Sunday Church At Sandringham

Queen Elizabeth continues her stay at Sandringham, as in past years (a stay that continues through the anniversary of her accession on February 6) and attended Sunday service again this morning with the Duke of Edinburgh at the nearby Church of St. Mary Magdalene. She repeated the first new hat she debuted in 2017, an orchid purple felt split crown design with side bow and pompoms in the same purple, cerise and grey hues as in the weave of her tweed coat.

Embed from Getty Images


Embed from Getty Images

The lighting conditions in the top photo highlight the cerise brim piping and slim hatband on the design more than on its first outing- a small touch that adds wonderful visual punch. Also interesting to note is a renovation on the coat, reducing its collar to a smaller and crisper stand up version (see the larger original collar below).

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Designer: Angela Kelly. Coat and dress by Karl Ludwig
Previously Worn: Mar 3, 2017
I’m always intrigued when new outfits undergo renovation- how does this collar tweak impact your thoughts about this hat?
UPDATE: As reader Maja mentioned in the comments, the Earl and Countess of Snowdon also attended church this morning. Serena wore a unique vertical beret style hat on the back of her head that I believe is new.
Jan 14, 2018 | Royal Hats
Photos from Getty as indicated and Geoff Robinson Photography/REX/Shutterstock

15 thoughts on “Sunday Church At Sandringham

  1. I’m still of the same mind about HM’s hat as I was with it’s last outing; the smaller (and presumably tighter) collar makes for a cleaner look, which is an improvement overall. Serena’s hat has potential, but definitely deserves a closer look to pass true judgment (I would also guess it’s a Stephen Jones design).

    Concerning brims:
    Smaller brims in the back is not a new or infrequent design feature of women’s hats because of tilting one’s head back, not being able to see directly behind you, etc. This design became more prominent/noticeable in the 1920s, when hats fit closer and tighter on the head and were much simpler in general, compared to the Edwardian hats, which usually sat higher on top of taller hairstyles and were quite elaborate; although, if one looks at the Victorian bonnets and some Edwardian hats, one will also notice a smaller back brim, etc. The main exception to the smaller back brim today is, of course, very wide-brimmed hats, like the one seen on Máxima the other day, or many straw sunhats, all of which have a brim the same length all the way around. One will also notice many men’s fedoras will be upturned in the back, and presumably this is for a similar reason with tilting a head back, etc.

  2. Mcncln, I agree with everything you say, and I’d like to add one more thought. When I wear a wide-brimmed hat, invariably it will bump into the headrest of my car. Annoying, to be sure. In the picture below, it is quite evident that HM may have the same thing happen to her, so the rear of the brim is obviously smaller.
    November 5, 2015
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    • About HM’s hat yesterday: I like it all the more this 2nd outing, with the altered coat collar. The first time she wore it, in March of 2017, it was speculated in the comments whether this new hat was actually intended for the previous Christmas, but shelved, due to the queen’s illness. Interesting thought. It definitely would not have stood out as successfully as this year’s orange ensemble, to be sure. But, as it has been stated before, any shade of pink looks great with grey, IMO.
      The photo below shows that even at almost 92, HM is a backseat driver, keeping the chauffeur on the correct road. Another reason to love her!
      Embed from Getty Images

    • That’s a really interesting pic Jimbo. But I note that the back seat of HM’s limousine (where she sits) has no headrests, so for HM, I don’t see that headrests would be an issue.
      However I agree that headrests affect the wearing of brimmed hats. Before headrests in cars were compulsory, it was not uncommon to see gentlemen wearing their wide-brimmed hats as they drove (admittedly, they were mostly elderly). But today, the presence of headrests means that wearers of everyday wide brimmed hats, male and female, normally take their hats off when they drive.
      ( HM is of course an exception (as she is in so many other ways). I found fairly recent pics of HM driving in 5 different brimmed hats, e.g..https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/nintchdbpict000322023461.jpg?strip=all&quality=100&w=960
      Thanks to her short stature, the headrest isn’t interfering with her hat in the way it would for a person of average height.

      Headrests and formal hats: a man can take off his top hat/military/bowler hat when he drives, and put it on when he gets out — but a woman’s formal hat is secured with hatpins. It’s only designed to be taken off once in the day– when the wearer gets home. If a woman wears a formal hat with a wide brim, (rather than a narrower style, e.g a calot), she will have to sit where there are no headrests, i.e. the back seat — and find someone else to do the driving ;).
      I have always wondered how female racegoers travel to the track while wearing hugely oversized hat styles like what we see at Ascot. Can the the back seat of a limousine accommodate even the most enormous racewear hat? does anybody know? or do women put on such big hats on AFTER they arrive? I remember how surprised I was seeing footage of Princess Beatrice arriving at William and Kate’s wedding — Beatrice had been forced to travel bent double in the back seat of her chauffeured car, quite unable to sit up — all to avoid damaging her very tall Treacy hat, the notorious pink “antelope horns” creation.

  3. The colour looks so different in these pictures – I wondered if it was a new hat when I saw it. I think the new collar is an inprovement, the previous one was a bit old lady-ish (I know, she’s nearly 92!!)

  4. I found mcncin’s comments fascinating. They made me rethink my own wardrobe, now that I am getting more silver in my hair! Just last Sunday I wore a black fox fur hat to church that I hadn’t worn for years. I have let my hair grow longer than the last time I wore it, and, that coupled with the lighter colour of my hair, gave the hat a completely different look. I have also found that, like Her Majesty, brighter colours are more flattering to me. The change in the collar really improves the whole ensemble. Interesting how tweaking a small part of an outfit can make such a big difference. I really enjoyed this whole discussion.

  5. I quite agree with that, Mcncln. Former Queen Beatrix, now Princess, had some of her hats remodelled to smaller proportions by her milliner Suzanne Moulijn in recent years, probably for the same reasons. (Although they are still not what you could call small hats, and more of the cake box variety !)

  6. How nice to see this hat again! This colour combo is fabulous on HM, and really brings out the blue of her eyes.
    I much prefer the coat now that it has a smaller collar. This neat little hat has a lot going on– looking at that last pic of HM in this post, I counted 6 separate focal points, or points of interest, on this hat; and I do feel the former collar was tending to compete with the hat for visual precedence, and making HM’s top half look busy.
    There’s a practical reason too why the collar may have been reduced. I don’t know if any of you have ever worn a hat whose brim touched or caught the back of your coat collar when you angle your head in certain directions, but I have, and I can assure you it is very annoying! Take a look at the pic above of HM getting into the car, and note how close the back of the brim is to the top of the coat collar.
    This is a typical scenario for eldery persons who develop a shorter stature as they age, and also a shorter neck. The wearer’s hats start to sit closer to the shoulders. Wide-brimmed hats which used to suit the wearer become less flattering, as they add unnecessary width to the shorter body proportions. High-standing coat collars begin to touch the earlobes when the head is turned, and actually bump the earrings –which is another annoyance as well. Increased spinal curvature of the upper back moves the head position further forward than before, which also contributes to bringing the rear of the hat brim lower down towards the rear of the collar.
    I’ve seen all this happen to my now elderly mother, whose wide-brimmed hats began to look all wrong as her neck became shorter (they were replaced with hats with narrower brims). We have seen some of HM’s older hats with wider brims remodelled in recent times to a narrower-brimmed style. I suspect that the reason may not be just be a case of keeping them looking up-to-date.

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