Seeing Double: Princess Alexandra of Kent

Royal HatsWhen Princess Alexandra appeared at the Epsom races this year in a turquoise blue hat and matching jacket, I had a strong sense that I had seen the asymmetrically brimmed piece before. The elegant princess has two hats, both in blue, both with a similar shape and both trimmed with a swath of net tulle.

Hosting the June 12, 2014 British Red Cross Society Garden Party; at the Epsom races on June 6, 2015

At a closer look, the brim on the darker blue hat is slightly smaller, the net tulle trim is more tightly woven, and most obviously, the piece is trimmed with curling feathers instead of a bow. Despite these differences, the hats are very similar (as are the coats designed to accompany them).

Princess Alexandra of Kent, June 12, 2014 in Rachel Trevor Morgan | Royal Hats   Princess Alexandra of Kent, June 6, 2015 in Rachel Trevor Morgan | Royal Hats

I am intrigued about the rationale behind such similar pieces, particularly when they are in such a similar colour! Perhaps the princess was presented with two swatches of beautiful blue fabric and, unable to choose between them, opted for both?

Photos from Getty as indicated; WPA Pool and Chris Jackson via Getty

24 thoughts on “Seeing Double: Princess Alexandra of Kent

  1. This post (I believe) pre-dates my joining this blog, but since Edie’s comment called it to my attention, I thought I would take a look, and was surprised that nobody had suggested what seemed to me to be the most obvious answer. The one on the left was worn in 2014, the one on the right appeared in 2015. Perhaps something happened to either the 2014 coat or the hat that made it unwearable — damage or a stain or something along those lines — and HRH liked that shade of blue so much that she decided to replace the ensemble with another just like it.

    Interestingly, when you do a Google image search on either of these photos, Google gives you the other, so even Google’s algorithm thinks they’re the same, but also I came up with photographs from 2016 on the Twitter feed of photographer Paul Ratcliffe that appear to be the 2015 ensemble with an added scarf, but none of the 2014 version, so I’m not sure she ever wore it again.

    Just a thought.

  2. As I recall, there was a post not that long ago that showed Princess Alexandra in two similar pale gray hats. Maybe she likes to order pairs of hats in the same color so she can mix and match outfits and accessories and get more wear out of each hat? Just a thought. These two hats have enough differences as you have pointed out to make them each a beautiful hat in their own right.

  3. I like both hats but it may have been wiser not to get both in a similar shade of blue in order to prevent anyone mistaking it for the same hat.

  4. HatQueen you must have a photographic memory. I don’t know how in the world you can keep track of all these hats as well as you do! I really appreciate it. It’s so interesting to compare these similar hats and I wouldn’t have even known that they were so close to each other it you hadn’t have pointed it out.

  5. I don’t care that they are similar. They’re both gorgeous on Princess Alexandra! She always looks so elegant.

    • Each hat is a perfect match for each coat. That’s what pulls the outfits together and makes Princess Alexandra look so elegant. There’s not one thing I would change about each hat and each coat.

      I wish she would tutor the younger royals on how to dress!

  6. I like both hats, outfits and the splendid jewels, especially the aquamarine brooch. Perhaps she bought the hats and outfits a long time apart, and forgot she had something similar in her wardrobe already?

  7. They are both gorgeous hats but I agree that one in a different color other than blue would have been a good idea.

  8. She looks simply lovely in both of these hats and outfits. I can’t complain one bit. I’m not one to normally notice or comment on jewelry, but both times she choose great pieces to complete the ensemble. Brava Alexandra!

    • Yes, I noticed the jewellery too. Especially the aquamarine (?) brooch on the first picture – really lovely. The coat with the textured fabric is great too. As for the hats – well on my monitor the colors do not look that similar at all.

  9. I tend to agree with your theory that Princess Alexandra may have been presented with two similar swatches, couldn’t decide between them and chose both. Queen Elizabeth has debuted a number of remarkably similar outfits at about the same time, and this was the only theory I could come up with. Of course, one fabric might be considerably heavier and suitable for different weather than the other, but the casual observer probably doesn’t realize that these are distinct outfits. (That’s obviously not the case for followers of this blog, however!)

  10. I think we have two Janes here…I just came in and did not make the other reply from Jane?
    Alexandra can have as many close outfits as she wants. Wink. I think she is charming. Applause here. I would enjoy meeting her. A perfect lady. The hats are both beautiful and she is comfortable. That is what matters.

    • Yes, there are number of Janes in this conversation!

      A gentle word of caution- we don’t actually know that Princess Alexandra, or any other royal, is comfortable. She might look that way but it’s not something we can assess. Let’s keep conjecture out of the conversation, please.

      • Didn’t you conjecture about her inability to pick a fabric and opting for both? Unless you get any information straight from the Royal, isn’t this all conjecture?

  11. Don’t understand why you would not easily understand the rationale behind these 2 outfits. The shape of the hats and coats look attractive on her and she feels comfortable in them. It is no different than what the queen and camila do regularly. The weight of the fabrics are completely different. The colors are not at all similar… one is clearly turquoise and the other is a sky blue. One fabric has a woven print and the other is completely flat. One outfit has pockets and covered buttons and the other has no pockets and metal buttons. One coat has a mandarin collar and the other has a different collar.

    • If you were going to spend the money on two designer hats and coats, would you get 2 that were as close as these ones? Didn’t think so.

    • These are obviously both bespoke pieces. Surprising that the designers went for such similar styles. You’d think they would try and steer her toward pieces that were more different.

    • If she was going to order hats in the same style, why not get one a colour that wasn’t blue? Pink, green, gold, purple, anything! I agree with HatQueen, these two blue ones are so close they are confusing.

    • Exactly what I was going to say. The Queen has been doing this for years. Truth is, we all do it. I have the same style of jeans in five different colors of denim because the cut looks good on me. I have the same handbag in seven colors because it holds my stuff perfectly. My husband owns at least 20 polo shirts, some in the exact same colors so his favorites are always clean. It’s a sort of “uniform” way of looking good when you aren’t wearing a uniform.

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