Readers’ Pick: Top New Royal Hats of 2017

While the contest for top repeated royal hat is always an interesting one, the ultimate award here at Royal Hats goes to the design chosen as Favourite New Royal Hat of the Year. 2017 was a great year of new designs- we saw 290 new royal hats and substantial headpieces. As we were introduced to each one, we discussed its merits, its flaws, and its suitability to the wearer. Some we liked, some we did not. And some we absolutely adored.

From this group of 290 designs, you chose eleven favourites- one dome, three perchers, one pillbox, two upsweeps,a cartwheel, two saucers, and a boater.  When it came time to cast your vote, you chose a clear winner, although the runners up were exceptionally close (just fifty votes between second and sixth place). Your top choices and winner of Readers’ Favourite New Royal Hat Design of 2017 are:


Dec 25, 2017 in Emily London | Royal Hats

Autumn Phillips’ red velvet button percher with bow and jewelled picks from Emily London  worn Dec 25


Duchess of Cambridge’s pink button percher with triple crin ruffle trim by Jane Taylor worn June 17


Nov 19, 2017 in Gallia e Peter | Royal Hats

May 20, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Anne’s cream straw hat with upswept brim and curling feathers worn May 20 in Scotland


June 21, 2017 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats

Countess of Wessex’s plum straw oversized boater with silk roses by Jane Taylor at Ascot June 21

Your favourite royal hats at Ascot each June often become top choices for the year and this hat, which initiated so much positive chatter at its debut, is no exception. What did surprise me, however is the runner up- a lovely hat on a royal head we don’t associate as being particularly fashionable. It’s also wonderful to see Princess Charlene, who doesn’t wear many hats, crack the top three for the second year in a row. Special congratulations to British milliners Jane Taylor and Emily London and Italian milliner Gallia e Peter (along with whoever designed and made Princess Anne’s hats) for their very fine work on these pieces. 

Jump over to this post to see each of the eleven finalists and full poll results. You can also see past winners over at the Fan Favourites page.

Photos from  Ward/ ORG XMIT: wenn33520371;  Max Mumby/Indigo and SC Pool/Corbis via Getty; Church of Scotland;  Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty

22 thoughts on “Readers’ Pick: Top New Royal Hats of 2017

  1. I’ve been thinking that maybe we vote differently for new hats than repeated. For new hats, we seem to favor drama and originality, but for repeated hats, we tend to more versatile, classic styles. Also, I’ve glanced back at the last few years and noticed that our “best repeated hats” weren’t necessarily favorites in their original appearances.

    Does anyone else have thoughts?

    • That is such an interesting point, Mitten Mary, because after all, in order to even be a repeated hat, it has to be versatile enough that it would be suitable for more than one type of event. Looking at these five for example, I can think of any number of other occasions where 5, 4, and 3 could be worn. Anne’s hat #2 would be appropriate for other very dressy occasions also, but I can’t imagine our #1 pick, Sophie’s gigantic hat, appearing anywhere else but Ascot.

      • Thanks for responding, Matthew. I agree that #2-4 are suitable for other events. (Perhaps we’ll see #2 or #4 at one of the weddings this year.) I believe Sophie has even repeated an Ascot hat occasionally, but if she wears this one again, I hope she goes with a different dress.

  2. There is much to love about Sophie’s hat but it wasn’t my number 1 pick because of the shallow crown – looks like it might slide off her head at any moment. Thrilled beyond words to see Anne in number 2 spot. History has been made!

  3. An excellent group of winners, and like others, I am delighted to see Princess Anne in the top five — she is not often associated with high fashion, but she looked awesome on that particular day!

  4. A worthy winner. Sophie knocked it out of the park with this beautiful hat. Just stunning, and I think I called this one at the time.

    • I called it, too. We usually vote for large hats and this beautifully fit the bill. Boaters are growing on me. I was hoping the percher the DOCambridge wore for her sister’s wedding would be in the top five. I am glad to see her placing in these final votes.

    • 680 covered on the blog, not including numerous military uniform hats, sporty hats (knit ski hats, baseball caps etc.) and a handful of headbands. There are a number of hats I didn’t cover but linked to in our weekly extra posts so the total is well over 700.

  5. These hats are all beautiful in their unique way. Any of them could have been a winner. I think Princess Charlene’s stand out for me considering she does not usually wear as many hats. Yet this one was modern and styled to perfection.

  6. Autumn’s is absolutely GORGEOUS, and I hope to acquire something similar! I don’t love velvet in a larger piece like a skirt or dress, because I think it will look dated soon. Velvet is perfect for accessories, though!

  7. Well I’m surprised about the winner – though I did vote for it. But I seem to remember that it wasn’t that well received back in summer. Oh well, glad it made it to the top. I’m also happy about #3, Princess Charlene always looks great on National Day (she won this contest for 2016 and that was a hard act to follow).

  8. I have to admit to being firmly in support of Princess Anne because it’s so unusual to see her dresses to he nines and looking so fabulous. I also have a soft spot for #3 — beguiling!

  9. I’m happy that we have different styles that appeal to women of different ages. I’m thrilled to see Princess Anne in second place because 1) women over 60 can look fabulous and 2) that hat is gorgeous.

  10. I like all these hats except for the second one. I just don’t like that one and I don’t know why. I remember voting for all of these hats, and yet when I see Kate’s hat again, I’m just not there. I think Princess Anne’s hat is lovely, and the color is great on her. Autumn’s hat was a perfect choice for Christmas, and I like almost everything that Sophie puts on her head.

  11. These are all great, but I’m especially happy about Numbers 1 and 4, I think they show a way to do pink that has depth of color and style, and doesn’t look too little girly or too millenium pink.

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