Closer Look: The Pink Somerville Pleated Brim

Royal HatsWhen her nephew, Viscount Linley, married on October 8, 1993, Queen Elizabeth chose a pink hat with distinctive silk pleated brim:

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

This hat is included in the Holyrood House section of this year’s three part exhibition, ‘Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe’. The Royal Collection Trust shared this closer view of this piece as it appears on display:

This look unveils a few surprises. The hat entirely made of straw, the crown is uncovered, and the pleats are made of fine silk chiffon which gives a much lighter feel to the piece than it had in photos taken when Her Majesty wore it. This peek shows the design to be far more delicate and refined than it originally appeared – it’s certainly not the puffy pleated sofa cushion that I previously thought it to be.
What do you think of this hat design, now that we’ve had a closer look?
Photos from Getty as indicated

12 thoughts on “Closer Look: The Pink Somerville Pleated Brim

  1. It’s a miss for me. The color seems a little off which could be the photograph, but the bigger problem is the shape in front. If it was orange it would look like she was wearing one of those cheese wedge hats.

  2. I’m on the fence about this hat. I like the color and materials used. I like that it is fairly simple, symmetrical, not overly ornamented… The soft draping of the fabric almost makes up for the severely upright and sharp angles of the brim. On the other hand the upright brim reminds me of the kokoshnik shape, very Queen appropriate. I might like it better if it were smaller, but when looking at the Queen wearing it, it does seem like it is in a good proportion to her size. So mostly positive I think. Does anyone know if the Queen had other hats of this particular shape?

  3. This is another hat that has stuck in my mind over the years. The close-ups give such a different perspective from that which we get in photographs. I wonder what some designers think when their finely detailed works are criticized with a “too wide,” “too tall” or “too bright” — easy characteristics to spot from a distance — and no mention is made of the workmanship, most of which can’t be seen by the crowds anyway.
    I do agree that several of the hats currently on display do look better on display than they ever looked on the Queen’s head.

  4. I like the hat ok- it wouldn’t ever be my favorite, but I don’t hate it, and I definitely like it more after seeing it close up. The coat on the other hand, IMO is dreadful. It feels baggy and poorly tailored and something like a bathrobe.

  5. I prefer it in the display than I do on HM’s head. Jamiemid’s observation of the range of styles the Queen has worn over the years is amazing. For the past decade+, I seems to me, she has by and large worn variations on one shape.

  6. It really does look better close up, but I am still not a fan. What amazes me is the large variety of styles she has tried and worn over the years. I applaud her for the risks she takes, and while I may not always be a fan of her hats, I am definitely a fan of Her Majesty. She always looks so serene, lovely, and dignified.

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