Inventory: Countess of Wessex’s Blue Hats

The Countess of Wessex celebrated her 51st birthday last week. As we have done with others this month, were going to take an inventory of the blue hats in her millinery closet. Here they are, shown in the order they have been worn:

1.Embed from Getty Images  2.Embed from Getty Images  3.Embed from Getty Images
Designers: unknown; unknown; Philip Treacy
Introduced: May 27, 1999; December 24, 2000; June 2, 2003

4.Embed from Getty Images  5.Embed from Getty Images  6.Embed from Getty Images
Designers: all are Jane Taylor
Introduced: June 15, 2011; December 25, 2011; June 5, 2012 

7.Embed from Getty Images   8.  9. Embed from Getty Images
Designers: all are Jane Taylor
Introduced: June 18, 2013; December 29, 2013June 17, 2014

10.  11.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: all are Jane Taylor
Introduced: May 5, 2014; June 10, 2016

UPDATE: Since this post was published, Sophie has added several additional blue designs:

12.Embed from Getty Images 13.Embed from Getty Images 14.
Designer: all are Jane Taylor
Introduced:  June 15, 2016; December 25, 2017; April 1, 2018

15.Embed from Getty Images 16.Embed from Getty Images 17.
Designer: all are Jane Taylor
Introduced: May 19, 2018June 20, 2018; October 12, 2018

18.Embed from Getty Images 19.  20.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: unknown; Jane Taylor, Jane Taylor
Introduced: Oct 24, 2018; June 19, 2019; June 20, 2019

21.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Jane Taylor,
Introduced: March 9, 2020

Sophie also wore three navy and white hats during the early days of her royal life:

   1999-06-12   2001-06-10   2001-06-16

Designers: unknown. I suspect the first is Philip Treacy
Introduced: June 12, 1999; June 10, 2001; June 16, 2001

Looking at this group of thirteen hats, there is considerable variation of colour and style. I suppose that’s to be expected for a hat career that now spans fifteen years, although you might notice a curious eight year span between 2003 and 2011 where no blue hats were introduced (and few were repeated). Nevertheless, this slice of Sophie’s millinery closet shows her experimentation with different shapes.

When it comes to current status, I suspect #1-3, #5 and the last three navy and white hats have all been retired, leaving seven percher designs (#4, #6, #7, #9-12) and a lone fedora still in service. Of the retired hats, I would love to see #3, with its sleek texture and beautiful raised brim, worn again. The proportion was lovely on Sophie and I think the shape is as relevant today as it was over a decade ago. I also have a soft spot for the cream hat with navy silk ribbon around the brim, trimmed with roses. It has such a classic Chanel-esque look to it that I adore.

What do you think of Sophie’s blue hats?

Photos from Samir HusseinMax Mumby/IndigoMark CuthbertDanny Martindale, Samir Hussein,Tim GrahamTim Graham, andTim Graham, all via Getty; Rex Features



19 thoughts on “Inventory: Countess of Wessex’s Blue Hats

  1. Once I’d chosen my favourites, I realised they were all of a type … Sophie wears hats so well, doesn’t she? She can get away with a lot more than some other Royal heads.

    My faves are: 4, 6, 7 and 9 (I loved that whole outfit). The peacock feather hat is stunning and she looks gorgeous in it.

  2. This gallery of the Countess’s blue hats is amazing! She is so very lucky that she can wear a wide range of hat styles. I prefer the brimmed hats, and the best of this bunch of hats is the one in photo 3. I also really like the final 3 brimmed Treacy hats. They are all great hats. Thanks for compiling these hat galleries HatQueen.

  3. The Countess of Wessex is one of my favourite Royal hat-wearers. I enjoy her range of hats. I prefer her hats designed by Jane Taylor overall.
    I vote for hat 3 for the win! The next best is 1, then 12, then 10, then 8, then 7, then 4, then 6, then 2, then 11, then 5, then 9.

  4. This post helps explain understand why perched hats are so popular. Hats #1 and #2 are wearing Sophie (instead of her wearing them) and the perched hats give room for lots of decorations without completely overpowering her. The big navy & white one is super though.

  5. Her hats have certainly got more flattering haven’t they. I do like her more recent millinery much more, my personal favourite is the peacock feather; it’s stunning.

    Sophie started out quite safe, almost dowdy, but with statement hats, albeit not too ‘out there’. But i feel she’s hit a stride of looking really glamorous this past few years, such as the fabulous Robin Hood number from the diamond jubilee.

    Fascinating to see her evolution.

  6. I love that Sophie loves hats! I love that she wears them well and fearlessly. I don’t always like each particular choice, but I love the variety and the boldness she brings to her millinery game. Rock on, Countess!

  7. I can’t say I love these hats. I love a good cocktail hat and don’t mind some extravagance but the decoration on these are a little bit too much for me, especially hat #4. Of the larger hats #3 is clearly the best. The others all seem too big and a little bit dated.

  8. #3 and the fedora…are nice. Sometimes her hats are too much and take away from her own beauty. The second last one reminds me of Diana.

  9. Again, like with Mathilde, I’m surprised at how few blue hats there are in Sophie’s hatboxes! She really went for it when she first joined the royal family, making a statement with her millinery, and she hasn’t stopped since, which I’ve always enjoyed. I agree completely that number 3 should be brought back out again; it’s similar to another good one in cream with some butterfly trim she wore to Ascot in 2003 with the same outfit. Not a fan of the pillbox she wore Christmas 2011, and 1, 2, 10-12 are all very dated unfortunately (#1 could be saved with different trim, as @Bristol said). Like many others, I still adore the peacock cocktail hat, and #6 as well.

  10. I’m going “off the ranch” and will boldly declare that I find the larger hats much more attractive on the Countess. After so many of the percher plates that she’s been wearing I’d forgotten (or maybe never have seen) that she wore larger and, in my opinion, more interesting hats years ago. #1 is a great hat but, as Bristol says, could be re-trimmed to make it more up-to-date; #3 is spectacular and very sophisticated; and I love all three of the navy & white hats and would love to see any/all of them again. While I have to say that I find the Earl & Countess of Wessex to often be the Best Dressed of their generation of the royal family, some of the percher hats that the Countess has worn in the last few years are a bit too “plate perched on a head” for my taste. But, that said, I do give her credit for having fun with her selections and always looking well turned out.

  11. Such fun to see how Sophie’s style has evolved! She really has done a great job of learning what suits her, as most of the earlier hats overwhelm her delicate features. I do agree with Hat Queen that I would like to see #3 again. It does suit Sophie well. In looking this collection over I was close to conceding that perhaps (sadly) larger hats were not right for everyone, but #3 saved the day!

  12. I love the peacock hat! Sophie is my favourite UK hat wearer . Camilla a close second but Sophie has a huge variety of styles

  13. her style is never boring, I like them she always looks sophisticated although number no. 2 looks a bit like a bucket in blue

  14. Your idea of providing a gallery based on colour is so interesting – it allows a fascinating cross-section of a hat-wearing career.

    This gallery of the Countess’s hats is no exception. It shows someone who clearly enjoys hats, who tries different styles and isn’t afraid of making a statement! Really to me there are no disasters here, although a few suit Sophie more than others. What I also notice, as with Mathilde etc, is that she is wearing fewer large-brimmed hats these days, and that’s such a shame! (We’ll have to continue to rely on the Duchess of Cornwall in that regard.) I’d like to see number 3 and the first of the navy and white hats again, and actually I think number 1 would be good if retrimmed in some way (maybe feather quills instead of the flowers?) All of the four percher / cocktail hats are good examples of the style, and the peacock one remains perhaps my favourite interpretation of this style ever!

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