Queen Elizabeth Celebrates 90th Birthday

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh took part in an extended royal walkabout in Windsor today to greet thousands of well wishes on the occasion of the Queen’s 90th birthday. Not surprisingly, she chose a new hat and coat for today’s celebration, designed by trusted personal dresser Angela Kelly and described by Buckingham Palace as a “spring grass green wool and silk weave coat and dress with hat to match adorned with flowers”.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

The white straw hat follows a very similar shape to Kelly’s split crown design used on several other pieces with the silk wool fabric from the Queen’s coat used to wrap half of the hat’s tall crown and edge the short brim. The hat is trimmed simply with a spray of silk orchids anchored with a slim green bow at the side. The white hat balances the green outfit well and the fresh colour is youthful and very pretty. I just can’t help feeling that the the execution on this piece feels a little clunky and awkward and I wish that today, of all days, it was more refined.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella MacLaren
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Despite my foibles about this piece, the Queen and Duke both look to be happily and thoroughly enjoying this special day. What do you, dearest readers, think about this birthday hat?
Photos from Getty as indicated

29 thoughts on “Queen Elizabeth Celebrates 90th Birthday

  1. Interesting that HM switched off to a white scarf later in the day. That made me wonder whether she decided that the hat wasn’t quite right.

    • I doubt it. It was probably because it isn’t usual to wear hats like hers (as opposed to a genuine cocktail hat) in the evening. At 90 after a lifetime of hat wearing I wouldn’t expect the Queen to put a hat on her head if she didn’t like it or think it “quite right”. Nor would I expect her devoted assistants to propose such a thing. I just accept that sometimes she likes her hats and others don’t. Hats are notorious for polarising opinion as we often see on this site.

  2. Frederick fox yes remember him .
    John Boyd did a lot of hats for the Princess Royal I think he was from from Edinburgh .
    can you feature the Silver Jubilee pink hat
    and the one from the wedding of Prince and Princess of Wales .Thank you .

  3. Trying my best to disregard the occasion (which does colour opinion, naturally). I dislike this hat enormously – sadly. But when you pop it on the head of my dear Queen, Elizabeth, well, most is forgiven. She looks happy and healthy and long may she remain so!

    Lovely to have Hat Queen back for the momentous occasion. I have missed the in-depth analysis and wonderful millinery knowledge! x

    • I agree with you sandra. This type of hat is not what I like to see the Queen wear. I do like the colors and the brooch. Congratulations to the Queen on her 90th Birthday and I hope she is around to celebrate many more. It is indeed great to have HatQueen return!

  4. I will admit this is not my favorite hat for HM, but I still think it’s a good one for her. I like the idea of the split crown with different materials, although I do wish the edge between the two was more subtle. I was so excited she chose green to celebrate this momentous day, but would like it to be a bolder shade, for it looks a little washed out in the sunlight in some of the photos. So, minor complaints. My only real complaint are the yellow flowers; they are the one thing I would remove/replace. But I would like to see this brought out again, especially with that brooch!

  5. I bet there is a really lovely dress under the coat! When I first saw the hat I, too, thought they were lemons! Thank goodness they aren’t………..It must have been very hard to come up with something new in the way of colour for this very special occasion. I love the fabric of the coat – the hat is not my favourite but I do love the brooch! Yes, she is the star of the show, so very appropriate.

  6. All the hats look the same now ,apart from the colour one recently with ostrich feather detail at the lion enclosure was great and differant ,
    The 1970s had great hat design during the silver jubilee ,Phillip Somerville and John Boyd ,wonderful designs both men passed away now ,remember those hats for The late Princess of Wales ,and Princess Margaret I was lucky enough to be present and saw many over the years ,
    But for someone who must have had ever style like Her Majesty and still has them in storage ,some on display now ,for the summer exhibitions ,
    Fashions change but Her Majesty is right to stick to what she likes and suits her ,I agree that the pink coat and hat was stunning with many of the comments ,and wonderful examples in your latest post .
    I enjoy the site thankyou ,

  7. I liked it more before I saw the closeup. The fabric is too heavy/thick to wrap only part of the hat because you can see it as it goes over the crown which makes it look sloppy. I thought at first the larger flower buds were lemons and now I’m disappointed that they’re not 😀 But those are quibbles, HM looks very happy and springlike and not at all like a lady turning 90! Many happy returns of the day to her!

  8. I actually really like the heaviness of the flowers. It’s a more modern and interesting look to my eye than the smaller-petalled flowers on yesterday’s. And I think the lighter green is a better color on the queen than the bright magenta, although that was fine and a classic QEII choice. I share the quibbles over this hat’s construction, but overall I think it’s a really nice look for her, and the lighter color is a really nice and clear contrast to the dark car. I suspect it was chosen in part because they knew she’d spend a little time waving while standing in the vehicle.

  9. Bother; we don’t get a peek at the dress beneath the coat. The green is a pretty color but today’s outfit doesn’t have the oomph of yesterday’s magenta pink.

  10. This spring green looks great on HM. I do like the look – the ‘cake box’ hat shape does not even really bother me in this color! Only thing I would maybe change is to make the unopened yellow flowers not quite so long/large. I think rather than daffodils which I think they are, freesia buds might have worked better and have been less heavy looking.

  11. I thought they were lemons before I got a good look. Disappointed in general and I think others are also somewhat disappointed too but not saying so
    The colours are a bit washed out and that is a first . So many pictures will be taken today as it is the birthday celebrations. Those pictures will be shown over the years. Yes I will admit it. I am disappointed. This is our queen, dress her like one.

    • Jane, I respectfully disagree with some of your thoughts – primarily your last sentence; HM is undoubtedly the BEST dressed of ALL the royalty featured on this blog, bar none. Always meticulously turned out from head to toe, Queen Elizabeth never fails us with her grace, beauty, and sense of duty. I also, like you, think the colors and trim could have had more of a visual impact, but that is so minor a detail, when considering the energy, stamina, and smile of a such an all-giving 90 year old. You are truly blessed!

  12. HM looks lovely in the fresh green/white, but yesterday’s pink was MUCH better, IMO. Whatever the color, however, she looks radiant and very happy, as anyone should on such a wonderful milestone day! Long live your queen!

  13. The green fabric is beautiful. The addition of the coat (and dress) fabric to just half the hat is a interesting idea. There are indeed problems with execution, however. Where the fabric meets the very top of the hat, there is an obvious and annoying bump. I don’t think it’s a split crown effect but rather an inability to get the fabric sufficiently compressed when it bends over the crown. Similarly, the topstitching about 3 cm to the left of the front of the coat looks uneven and rumpled. The piping around the coat looks uneven in the next-to-the last picture.
    The yellow bulbs, apparently added only to make the hat stand out since there is no yellow in the outfit, are too large. In fact, I would like to see the hat without the yellow bulbs.
    Nonetheless, it’s a noteworthy spring outfit and one that will get more viewing than any other single outfit worn by the Queen recently. It all looks best from a distance — which is how most people will see it, I suppose. Unlike us, most people don’t scrutinize the close-ups.

    • The piping looks perfect in full length photos I have seen on Princess Monarchy although you can see the bottom part of the hidden button placket. Not what I would call a fault though.

  14. This is a beautiful fresh colour on HM and I love the coat in particular. The hat, whilst nice is a little clunky; where the fabric wraps over the crown isn’t great, but I like the idea of the split colour. The flowers work well though. Overall it’s good, but you’re right, today a slightly better finished hat would have been nice.

  15. I like this outfit, but it doesn’t have the punch of yesterday’s bright pink. It’s hard to tell if the hat is a true split crown, or whether the fabric covering has just been made to stand up more than the rest of the crown. The orchids aren’t spring flowers but I see how the white was meant to balance the white side of the hat. At first I thought the yellow were tulip bulbs. At any rate the yellow is a nice bright spot. The flowers look better, the closer up you get. Maybe that was enough for this outing, which was a more close up situation. As for the coat, even though the neck on close inspection does have piping, it looks a bit unfinished to me. I wish we could see a glimpse of the dress. Details aside, a happy birthday to the ever glorious queen!

  16. I think the yellow flowers are far too heavy – I think they are meant to be daffodils in bud. I do wish she had chosen a Rachel Trevor Morgan who made yesterday’s hat which was a delight! After all RTM is a milliner ……….. so the whole execution of a hat is far superior.

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