Guest Post: Princess Anne’s Style

I’m so pleased to welcome longtime reader (and historical royal hat afficiando) Jimbo to the blog today and tomorrow, with a look at Princess Anne’s style and a retrospective on her past Easter hats. Welcome, Jimbo!

Princess Anne is considered by many people to be one of the hardest working members of the British Royal family, (second only to her soon-to-be 92 year old mother,) due to her countless engagements and public appearances.  When it comes to her “work uniform,” she is also known as one of the thriftiest! She has never been one to shy away from repeating ensembles. For example, her 1987 Easter attire has been worn three times for Easter, as well as the Royal Ascot in 1998, and her trip to Russia in 2000.  Maybe more undocumented sightings have occurred through the years as well.

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Easter 1997; Royal Ascot 1998; Tour of Russia 2000

Beautiful as she always appears, one can’t help thinking that the Princess Royal (thusly named by Queen Elizabeth in June of 1987) would be just as happy dressed in her more casual, everyday clothes like these:

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The following three occasions typically find Princess Anne in specific uniforms, each appropriate in symbolism and grandeur.

Garter Day

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The Royal Order of the Garter services in 2011, 2015 and 2013

Trooping the Colour

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Trooping the Colour in 2017

Remembrance Day

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Remembrance Sunday commemoration at the London Cenotaph in 2017 and 2006

For Christmas, when she chooses to take the 400 yard walk from Sandringham House to St. Mary Magdalene Church, many times accompanied by her now 96 year old father, Princess Anne dresses warmly and elegantly.  Since 1985, she has been spotted in a fur hat of some form or other, eighteen times: 

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Black fur hats worn on Christmas Day in 2005, 2014 and 2001

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More Christmas Day fur hats in 1998 and 1999

Another popular repeated ensemble, the combination of fur hat and baby blue coat, selected by our favorite Royal recycler for this Yuletide date, has been worn no fewer than five times:

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The blue coat and fur hat combo on Christmas Day in 2012, 2006, 2008 and 2003

The Princess Royal pulls out all the stops when she attends the Royal Ascot Races, and many other equestrian events. Here’s a taste:

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Thanks so much Jimbo, for this introduction to Princess Anne’s style. She certainly takes a practical approach to fashion, although that array of Ascot hats certainly includes a few statement pieces! Stay tuned Thursday, everyone, for Jimbo’s second guest post, a retrospective on all of Princess Anne’s Easter hats. I have a sneaking suspicion that we’ll see a few more surprises. 

 

17 thoughts on “Guest Post: Princess Anne’s Style

  1. She certainly has a style although I would be want to call it ‘stylish’. She seems to espouse the maxim ‘More is more and less is a bore!’ which is a pity because she has a lovely figure and posture, enjoys color and has great confidence – it seems a shame to waste it on outfits that are not particularly flattering.

  2. Nice article & collection. I never think of Princess Anne as being stylish, but she looks quite chic in several photos. I like her best in simple lines – leave the puffed sleeves & frills for the younger crowd!

  3. Thank you, kind readers, for your nice comments and thoughts. But truth be known, Hat Queen was a HUGE help with this project, especially in the Ascot department. She helped me put flesh (or hats!) on my skeleton of an idea.
    Yesterday’s conversation was fascinating, pertaining to Queen Noor and her turban. I did not locate Princess Anne in turbans, but she favored scarves, so here are a couple from years ago.
    February 20, 1984:
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    August, 1982
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    May 30, 1979
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  4. Thank you, Jimbo. This was fun. My impression of Princess Anne is that she is a no nonsense kind of person, and I sort of expect her to be happy with a plain sheath dress and a pillbox hat, but Noooo! Every one of her outfits has multiple points of interest, lots of different construction techniques, fabrics, colors, interesting details… I especially like that purple outfit in the last picture.

  5. Some of Princess Anne’s most striking hats were creations of John Boyd, the noted milliner who designed hats for nearly 75 years. He did one of her very first solo duty hats when the Princess was 17 and launching a tanker. He also produced the hat that Anne wore to Charles and Diana’s wedding

  6. Her ascot hats alone are worth a post! She does throw quite a few new numbers in there from time to time, and Ascot is normally when she does that. And they’re a lot more fun and fashionable than we might give her credit. I guess it’s because she takes her Mother’s approach and chucks in the dark gloves and bag and sensible shoes that the effect can be diminished slightly.

    She knows what works for her though, and I personally love seeing her antique rewears, it’s like a race to identify it’s earliest outing!

  7. Glad to have another guest post up to hear other readers’/commenters’ perspectives on royal hats. Thanks Jimbo for this brief look back at Anne’s style. As we all know, she likes to repeat ensembles a lot, but it always seems to be the same look, and I wonder how much she mixes up pieces in her wardrobe to create more/new combinations. It’s also a huge testament to her health and thriftiness that she can wear clothes older than I am.

    Looking forward to the Easter retrospective!

  8. Great article, thank so much! I feel Anne is often overlooked and I have to find her in the background of photos to see what she’s wearing. I think she usually does a good job and I like how she repeats and reuses her clothing. And she does look a bit happier in the casual clothes and it’s nice to see her smile and laugh at horse events and with her grandchildren.

  9. Well done Jimbo! As I keep boring everyone with the tale of meeting the Princess Royal two years ago in a splendid pale blue ensemble with a new hat, I won’t mention it again. Can you imagine the wardrobes or closets these Royal Ladies (and Gentlmen, come to that) must have!

    • I’ve never heard this story, but it sounds exciting no matter the circumstances. And what a rare treat to meet Anne when she’s wearing a new hat!

    • Indeed, Glitter Girl! I was not yet reading the blog when you told this story, so do repeat it! (And if you are able to find any photo of Anne on that occasion or some other wearing the ensemble, do share it!

      Jimbo, great retrospective, very enjoyable. And what an array of Ascot hats — we don’t give the Princess Royal enough credit for interesting hats. I think that may be because she mostly just goes about her business of whatever event she is at and doesn’t particularly pause to pose for the photographers or “flirt” with the press.

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