeed interesting to see what is basically the same group of core elements taken to an assortment of conclusions.

    MrFitroy, for some reason, is wishing there had been a Grandmother character in the old JETSONS cartoon television show….one knows exactly what hats she would have worn…..

    These are all charming, often unexpected — and darned if the DofC doesn’t pull them off successfully. That said, MrFitzroy still prefers HRH in a giant picture hat!

  7. I love Camilla’s hat style (Paddingtons aside, I choose to ignore them). Her picture hats and brave and bold, and these, whilst smaller, are still pretty major pieces of millinery. She knows what suits her, and always looks the part – I guess being ‘d’un certain age’, she has settled on here style, and good for her.

    I like these four – and there’s enough variation between them that I can understand why she went down the Queen Mother route and said ‘same again please, this time in blue’! Of the four I like the light blue one least, but that is possibly because that is the outfit that looks the least ‘put together’. All in all though I like this style v much, and anticipate we’ll be seeing a lot more of it!!

  8. I can see two similar hats if one likes them, but four really is excessive when they are this similar. I am not a fan of hats with a lot of embellishment, but you are right that they work well for her. She has such a warm impish smile, and she wears that well too! Of the four hats I like the third one because it seems less busy than the other hats. Not a fan of huge cabbage roses. I saw too many growing up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s