At the wedding of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall ten years ago, guests predictably included members of the British Royal Family. As you might expect, the hats and headpieces worn by this group give us great insight into millinery fashion a decade ago.
The Countess of Wessex’s hat fashion at the time included numerous stovepipe cloche hats with unexpected curves and slopes and the hat she chose for this event followed this trend. Made of in straw printed with a grey faux snakeskin pattern, it was trimmed with a handful of vertically placed Lady Amhurst feathers at the side. While the Philip Treacy design felt daring, bold, and at the cutting edge of millinery fashion at the time, its relevance has passed and it does not translate well today.
The young York princesses were mere teenagers a decade ago and as such, were fairly inexperienced hat wearers. Inexperience aside, they wore hats at this wedding that I adore. Princess Beatrice’s fascinator of chocolate and taupe straw lilies and taupe feathers brought out the warm tones in her complexion and hair and perfectly framed her face. During a time when fascinator fashion often included feathers flying madly off in all directions, the relative simplicity of this piece have always struck me as particularly lovely. While the lines of Princess Eugenie’s cream straw cloche were as exaggerated as those on the Countess of Wessex’s hat, the proportion was more flattering. The navy band and bow added a youthful touch and paired with her navy coat, created a charming ensemble for this young princess.
Princess Anne recycled a turquoise silk pill box hat that was more than 20 years old at the time. While the pill box shape does transcend time and the vibrant colour was wonderful on her, the voluminous veil brought a bee keeping vibe into the ensemble that did not do it any favours. Two years ago, Princess Anne repeated this turquoise coat at a Buckingham Palace Garden party, paired with an updated (and slightly more successful) hat.
Not surprisingly, the trendiest fashion at this wedding was worn by Zara Phillips. Zara sported a simple black fedora over her Pucci-inspired dress. The choice of a fedora for such a high profile event is a gutsy one and I adore Zara for it. The choice of the dress, however, remains a head scratching mystery.
Royals are often criticized for not keeping up with current fashion and I think this group of hats shows this is not the case. Strangely, it seems that the most fashionable hats are the ones least likely to transcend time.
Next up? The hats worn by the extended members of the British Royal Family. Stay tuned for these Linley, Chatto, Gloucester and Kent hats later today.
Photos from Getty as indicated