Inventory: Queen Elizabeth’s Black Hats

After our look yesterday at her fourteen hats that feature black and another colour, you might be very surprised to find that since 2000, Queen Elizabeth has worn just ten solid black hats:

1.Queen Elizabeth, Sep 14, 2001 | Royal Hats  2.Queen Elizabeth, Nov 10, 2005 | Royal Hats  3.Queen Elizabeth, April 4, 2002 | Royal Hats

Designer: likely Philip Somerville;  unknown; unknown
Introduced: all prior to 2000 (these photos taken Sep 14, 2001; Nov 10, 2005; Apr 4, 2002)

4.Queen Elizabeth, Oct 17, 2000 in Frederick Fox | Royal Hats  5.Queen Elizabeth, Feb 12, 2002 | Royal Hats  6.Queen Elizabeth, April 5, 2002 | Royal Hats  

Designer: Frederick Fox; Philip Somerville; unknown
Introduced: Oct 17, 2000; Feb 12, 2002; April 5, 2002; 

7.Queen Elizabeth, November 9, 2008 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats  8.Queen Elizabeth, November 11, 2011 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats  9.Queen Elizabeth, November 8, 2015 in Angela Kelly design made by Stella McLaren | Royal Hats

Designer: Angela Kelly; Angela Kelly; Angela Kelly made by Stella McLaren
Introduced: Nov 9, 2008; Nov 11, 2011; Nov 9, 2015

10.Embed from Getty Images 11.Nov 12, 2017 in RTM | Royal Hats  

Designer: Angela Kelly; Rachel Trevor Morgan
Introduced: Nov 13, 2016; Nov 12, 2017

12.Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Angela Kelly
Introduced: Nov 11, 2018

When you think about how many memorial and Remembrance events the Queen has attended over the past 17 years, one might think she would have more than 10 hats to accommodate all of these events. Interestingly, hats #1 through #4 have all been retired for about the past decade, leaving the remaining six designs to do the job whenever a black hat is required. While other royals repeat their black designs for regular daytime engagements, Queen Elizabeth does not. The hat shapes here are also fairly similar (most are an Angela Kelly design), making me think that this group is all about practical functionality rather than fashion. After seeing Queen Maxima’s 25 black hats, this collection seems rather streamlined.

What hats here stand out to you most? If you were to add a new black hat into this collection, what style would you choose?

Photos from Tim GrahamAntony JonesTim Graham, AFPTim GrahamTim Graham, Pool/Tim Graham, Chris Jackson, Chris Jackson, Carl CourtKarwai Tang and Chris Jackson via Getty

21 thoughts on “Inventory: Queen Elizabeth’s Black Hats

  1. Embed from Getty Images

  2. There’s something about #3 that really appeals to me. But of the more recent ones, my favorite is #10 with #9 a close second. #5 is an interesting departure and I like the spareness of the buckle embellishment rather than a floral floof.

  3. Here are three more to add to the list. They all fall into the retired category.

    This hat, which was pointed out below by Jimbo, was worn on Remembrance Day in 2000 and 2002. It is definitely an oldie, having been worn to Prince William of Gloucester’s funeral in 1972 (below left).

    Here’s a lovely hat worn on Remembrance Day 2001. It dates from at least the mid-1990’s when it was worn while in mourning for the Princess of Wales.

    Last but not least, we can’t leave out this dramatic feathered creation worn to Lord Brabourne’s memorial service in November 2005. I suspect it wasn’t new then but this is the only time I’ve ever seen it worn. It is quite a unique look for HM!

  4. I am very fond of 1, 5, 7 and 9. There is a lot about 6 that I like but wish they had done something different with the hatband. My favorite is 8. And I am not typically a big fan of this shape but the proportions and embellishments for me are spot on. This is a hat blog and not a brooch blog but the brooch in 6 is gorgeous. The look on HM’s face in 6 makes me chuckle. Thank you for putting this together.

  5. I knew we wouldn’t have nearly as many as 25, but I’m surprised there are only 10, and 6 of them are similar in overall design. I had not seen #2 and #4 before, but I’m glad #4 has been retired as it is not flattering for HM in my opinion; #2 is, however, quite flattering in a way I would not expect. #6 is my favorite of this group, followed closely by #8 and then #3. What I’m most disappointed in is the lack of wider brimmed black hats; any she still wears all are small cloche-styles.

  6. I believe #4 was for a meeting with the Pope at the Vatican. You can just see the colors of the Swiss guards uniform through the veil. One of my favorite black hats.

  7. I too particularly like hat #1 and always have wished it would be repeated.
    Hats #6 through #10 all bear a certain similarity. I greatly prefer #9, the brim and fabric of which I really like. I believe that hats #9 and #10 obviously were made to match the coats (fabric and button match), whereas the other black hats and black coats switched around.
    #3 always have made me think it looks crushed or bent by accident. It does make the Queen look a little like a Dr. Seuss character.

    • I’d think so. Unlike yesterday’s black fur with pink, this hat is exclusively black. And it may have been worn with the persimmon Christmas 2013 outfit:
      Embed from Getty Images

  8. These are all pretty nice. When I look at the different parts of some of them, like 7 and 8, I like the size, I like the small brims, I like the subtle trims, but somehow the total package strikes me as old fashioned. My favorites are 2 (the beret), 4 (the turban with veil), 5 (the fedora-ish), and 9 (basic brimmed hat with nice ribbon and button trim). Numbers 5 (fedora) and 10 (bucket) seem like the most modern designs. I would like to see the Queen in something like #4 without the veil, or another small design- maybe a pillbox, made special somehow like the one Viscountess Linley wore the other day. These may be old fashioned too, but it might be that the simpler and more streamlined the shape, the more likely it is to be seen as a “classic” that never goes out of style.

  9. Interesting to note that HM only wears all black to specific events. I suppose that, although there are a lot of them, they are exclusively events where the focus is not on herself. Keeping the design simple allows them to easily be worn repeatedly without growing tired as they are not as memorable to start.

    I find myself curious about the hat pin she is wearing in the last few photos- she clearly has the typical color matched pin, as evidenced in number 6, but seems to consistently wear a pretty (diamond?) pin to Remembrance Day. Anyone know any details or significance?

  10. It’s a darn shame that #1 is retired, since I like it the best, closely followed by #9!
    #s7 and 8 are wonderful, also. #5, along with its green cousin, are not even on the same playing field, IMO.
    By the way, HatQueen, I have NOT received any email notifications for the last couple of blogs that I responded to (Sunday’s purple, and yesterday’s “black and other.”) Are there gremlins lurking in the system?
    PS I like the multi-colored swirl on your Inventory page for yesterday’s installment – clever!

  11. I think there are some really great hats here! I’m really drawn to 1,2, and 4; likely because they stand out as different from the current era of her hats which, though usually very lovely and fitting, often blur together in my mind. Of the others, 8 stands out as the best IMO, with a lovely balance of trim and shape. Thanks for another great roundup!

Leave a 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