Members of the British Royal Family gathered at Victoria Embankment Gardens this morning to pay tribute to members of the armed services who served and died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. To unveil a memorial sculpture to those who died in these conflicts, Queen Elizabeth repeated her royal blue hourglass-teardrop shaped hat with wrapping feather trim. The vibrant colour of her ensemble fit both the sombre nature of the event and the need for Her Majesty to stand out in the crowd. I’m not a fan of this millinery design but I do admire the Queen’s ability to consistently, pick the perfect ensemble for any event.
The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her green straw hat in a modified boater shape with straight sided crown and raised brim on one side. In theory, a straw hat might seem out of place at a chilly outdoor event such as this but the saturated colour combined with velvet trim on the hatband, inverted brim edging and interlocking ring decoration made this piece fit in, perfectly. Camilla looks wonderful in jewel tones and this green is particularly beautiful on her.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a new hat in navy rabbit fur felt with dropped edge, mushroom brim and tapered, square crown. The hat is simply trimmed in a wide Petersham ribbon hatband and a neatly folded bow at the back. We seldom see Kate in hats with such substantial brims and while this piece is a classic one that coordinates beautifully with her coat, I think the scale overwhelms her a little.
The Countess of Wessex continued the jewel tone theme, topping her red and black brocade dress with a black straw statement hat we have not seen her step out in for almost four years. In black straw, this design features a sideswept wave shaped brim attached to a calot style cap and is trimmed with a branch of black flowers. It is one of several hats Sophie has in this unique shape (see here and here) and it is wonderful to see it again, particularly today paired far more successfully than the hat she paired with this dress at Christmas.
Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: June 21, 2013
Princess Anne also repeated a hat last seen at Ascot. In navy straw, this design features a square crown wrapped in a ruched navy silk hatband, a gently upswept brim on one side and lavish pouf of feather trim. The slim white pinstripe around the underside of the brim is perhaps my favourite design element on this piece, giving it a wonderfully crisp contrast to the slightly messy feathers.
Previously Worn: June 15, 2016
UPDATE: Thanks to reader Ruth who pointed out the Duchess of Gloucester also was in attendance, repeating her greige straw beret hat.
What do you think of this sextet of British royal hats at today’s memorial event?