British Royals Celebrate Christmas: Part 2

Continuing our preliminary look at yesterday’s parade of British royal hats for Christmas Day, we come to the York Princesses. Princess Beatrice wore a cocktail hat with oval button base covered in electric blue velvet, trimmed with a silk rose and pleated silk abaca bow twist. On Christmas Eve, Beatrice wore another percher from this same brand- both hats have beautiful detail and trimming and are a scale that Beatrice wears very well. I’m less enamoured with the styling of this ensemble- perhaps with a black coat, the blue velvet would have been a lovely pop of colour. With this combination of black base, grey coat, awkwardly open neckline and blue hat, everything just looks haphazardly thrown together. It’s a shame because this is such a beautiful hat and this ensemble does nothing to show it off.

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Designer: Juliette Botterill. It is the “Velvet Rose Oval Mini” design
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Princess Eugenie wore a black felt rounded hat with wide, cuff bumper brim, trimmed with a large bow on one side. The simple hat balanced her graphically colour blocked coat, making an interesting and eye catching ensemble. I’m not sure I actually like the coat… but it’s absolutely the right hat to pair with it.

Dec 25, 2017 | Royal Hats Dec 25, 2017 | Royal Hats Dec 25, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: Whiteley
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
The Countess of Wessex topped her Erdem floral coat with a bespoke calot style headpiece circle of leaves in navy and pink felt. It’s great to see Sophie experimenting with new hat shapes and on its own, this one is a unique and pretty design (the midnight blue velvet is a beautiful contrast with her hair) but it is completely overshadowed by the floral coat. I think this coat needed a larger brimmed hat with strong lines and presence to balance the ensemble. I also think some patterns are best left to the drapery…

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Dec 25, 2017 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats
Designer: Jane Taylor
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new
Lady Louise Windsor topped her burgundy collarless coat with a small black and burgundy cocktail hat. The visible, flat base on this piece officially disqualifies it from consideration as a fascinator even though it is anchored to Louise’s head on a headband. Embellished with burgundy and black (or navy?) crin twists, the piece remains light and airy despite its dark hues; it is a great compliment to Louise’s coat and looks very smart on her.

Dec 25, 2017 | Royal Hats   Dec 25, 2017 | Royal Hats

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Designer: my guess is custom Jane Taylor but this remains unconfirmed
Previously Worn: This piece is new
Princess Anne wore what I think is a new hat… but with Anne, our favourite royal hat recycler, one can never be entirely certain. A square crowned cloche in grey felt, the hat is trimmed with a triple pleated black hatband, sidespray of feathers and cascade of overlapping feathers over the downward facing brim. Anne has introduced several feather-covered hats into her wardrobe over the past few years and the colour scheme, scale and feather placement on this one makes it more successful than some others. The hat showed especially well on this outing against Anne’s streamlined navy coat and black boots.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Autumn Phillips topped her red-piped navy military styled coat with a red velvet cocktail hat featuring a large, round button base, multi looped bow and jewelled picks. The starburst pleating on the velvet which covers the base adds a beautiful background pattern to the piece and the colour, which  looks great on Autumn, paired perfectly with her coat. We don’t see many red hats at extended British royal family events (presumably, not to take focus away from the Queen) which is a shame because this one is fantastic.

Dec 25, 2017 in Emily London | Royal Hats Dec 25, 2017 in Emily London | Royal Hats

Embed from Getty Images
Designer: Emily London
Previously Worn: This hat is new
The Countess of Snowdon wore a black (or navy?) hat with flat, linear crown and brim encircled in overlapping feathers. Lady Sarah Chatto ventured away from her go-to saucer shape to a new hat in midnight blue felt with wide, downward facing brim trimmed with a slim navy hatband and flat center bow. Both are statement pieces I wish we could see from multiple angles for a better view. I fear Lady Sarah’s hat is slightly too large a scale on her but will wait for its next outing to make a final assessment. I like the unique brim shape, which is visibly wider in front than in back.

 Dec 25, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer of Serena’s hat: unknown
Designer of Sarah’s hat: Stephen Jones custom version of ‘Facetime’ from Miss Jones AW 2019
Previously Worn: I believe both hats are new  
Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones rounded out the royal delegation in a classic Italian made fedora in slate blue felt. The hat is trimmed with a classic navy ribbon hatband and side bow. I wish Margarita’s coat better matched the hat but custom hats for minor royals (who we see wear hats once or twice a year) isn’t a realistic proposition and the different blues do coordinate fairly well. The scale of this piece is great on Margarita, who suddenly looks so grown up in it.

Dec 25, 2017 in Borsalino | Royal Hats

Designer: Borsalino
Previously Worn: This hat is new
There are not many royal events which see nine new hats (not including the additional four new pieces we already reviewed in this post!). I’m curious dear readers- which hats here have caught your eye? Which hats do you think work particularly well for their royal wearer?
Photos from Geoff Robinson Photography/REX/ShutterstockTim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock;  Chris Jackson via Getty; Ward/ ORG XMIT: wenn33520360; Ward/ ORG XMIT: wenn33520361; and Getty as indicated

21 thoughts on “British Royals Celebrate Christmas: Part 2

  1. I definitely agree that Beatrice’s great cocktail hat (especially that velvet cobalt blue color!) was let down by the styling of the rest of her outfit, which seemed to be thrown together at the last minute. This hat deserves another outing.

    Eugenie’s hat isn’t the most exciting to me, but she wears it so well. As for her coat, I would’ve just preferred it to be all cobalt blue.

    I think Sophie’s whole look is a letdown. If her coat/dress was shorter, I think it would’ve looked better, and her barely-there calot is hardly seen from most angles. A brimmed hat like her Christmas Eve and NYE church appearances would’ve been a better choice. Also, without a scarf, gloves, full-length sleeves, or heavier hat, she looks pretty out of place compared to everyone else.

    In comparison, Louise looks very nice in this plum color, and the fascinator/headpiece is just the right piece for her.

    This grey cloche with the feathers is definitely more successful that some of Anne’s other feather-covered hats in the last couple of years. This one is worth repeating.

    Alongside HM and Meghan Markle, Autumn was definitely among the best dressed of the Christmas Day group. I’m so glad to see her in another excellent hat, and she wears hats so well now after making multiple awkward choices in her early years. She really is often overlooked as a best-dressed royal now, which is unfortunate.

    Both Serena and Sarah’s hats deserve a better look, as they both have good potential. My biggest complaint is they often go with black/blue at Christmas, and they both would look good in other colors. Margarita’s choice of a Borsalino fedora is unexpected, but definitely a good look for her; my only complaint is I think it looks a slightly too big for her.

  2. Beatrice- Yes- Hat- No- Coat
    Eugenie – Yes- Hat and Coat ( I like the multi-color)
    Sophie – NO to both…the whole outfit looks like it would be for warmer weather
    Louise – Yes to both…she is looking very grown-up
    Anne- YES to both…this is her no nonsense style with a touch of flair in feather and pattern
    Autumn- YES to both…I love the red hat and piping on her coat
    Sarah, Serena and Margarita – yes to hats simple and winter looking (can’t see enough of coats to decide)

  3. I actually like the grey coat on princess Beatrice. I think it highlights the hat. A coat darker than her hat would have overpowered it. But I agree that the double breasted coat has too much going on. Between the buttons, ruffed pockets and the open collar, would have better with a simpler hat. A fedora style might have fitted better

  4. Autumn Phillips hat was appropriate and a lovely match to her whole outfit. She is becoming quite a hat ‘pro’. I think she looked the best of anyone in either Sandringham post. The Queen always looks put together …but the orange was not very Christmassy to me.

    • Autumn has had a decade to become more familiar with what hats suit her. As I look over her millinery wardrobe, the last number of years have included cocktail hats or fedoras. She’s certainly not as high profile as the Duchess of Cambridge but I notice that she gets far less criticism for wearing percher cocktail hats than Kate does.

  5. My favorite was Autumn’s gorgeous red hat, which in combination with her coat and her daughters’ coats, could not be surpassed. In themselves Princess Beatrice’s hats were beautiful as well. I too would like to see the men wear hats. We could be entertained by a whole squadron of caps, fedoras, Pom Pom hats, who knows!

  6. Well done, Hat Queen, on such great photos of the “minor royals. I am constantly frustrated by the media overlooking them (I reckon it’s because most commentators can’t tell their Gloucesters from their Kents or their Chattos from their Taylors but perhaps that’s unfair!!) at public events.
    Totally agree that Autumn Phillips is the standout star and the coordinating coats for Autumn and Isla and Autumn’s dress matching with Savannah’s coat–fantastic
    However, I disagree with many previous comments on the Countess of Wessex–I think she looks fabulous–hair, hat, coat–as was her Christmas Eve outfit

    • I think the Countess of Wessex’s coat was designed to be seen from a distance – up close the pattern is a bit overwhelming. On the plus side, she looks warmer than all the ladies in knee-length outfits and stockings. But alas, the hat does get drowned rather.
      Winners of best coordination of hat and outfit (or at least coat) would be Autumn Phillips and Lady Louise Windsor, in my opinion. It’s nice to see such a young person sallying into the hat world with such success.
      Side note: why aren’t any of the gentlemen wearing hats? I know gentlemen go bareheaded in church, but they’re not in church yet, and isn’t it practically midwinter up there?

  7. Autumn Phillips wins this round for me. So cheery! Runner’s up are: Serena Stanhope (I would love to get a better look at that hat.) and Sarah Chatto.

  8. Autumn Phillips’ ensemble is the best of all this year. Very smart. I also like Lady Sarah’s hat.
    Have no idea why Sophie Wessex chose this particular outfit for Christmas; she so often wears gorgeous hats and coats and/or dresses. This looked out of place.

  9. Lovely hats for everyone this year.
    The York Princesses: beautiful hats with the wrong coats. Eugenie’s coat would’ve been lovely by itself.
    Although the Countess of Wessex looked very lovely, beautiful and different but it wasn’t the right choice for this time of year in my opinion.
    Lady Louise choice was really appropriate for her age! Wish we could see more of this look on her.
    Princess Anne’s hat was nice but it would’ve been better if she ditched the feather. Still one of her best looks.
    Autumn is the winner this year. Along with the Duchess of Cambridge, they looked fabulous!
    I’m not sure about the Countess of Snowdon if there is a better view. However, I don’t remember that Serena had ever disappointed me with hats.
    Lady Sarah and Lady Margarita’s hats are just lovely!

  10. Princess Beatrice’s hat color is gorgeous, but a shame it’s paired so poorly with the ensemble.

    I adore Autumn Phillips’ entire look. Best dressed for me and the hat is luxurious. Even her family looks amazing! So nice to see Savannah and Isla.

    I agree with Deb W about the fantastic photos of the Snowden’s and Chattos. I did not see them featured anywhere else, and I appreciate seeing them at Christmas services. Lady Margarita looks so much like her mother!

  11. What a wonderful display of family and what a wonderful display of hats! I am also pleased to see Lady Sarah wearing an actual colour. IF, and it’s a big IF, Princess Anne’s hat is new, it is a good choice for her. “Most Christmassy” award goes to Autumn Philips. I can’t hekp thinking that the church would be crammed with Windsors or near-Windsors. It is not a very large building!

  12. Firstly, Hat Queen, I am impressed by the photos you have assembled here. I saw almost nothing of the ‘second tier’ royals in other reporting.

    I love the electric blue of Beatrice’s hat, but I’m on the fence about the actual design – looks like a remake of Sophie’s ‘shrimp’ hat of a few years ago, with a big rose added.

    Speaking of Sophie, I intensely dislike everything about her outfit this year, including the hat. I don’t know why she pulls out these retro 50’s looks from time to time. They do her no favors.

    Lady Louise looks marvelous in plum, but I don’t like the the jumbled little ‘not-a-fascinator’ clinging to the side of her head. Too reminiscent of some of her mother’s worst early hat choices, although thankfully not of the same gigantic proportions.

    Anne’s hat is snappy and exudes an “I’m the boss…..well, next to the Queen,” vibe, very suited to her. The feathers are restrained and manage to look tailored.

    Can’t see the Countess of Snowdon’s hat well enough for an opinion. Lady Margarita looks literally like she ducked into a closet after being told she would need a hat, came up with grandpa’s old fedora, snapped up the brim, and went with it.

    Love Sarah Chatto’s blue hat. Color! It seems like it it’s been many years! And the slightly oversized and avant-garde shape are so right for her artist’s sensibilities. The thick felt is very appropriate to the season, and reminds me of some of CP Mary of Denmark’s styles. This is my favorite of the day.

    Autumn Phillips’ hat is cheery, and I like the jeweled sticks detail. This one makes me very aware of the milliner’s precise and complicated art.

    • Autumn & Princess Anne’s hats are my favorite. I love the red velvet of Autumn’s and the entire hat of Princess Anne’s.
      No one has said anything about Meghan’s. I thought it quite nice, too.

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