Closer Look: Queen Elizabeth’s Childhood Hats

Royal HatsWe have discussed many of Queen Elizabeth’s hat styles here on Royal Hats and peeked at her fashion during almost every decade of her life. We have not, however, looked at the hats she wore as a child.

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

The exhibition on the Queen’s wardrobe, ‘Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe’, includes pieces she wore as a child. The Royal Collection Trust recently released this short video and photo of  a pale pink bonnet trimmed with handmade velvet flowers, made by Smith & Co. in London, now on display at Holyrood House. Queen Elizabeth wore it in the mid 1930s and there was likely a matching mate worn by her younger sister, Princess Margaret.

The hat is a simple cloche with the brim slightly raised around the face. This look makes me wonder both how much millinery techniques have changed in the past 80 years (such an unevenly finished brim wouldn’t pass the muster for a royal hat today!) as well as how many past techniques have been lost in the tides of changing fashion (we seldom see velvet flowers such as these). It’s a sweet design that I’m so glad has survived for us to admire today.
Photos from Getty as indicated and The Royal Trust

15 thoughts on “Closer Look: Queen Elizabeth’s Childhood Hats

  1. These vintage photos are fascinating. Why do you suppose the future queen is crouching ion that last one?

  2. It is fun to see a hat HM wore as a young girl. I am especially glad to see the video which gives the color as well as shows the up close detail of the flowers. I would not have guessed they are made of velvet.

  3. Princess Marina – (the Duchess if Kent) was always the most elegant of women – the angle at which she is wearing her hat is wonderful. Her daughter – Princess Alexandra, is just as elegant I think.

    • I love that hat of Marina, Duchess of Kent as well. I agree she was truly one of the most elegant Princesses ever. These photos are a trip! I love to see the sweet hats The Queen and Princess Margaret wore as young Princesses. That you Hat Queen for a fun post!

      • I agree with what Shannon says: July 11, 2016 at 8:23 pm. Marina, Duchess of Kent, always looked amazing. RIP great lady.

  4. Delightful pictures of the young Princess Elizabeth. She is so self-contained. Her grandmother must have had an enormous influence on her.
    It is so interesting to think that while most of the rest of us have become much more casual in our dress these days, HM has always kept up the tradition of wearing hats when out “on duty”.

  5. I love these photographs – thank you. I especially have always loved the first one with ‘Lillibet’ tucked under the blanket between her Grandpa and Grandma… so young and yet .. so collected. she had no future royal role then.. but somehow she looks made to be Queen.

  6. Forgot to mention: Queen Elizabeth’s, Queen Mary’s, and the Duchess of Kent’s hats were quite interesting as well! I should like to see an exhibit of those some day!

  7. Thank you for posting this; I always enjoy looking at past hats. This one is remarkably pretty–the flowers are beautiful. I was surprised about the irregular band.

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