British Royal Wedding Four Years On: The Kent Family

A wedding Some of my favourite hats worn at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding four years ago were worn by the Kent branch of the British extended royal family. Here is a peek back at these hats.

The Duchess of Kent channelled spring in a percher cocktail hat with pale pink base. The centrepiece of the hat was its trim- a large bouquet of silk flowers and leaves, ribbon loops and soft white feathers. We don’t see many percher hats on royal ladies of a certain age and while this one showed that Katharine’s millinery approach has stayed right on trend, the soft colours were very flattering and suited her well.

Lady Helen Taylor (the Duchess of Kent’s daughter)  topped her floral appliquéd Erdem dress and coat with a coordinating embellished beret. In electric blue straw, the beret was trimmed with a side spray of white silk flowers and a tall swath of blue dotted net tulle. I assume the white flowers were added to tie in with the flowers on the dress but they didn’t work for me- the hit of white created a jarring contrast that put the whole outfit into ‘too much’ territory. With a fussy dress and coat, I think Helen would have done better with a less fussy hat.

The Duchess of Kent’s daughter-in-laws wore contrasting pieces in pale hues. The Countess of St. Andrews topped her oyster lace trimmed suit with a large picture hat. In pale beige straw, the hat featured a flat crown and wide mushroom brim. The hat’s only embellishment was a large bow which fanned over one side of the brim (you can see the bow here at 36:30). Lady Nicholas Windsor topped her pale pink suit with a Philip Treacy fascinator of purple orchids and swirling feathers. I thought the styling on Paola’s ensemble was perfect- her clean lined suit, simple jewellery and elegant up-do allowed this statement headpiece to be showed to maximum effect. I adored it on her.

2011-04-29 Andrews 5

The Countess of St. Andrews’ two daughters, Lady Marina and Lady Amelia Windsor, both chose black hats. Lady Marina wore a large lampshade hat in black and grey straw. The graphic stripes of straw on each layer of the tiered hat were countered by a massive and curvaceous grey straw bow on the back of the hat. The end result was a dramatic and very classic hat reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Lady Amelia wore a more streamlined hat in black straw with a diagonally raised brim and a wide white band around the crown.

Lady Marina Windsor and Lady Amelia Windsor, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats

Princess Alexandra topped her blue brocade suite with a monochrome picture hat. With a blue straw base, the hat was covered in ruched silk organza and trimmed at the side with large blue silk roses and gold feathers. While the overlaid fabric on the hat gave considerable texture, it combined with Alexandra’s suit to make and ensemble suffering from fabric texture overload. I think this hat would have worked better sans overlay, keeping those romantic floral embellishments.

Princess Alexandra of Kent, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats   Princess Alexandra of Kent, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats

Julia Ogilvy, Princess Alexandra’s daughter-in-law, topped her taupe dress and ivory lace coat with a cream straw picture hat. The streamlined Philip Treacy design was simply trimmed with a band around the crown and a signature Treacy large flying bow.

Princess Alexandra of Kent and Julia Ogilvy, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats  Julia Ogilvy, April 29, 2011 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Princess Michael of Kent chose characteristically dramatic millinery for this event. While her white picture hat followed a fairly traditional shape, the scale of the wide cartwheel brim was larger than life. The huge hat was trimmed with a wide scarf of ruched silk that looked to be effortlessly thrown over the hat. Marie-Christine wears dramatic hats so very well and this was no exception. I adore the wide brim and appreciate the way the large scale hat balanced her shiny satin Andrea Odicini jacket.

2011-04-29 Michael 1

One of the newest members to the British Royal Family, Lady Frederick Windsor wowed with her millinery choice at this event. Designed by Philip Treacy, Sophie’s navy straw hat featured a moulded crown (as opposed to a seam-joined crown) with wide, oval brim. The elliptical brim was balanced by another Treacy signature multi-looped flying bow. While very simple, the hat is quite a bold design. I particularly loved the way the asymmetrical hat both complemented and contrasted against Sophie’s streamlined Armani coat and dress.

Wearing one of my favourite hats at this wedding, Lady Gabriella Windsor was a vision in peacock blue. Her vibrant picture hat featured an upturned ‘slice’ brim which was trimmed with large silk roses and an arrow feather. The shape was wonderful on Garbiella and I adored how her pale seafoam coat and dress created just the right background for her bright hat and matching purse to ‘pop’. This slice hat is a slightly smaller scale than others in this same style and while it works wonderfully as is, I think it could easily have handled an up-sizing.

 Prince Michael of Kent Family, April 29, 2011 | Royal Hats
The Kents brought us stylish cocktail berets and sublime picture hats at this wedding. Which hat(s) stand out most to you? Stay tuned later today when we look at hats worn by some of the royal guests.
Photos from Getty as indicated, Woman and Home, and BBC TV via The British Monarchy. Source of final photo is unknown.

16 thoughts on “British Royal Wedding Four Years On: The Kent Family

  1. What is the etiquette here with such large hats in a church setting? I understand that these are members of the royal family and I guess they can wear what they please. It just seems a bit rude to me to though to wear such large hats (Princess Michael) and potentially block others views.

  2. Yes, the white flowers on Lady Helen’s hat are not the best choice, but the gloves, for me, are the killer. They look awful. So stark when the dress/coat is full of lovely colours. I think the hat is rather a nice design but maybe a bit of a mismatched and duller blue than could have been used. The colour of Lady Gabriella’s hat is just glorious and I love the silk rose on it. I rather think it photographs better from certain angles though (the front on view looks a little pirate like!), but the upswept hair is very elegant. I really like the photo of Lord Frederick standing on the steps, his wife and his sister on either side with arms intertwined. Nice.

  3. Katie Kent was so perfect here. Loved how even her nails were the same color of pink as her outfit, and this cocktail hat is to die for! I liked the white flowers on Helen’s hat; it’s the multicolor flowers of her outfit that I think are too busy and the real problem. Sylvana, Paola, and Julia Ogilvy looked very appropriate for the occasion, but I was neither wowed nor disappointed by their choices; gotta give them credit for playing it safe. Still not a fan of Amelia’s hat; looks one size too big for her. My kingdom for better photos of Marina-Charlotte’s divine gunmetal hat; that bow on the back is amazing! I loved Alexandra’s whole ensemble and thought this hat was a nice subtle departure from her normal style without being too daring for her. Of course Marie-Christine’s hat still remains one of my favorites (if not THE favorite) of the day; why hasn’t she repeated this glorious creation?! Gabriella also looked fantastic in her Treacy hat. Finally, I loved, loved Sophie’s outfit, but I know I’m in a very small minority when I say I will never like that hat; where the crown is doesn’t seem to actually be centered on her head, making the whole hat look even more unbalanced that it already is. Bonus: I still find Lady Flora’s inclusion in the extended royal family the most random part of the day; I know I hadn’t heard of her before, and I don’t think I’ve heard about her since; I thought her floral headpiece was fun without being too much for her.

  4. The Kent’s win Best Hats, Family Division. There really wasn’t anything awful here…all the more impressive considering there are so many of them!

    The Duchess, bless her heart, is on the edge of ‘too much’ but makes it work. Lady Helen is disconcerting because the white blooms don’t match anything on the dress, so leave them out or match the flower colors to the applique (twee, but it would have worked better). MrFitzroy actually likes the hat ruching as contrast to Princess Alexandra’s suit, but the embellishments push it too far….still, who but Princess A could have a ‘hat fail’ and still look so maaarvelous overall.

    The wives all look nice in their own ways and their own styles, some exceptionally so. Lady Frederick probably wins the family group overall, but she has some very, very close competition. Lady Amelia though, from certain angles, looks like she has borrowed one of Princess Beatrix’s cake hats.

    Princess Michael, in her inimitable fabulousness, knows exactly how to work it (werk it?)….she is always true to her personal style, and she is a flawless inspiration to drag queens the world over….meant in the best possible spirit and without snark.

    Three cheers for the Kents!

  5. Princess Michael for me – that hat is amazing, though I feel sorry for whoever was sitting behind her!! Other standouts are Gabriella, though Im not feeling the contrast between the hat and the coat. Lady Fred is chic, but a bit somber. In love Helen’s outfit, but lose the White flowers and the hat would be perfect. What a great day of hattery this was!

  6. I love Princess Michael’s overall look. That hat was dazzling! Lady Gabriella’s hat was lovely, but I’m kind of “meh” over her outfit. I really want her hat on Zara Phillips’ steel grey coat and see how that comes out.

    The last photo of Prince Michael’s family is awesome!

  7. Katharine- bless her. She’s doing the mature royal lady’s version of a hip cocktail hat. Too cute.
    Helen- so twee. It pains me to say that because Helen’s got some of the most fearless royal hats out there. Missed the mark here.
    Countess St. Andrew- meh. Next.
    Lady Nicholas- SUPER cute! If you’re going to wear a fascinator, that’s how you do it. LOVE.
    Lady Marina- I was all set to hate it until you mentioned the Breakfast at Tiffany’s vibe. Now I love it. It’s just a lota hat for a young lady.
    Lady Amelia- It’s the same shape of hat that the Queen wears. You’re young, Amelia! Wear a funky hat!
    Princess Alexandra- it looks like she put a shower cap on top of her hat. I’m also not into the gold leafed leaves (HA! Say that fast 5 times).
    Julia- if you’re going to wear a cream hat, wear this one. It’s FIERCE.
    Princess Michael- of course she wore a huge hat! I woulda been so disappointed if she didn’t. The shiny jacket, however, is a crime.
    Lady Frederick- LOVE! So modern and bold and interesting and amazing! Her coat is really ageing but the hat is awesome!
    Lady Gabriella- The hat’s OK. I think it’s too small to make a real statement and that’s a shame. Go big or go home like you mum, Gabi! Her mint green dress put me to sleep it is SO boring.

  8. My favorite is Princess Michael’s. She always looks so good in those big hats! Love the color too. However, the one that stands out the most is Frederick Windsor’s wife’s hat. I don’t particularly like it. I just don’t like the off balance look of it, but it is a hat to remember and I can understand that some people would really like it.

  9. I don’t remember seeing all of these hats and they are wonderful! My heart sings when I see a good picture hat and these are beautiful. The highlights for me are: the unusual shape of Lady Frederick’s hat; the simple perfection of Julia Ogilvy’s hat and everything about Lady Gabriella’s hat. Princess Michael’s hat is way over the top but that’s what she does and I love her for it!

  10. It is such a joy to see the Duchess of Kent, always one of my favourite members of the Royal Family. And yes, overall, the Kent women probably do win the hat sweepstakes at this dazzling occasion.

  11. For the most part, the Kents were magnificent. The hats and clothes were delightful, and just right for the wedding of the century. The only outfit I didn’t care for was Lady Helen Taylor’s busy dress. As you said it just didn’t go with the hat; however, her best accessory is always going to be her handsome husband, so I can forgive her the hat and the dress. I remember seeing all of those people when they were children, and it astounds me to see the ages they are now. Besides the Duchess of Kent and Princess Alexandra, Princess Michael has always been a favorite of mine. She is always dramatic and she has flair. She is still a very beautiful lady and her clothes are as outspoken as she often is. I do enjoy a Marie Christine sighting. It is invariably followed by something she said!

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