Closer Look: The Green Mirman Flowered Turban

Royal HatsAnother one of Queen Elizabeth’s instantly recognisable hats from the past is her green turban with kerchief draped back, studded with white silk flowers made by Simone Mirman.

Embed from Getty Images

Initially worn during a 1977 trip to New Zealand, the hat is now part of ‘Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe’ on display this summer. The Royal Collection Trust recently released this short video of it:

This video gives the first clear view of the back of this hat I have ever seen- a back I imagined would be much different (more flowing folds and less awkward bumps). While the shape of the back is a bit disappointing, it’s a great look at this famous piece of royal millinery.
What do you think of this design, now that we’ve had a closer look?
Photos from Getty as indicated

22 thoughts on “Closer Look: The Green Mirman Flowered Turban

  1. Never before seen much coverage of the blue hat for Princess Anne’s wedding in 1973 but it is featured on the Instagram account today. Please do a post to cover it and the Queen Mothers great hat from that day. Can’t miss the opportunity. Loads of great posts on that Instagram account, especially the Queens hats from the 60s/70s.

  2. I have been struck often when seeing photos of Charles’ and Diana’s wedding (1981) and then Andrew and Sarah’s wedding (1986), that the Queen’s hats really demonstrate something about the fashions of the time. The hat at Charles’ wedding now looks very dated indeed, the tail end of the ’70s, whereas the hat she wore for Andrew’s wedding is still really attractive (to me) and could even be worn today without too much comment. This is another hat set firmly in its era, and as such is a really interesting piece of millinery history. However, its era is not one that I look back to with fondness, so to me it’s not a hat I would choose…

    Once again I marvel at how this hat has been kept in such good condition for so long. I’d have thought that those little flower petals would go limp over time, but they seem in excellent condition. Do you suppose they have all been individually steamed?!

  3. I don’t know, I rather like this hat..the small white flowers against the spring green color are quite striking, whilst the back took some courage to wear. The uniqueness of the hat with her whole ensemble looked pretty. I wish she had worn more makeup in those days; she was much too plain-looking and looked older than her age.

  4. I like vintage but I feel that the hats she is wearing at 90 are better suited then the ones back then. even in those days it was highly questionable taste.

  5. Perhaps the best thing to say is that it is not MrFitzroy’s least favorite of this particular ilk….the striped version has that honor. Other commenters have already hit on the myriad of reasons this style just didn’t work very well.

    There’s a reason the 70’s were called the taste free decade, and it was less easy for HM to navigate the style eddies of those years than for most. The saving grace is nearly everyone looked horrid in the 70’s so in hindsight, it didn’t seem so outre.
    The worst hats (In one’s humble opinion) worn in that era by HM were the puffy oversize beret hats, which tended to look like HM had a droopy bean bag or lumpy sack of potatoes on her head, often with tassels, dingle balls, and other horrid trim.

    But the striped scurban is pretty bad.

  6. A kerchief is not an easy shape to combine with dressy attire. Jean Shrimpton pulls it off here:

    in a pic probably taken 10 years prior to this visit of HM – so it can be done; but I agree that it’s not working in this instance. If the veil section were shortened, so that it didn’t hide the back of HM’s neck, it might look a lot better. I love the hat’s front section – so light and spring-like.
    BTW, check out those circle details near the hem of HM’s coat! it’s a pity the hat doesn’t exactly relate to them — and that by 1977, the mod era of big geometrics, and kerchief-style millinery, was long over!
    I think it was difficult for people to relate to HM’s outfits immediately after the fashion revolution of the sixties, because formality itself – especially the wearing of formal hats and gloves – had became so outmoded. I am so glad that HM never discarded her hats and gloves. She did have her shorter hems for a while in the sixties (not by much, of course!), but she was back to her below-the-knee length before too long, as we can see above.

    • I agree completely with what mrfitzroyobe says: July 5, 2016 at 8:57 pm. That stripey hanky hat is hideous!

  7. I have two thoughts on this one. As Ruthtoo said, kerchiefs were worn over my hair when I just could not do anything with it! Next, I went to a Catholic High School in the 70s when the nuns were changing from full habits to partial habits and/or street clothes. The partial habits had coifs just like these except of course in black and white!! Thank you Hat Queen, it’s such fun seeing all these hats!!

  8. I don’t mind the hat, it is definitely a hat of its time. At first glance I would not have noticed the drape at the back. The queen looks lovely and yes I am surprised she doesn’t wear more white accessories when the season calls for it.

  9. I was in college during the 70s and a kerchief was something we wore during finals when we had no time to wash our hair, so I can’t imagine this was ever stylish. It gets a big no from me.

  10. Interesting, different… but never a favorite, I have to say. I like the idea of a hat/kerchief better than the reality of it.

  11. I share your lack of enthusiasm for this hat, though I do not think the shade of green is what I would call “hospital green.” It is not the color or the trim, but the shape and design I dislike.

    What jumped out at me is HM is holding a white purse and wearing white shoes. I don’t know why she can’t still change to white accessories when appropriate today.

  12. I rather like this – it’s certainly at the more creative end of her millinery, and is clearly inspired by the pink Jubilee hat (or did this come first – in which case was it the other way round?!)

    Is it flattering though? Not sure… But I still can’t help at raise a smile to it.

  13. I feel very nostalgic looking at this hat and hesitate to criticize it. However I feel if it had been made as a turban minus the awkward kerchief piece at the back it would be really, really lovely. The dreamy green and those delicate flowers. Nice. Very nice.

  14. Didn’t like it then and still don’t care for it now. She often looked so dated back then and much older then she was with her fashions. She just wasn’t hip!

    • I also remember thinking she looked like she was dressed in what we called in the states, ‘hospital green’ and that shade of green had not been popular since the 50s!

  15. I simply don’t know what to think about this hat, despite the pretty white blossoms on the green fabric. There is something about the kerchief back that has me imagining HM with dustpan and broom in hand, like Cinderella.

  16. Not my favorite era of the queen’s attire in general, nor this hat in particular. The white flowers are so beautiful on the green, but that is the limit of my enthusiasm. I too was very surprised by the awkwardness of the back of the hat. I wonder if the lumps and bumps have to do with how it was stored, or even more, about how it was mounted for the exhibit. It was, however, fascinating to see it in the round–thank you for posting the video.

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