Inventory: Duchess of Cornwall’s Black Hats

We are continuing our look at royal hat wardrobe inventories with a peek today at all off the black hats in the Duchess of Cornwall’s millinery closet. Since beginning her royal life in 2005, we have seen Camilla in twelve designs (shown here in the order they were introduced):

1.Embed from Getty Images  2.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: unknown (likely Philip Treacy); Philip Treacy
Introduced: January 5, 2005; November 4, 2005

3.Embed from Getty Images   4.Embed from Getty Images  5.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Philip Treacy; unknown; Philip Treacy
Introduced: June 16, 20006 September 2, 2006; September 11, 2006

  6.Embed from Getty Images  7.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: unknown; Philip Treacy
Introduced: December 14, 2007; November 9, 2008

8.Embed from Getty Images  9Embed from Getty Images
Designer: unknown; Lock and Co.
Introduced: June 25, 2011; January 27, 2012

10.Embed from Getty Images   11.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Lock and Co; Philip Treacy;
Introduced:  September 11, 2013;  March 14, 2014

12.Embed from Getty Images  13.Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Lock and Co.; Philip Treacy
Introduced: September 11, 2014; December 25, 2015

Since this post was published, the Duchess has added the following black hats to her wardrobe:

14. Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Philip Treacy
Introduced: Nov 10, 2019

Of the  designs shown above, I suspect that #3 and #4 are retired (the flower in #3 showed significant signs of wear after a few wears and I suspect it was replaced with #11)- this might also be true for #5 and #8 which both have not been seen in several years.

I find this group a little disappointing thanks to some dowdy shapes and some nubbly textured straw that lacks some refinement. I think Camilla is at her millinery best when in collaboration with Philip Treacy, evidenced here by the beautifully crisp design of #2 (a hat that still in circulation after a decade), the beautifully balanced movement of #11 and the smooth elegance of #13.

What do you think of this lineup? Which hats are your favourites? And, if you were to become Camilla’s stylist for a day, what kind of black designs might you want to add?

Photos from Getty as indicated

15 thoughts on “Inventory: Duchess of Cornwall’s Black Hats

  1. I agree about hat # 7; too much in the way of feathers which makes the flat brim look awkward. Camilla does, indeed, look good in a majority of hat styles and looks particularly well in black hats. I do think most large hats look better than the smaller, but that said, I really like the way she looks in the #3 beret. If I had a chance to design a hat style for her, it would be black straw and designed as a big slice hat like Maxima carries off so well.

  2. Of this group, No. 8 is my favorite, pretty with her dress/suit! Then No. 12. No. 13 is my favorite hat AND outfit together…so chic!

  3. As always when seeing several pictures together, I come away with the impression that Camilla is blessed to have such a hat-suiting appearance – so many different shapes look good on her. Even the Scotch bonnet (number 4) looks stylish on her, and it is a difficult hat to look elegant in.

    I do like number 7 as it has a wonderfully Edwardian exuberance to it. Number 9, the Paddington, is a bit too informal for engagements, I think, unless perhaps with a fur-type coat for a winter event. Numbers 11 and 13 are both lovely hats. The one that I hadn’t recalled that I think works very well is number 12, a simple concept stylishly executed (and indeed worn – it needs to be worn at the appropriate angle to look good) and a shape and scale of hat that suit Camilla perfectly.

  4. Most of these hats leave me rather cold. Not really liking the weird unbalanced shapes nor the trims.

    #11 (which it’s floppy bow) looks like the softer version of #5.
    I love Maxima’s sliced hats but #13 looks like a bad version of it.
    Hats #9 and #11 are my absolute faves.

  5. 11 and 13 are my favorites too. The rest are almost all fine. The only one I don’t like is #7, too floppy, moppy for me. 9 looks like a cozy winter hat, quite appealing at this time of year.

  6. Compared to many of Camilla’s hats, I find her black hats to be much plainer. I also find it interesting how some of these have gotten a ton of use, while others I barely even remember (I don’t even remember seeing 5!). 2, 3, 7, 11, and 13 are my favorites of this group, with 13 being my top pick.

  7. Honestly, the Duchess of Cornwall could wear almost any style of hat with aplomb. I especially like #13, followed by 78 and 12. She also looks good in the berets. (I keep remembering Camilla’s “hat hair” described by someone after the Cenotaph ceremony.)

    • I agree! She looks good in such a wide array of shapes!! 2 and 13 are my personal favorites, but I was surprised by how well I thought she carried the berets. The only one I really don’t care for is 10, I’m not sure if it’s the shape or how it’s worn but it just somehow feels off to me.

      • I agree too! yes,Camilla’s blonde hair does work a treat with a black hat.
        And hat #10 is a shape I too don’t like — it looks unbalanced from every angle, especially with that hefty chunk of a straight-edged brim.

      • It’s interesting- Camilla’s hat shapes are either large picture hats or beret based perchers. While we associate the first type with her (because it’s what we see her in most!), she wears the second type just as well.

  8. Honestly I like Camilla in just about anything, and I like most of these hats. Many of them are hats I would even wear, and I don’t wear a lot of hats. I liked number eleven the least, but I thought she carried it off well.

  9. The only hat that really catches my eye is #13. I think Cams could rock a large slice hat like Max wears. It doesn’t have to be black though.

  10. I know most people won’t agree with me, but I really dislike the feather trim on hat number seven. It always looks as if someone took a glue gun and attached the feather as a last minute decoration. My little granddaughter does things like this. I do like Camilla in black. It suits her pale colouring well, I think. The last three are my favourites, and I especially like her in black velvet.

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