Hats From the Past: Canada

Royal Hats to several more hats, all worn in Canada, that offer a royal salute for Canada’s 150th birthday today. I’d also love to hear your stories and memories about royal visits to Canada (even if you’re not Canadian!) in the comments.

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King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at Niagara Falls, June 17, 1939

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King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Montreal during the same 1939 tour

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Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh at a rodeo in Calgary, October 1951

Queen Elizabeth, 1971
Queen Elizabeth in Victoria, May 1971

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The Princess of Wales in Edmonton, June 19, 1983

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Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in Ottawa, Sep 26, 1984

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Queen Elizabeth reviewing the Guard of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Sep 26, 1984

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Princess of Wales in Halifax, June 14, 1983; Duchess of York in Toronto, July 15, 1987

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Queen Elizabeth in British Columbia Aug 26, 1994; The Princess of Wales in Toronto Oct 27, 1991

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Queen Elizabeth in Newfoundland, June 25, 1997

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Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess of Cambridge celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa, July 1, 2010 & 2011

Photos from Getty as indicated; Canadian Press/Bill Croke

28 thoughts on “Hats From the Past: Canada

  1. The Queen visited my hometown in Alberta in 1990. I remember picking a bouquet of pink peonies from my garden to give to her. When she came around for her walkabout, I was too far away to hand the flowers to her personally, and hoped to at least give the flowers to someone to pass along to her. I was surprised to be asked by her acting lady-in-waiting “would you like to jump over the barrier to give the flowers to her directly?” I didn’t even hesitate, and I ran up to her and she turned and smiled the most glorious smile ever (she also has the most beautiful skin) and said “how lovely, thank you” and carried them to her car. I curtsied quickly, ran back to my friends and burst into tears due to the overwhelming excitement!

    I also got a chance to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Calgary in 2011. I lined up for tickets at midnight to get tickets to the evening pre-Stampede dinner event.I spent the most wonderful 8 hours with fellow Royalists chatting and laughing and drinking Tim Horton’s coffee. Finally, at 8am, they opened the doors and we filed in to get our tickets. I chose the “blue line”, to match her engagement ring, while most people chose the purple line. The blue line, in the end, gave us closer access to the Duke and Duchess while they watched the mini-rodeo. It was so quiet while the event went on, which enabled me to hear Kate tell William to not “get too close to the bull.” She was quite animated and concerned about him. It was an amazing experience to see Diana’s son.

    Happy Canada Day Hat Queen and all other Canadian hat lovers!

  2. Great retrospective. I love the last two, the DofCam and that sort of lampshade brim on the Queen. Also I feel like I’m in the minority but I love the Duchess of York’s hat. I think the bow makes a nice accent and that the clean white lines look lovely. My only quibble is the leaf on a stick, but otherwise I think it’s great.

  3. I have a great memory of one particular royal visit- On May 3, 1986, I briefly met Princess Diana. I was an older child and a large group of children/teenagers, all involved in music or dance, were assembled to meet her during one of her many events that day. She lingered around us, shaking hands and chatting with us about our instrument or dance specialities. One person asked about William and Harry and she said she and Charles had spoken with them on the telephone that morning, or rather, tried to, because Harry (who wasn’t yet 2 years old) kept trying to bring things to the phone to show them. The hat she wore that day will be emblazoned in my memory for as long as I live!
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  4. I agree with Lesley C. Sarah’s was too much. I don’t know how old she was at the time. On a girl or very young woman the bow and maple leaf, sans hat, would be fabulous. I don’t know about the braid. I would like to see a different do.

      • Looking at Sarah’s hat with 2017 eyes, it was too much. But in the context of other 1987 fashion it was quite elegant and actually a little restrained. Most of us were wearing bows in our hair/at our waists/on our butts/at the top of the ankle zippers of our jeans/anywhere else we could think to put them, and most of our bows were big and floppy. That bow was architectural and streamlined in comparison…while still being right on trend And the maple leaf on a “stem” emphasized that hers was a real bow, not a prefab one seen onto a barrette so that it could never come loose or untied. There was a touch of skilled execution/luxury in that detail–again, in the context of the time and the trends of the day.

      • I was in the US South in the late 80s, and we were overrun in bows. I probably had 15 or 20 different ones to clip into my hair.

        • Well, I’m sure you, Lesley C., and HQ are all right. I admittedly do not have a great memory, but I did go through my photo album (OCD sufferer that I am, they are arranged by decade, ha, ha) and I didn’t see a single bow on me or anyone I knew. I guess we weren’t very stylish.

  5. all great hats in and of their time. I always thought Sarah’s maple leaf was fun. Perhaps Bea saw this photo recently and was inspired with her Ascot hairdo. But have to give the win to the DoE in a stetson!

  6. A lovely collection HQ!
    And for those who’d like to see more of the first 2 hats…
    #1 Queen Elizabeth 1939. That hat must have been a favourite, it seems to keep cropping up – I believe these may be pics of the same hat:

    L side view: http://c8.alamy.com/comp/C13GBX/queen-elizabeth-the-former-duchess-of-york-planting-a-tree-at-dartmouth-C13GBX.jpg
    closeup: http://h7.alamy.com/comp/B4R0B7/elizabeth-queen-mother-king-george-vi-and-princess-margaret-at-crathie-B4R0B7.jpg
    R side view: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ea/4d/dd/ea4dddbbbfcb3b443438c8b23d7ab691–margaret-rose-princess-margaret.jpg
    And in motion:

    #2 Princess Elizabeth 1951 at the Calgary Stampede – front view with cockade. Note snow on Princess’s bag and hair. Freezing!: http://www.calgarystampede.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/1951-Prince-Phillip-Princess-Elizabeth-with-J.B.-Cross-CS.000.13.1001.jpg
    Video of the hat- watch 3:19-3:49.Double crown? at 4:14-4:16 , 4:28- 4:29 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhhcKz4pdnM
    My vote for most unusual hat in the assemblage:
    #7 Duchess of York. Nice L side view here: http://static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/images/MC/tspa_0123461f.jpg Front view — not so much: http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000oLc7wIW00do/s/600/480/NEWSPIX1351101-Sarah-Andy-Toronto.jpg
    Although perhaps “most unusual Canadian tour hat” should be awarded to this one from 1971! http://cponline.thecanadianpress.com/graphics/2013/queen-prince-timeline/images/JPEG/029.jpg

  7. I liked Kate s Canada hat to be fair , and I am.not equivocally a fan of her hats. Diana’s were appropriate for the time when they were worn 30 years ago , different times different styles

  8. I think at times paying tribute to the host-country can be taken a little too far. The last two pictures of QEII are an exception. Sarah Ferguson’s was just too much. Would love to know what colours were worn in the B&W pictures

    • I remember that visit in 1987 and how well that hat/bow/maple leaf combination went over. It was the 80s and seemed quite refined in comparison with other contemporary fashion! It was almost like she was extending a hand of friendship to Canadians at the time and we absolutely loved her for it. Kate’s hat in 2011 had a very similar reaction.

      • I remember that visit too – but small red bow, large white bow, maple leaf, plait and a boater hat …. smacks of overkill. Kate’s maple leaf embellishment is nice and just enough, although I have issues with the percher/fascinator and that it’s sitting on one eyebrow.

        • I believe that’s actually correct placement for a percher… but you don’t have to like it! I thought it was a lovely touch by the Duchess of Cambridge, whose first visit here happened to take place during our national holiday. It was made by Sylvia Fletcher of Lock & CO. if I remember correctly.

          Not all of these hats are good ones, granted, but I posted them simply to show how various royals have used their clothes/hats as a sort of salute to my country during various visits. Maybe it’s cheesy but it’s something that is noticed and appreciated. And Prince Philip in a stetson at the Calgary stampede- the only photo more Canadian than that is this one!
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      • Couldn’t reply to your later comment for some reason about Philip in a stetson. I loved Kate in the stetson in Canada – if she’d stuck a maple leaf on there I’d have been happy.

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