Seeing Quintuple: Lady Sarah Chatto

Royal HatsI’m always happy to see Lady Sarah Chatto at British Royal Family events. Her sleek, streamlined style often carries a 1950s vibe and this kind of ‘vintage modern’ personal style is unique in royal circles. In recent years, Sarah has frequently stepped out in two versions of the same Stephen Jones saucer hat- one in cream and one in black. I suppose life as a ‘mini royal’ does not warrant many hats and ordering a favoured style in two classic colours is an easy way to manage a millinery wardrobe. In a world of marvellous hat design options, however, it seems curious to me to have multiple versions of such a distinctive shape. When she appeared at Easter two weeks ago in another version of this same style, I found myself even more perplexed.

Version 1: Cream straw at Ascot, June 2014

Embed from Getty Images


Version 2: Black straw for  Zara Phillips’ wedding on July 30, 2011

Embed from Getty Images


Version 3: Black velvet crown and piping on a slate grey straw brim worn for Easter at Windsor on April 5, 2015

 Lady Sarah Chatto, April 5, 2015 in Stephen Jones | Royal Hats   Lady Sarah Chatto, April 5, 2015 in Stephen Jones | Royal Hats


Version 4: Dove grey straw worn for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, April 29, 2011

2011-04-29 Cambridge wedding

Update! Version 5: Navy straw with cream straw underside worn June 10, 2016 for Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday Service of Thanksgiving

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images


Lady Sarah’s style is elegantly understated and while this hat fits this aesthetic very well, I can’t help but be surprised to see five versions of it, especially in a millinery wardrobe that is quite small. I suppose this is an efficient way to approach royal dressing- find a style that works and stick with it!

Photos from Getty as indicated;  FDJD/Newspix/Corbis and FDJD/Newspix/Corbis

25 thoughts on “Seeing Quintuple: Lady Sarah Chatto

  1. I would say, she just loves that shape, knows that she looks good in it and does not really wear hats in her private life. Hats have to be worn on certain occasions, and so she does but doesn’t really bother wich changing styles… I sometimes do buy a blouse or so in different colours when I like them and feel well in…

  2. I wonder if Sarah is one of those people (like me!) who has great difficulty finding a hat that suits her, and feels comfortable. I imagine that she has found this the perfect style, and as she is not a fashion-plate sort of person, is happy to stick to what she likes. Three different colours to suit every hat-needing occasion, good, now she can concentrate on what really interest her!

  3. I like the shape but as others have said, one would have been enough. Variety is the spice of life!

    Is there different trims on the cream and black hats? It looks like something on top of the saucer.

  4. Perhaps she gets a bulk discount. I do rather like that she’s found a look and is sticking with it. It worked for her great-grandmother, and in her more modest way, she’s making it work for her.

  5. Well done, everyone! Lady Sarah does indeed have triplets in this style. I can’t believe I forgot about the grey one. Interestingly, I think they all were worn for the first time in 2011.

  6. I like her simple taste in clothes combined with some of her late mother’s stunning jewels. I like these hats, but I don’t like the visible hairband attachment. She should brush her hair over it.

  7. I agree with Sassy that there is an original triplet in dove grey that appeared at William & Kate’s wedding; that one is my personal favorite (but that’s because grey is my favorite neutral!). I think this is a great shape for her, but I do wish she would bring back the wide-brimmed light lavender hat from Charles & Camilla’s wedding (which she also wore to the wedding of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly) or the beautiful and simple black structured beret from Lady Rose Gilman’s wedding.

  8. I think it’s hat triplets. At Williams wedding she wore a heather gray one to match her Jasper Conran heather gray dress.

    • I think you could be right Sassy. She teamed a very similar looking hat with a lovely grey, pleated, belted dress….and……same earrings, same necklace. I think we can safely assume she likes what she likes and given she is not in the public eye that often she probably sees no reason to change her style for the sake of it. I always enjoy seeing her when she is at a more high profile function I have to say. She is classically elegant as others have already said and I like that. Thanks for the post.

  9. I get it, really I do, but a change every so often isn’t too much to ask is it? I loved the grey and black look at the Royal wedding, it was chic and 50s and really unexpected. But enough already, at least mix it up a bit! Serous jewellery though, she gets props for rocking her diamonds in the daytime – that I AM on board with!!

  10. I love the idea of vintage modern, although I’d need to hire someone to get it organized for me. Surely even mini-royals have enough money to do that. If my life were based on public appearances, I’d splurge.

    Back to the hats: the white one definitely washes her out. The grey one is lovely. I’m all for wearing hats numerous times, but it is odd to wear the exact same outfit with the exact same hat, only with a color change of the hat. (shaking my head…)

    Vintage does not mean drab… A brightly colored sweater, or even a soft pastel, over the white dress, would be delightful. And the white hat might work then. In fact, she could change the color of the sweater wih each outfit and have something interesting.

  11. I do like her quiet elegance as well. She isn’t faddish, and she wears what she likes. I actually don’t mind these hats being the same, but if I could, I would tell her to keep the black hat and put away the white one. I really hadn’t noticed before that she doesn’t wear makeup, but I suppose that is in keeping with her simpler style. Perhaps it is a reaction to the younger royals who wear a great deal of makeup, and she just doesn’t want the attention. Regardless, she has a lovely smile and likely that gets her all the attention she needs or wants.

  12. I do admire Sarah’s classic minimalist style, but sometimes wish she would just cut loose! A little discreet make up wouldn’t hurt either.

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