British Royal Wedding Four Years On: Immediate Families

A wedding When Prince William married Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011, there was nearly as much speculation about the colour of the Queen’s ensemble as there was about the bride’s dress. While bookies predicted blue, Queen Elizabeth arrived at Westminster Abbey in a dress, coat and hat in sunshine yellow. Designed by her longtime dresser Angela Kelly and made by in-house milliner Stella McLaren, the Queen’s sailor style hat featured a round, flat crown covered in the same silk crepe as her dress and coat. The flat straw brim was edged in a wide band of the same fabric and the hat was trimmed with a side spray of yellow silk crepe rosettes and velvet leaves. The side of the crown was also sewn with the same pintucks that starburst around the neckline of Her Majesty’s coat. While the shape of the hat was rather austere (and minimally flattering), the colour was the epitome of spring.

The Duchess of Cornwall went with her usual uniform of a tailored Valentine coat and larger-than-life Philip Treacy hat. While its wide, upturned brim gave the hat dramatic shape, the gossamer ivory straw it was constructed from made the hat feel very airy and light. Interestingly, Camilla had worn this hat before and was one of a few members of the family not to choose a new chapeau for this event.

Carole Middleton had the toughest fashion challenge of the day, coming up with a hat and frock that fit in with all the other royal guests. Her pale blue Catherine Walker coat hit just the right note and gave a subtle nod to William`s mother (who wore many Catherine Walker designs). Carole topped her hat with a Jane Corbett designed saucer hat in the same pale blue as her coat. The saucer was edged in a wide stripe of pale blue silk and the underside was trimmed with a folded ruffle of silk edged straw. The same ruffle trimmed the top of the hat, anchored with one of the embroidered frogs used for the closure on Carole`s coat. These details combined to create a balanced hat that looked beautiful on Kate`s mum.

In their pale pastel hues, these hats were well suited to this spring wedding. Did any stand out in particular to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated

20 thoughts on “British Royal Wedding Four Years On: Immediate Families

  1. The Queen: the outfit and hat were obviously designed by Angela Kelly. The Queen’s hat looked like a cake on a plate. I don’t like collarless coats, and this one looked too informal for a Royal Wedding to me. I like the Queen in yellow, but this shade overwhelmed her a bit. I loved seeing the bow brooch and thankfully she didn’t wear those awful black shoes she usually wears. This was one of my least favorite hats at this wedding and is the worse of this trio of hats.
    The Duchess of Cornwall: I liked her tailored coat though it looked a bit large for her. While I like the hat, with its wide, upturned brim and gossamer ivory straw, I was disappointed that she didn’t wear a new hat for this event. It’s my second place-getter for this trio.
    Carole Middleton had the best hat of this trio and one of my favorite hats at the event. The hat and coat worked well together, and the pale blue color was flattering. It was nice that she gave a nod to the late Princess of Wales by wearing a design by one of her favorite designers, the Catherine Walker label. The military-style frogging also gave a nod to Prince William’s military career. I hate the way she and her daughters wear that heavy black eyeliner, as it distracted me from the hat.

    I would also like to make a mention about the bride’s father, Michael Middleton. I liked his top hat, and I am glad he chose one that wasn’t too tall and distracting.

    • I agree pretty much with what TiarasRUs says: May 1, 2015 at 8:19 pm. I too usually like the Queen in yellow, but here she looks too much the colour of the Tweety Bird I think!

      • Oh lordy, the stuff the queen mum wore. She was a great lady to admire, but I hated those nets she wore, and the one Diana wore with a white circlelet around her forehead with the net like a shade across her face. What in the world was that. I would be interested in Diana’s hats or the things the Queen Mum wore too, when you catch up with the rest. And if you remember the outfit Princess Ann wore to Diana’s wedding? Makes my skin crawl. Sorry to get off topic. So I will say this, Carol was the best dressed, classy. The yellow was too much for the Queen, but if she wanted to stand out, she got the job done. The tailoring of the outfit was nice. I’m not going to say anything about Camilla’s hat. Outfit was ….um.. interesting. K I’m done now. Excuse the spelling. It doesn’t catch some things. Thank you.

  2. I think Carole Middleton looked fantastic. That blue color is definitely her color. I would imagine it was a nervous time for her with HM and Camilla being able to afford anything they wanted. Yet she was the one who looked better than the other two.

    I did not like the pleated and bicolor coat that Camilla wore especially the embroidery or lace on it. The hat which the DC wears so well lacked the elegance of some of her previous hats probably because it matched the color of her hair so closely. She looked so elegant in that beautiful pale green outfit on her wedding day that I wish she had chosen that color for this occasion.

    Her Majesty also did not wear a color that suited her. She looks so well in pinks and lavenders that I was surprised to see her in this bright yellow. The hat was, as others have mentioned, just too flat and had no style. It was way too plain for such an important occasion. On the other hand, I was glad to see she had beige shoes and purse instead of her standard black. And that brooch–no one can top her for wearing the most beautiful brooches.

  3. Hat Queen, thanks for taking us on the walk down memory lane. Mrs. Middleton was one of the best-dressed people at the wedding, in my opinion. She did have a hard choice, wanting to dress appropriately for a royal wedding, but not wanting to call attention to herself, or dress too extravagantly, which might cause people to think she was competing with the queen and Camilla.

    I love Camilla’s hat. It has great motion and yet looks secure on her head and comfortable for her to wear. I think the repeat choice was probably deliberate on her part, so that she also wouldn’t be accused of calling too much attention to herself.

    I thought the queen’s coat was nice; yellow can be a hard color to wear, but with her perfect skin she can pull it off. I didn’t care for her hat. I don’t think Ms. Kelly is a good hat designer. The flat crown was ugly. The flat brim was even worse. To me, it looks unfinished, like they forgot to soak the hat and set a proper shape in in before it dried.

  4. MrFitzroy is a bit contrarian here, but The Queen’s hat was awful.
    It will always look like a fondant covered layer cake on a flat plate — right down to the rosette trim. This is a contender for least favorite hat shape of HM’s current rotation. The outfit itself was serviceable, typical, and meh….pretty color and fine for an average spring workday, not quite special enough for a grandson/future Monarch’s wedding. She does get extra points for upping the ante with one of Queen Victoria’s “big guns” as brooch, and the charming (and NOT black) bow trimmed shoes.

    The Duchess of Cornwall’s job was to look good, appropriate, and not strike any false notes –she succeeded admirably.

    Mrs. Middleton made good choices overall, and held her own with the company around her. It is nice to see so many photos here of the detailing on her hat, which is quite lovely. MrFitzroy was a bit overstimulated by millinery on the actual day of the wedding, and only recalled it as ‘a blue saucer hat’….nice to be able to revisit!

  5. This isn’t my favourite hat shape on the Queen, a bit too severely flat brimmed, but this particular one is elegant and complements its coat beautifully – and I love the colour.

    The Duchess looked splendid, managing to combine a Very Big Hat with being slightly understated overall, which was probably a good thing on the day.

    Carole Middleton looked elegant too, again in an understated way. I do like the hat, but it’s a little too far back. I think it would have looked more flattering and elegant worn tilted about an inch (or maybe two) further forward.

  6. I always thought Carole Middleton’s coat and hat were gray. On the indoor photos they look gray but I can see now that it was blue. I agree that one shade darker blue would have made her outfit even more perfect. I don’t like her slanted hat for myself but it looked great on her. My favorite outfit is Camilla’s coat. I love the embroidery and the 2 colors. Because of the 2 colors on the coat, she did well going with a plain cream hat. Not that her hat is plain!

    • I also thought Carole’s hat was gray- a boring piece of grey cardboard. Now that I can see the detail, it’s beautiful! Shame this didn’t show up on TV on the day.

  7. Such good pictures! It’s nice to see all the detail on the hats and I’ve never seen that up close before. The Queen’s hat was cute. I like the color but agree that it was too flat. Camilla’s hat was OK but nothing special. Kate’s mom had the best hat. When I watched the wedding it looked like it was going to fall off the side of her head but now that I can see the detail, it’s beautiful. I always wondered if there was a special reason why she went to Princess Diana’s designer for her dress.

  8. These are some of the best pictures I have ever seen. The coat the Queen is wearing is possibly the best I have ever seen her in. That is wow one large piece of diamond jewellery on her coat . I do not like the colour of her outfit at all and I have said before the Queen can wear any colour. I guess that now should read nearly any colour. The hat I will take my usual pass. I do not like it. Thank heavens there were no black shoes.
    Camilla had a fantastic coat, stayed under the radar with her hat and outfit in general. I think she looked nice. I liked the hat. I do wish her makeup had more colouring.
    The Bride’s Mom was in a social grouping she had never been in before and did well. The coat was a bit too decorative. The detail on the cuffs was interesting but the frog closing was not right. The hat as others have said worked well. I will take your word for it. I have mixed feelings on that. I would liked her blue to have been a couple of shades darker. Her hair sadly was a bit messy yet it was the correct length.

    Overall they did well.

  9. I think Carole is the winner of this trio, which can be surprising considering the positions of these three ladies.
    The Queen’s hat was a bit too severe, too angular, and her outfit lacked a bit of a dramatic touch, for this extra special event. I remember thinking that she was just as well dressed as for any other appearance, and this particular day was anything but “like any other day”.
    Camilla played it really well. I would have liked her coat to be a little more fitted, but she was really elegant. And maybe repeating the hat was a way of playing it discreet as stepmother of the groom, like Jake suggested.
    Carole looks absolutely fabulous. The cut, colour, fitting of her outfit, the shoes, she could probably not have been more perfect.

    • I dunno. I always thought Carole’s outfit was bland and boring. I like the hat (thanks for the great photos HQ!!) but the rest was so MEH.
      Camilla looked good especially on a day where let’s face it, everyone was thinking about Princess Diana.

      The Queen’s the winner here for me.

  10. I thought the color and trimmings on HM’s hat were great, but I still don’t like this severe and flat shape on her. I was extremely disappointed Camilla didn’t bring out anything new, but I think it was a nice and sensitive gesture to the day considering her difficult position as stepmother of the groom. Carole Middleton’s hat remains one of my favorites of the day; great color and shape with lovely detailing. Also, there weren’t many photos of him wearing it, but I thought Michael Middleton’s top hat was great; I don’t think it’s too short or “squat” because I think anything taller on him would look like he was trying to hard to pull off a top hat.

  11. The three ladies look good together there don’t they – their outfits are complementary.

    I really liked the Queen’s look that day! I reliably informed my houseful of party guests for the wedding (30 people – ALL in hats I hasten to add) that the Queen would be in blue, as she ALWAYS wears blue for the really big do’s. How wrong I was! That primrose colour was lovely, and I know the flat crowned hats get some stick, but I thought this one was fine – and stood as a good foil for that lovely pleating on the coat. I was very surprised that Camilla repeated (and quite a lot too – this hat had had more then one preivous outing), but it was lovely with that fab coat. And Carole got it spot on. At first I thought it was slightly dull, but then corrected myself to say ‘elegant’ I’m a bit over these frilly Jane Corbett hats (Kate has a couple too, they’re not my favourite), but this added a bit of fun to her coat. From here of course, it gets a little bit more.. well, lets’s jus say ‘interesting’ shall we?!!

  12. The Queen’s hat – great choice. Bright and Springtime yellow is great on HM. And there was just enough whimsy in the hat to show she was very happy that day. The Duchess of Cornwall – no one in the group wears a large/grand taupe hat as well as Camilla. The Mother of the Bride – looked nice without going too far. And she held her own in what has to be a tough group. But you also have the Father of the Bride pictured. Good on ya sir for wearing a top hat! But couldn’t you have sprung for a vintage silk plush hat? The squat, new, and possibly hired hat just didn’t cut it. A vintage hat is expensive (£500-1000) but well worth the price for the significantly more handsome profile of the hat. And unlike women, men can wear their hats for years and years, even hand them down to later generations. After all, young Prince George will need a fine top hat some day…

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