British Royals Attend Service of Commemoration

Members of the British Royal Family attended a Service of Commemoration at St. Paul’s Cathedral this morning, honouring the British military’s involvement in Afghanistan which has now come to an end. I suspect this service was made all the more personal for this family as Prince Harry, who was in attendance, served two terms of duty in this military operation.

Queen Elizabeth led her family at this event in a repeated her blue straw stovepipe hat, trimmed with a prim felt bow. This remains one of my favourite colours on the queen and I adore the pattern woven into the straw. With her bouquet of tulips and hyacinths, the Queen looked the picture of spring.

Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: March 5, 2014October 11, 2011; May 11, 2010; March 8, 2010; November 28, 2008

The Duke of Edinburgh, who holds the rank of Lord High Admiral in the navy, wore his uniform and cap. He gallantly offered his hand to his wife as they descended the steps of St. Paul’s, a sweet gesture that was caught on camera below.

The Prince of Wales, who holds five star ranking in all three branches (Army, Navy and Air Force) of the British Armed Services, also attended this service in uniform.

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her black winter hat with a ruched crown and faux-fur cuff, pinning  the cap badge of The Rifles to the crown of the hat. While I loved the addition of this military brooch to her hat, I am afraid it feels a little informal for an event with as high a profile as this one. We’re going to look at this hat (and its many clones) in greater depth next week.

Designer: Lock & Co.
Previously Worn: Decemeber 10, 2013; February 7, 2012;  February 6, 2012; January 27, 2012

Also in military uniform were Princess Anne, as Commodore-in-Chief of HMNB Portsmouth and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.

The Duke of Cambridge wore his uniform and cap as Flight Lieutenant of the Royal Air ForceThe Duchess topped her simple navy dress and coat with a navy felt saucer hat which was trimmed by a navy silk abstract bow. The outfit and hat are rather austere but very fitting for this event. We have not seen Kate in a saucer hat in a very long while and it was a nice change from her go-to embellished berets. I thought her low chignon showed this hat to great effect and that Kate looked very elegant.

Designer: Jane Taylor. UPDATE: This hat appeared months later in the AW 2015 collection.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Prince Harry, who served two terms of duty in Afghanistan, was in attendance in his uniform as Captain of The Blues and Royals.

The Earl of Wessex wore his uniform and cap as Royal Honorary Colonel of the London Regiment. The Countess wore a new embellished percher hat with black felt beret base, trimmed in PVC ribbon. My first impression of this made me question the use of the shiny ribbon, which looks like patent leather. At second, third and fourth glances, however, I have come to really appreciate this piece. The sense of movement in this hat is absolutely exquisite and the contrast of texture between the two materials gives such visual depth and interest. I think this new hat will serve Sophie very well.

Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: This is a new hat

The Duke of Kent, the Duke of Gloucester, and the Duke of York also attended the service, each in their respective military uniforms and caps.

While royal hats are the focus of this blog, the aim of today’s commemoration service was to pay tribute to the service personnel who did not return home. This article at the Daily Mail includes photos of all the British service men and women who lost their lives during the course of this military intervention.

Photos from Getty as indicated

18 thoughts on “British Royals Attend Service of Commemoration

  1. I like that there are so many official occasions for Princess Anne to wear a uniform. My guess is that she is much more comfortable when dressed this way. I do wish she could be promoted up a rank so that her uniform hat could be changed. (Assuming that the hat goes with the rank…) There are many other military hat styles!

  2. It’s surprising to see the Queen in such a vibrant color when the other ladies were wearing dark tones. She does look the picture of spring.
    Sophie has a very beautiful outfit and hat, but I think a normal hemline would have served the purpose better. The assymetrical hemline is not the best part of this dress.
    Camilla has dressed more elegantly and more formally in the past, what happened? She kinda missed the oppotunity, didn’t she?
    Kate was really gorgeous, what a successful appearance for her! (I think there is a certain look on her face that shows she does know how fabulous she looks!). What a delight to see an off-centered updo. It is a huge success with this hat. And the hat has a respectable size for a change! I makes me very happy 🙂
    She debuted quite a lot of items! Dress, coat, hat, jewels. Wow. I had heard here and there that she didn’t want her look to distract attention from the cause, clearly this rule didn’t apply on Friday.
    Anyway, this navy blue look and the gorgeous Jenny Packham teal gown are my two favourite ever!

  3. The only thing I liked about the Queen’s outfit was the colour. I don’t like bows on hats because they remind me of the Fergie bow era. I think the Duchess of Cambridge wore her best ensemble and hat ever, and her chignon looked elegant. Her new jewels aren’t bad either. I liked the Duchess of Cornwall’s military style coat, but I will never grow to like her Paddington Bear hat collection. The Countess of Wessex looked good except I didn’t like the asymmetrical hemline. The royal blokes and the Princess Royal looked smart in their uniforms.

  4. I loved Catherine’s whole look, including the hat with the beautifully formed bow trimming. I also like Sophie’s.

    There was one thing very striking about Anne’s appearance at the service, particularly in view of the Very Large Hat that goes with the commodore’s rank. All the male officers take off their hats when they go into churches, but Anne, being a lady, keeps hers on, even though it’s a military uniform. I can’t really remember from seeing other such military services, but I’m guessing this is something that is subject to a blanket forces edict dating from the first women’s services’ formation in days when hats off for men / hats on for ladies was de rigueur in church. However, the women’s military headgear isn’t usually so very noticeable as this hat of Anne’s! She really stood out among all her male uniformed relations and colleagues!

  5. I love these British events!!!!paying respect to the sacrifices of the soldiers with such dignity is truly for the sartorial aspects,the queen looks very nice though this hat always strikes me as something picked out by the mad hatter!the duchess of Cornwall looks good too,but that hat is a little informal.the duchess of Cambridge looks nice,though I dont like the saucer hats nor this very stark version of navy.for me,the best dressed is the countess of wessex. That oscar de la renta dress & the patent leather is to die for imo.all the members in military uniform looks really good

  6. Kates’s look is amazing. She looks so put together here, and unbelievably elegant. And it’s so good to see her in a different hat shape for a change. This is one it favourite ever looks from her.

    I love Soph’s patent beret, but I’m not sure I like its wintry feel with the springy dress, much as I like it.

    Couldn’t agree more re Camilla, this Paddington hat just isn’t smart enough. She looks like she’s going to the shops – sorry Cams, but you’ve got much better looks than this.

    And sadly I think this is my absolute least favourite hat on Her Maj. The crown is enormous but then not balanced by that stupid Fergie bow. The colour’s fine I giess but that’s about it. Sorry, hard to please me today it would seem!!

  7. The queen looked divine and I loved the color on her, she is ready for spring. While the hat was a bit tall for her she carried it off rather well. Of all the ladies besides the queen, not one looked really good, I do not like flying saucer hats, these are not hats and who ever thought they were needs to look at hats in history, DofC looked okay yet it looked like it was in her eyes and CofW looked like a cheap plastic hat. The men looked fabulous in their uniforms and hats, all those medals, they must be heavy to wear all day.

  8. Kate has a real WW2 vibe going on, and I love it. Sophie’s hat is great, but not keen on that extra material hanging off her skirt, what’s it all about? Love QE’s colour and smile. Camilla, meh.

    Pedant alert: HatQueen, dear, you cannot have “this hat (and its many twins)” – twins means “two of” … many clones, many iterations … but not twins. 🙂

  9. Cams needed to go for a different hat – maybe it’s time for her to get a few new ones – just because this one had faux fur that matched her coat collar did not make it OK for this affair. Not at all into Sophie’s patten leather look and I am not a big fan of percher/cocktail hats anyway. DOC looks nice – the up hair is sooooo much better then when she wears it down. The men all look dashing. HM is great in that shade and I guess since she is Queen she can wear any color (other then white or maybe red) she wants to at this affair.

  10. The women wore black except the Queen. Wondering why they decided to go in black. I liked Sophie’s hat with what seems to be leather trim. I do not understand why they wear these little hats and flared skirts. They develop a triangular shape and look so unbalanced.
    The Duchess of Cornwall’s outfits over the last few days seem to be at the retirement stage.
    The Duchess of Cambridge appears tired and should be resting. The hat was nice.

    • Thank you Jane for bringing to my attention the possible reason as to why I don’t generally like the Duchess of Cambridge in the small percher hats she often goes for, ie the fit and flare style of dressing that she generally prefers looks unbalanced when a small hat is matched with it. The proportions of this hat are so much better and provide a much more balanced and pleasing look, totally complimenting this lovely elegant coat. Oh for it to continue! Thank you.

  11. The turquoise is a pretty color on the Queen, but she does have several newer outfits in dangerously similar shades of turquoise. I’m not sure why this old version was chosen for today: it’s too bright and rather old. The coat looks always has reminded me of a blanket with a few holes punched for buttons, but I too like the patterned straw in the hat. I remember the others have criticized this hat before because of the bow in the center front rather than on a side. Today it’s slightly off center, but I’m not sure that was done on purpose. Her holding hands with Prince Philip (so that neither falls down the steps, I realize) is noteworthy.
    The real winner of the day, though, in my opinion, is the Duchess of Cambridge. With a larger hat than her typical percher and with her hair up for a change, she looks spectacular and regal. Glad too to see her in something other than her usual beige/tan/off-white. I think this is a stunning look for her.
    I do like this hat (and other similar ones) on the Duchess of Cornwall, but as was mentioned it is rather informal for the situation. Goes nicely with the coat’s collar, though, and the whole outfit looks nice — except for that awful purse. It always sticks out like a sore thumb. I don’t know what color she thinks it is.
    I’ve never been fond of patent leather strips on hats. Both Princess Beatrix and Queen Margrethe have hats with black patent leather, and while Sophie’s hat is considerably more modern and does show movement, it’s not my favorite.

  12. That bow on HM’s hat always ruins this one for me; very 90s Fergiemania. I also a bit surprised to see her in such a bright color compared to the more somber tones chosen by the rest of the family. Nevertheless, wonderful to see that photo of her and the DOE. I agree Camilla’s Paddington, while in an appropriate color, is too casual for this high-profile event; I do love her coat however! The Duchess of Cambridge looked stunning and I’m lusting after that saucer hat, even though I’m a guy; the silk bow trimming is fantastic and love how her jewels coordinated so well with the rest of the outfit without feeling too matchy. My verdict is still out on the Countess of Wessex’s cocktail hat; I love the shape on her, but not yet won over by how shiny the detailing is. All the men looked excellent in their uniforms, and always enjoy seeing Anne’s military hats on parade.

  13. The 4th picture (the queen and prince hand in hand) is AMAZING! Oh, to see just a glimmer of such class and elegance in MY neck of the woods! Princess Anne’s hat always reminds me of an old WB cartoon, featuring Yosemite Sam as a ship’s captain. Happy weekend, nice people!

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