Hat From the Past

Royal Hatsthirty-five years ago to this day in 1982 when a young Princess of Wales visited Wales in a small blue felt tricorn hat with raised Breton brim, veil wrap and ostrich feather at the back. The unique hat shape was a go-to one for her in the early 1980s during the first years of her royal life.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: John Boyd

Photo from Getty as indicated

14 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

    • KEG, thanks so much for sharing that video, I had never seen it before, and I stand corrected about saying it was not a maternity coat, I should have remembered this one! The video shows a great view of the back of the coat, which we had not seen in any of the still photos. Diana wore the coat and hat two more times in 1982 — I will post the info in a day or two, I am very busy in real life this weekend.

      Procedural question for HatQueen — I understand and will abide by your request not to post from Pinterest. Some of the hats from the past that you have posted since I’ve been participating, I have photos in physical books or magazines of the era that I could scan and post — is that permitted as long as full credit is also included? (And if yes, where can the scan be posted from, if not Pinterest? I could put them in my own WordPress account.)

    • If Diana wore the coat previously in Anglesey, I can’t find any photos of it, either online or in books, but here is a photo of the blue blouse with the vest from inside the Guildhall on the day that the pregnancy was announced. This photo is from page 172 of the book “The Country Life Book of Diana Princess of Wales” by Lornie Leete-Hodge (Crescent Books, New York, 1982) and is credited to Central Press, London.

  1. I love the hat but can see that it might not be the best choice for the coat. This coat has never really been a favorite. I really like the fabric but don’t think the style suits the fabric. Or you could say the fabric doesn’t suit the style of the coat depending on your point of view.

    • I share your reservation about whether the hat color goes with the coat, but I think a rust-colored hat to match the coat would have been too much rust. What other color do you think might have gone better?

    • Nice pic Jimbo. Here is the complete outfit. The coat seems to be a maternity design – which was probably more comfortable for the princess, who had given birth (to William) only 5 months previously
      I share your reservations about tthe coat. Its “tribal/ethnic” look surprised me — it doesn’t seem at all like Diana’s taste; and to me it doesn’t connect with the refined aesthetic of the hat, clutch or shoes. However I do like the hat. I don’t think anyone since Diana has worn this style as well as she did.

      • mcncln, I’m not able to open the photo you linked to, but here is another one of the full-length coat:

        and here is what was underneath:

        I have not been able to find any photos showing what style of skirt was worn under the coat, but the blouse is one that Diana wore often — I’ll see if I can find other photos of it.

        I would doubt that it was a maternity coat in this heavy fabric, as the time of year when Diana would have required the most loose clothing was during the hot months when you see lots of photos of her in short-sleeved cottony dresses, wiping her brow at polo matches, and she had slimmed quite a bit down again by November. I suspect more that it was just a loose coat that maybe was in style at that time? To my knowledge, she never wore it publicly on any other occasion.

        Two more photos focusing on the hat:

        and follow the link in the above pin to an article about the many similarly styled hats that Diana wore in those years.

  2. Love the hat! The blue color is wonderful in bringing out the blue in the coat. She looks so young and sweet! The poof on the back of the hat is kind of messing with the fringe on that funky collar, though. Maybe, it is better when she is standing up straight.

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