British Royals Celebrate Easter

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of  Edinburgh notoriously love to be surrounded by their family on major holidays and yesterday, as in years past, the couple were joined by children and grandchildren for Easter Sunday Service at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The Queen wore in a vibrant turquoise ensemble and hat with sloped crown and gently upswept brim, trimmed with a black stripe around the crown, turquoise straw bow loops and pink silk ranunculus blooms.

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The layered shape of the sloped crown is both lovely and beautifully executed and the black trim provides some grounding contrast. It’s a very bright hat that few could truly wear well but again, Queen Elizabeth carries it off with ease.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: this hat is new

We’ve not yet seen the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge join the extended family for Easter- their attendance today was a surprise that Kate compounded with a new hat. A square pillbox covered in cream satin, the design is simply embellished with a flat bow at the back. We’ve seen countless variations on round pillbox royal hats but this is the first square take on this classic shape that I can remember. The shape sits slightly awkwardly on Kate’s head (no surprise as heads are round, not square!) but makes for a sleek and elegantly restrained ensemble with her Catherine Walker coat.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Beatrice topped her lace dress with a gold leather button percher hat with purple backed gold leather rose petal ruffle trim. I’ll admit- I’m surprised to see a metallic hat for Easter (especially paired with a demure lace dress) and while my love of the unexpected is at odds with a nagging feeling that disco balls on heads isn’t a great idea for Easter Service, the colour of this piece is really great with Beatrice’s colouring. It’s a high fashion choice that I admire Princess Beatrice for making although I’m not sure this was the right event for it. Oh, how I wish she’d saved this one for Ascot.

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Designer: Justine Bradley-Hill Millinery. It is the “Midas” design. Dress is “Rowan” from All Saints. 
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Princess Eugenie wore a handmade percher cocktail hat with a round base covered in nappa leather trimmed with a sinamay rose, hand rolled and dyed in ombre pink and orange, sinamay leaves and white loops. The colours and scale of this spring hat are great on Eugenie, who wears it very well. We don’t often see leather hats on royal hats (particularly Easter bonnets!) but seeing the York Princesses both in smooth, buttery leather hats today has me wishing this material be used more.

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Designer: Goldust Millinery It is Look 2 from SS 2017. Coat from Burberry
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Countess of Wessex wore a lovely black straw pillbox hat trimmed with feathers on the side. Very similar to the hat she wore for VE Day anniversary celebrations in May 2015, the simplicity of this design worked beautifully with her vintage inspired pink coat.

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Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

Lady Louise topped her royal blue suit with a fascinator spray of coordinating feathers. Louise’s headpieces have been steadily growing over the past two years, making her transition into royal hat wearing seem rather seamless. I find this design quite charming on her.

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Designer: Jane Taylor.
Previously Worn: this headpiece is new

Princess Anne repeated her cream straw hat upfolded brim covered under brim, wide silk sash hatband and side feather spray. We saw this hat a few weeks ago…. so there’s nothing more to add.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: March 15, 2017March 18, 2016December 25, 2015June 16, 2015

Autumn Phillips wore a percher cocktail hat described by the designer as a “black velour felt beret with sculpted flight feather.” A simple design, the hat was a great counterpoint to Autumn’s electric blue coat (a coat that would not worked nearly as well with a hat in any other colour). The small, vertical hat works particularly well with the oversized collar on the coat.

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Designer: Emily London. It is the Newmarket design from AW 2016. Karen Millen coat.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Easter Sunday always brings us a parade of wonderful British royal hats and this year was no different. With seven new hats making their debut yesterday, I’m curious to hear which one(s) stood out to you most.

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Photos from Getty as indicated

44 thoughts on “British Royals Celebrate Easter

  1. The construction of the Duchess of Cambridge hat looks amateurish. Right away I saw puckering, gaps in seams and upon closer look some very noticeable seams. i was surprised no one else said something about it.

    • I think Jane Taylor has done a fantastic job of growing the scale of Lady Louise’s headpieces over the past two years. It’s been a great and gradual introduction to royal hat wearing. I’m sure she’ll soon wear a full hat but let’s give her LOTS of space and time to ease into this. She is still just 13 years old.

  2. I really like Kate’s squared pillbox. I guess it does seem slightly nursely viewed from in front, but I imagine that’s partly because textures don’t photograph very well; I suspect it doesn’t look so much like it in the flesh. And I think it’s a nice change from a standard round shape. (I agree heads are round, but it’s nice to have variety on a basic shape, and I don’t think this works badly.) I also think the whole outfit looks great, very polished, and subdued in an elegant way which I assume was what Kate was aiming for, given the Queen’s presence.

    Beatrice and Eugenie to me look un-pulled together, especially in comparison with Kate. There isn’t anything wrong with the different components (well, I personally don’t like Beatrice’s dress much), but the overall effect is just a mess in both cases. Their two little hats in themselves are quite fun, but to be elegant, both really need to be the stars of their respective outfits rather than one among competing elements.

    Sophie’s pillbox is nice. Autumn looks great, the black hat is simple but effective. This really makes me think how individual hats and their outfits are in how they suit different people. Zara Phillips often wears an outfit very similar to this one of Autumn’s (interesting coat, small percher or similar hat), and on her it so often looks unbalanced. On Autumn this looks perfectly proportioned to me.

  3. I like the hats worn by the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Cambridge best. Lady Louise is rather charming in her fascinator. I do not like fascinators, but think they are appropriate for adolescents and tweens. The ladies wearing percher hats are lovely, but I do not like this style of hat. (Perchers and fascinators are my least favorite of all hats!) The Princess Royal wears her hat well, but my opinion it is…meh! The Queen as usual did not disappoint.

  4. The hats that top my favorite list would be:
    HM: I love the pink roses on the front of the hat. A nice pop of color.
    DoC: Love this square pill box. Very sophisticated! Also love her hair.
    Autumn: A perfect hat to go with the her blue coat.

    My middle of the road group would be:
    Eugenie, Sophie

    In my bottom group:
    Anne, Beatrice and Louise (I think the tailored outfit doesn’t match the floral head piece)

  5. Totally off topic I know HQ…apologies.. But does anyone know what label Princess Beatrice is wearing. I really like that dress!! I actually quite like her hat too, that bronze colour is so different, but not a fan of the visible hat band. The cushion shape together with the attachment kind of makes it look like it’s just been plonked there but nonetheless it’s noteworthy. Thanks.

  6. HM looks absolutely lovely. To me everything about the hat/the entire outfit is perfect. (I bet it’s another brilliant RTM/Parvin combo).
    Other than that: The Countess of Wessex adorable as always. I like her unique style very much.
    Happy (belated) Easter everyone! And a chance to thank you, dearest HatQueen, for the marvelous work with this blogg, it makes the world a better place, indeed! Merci.

  7. The shape of the queen’s hat is lovely, and the color very flattering, but there is just too much going on in this piece: the contrasting color of the flowers, the black trim, the bow. However, HM continues to confound by looking very well indeed. That seems to be a particularly goof color for her.

    My own opinion is, that in spite of the (somewhat questionable) novelty of the square pillbox, that Duchess of Cambridge seems of late in danger of becoming rather staid. Too neat and buttoned down by half–for my taste.

  8. Always curious and willing to learn as I am quite new to the world of Royal Hats. Generally I most always feel quite pleased with all the beautiful finery, however, must admit that today I am quite surprised to see so much black for an Easter Sunday! All the black shoes and large black buttons everywhere was quite jarring. I much preferred the overall appearance of those who went with the lighter “nude” shoes and avoided dark buttons. Another time certainly, but not on Easter Sunday.

  9. The colour of the Queen’s outfit is lovely, but I’d prefer the coat with our black buttons. Note the floral print of her dress peeking beneath matches the flowers on her hat.
    Would really like to know ho the Lady and Blue and the young man with Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence are!

  10. The Queen looks so lovely that I’m willing to overlook the pink flowers, which are pretty enough, but a little jarring with the turquoise. That curve on the left side is a nice touch, and something I don’t remember seeing before.

    I like the DoC’s square pillbox — it’s just different enough. But I agree with Jimbo that it is not positioned well, since it looks as though it is sliding off. I have reservations about the whole ensemble. The coat is beautiful, and the hat complements the tailored look well, but together they make me think of one of HatQueen’s observations about a previous Kate look, “… all rather biscuit.” It just needs…something?

    Oh, York sisters! The tiny metallic hat, worn almost comically low, makes me wonder whether Beatrice is aiming for irony. I agree with HQ and that it would be better for Ascot. But perhaps they should have traded. The rose on Eugenie’s goes better with the Beatrice’s lace, and Beatrice’s modern metallic base would be a better match to Eugenie’s updated trench. Also, the front of Eugenie’s looks lumpy, as though it’s not finished well.

    This isn’t the best ever for Sophie, but it’s pretty good. I generally don’t like black with pink, but the hat picks up the topstitching in the coat well. And it’s wonderful seeing Louise in her hat “training wheels.” She is emerging to be a lovely young lady.

    • I’m not sure a square hat could be positioned any more successfully- further up on her head, the sides would be overhanging the side of her head! I suppose this is why we hardly ever see square hats (they are not suited to round heads!).

    • That’s exactly what I thought, ladyofthemanor. The entire outfit plus hairstyle to me says ” hospital matron “. Or perhaps “airline stewardess”. Such a disappointment — as I find this hat really interesting. sadly, the seventies flared coat is fine itself, but doesn’t work with the hat, which needs a very sharp Jackie O-style suit in a colour, with a cropped jacket and pencil skirt (kind of like Lady Louise’s but a lot snappier).
      Re the leather hats: I understand that leather in hats is trending. I do love to see which royals get on board with what’s current.

  11. As usual, HM wins the prize on Easter. My only slight quibble is the big black buttons. They pull my eyes away from the queen’s lovely hat.
    Looking at the 3rd picture of Kate’s square pillbox, (do pills come square?) and her posture, I can’t help but think how easily it could come right off the back of her head, pins and all. Recall last Easter when everyone needed to hold on to their hats, due to the strong winds? I prefer Sophie’s placement, but still don’t care for pillboxes.
    The perchers don’t do much for me, either. Princess Anne wins the recycling prize, and I love it! Better still is the very nice royal blue hat/suit worn by the unnamed walker with Anne. She could have swiped her entire ensemble from HM’s wardrobe!
    On a totally non-hat related topic, and being one who appreciates architecture, I love seeing the evolution of the wall on the upper east end of St. George’s, outside the Albert Memorial Chapel, from crumbling to spic and span.
    Queen Elizabeth on Christmas, 1987 (in some places erroneously labeled Easter 1988):
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    HM on Easter, 1992 with patched wall:
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    HM on Easter, 2012 with a new wall:
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    HM on Easter, 2015 with NO BRICKS!
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  12. HM’s & Lady Louise’s hats & outfits are the best.

    The Duchess’s square pillbox reminds me of a box / tupperwear that I can pack my sandwiches into for lunch. Wish she had worn her other beige/ cream hats. In particular IIRC a beige hat with a peach/coral swirl that would add some colour to an Easter outfit.

    Love Eugene’s percher hat but am thinking her ill fitting dress detracts from the look.

    Love Bea’s hat as it’s a wonderful colour for her. Just out of curiosity, has Bea / Eug repeated their hats with other outfits before?

    • I think you’re referring to this hat- a Jane Taylor design worn August 04, 2014 in Belgium. It would have been fantastic with this coat!

      And to answer your question- yes, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie have both mixed and matched their hats, repeating them with different outfits.
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  13. Autumn Phillips wins the day for me, so that should tell you something. HM’s hat is a shape I don’t like, with two colors so bright, they clash (and besides, the flower trim is just unattractive). Everyone else is boring, a repeat, mismatch (Bea) ……… overall the most disappointing group outing in memory. I hope they step up their game for Ascot in a few weeks. It was so bad, I found myself admiring, in contrast, the hat and outfit of the unidentified elderly lady in royal blue.

  14. My favorite looks are HM The Queen and Lady Louise. Overall, their outfits and hat/fascinator looked quite lovely for the Easter outing.
    That being said, no hat struck me as a winner today. I keep thinking there is something odd about the Duchess of Cambridge’s hat, and I’m happy that Hat Queen agrees that the square pillbox doesn’t work. I think that gorgeous purple pillbox Crown Princess Mary wears would look striking with this cream coat.

  15. I’m surprised it’s not yet known who designed the Queen’s hat. The slope down of the brim from the center of the hat looks like the slope in the purple/gray RTM recently worn, but the abundance of roses rather makes me think of AK. I think it’s a striking outfit, partly because the black buttons, black hat stripe and the dark, primarily non turquoise dress are unexpected.
    I quite like the Duchess of Cambridge’s square hat. A beautifully coordinated, well executed outfit that does not overshadow the Queen is what she’s probably going for.

  16. My favorite looks of the day were the Queen, Lady Louise and Autumn. I also like Princess Eugenie’s hat by itself. The rest of the hats were just okay or worse. Anyway it is fun for us to see what the family members come up with every year. I didn’t see any Easter hats in my orbit although it used to be normal when I was growing up. So I get the nostalgia for the 50s/60s, but it is nice to see more modern styles as well.

  17. For me, HM wins the day by a long shot. This hat is beautiful; the colors are excellent and the shape is very flattering. My only complaint is I wish the flower trim was blooming a bit more, but a minor detail.

    Confused and bored with Kate’s square pillbox and all-cream ensemble. This doesn’t say Easter to me at all, although I do think it would be a good working outfit.

    I agree that Beatrice’s cocktail hat would be better suited for Ascot, but I think it could’ve worked for Easter had she worn a purple dress and no lace.

    Eugenie’s hat looked great on her, but I’m disappointed she didn’t have any red-pink showing (that is, if she did wear any red-pink) to help highlight the sinamay flowers of her hat.

    I do like Sophie’s hat, but it falls flat for me for an Easter outing; not thrilled with how her hair was styled either, but her shoes are fabulous!

    Louise looked great in her fascinator, and it was definitely one of my favorite looks of the day.

    If Anne had not worn this hat a few weeks ago, I might’ve been a little more pleased to see it, but now I really am over this one. And her shapeless coat made for a rather dowdy look in my opinion.

    I like the black and electric blue colors for Autumn, but I think her hat seems a bit heavy being velour felt compared to everyone else’s hats that are made of lighter materials. Otherwise another favorite look of the day.

    Overall, I was rather disappointed in how sedate the overall looks were for Easter. I usually think of Easter as the first major outing for spring (whether that’s church, brunch, etc.), and as such it deserves some excellent hattery. Did any fellow Royal Hats readers/commenters wear a hat for Easter? I wore a new grey panama fedora with a custom pheasant feather spray I had created; I had a lot of fun wearing it!

  18. I’m not sure that the black accents on the Queen’s outfit work with the very spring like flowers, for me the black just reads as too wintry.

    Kate’s outfit is lovely, and a good reuse of that fab coat, but the square hat puzzles me, I think she’s going for a Jackie O vibe, but I wish it was a round hat.

    Bea and Euge have gone for puzzling outfits – I didn’t like Euge’s mac thingie the first time round, it’s not doing her any favours. And their hats just don’t seem to have much relation to their dresses.

    And alas the normally reliable Sophie falls flat for me too; she’s also going for a Jackie O vibe in her duster coat, but I just don’t find the cut flattering for her at all.

    Looks like I’m having a pickie day today!

  19. Does anyone know who the young man in the photo with Princess Anne and Tim Laurence is? I noticed him in photos from Christmas at Sandringham, too. I wondered if he could be a Linley/Chatto kid, but those families aren’t there. I suppose he could be security or someone’s personal assistant, but he seems to be with the family, not an employee. I am curious!

    • Was Sir Tim married previously? This young man looks as though he could be related. I wonder about the woman in blue, too.

  20. We certainly run the gamut here from the simplicity of Autumn Philips and the Duchess of Cambridge all the way to The Princess Royal’s “everything but the kitchen sink” hat. The Queen seems to have captured the feeling of Easter and Spring the best with her bright colours and flowers. I agree that in some cases Black is the only colour that harmonizes with the rest of the ensemble, but for me an Easter Bonnet should be frivolous and pretty. So Her Majesty definitely wins this contest.

  21. Can’t say I love them, but they all look wonderful with these outfits, on these ladies. Not too sure about the Yorkies frock/coat but the overall look is ok. Lady Louise is so tall now, she looks to be almost the same height as her Mum who is wearing heels, while she is in ballet flats.

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