100 years of the British Women’s Institute was celebrated by a large garden party at Buckingham Palace yesterday, attended by four female members of the royal family and over 8000 members of the WI . The Duchess of Cornwall led the quartet of royal hosts in a large cream straw picture hat. This hat, which features an oblique crown and wide, gently upfolded brim, is trimmed with folded bands of wide navy and slimmer cream straw around the brim; a cream multi looped bow and large feather on the side of the hat finish it off. The classic navy and cream scheme give the hat crisp elegance that fit well with Camilla’s dress and tailored coat.
Previously Worn: May 22, 2013; July 11, 2009; May 8, 2009; June 8, 2007; July 14, 2006; July 20, 2005; and June 28, 2005
Princess Alexandra repeated a natural straw hat with tall, rounded crown and flat brim. The hat, which has been in circulation since at least the mid 1990s, was trimmed with an array of colourful silk blooms around the base of the crown and a swath of widely woven cream net veil. The hat coordinated perfectly with Alexandra’s Chinoiserie silk jacket and while it borders becoming a 1990s cliché garden party hat, Princess Alexandra’s innate elegance forces me to simply smile at this hat and move on.
The Countess of Wessex repeated her pale grey mushroom brimmed picture hat trimmed in swirling black feathers and cream curling organdie ribbon. We have seen Sophie in a plethora of beret-based cocktail hats of recent and I adore that she chose a picture hat for this event.
Previously Worn: May 17, 2014; August 9, 2013; June 4, 2013
The Duchess of Gloucester looked lovely in pale blue from head to toe. Her hat, a modern take on a cloche shape with squared crown and flared base, was all about shape and texture- texture gained through the use of this unusually woven straw. While there is a distinctly ‘overturned bucket’ vibe about this piece, I love to see mature royals experimenting with creative millinery shapes. With her streamlined blue coat, I think this ensemble is both interesting and very elegant (just different placement on that pair of brooches next time, please!)