Millinery Collaboration: Jane Corbett & The Duchess of Cambridge

Royal HatsDuring the early years of her royal life, the Duchess of Cambridge turned to British milliner Jane Corbett for a number of her hats. This pairing produced a number of beautiful designs that solidly established Kate’s hat wardrobe and helped define a burgeoning personal millinery style.

2017 marks Jane Corbett’s 20th anniversary as a milliner and to celebrate, she has designed three collections of hatsone in felt and one, a couture line of one-off designs. A third anniversary collection of 21 limited edition designs will be added each month for the next year. In honour of these new collections (the first Corbett designs available for purchase online) and aniversary, I thought it would be fun to look back at all the hats Jane Corbett has made for Kate:

2008-05-17-wedding-of-peter-autumnr  2009-08-14 Nicholas Van Cutsem wedding 2  2009-08-14 Nicholas Van Cutsem wedding 3

Black straw pillbox with straw tails and net tulle veil worn to Peter & Autumn Phillips’ wedding, May 17, 2008
Pale blue straw round percher with silk blooms worn to a friend’s wedding, August 2009

Embed from Getty Images  Embed from Getty Images

Cornflower blue straw percher hat with silk flowers worn for the Duke of Edinburgh’s 90th birthday, June 2011
Black felt hat with beaded trailing bow detail worn Nov 13, 2011 for Remembrance Sunday

2012-05-29-bp-jubilee-garden-party jane-corbett-lace-diskr

Pale pink straw hat with lace trim worn for a Buckingham Palace garden party, May 29, 2012

2012-06-18-order-of-the-garter   jane-corbett-white-cocktail

White straw percher with flying bow detail worn for the Order of the Garter Service, June 2012

2012-09-29 Kate 2  2012-06-17-trooping-of-the-colour-3


Palest blue straw saucer percher with interlooped straw bow tails for Trooping the Colour, June 2012 and
wave shaped straw hat with embroidered organdie worn for a friend’s wedding, Sep 29, 2012

The Jane Corbett design I receive the most requests to feature here on Royal Hats is the burgundy velvet felt stylised trilby that Kate wore for her first Christmas as a member of the British Royal family. With contrasting piping and a raised, ruffled brim around the back, the hat’s unique shape and saturated colour combine to make a wonderfully stunning design.

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

As we wish Jane Corbett congregatulations on this millinery milestone, I’m curious about which of her designs for the Duchess of Cambridge stand out to you most. If any of you purchase one of the hats from this collection, be sure to share it with us here as well!
Photos from Getty as indicated; Hello Magazine, Bauer Griffin and Bauer Griffin via Zimbio; Anwar Hussein and Paul Hackett via Getty;; Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty and Jane Corbett

21 thoughts on “Millinery Collaboration: Jane Corbett & The Duchess of Cambridge

  1. What a fun post, HatQueen! I never fully appreciated Carole Middleton’s wedding hat until now.

    There are so many great looks here that I wonder why we haven’t seen Kate wear Jane Corbett more recently. I’d love to see her in the Extravagante for Ascot or maybe the Festino as a working hat.

  2. My favorite hats on Kate are the pink and the white percher hats as well as the burgundy velvet. I personally prefer the hats that sit more like a hat and not ones that defy gravity in the way they sit on the head. Carole does wear a hat very well and she looks good in the larger picture hat style.
    Not only would I be interested in who purchases the hats but I would really like to know for how much?

      • Hello, Try as I might, there is no website (unless the glass sculptures have anything to do with the milliner). A new website was announces for 2017 but there is no such thing. Rather frustrating for I adore her hats. Thanks for your help ! Nathalie

        • In 2017, Jane Corbett released a three collections of hats to celebrate her 20th anniversary as a milliner. These were her final collections as she later announced her retirement from hatmaking to pursue other artistic endeavors. I see her millinery website has now been removed.

  3. Just had a look at the felt collection…nice. I can see Zara wearing the Sato (grey and red..maybe in a bolder colour) and I see the beads are back, scattered on the black Vinter. My personal fave is the grey Vokatra…I like how they have used the brown trim, clever. Thanks for the post HQ…most enjoyable.

  4. I don’t like any of these hats…except for the black Rememberance Day one…I think the beads give it just the amount of lift……for me less is more. I particularly dislike the blush coloured one that is on a hat stand but which Kate wore to a BP Garden Party with that gorgeous (repeated) blush dress. Similar in style to the pale blue worn to the friends wedding with the wide neck Erdem? Dress. Too flat, too pale. And the blue hat worn to the Dukes 90th birthday…way too tiny and twee. As to Carole Middletons….the red one. The sweep of the brim shows off her face and seems to suit her personality, (perceived I agree). Thanks.

  5. Oh my, I had forgotten that all of those hats Carole Middleton has worn were Jane Corbett’s. Jane and Carole make a great team, and Carole really showcases her millinery well (much better than Kate in my personal opinion). Carole also borrowed the August 2009 disc percher from Kate once.

    Out of these hats for Kate, I really love the one from June and September 2012; they just pair so well with that dress. And yes, the Christmas wine colored hat was also a stunner, because of it’s beautiful color and the way Kate wore the unusual shape so well.

    I see Jane Corbett’s new hat collections feature a lot of this stylized trilby shape, and I just don’t think they are as successful as I’d like them to be, but perhaps they look better on an actual head? There are some great cocktail perchers in her collections. I’m curious about what the rest of the anniversary collection holds!

  6. I love all of Jane’s hats on Kate, but the pale pink with the lace and the burgundy velvet are my favorites.

    Carole Middleton looks wonderful in the pale blue hat she wore to her daughter’s wedding. Pale blue seems to be her color. That hat was the one I liked the best of all the hats Jane Corbett has designed for Mrs. Middleton.

  7. These designs for Kate just aren’t as successful as the stunners she does for Sophie. I don’t know, I just find them slightly too fussy and twee for Kate’s understated style. With that absolute exception of that burgundy beauty, which is a stunning, stunning piece of millinery; and I hope we’ll see it again soon.

    As for ‘Call me’ Carole (sorry, that’s what the Queen calls her on facebook!!) she wears Jane’s hats so well – she’s such an elegant woman of a certain age, and knows just the right amount of frill and when to stop.

  8. I find it amazing how different the 2009 wedding ensemble looks from the Prince’s 90th birthday celebration in 2011, given that Kate is wearing the same coat! I can’t decide which one looks better – they’re both lovely.

  9. Thanks for this great post. Jane Corbett hats are so pretty, so feminine. I love how she matched hats to outfits by incorporating the same lace, similar shapes, etc. She shows her creativity in each one; how many ways can you do a bow? In her collections I am drawn most to the trilby variations. The pastel colors are beautiful. And the burgundy anniversary edition is a perfect example of her delicate touch with decoration: flat background flowers, two small jewels and airy feathers, all in the same color, just enough, not over the top. With Kate’s burgundy hat, it seems like she matched the simplicity of the coat in front and then copied her curls in the back. The lighter color edging highlights the movement of the piece. I do hope she wears this again.

  10. I like most of those hats. The burgundy velvet is my favorite- just stunning, but most of the rest are also lovely. I’m not crazy about either of the two black ones- I just don’t care for the shape. The most striking, though not surprising, is her hat hair! She’s such a lovely and elegant lady, and the long straight undone hair under the hats is just not at all flattering. I much prefer it up, or at the least half up under hats.

  11. While not officially royal, Carole Middleton has worn a number of Jane Corbett designed hats to royal events:

    William and Kate’s wedding, April 29, 2011

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

    Prince George’s Christening, October 23, 2013

    Prince Charlotte’s Christening, July 5, 2015

    Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

  12. And two more Jane Corbett hats to high-profile racing events (as royal guest):

    Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot, June 16, 2011
    Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

    Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot, June 21, 2012

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

Leave a Reply to Liz Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s