Inventory: Queen Elizabeth’s Orange Hats

When Queen Elizabeth was spotted at Ascot last week in a peach textured hat and coat, it brought up repeated questions about why she seldom wears this colour. Orange is one of the most infrequently worn colours in the world of royal hats; with autumn in full swing (and Halloween around the corner), I thought it was a good time to look closer at the few royal hats in this hue. There’s no millinery closet better to start our tour than that of Queen Elizabeth.

The Queen has just two orange hued hats in rotation these days, both in shades of soft peach.

1. Embed from Getty Images   2.Embed from Getty Images

Designers: both are Rachel Trevor Morgan
First Appeared: November 19, 2009; June 12, 2012

UPDATE- Four new orange hued hats have been added since this post was published:

3.Embed from Getty Images   4.Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Angela Kelly; Rachel Trevor Morgan
First Appeared: June 16, 2016; June  25, 2016

 5. 6.Embed from Getty Images 

Designer: both are Angela Kelly
First Appeared: August 20, 2017; Dec 25, 2017

For her infamous début as a Bond girl at the opening of the London 2012 Olympics, Queen Elizabeth chose a peach ostrich feather fascinator. As she seldom wears such headpieces, I doubt we’ll see this piece worn publicly again.

Embed from Getty Images  

Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella McLaren
First Appeared: July 28, 2012

Queen Elizabeth has worn several other orange hats over the past decade. While I suspect these have all been retired from service, they show some interesting diversity of style. The small number of hats here further proves that orange is certainly not Her Majesty’s favourite.

A.Embed from Getty Images      B.This is a red hat! See it at #5 here.   C.March 16, 2006 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats

Designers: Philip Somerville; Angela Kelly
Last Appeared: November 13, 2008;  March 16, 2006

D.Embed from Getty Images    E.July 26, 2004 | Royal Hats    F.Embed from Getty Images

Designers: unknown
Last Appeared: July 17, 2003June 17, 2007July 20, 2009

 G.Queen Elizabeth, October 20, 2006 | Royal Hats    H.Embed from Getty Images  

Designers: unknown
Last Appeared: October 20, 2006; July 11, 2002

What do you think of orange and peach shades on Her Majesty? I suppose it’s a contrast from all the blue and pink hats she wears!
Two queens who wear orange well (and frequently!) are Queen Mathilde and Queen Máxima- stay tuned later this week as we look at the orange hats in their millinery closets.
Photos from Getty as indicated; Bauer Griffin; STR/Stringer and Mark Cuthbert via Getty 

38 thoughts on “Inventory: Queen Elizabeth’s Orange Hats

  1. Digging around in my photo archives, I found this and thought it worth sharing. It’s from Christmas Day, 1996.

    Embed from Getty Images

  2. Embed from Getty Images

    Here is another 🙂

  3. I am so pleased to see all the updates. I knew of a couple of the recently added orange outfits but didn’t have time to find them. Several other outfits showed up too. Nonetheless, the point remains that orange is a relatively rare color for the Queen.
    HQ – you mentioned the Queen’s brown hats. Now those would be rare!, Of course, you have the problem of differentiating between light brown and tan or beige. And lighting does make a huge difference in determining an outfit’s color, particularly if it’s an indoor shot.
    Thank you for this orange inventory!

  4. HM wore a very vibrant shade of orange to celebrate her Golden Jubilee. She changed into this ensemble after the luncheon at the Guildhall for the ride back to Buckingham Palace.

    Embed from Getty Images

  5. Orange is a very hard colour for anybody to pull off so you don’t see it go down designer runways too often! I do like some of the orange hats; however, I can’t help but wonder how they would look in another colour, and I suspect, the Queen would look better.

    • In some photos it looks more tan (so I was going to include it with her brown hats) but I think you’re right, Lex- it has an orange undertone. Good catch! I have added it to the post above.
      Embed from Getty Images
      Embed from Getty Images

  6. Thanks HatQueen, it’s interesting to see such a range of different hats here. People often say that the Queen is fortunate in being able to wear any color, but I like orange the least on her. Out of the oranges she has worn, I think the darker burnt orange shades, or the more near to coral colors are the most flattering ones. Most of the other shades drain color from her and make her look washed out.

  7. Just not my favorite color for HM, especially the peach/apricot shades. Darker tones, like pumpkin, or those with more pink, like coral, suit her best, IMO. Looking forward to Max. She ROCKS orange!

    • Of course not! My only quibble is the first hat which I believe is pink in reality. The second one is wonderful- any idea of it’s last outing? I’m fairly certain it was before 2000.

      Embed from Getty Images

        • No worries- I only featured hats from this millenium because with Queen Elizabeth, one easily can get sucked into an endless black hole of hat searching!

          I find it interesting that this hat was in used in the late 1990s- I think the straw orange one I featured above (#7) was in circulation during this time as well. They strike me as two very similar hats to be in use at the same time.

    • Jimbo thanks for your research. I really like the last orange and black hat above. It is such a different shape than we usually see on the Queen and it suits her very well. Though orange and black together always reminds me of Halloween. The first hat is also quite nice.

    • I love the black hat with orange stripes and a touch of feather! The size and shape of the hat is just right on Her Majesty! Jaunty and a bit playful, it is perfect with her orange coat!

      • Green is more a “republic” color…Orange is certainly a flashpoint in Northern Ireland. I know this because before traveling there, we were warned about what colors to wear/not wear.

  8. I never realized just how little HM wore orange and peach. While I’m not a huge fan of the more peach shades, I think a good burnt orange could suit HM very well! But my word, where did #8 come from?! And #6 is definitely a product of the early 2000s!

  9. I like the queen in orange but in peach she looks waxy. Looking forward to seeing Maxima and Mathilde in all their orange glory!

  10. What a fun post! Thank you. Peach Fuzz and Peach Fuzz Light (#1 and #2) are worn still, of course, but the others are historical. Outfit #C really was in a class by itself. I can’t imagine how or why it was created. The others are fine.
    I still expect to see the Christmas 2013 outfit again but with a different hat, perhaps orange, and perhaps without the cuffs on the coat. Whenever she wears fur, whether real or fake, there is such an increasing outcry.

  11. What a fun post! Whilst orange (or peach?) clearly isn’t her favourite colour, the infamous peach fuzz has been sported a lot, so she clearly likes that outfit very much!

  12. As far as the hats go, I love A, C and E. Particularly C simply because it’s a real departure for HM but it also suits here and I really like the blue-grey ribbon. Of course, I cannot see the rest of the outfit to judge how well the hat goes with the clothes, but that’s not what we’re discussing so I feel comfortable with my choices.

    • There are very few photos available of this hat and dress, Sandra- here is the only one I’ve been able to track down.
      Embed from Getty Images

      • Thanks. I think I really do like this. It’s so different for her, and in a good way. The shiny spots on the dress material give me pause (as does the ruffle round the neckline and the red lipstick), but it’s a ‘together’ look and I love her lack of fear when it comes to colour. Maybe she knows that almost all of them suit her!

  13. Hi HQ – the best monarchy to start with in terms of 50 Shades of Pumpkin would be, well, the House of Orange! I’m looking forward to that one as you’ll be spoiled for choice and no doubt there’ll be some pearlers. Great idea for a theme, BTW.

  14. I like the third from.bottom with the grey ribbon. I like the unusual shape and the grey with the orange. She should wear more of this colour maybe some burnt orange too. Looking forward to Max s entry !!

  15. I really enjoy the top three, especially the first straw number. Of the retired ones, I like the 1st and last the best. BTW, just where DO the retired chapeaus reside? Buckingham must be filling up with them! Please let us know if they plan a yard sale; I’d like to buy one!

  16. I like the peach hats and I’m so surprised that Queen Elizabeth doesn’t have more. I thought she had a pumpkin colored coat but I must be wrong!

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