Ascot Day 1: The Monarchs

Royal Hats I am thrilled to be joined by three royal milliners, Christie Murray, Fiona Mangan and Jill Courtemanche, to review the royal hats appearing at Royal Ascot 2015! Let’s get right to our first pair of hats.
Queen Elizabeth  in a new hat designed by Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren. Coat and dress by Peter Enrione.

Christie: How lovely does Queen Elizabeth look! I love how her milliner has gone for a mixed medium piece – fur felt crown and brim bind with a sinamay brim.  The fur felt works with her coat, yet the sinamay keeps it summer-racing appropriate and light.  It’s a very interesting detail in her crown block, which frames those incredible silk flowers beautifully. It also balances the neckline in her jacket and the colour is just divine on her.

Jill: Not really unexpected, but this classic silhouette looks lovely on her and the color is a lively shade of fuchsia (a nod to the new princess perhaps) which is very flattering on her. I also like the combination of open straw with the fabric crown and edge, it’s finished seamlessly and the flowers are a perfect compliment to her ensemble.

Royal Hats: It’s another one of Angela Kelly’s Split Crown hats (the best one we’ve seen in this style, I think). I also love the colour and the use of the straw brim to keep the hat light. I’m thrilled to see more restrained embellishment than many other Kelly hats and agree that the flower trim is perfect.

Fiona: The Queen is one of the few people that seems to be able to pull off any colour and what a beautiful fuchsia bright colour she has on today! Her simple, safe hat with the classic style that she always gravitates to, works so well especially with the split in the crown at the front. And a floral dress, very nice! Very classy – she takes no chances, but she is the Queen and can’t afford to take risks at her age!

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein in Philip Treacy OC 867. Dress by Dior.  

Jill:  I love that Princess Haya is always all in with her outfits, if this is where her week is starting, it’s going to be fabulous! That said, this is not may favorite hat, the detail work is amazing, all those individual flowers hand sewn with crystal centers are dreamy but the exaggerated back is not my thing, the profile looks a bit like it is going to take flight but to me this is an Ascot hat, it’s big, it’s gorgeous and just the right side of overdone.

Fiona:  I love that hat shape, quite quirky the way the brim swells at the back. The texture of the little flowers is very cute and works well with the whole outfit. A little unsure of the sparkly feather and flower, think they are a little fussy and plainer would have sufficed. Overall beautiful hat and a nice overall ensemble.

Christie: It’s difficult to comment on this hat as I’m not sure it’s on quite properly? I can see the look she was going for, but I think, for me, there’s just a bit too much going on.  I think you’d probably be able to get away with something this textural in a different colour but, in black, and with it’s size, I find it to be too heavy paired with a black jacket and her colouring. I would have loved to have seen this in a deep red or brighter colour, to colour-clash with her outfit.  It would be quite a striking hat with either no trim, or something clean and chic to break it up, like some simple, sculpted ostrich spines. With the encrusted ostrich spine and flower, I just feel like there are too many heros in this piece.

Royal Hats: Jill- Princess Haya IS always all in with her fashion, isn’t she?! I adore that. She has a long history of choosing the most dramatic hats in Philip Treacy’s collections and here she goes again! The diamanté studded flowers covering the brim prove that simple trims in vast numbers make a huge impact but I think the bath bath pouf on the side really needs to go.  While I adore the Ikat skirt, it seems at odds with the hat. Put this hat with a a tailored red Dior suit and I suspect we would all swoon.

Let’s not forget the handsome royal men- Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in an antique silk top hat above and the Duke of Edinburgh in a grey felt top hat below. The quirky brim shape on Prince Philip’s hat always makes me smile.

Prince Philip, June 16, 2015 | Royal Hats

What do you think of these first two Royal Ascot hats of 2015?
Photos from Steve Finn/Splashnews via Corbis; and Getty as indicated

22 thoughts on “Ascot Day 1: The Monarchs

  1. I think the Queen’s hat is gorgeous, a perfect example of this type of split crown adding interest to a fairly simple design, and a super colour.

    Agree Princess Haya’s hat would be much improved without the poof; then it would have a real 1950s / 1960s Audrey Hepburn vibe. This hat isn’t one that I find particularly appealing, but I do feel it’s a really good Ascot hat. Ascot hats are all the better for a certain level of flamboyance!

  2. HM looks simply marvelous in this cerise hat and outfit. Princess Haya’s look I love overall, but this style of Treacy hat always looks odd on people’s heads, like it sits back too far. I like the hat more when she has her head tilted down, but it looks a bit wonky when you see it straight on. The top hats on the DOE and Sheikh Mohammed are fantastic, but when is the Sheikh going to have his clothes tailored, as @ChicagoChuck pointed out? It has always driven me a little nuts.

  3. The Queen is wonderful from head to toe! Love the fuchsia. Not sure about Princess Haya’s hat with the extra “stuff” on it.

  4. QEII – beautiful! Princess Haya – Audrey Hepburn comes to mind. Lovely!
    Now, on to the men – Duke of Edinburgh, always dapper. Sheikh Mohammed et al, who fit his clothes?!?! I think this every time I see a photo of him at Ascot but, damn. It looks like he has a borrowed robe from a hotel wrapped around him. Ugh!
    As for the men’s hats – I wonder who will inherit the Duke’s hat. He’s worn that same gray hat for it has to be 60+ years. God love him! The sheikh’s hat is definitely silk and antique, but not tall enough for my liking.
    But here is a link to another royal hat:

    Harry, what is up with that unpolished hat? I have to believe it could be buffed a bit to give it a better look. Since it always looks like that maybe it is simply that Harry likes the look of an unpolished hat. And his buddy’s hat? Clearly pulled that one out of an attic. On the one hand, I hate that it is so worn out looking. On the other, if he tells me it was his grandpa’s hat – I’m 100% for it!

    • Forgot to mention – I LOVE Harry’s new waistcoat. The combination of the blue linen waistcoat with the light blue Hermes tie and white shirt – fab!

    • The man with Harry in that photo is Jake Warren, whose father, Sir John Warren, is a leading advisor to HM concerning thoroughbreds. They are always with the royal party at Ascot and Epsom, along with Lady Warren.

    • Prince Charles’ hat is in very rough shape as well. Now that I have seen how absolutely stunning a polished silk hat can be, I have decreasing tolerance for those that are not!
      Embed from Getty Images

  5. The Queen looks fab. That pink is lovely (although a rerun of a very similar outfit from last Ascot!)

    I’ve never minded these split crown hats – but here with a broader brim and more restrained trim, it really works excellently. And that brooch, well that just makes the whole thing really work! I reckon she’s going to pull out a few winners this week – it’s actually nice to see some new outfits!

  6. Well done for both ladies! I love the texture of the felt against the sinamay on HM, and the color is exquisite. Adore Haya’s hat-I too am now anxiously awaiting the rest of her week. I do agree the hat is fighting with the dress for attention-brilliant suggestion to pair with a tailored red suit!

  7. Princess Haya is so 50s and in a good way – the dress and jacket really suit her body type and the hat is a perfect ‘foil’ balancing act to the dress and her over-all body type in that dress. Just lovely. QEII looks fab in that shade – never a big fan of her split crowns but this one is scaled down in height as well as the brim is a nice trim, more narrow one and it works for me.

  8. Oh my, but ER looks lovely. We do carp at Angela Kelly’s tendency to overdo things on a regular basis so it’s nice to be able to say, well done. The brooch is fantabuloosa with the outfit, but agree with Jane re the button.

    Princess Haya is so stylish. I love the hat, but agree with guest Jill – it would have been beyond compare with only the daisies and the feather. I don’t mind it with her outfit, but agree it would have looked more spectacular with a red dress/suit.

    Thanks to HQ and our guests, we’re off and racing!

  9. HatQueen, you and your wonderful guest commentrois are going to be a delight this week — thank you all in advance for your hard work and excellent thoughts. If today is any indication it is going to be quite a week…at Ascot, AND at the Royal hat blog!

    MrFitzoy is always thrilled when Ms. Kelly gets it abso-bloomin-lutely spot on with one of the Queen’s hats….so many times it is a near miss, or an “oh, dear” — but nobody can quarrel with this one! This shape can often go wrong, and we all know about the tendency of over trimming and twee elements…but here, the flower is JUST RIGHT, it enhances the crown shape and it isn’t junked up with superfluous feathers or squiggles or fringe or god knows what else. The brim is balanced, and all of the material choices are flawless…Brava, Ms, Kelly, Brava! And, three cheers to HM for wearing it so perfectly, and to Mr. Enrione’s coat and dress providing the inspiration for the hat!

    HatQueen is also perfectly on the mark with Princess Haya comments….MrFitzroy splashed a bit of his gin&tonic when reading about the ‘bath poof’…AGREED! Otherwise, the hat is fascinating and exactly what one would expect from the Princess, now pair it with a different outfit and it could be magical!

    • DITTO TO EVERYTHING! I’m so excited about Ascot this week. This blog rocks!

      Queen E looked awesome for all the reasons already mentioned. This hat is seriously fierce. One of her Best ever.

      And boy is Princess Haya BRINGING IT! It’s a lot of hat on a tiny princess but I LOVE IT. Love that boring hats aren’t in her vocabulary

  10. Princess Haya really knows how to dress. This time I find the short jacket ending on the line the skirt starts interesting. She can wear it even though she is not particularly tall. The whoops to me comes in the length of the skirt…too long.
    The hat I like it…it fits the idea of what one expects at this event. …but colour….why did she pick black? Red has been mentioned as a better choice overall for this outfit. I agree.
    I have a feeling spectacular will be seen yet this week from Princess Haya..something is coming…wink.

  11. Yes well, I can only echo others comments re The Queen. Just sublime, perfection. For starters, the colour is just beautiful but what I REALLY LOVE is the open coat allowing us to see the lovely floral print of the dress beneath, so much less monotone than the straight coats. The lower teardrop type neckline is such a nice change with just the one bright button to hold it in place. The fit seems to be very good, which enables a lovely fall to the coat. Wonderful! So much more interesting and colourful and cheerful and stylish. And……..that brooch!!! Heaven, absolutely stunning, the PERFECT accessory. A wonderful start to my day here in Oz. Thanks. Ooh, sorry HQ, I’m so enraptured with the outfit I forgot to look at the hat. It’s good too!

  12. Lovely colour for the Queen. I so wish the sharp edges on her hats were softened but on the other hand those tacky flowers are gone,these are by far more acceptable. So the hat gets a little smile from me. The dress is fine and the coat almost made it too. Better styling , more sophisticated detail until we get to the button closing on the neckline …it upsets the beauty of the coat completely. Looks so cheap. One of her great diamond brooches ..but then that would be too much with the pearls . She will not remove the pearls so maybe nothing at all just use Velcro .

  13. Her Majesty looks simply amazing – I love the gleam in her eye in the last photo. Not usually a fan of Angela Kelly ‘s hats but this one is perfect. Perfect for the wearer, the outfit, the day, and the BROOCH. The Queen is at Ascot, her hat is so flattering, and overall, little else matters because she looks so happy.

    Princess Haya – very mixed feelings. The outfit is dreadful and I find it hard to separate the hat from it. The work that went into this hat is admirable because it probably cost more than a small car. I like the individual elements: the exaggerated back, the flowers, the ostrich quill, the flowers, but they don’t add up to a great whole for me. I agree with what was said above – put this with a sharp knee length red Couture suit and sexier shoes and we’d swoon.

    We’re off to a very good start!


  14. I agree with Christie about Princess Haya’s hat…a deep red would look gorgeous! I truly love Princess Haya and she can do no wrong in my eyes with her Ascot hats!

    The Queen is exceptional (as always). Bright colors suit her so well.

  15. HatQueen, is the queen’s hat new? The color/design/shape/embellishments are outstanding, and the last picture of her is super! 89 years young and still go, go, going! A remarkable lady! And the prince, at 94 just recently . . . I can only hope and pray!

  16. I think Queen Elizabeth looks absolutely fabulous today. The hat is an excellent example of Angela Kelly’s split crowns, not overdone, and the neckline of the coat fits! (And check out that brooch!) I am getting little tired of the Queen’s bright pink and something color combination, but the fuchsia does stand out, and this is, after all, the first entirely new outfit of the Queen for the entire year of 2015!
    The third picture of Princess Haya makes it look as though the hat is worn backwards. but in the first two pictures her hat is impressive and has a lot of detail.

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