Buckingham Palace opened its segment of the exhibition, “Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe” recently, adding to exhibitions already open at Holyrood House and Windsor Castle. There are some truly spectacular pieces, including the Norman Hartnell coat and coordinating Simone Mirman hat Queen Elizabeth wore for Princess Anne’s first wedding in 1973.
The 1970s saw the Queen in a lot of turban shaped millinery and while many of us prefer to forget this era, I think this piece was one of the more successful designs in this shape. The strong lines of the turban shape in this case are softened with a veil-like addition of purple lace and royal blue silk taffeta ribbon ruched into the shape of flowers. In the close-up video below, you’ll notice the complexity of this embellishment, complete with hundreds of minuscule and very neat stitches where it is attached to the main helmet shape of the hat.
While our focus here at Royal Hats is always on the hats, our peek at this particular design, however, is incomplete without looking closely at the coat worn with it. The softness of the veil on the hat contrasts with the angular lines of the coat’s diamond cutouts- two feature that in theory, would compete but in reality, are a beautiful compliment. The perfect construction of the inset diamond panels on the coat is also something to marvel.