British Royal Wedding: York & Wessex Families

Our tour of hats at today’s wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex continues with the ladies of the York and Wessex families. Princess Beatrice topped her teal chiffon beaded dress with a bandeau headpiece of layered arcs of satin, crin and grosgrain in differing shades of the same hue. The colour is beautiful on her and the airy headpiece is a great compliment to her focal statement dress.

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Designer: Stephen Jones. Dress by Roksanda
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new.

Princess Eugenie topped her retro styled pale blue shift dress with a bespoke pillbox in silver lurex sinamay. I don’t believe we’ve seen her in a pillbox before and this one is not only an excellent scale, it had the most wonderful sparkle when hit with light. Yes, it has a slight ‘1960s air hostess’ vibe but no matter- it’s such a great look for Eugenie.

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Designer: Fiona Graham. Dress by Gainsbourg
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Duchess of York was in attendance today in a charming percher cocktail hat with royal blue straw button base. The hat is trimmed with a large navy straw bow, navy and pink feathers and a generous swath of navy dotted tulle veil. A more whimsical piece, it paired very well with Sarah’s updo and pink and navy ensemble.

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Designer: Jess Collett
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Countess of Wessex was characteristically fashionable in a steely blue straw saucer hat trimmed with a crescent of feathers. This is another one of those cases when a hat takes an ensemble that’s great on its own to “WOW”.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. Dress by Suzannah
Previously Worn: This hat is new

This event saw Lady Louise Windsor in her first full (non riding) hat at a major, public event. Her black straw button percher is trimmed with a layered ruffle in black and white lattice printed straw and crin. The classic colour scheme makes this a great starter piece for Louise and the scale is just right.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. It is the “Daria” from SS 2018
Previously Worn: This hat is new

I found it a bit frustrating to watch how many people were publicly hoping for some less successful hats on the York princesses today and I’m trilled that their looks knocked those suggestions silent. I think these are five strong hats- what do you think?
Photos from Getty as indicated

34 thoughts on “British Royal Wedding: York & Wessex Families

  1. Countless of Wessex looks lovely, although i wonder what her skirt would look like at, say, rock n roll length. Louise is all wrong for me. Her dress is too short, the colour not great on her, white the wrong colour for her cardi and the hat too mature! Sorry kid, a misstep in that awkward girl into woman phase.

    Bea looks top notch! She might have benefited from a little less fabric in the dress but that’s minor. Her headpiece, reminiscent of what she wore to the Met ball, was just right. I wonder what it was like sitting on those beads?

    Eugenie’s dress is a puzzle. Too short, so plain from the front and yet pretty at the back, and shapeless. Not very wedding-like either.

  2. Bea: SUCH a great dress. It’s one of her best ever. I agree with HQ that a big hat wouldn’t have worked. This is perfect. She should wear teal every day. I’ve never seen her look better!
    Eugenie: The hat looked better on camera than in photos. Such SPARKLE! It’s super cute but I don’t like the cut of this dress on her.
    Fergie: Was there anyone happier to be invited? I don’t think so!! Her hat is SO CUTE. The rest of the outfit not so much but the hat and the jacket are a great combo.
    Sophie: The hat is good but I agree that the skirt length is wrong and puts the whole look off kilter. Which makes me think the hat isn’t so good after all….
    Louise: super cute!

  3. I’m sorry but these are all misses for me. Beatrice’s headpiece is a glorified headband. It works with the dress but I don’t really like the dress. It would be better for an evening cocktail event. Eugnie’s does 1950s shapes better than this 1960s one and I thought the colours were a bit boring. Sophie’s hat is OK but the skirt is too long and I don’t like how the proportions of the hat, the shirt and the skirt go together. Louise’s hat is cute. If I had to pick a best outfit from this lot it would be the Duchess of York and I never thought I’d be saying that!

  4. My favorites here were Lady Louise Windsor (hooray for a really successful first hat, and she really looked wonderful and grown up), and the Duchess of York. I thought the Duchess of York looked really great, her hat was lovely on her red hair and I like her dress as well. Wonderful to see her. The Countess of Wessex looked lovely, but her outfit/hat was one of my least favorites, only because it feels like she’s gotten into a bit of a style rut with these perchery-type hats and overly long skirts. I hope she’ll mix it up a bit. I loved Princess Eugenie’s hat and dress combo- the retro vibe was fun. Unfortunately, I’m one who unironically and genuinely loved their looks from the 2011 wedding, and while all the negative press about those looks meant we weren’t going to see anything that interesting here, I’m sorry not to have seen something slightly more exciting. Poor ladies, I feel like they are sadly over scrutinized, and am pleased that they both looked lovely.

  5. I thought the Wessex and York women looked lovely. The Countess of Wessex was superb although I wish her dress was a bit shorter.

  6. 1: Countess of Wessex for the win!
    2: Duchess of York in second place for a lovely hat that capped of her put together outfit,
    3, Princess Eugenie in third place for a beautiful pill box,
    4: Lady Louise in fourth in her first adult milinery,
    5: Princess Beatrice in last place because I liked her calot hat the least,
    Overall, a good showing!

  7. Beatrice’s hat matts her hair down too flat. The hat, otherwise, might have been OK for today, possibly with an up-do. Her dress on the other had, would have been better suited for an evening wedding or at the least, late afternoon. I really like Sophie’s hat – her dress on the other hand, though I know she likes this length of skirt, would have looked much better proportion wise, had it been a few inches shorter. Eugenie’s hat is OK by me – it’s tailored to work with the dress; neither which I am a big fan of. I would have worn that dress to work in the later 60s! I thought also, the dress code was dresses to mid knee or below. If so, Bea failed here. Sarah looked terrific. So sad that we still have to endure the separate roles of she and the rest of her family when at royal functions. The TV even reported they had to sit on opposite side of the church choir due to ‘divorce’ protocol.My goodness, we were witnessing a divorce woman get married in the church in full white no less. Seems it’s time that the York’s be able to function as the family unit they are in real life when it comes to these functions. At the least, let the girls come in with their mom in her support on occasion.

  8. I give a “thumbs up” to all five of these hats — each was successful in its own way. Special recognition to Lady Louise for her first grown-up hat — this was the perfect special occasion for that milestone. Some thought the style was too mature for her, and maybe it was, a little, but it can’t be easy with the eyes of the world on you to know when to make that transition from playing dress-up to actually dressing up, and if you can’t wear a real hat to a royal wedding, when can you?

    I confess to breathing a sigh of relief when I saw that Beatrice was wearing a “normal” hat that wasn’t going to suck all the air out of the room — I was not hoping for a fail, not at all, but she does tend toward the bizarre, and when that mass of butterflies a few posts ago got such praise from the readership, I began to wonder if she might not intend to top it on this occasion. This hat seemed almost too restrained, but it did, as has been mentioned, let the dress shine. Were those beads on the skirt in the back as well? That seems like it would have been awfully uncomfortable to sit on!

    Eugenie — yes, air hostess vibe pegs it exactly, but the hat looked great on her, particularly with that hairstyle.

    Thank you, HQ, for including the photos of the Duchess of York. The cameras inside never showed her at all, and since I missed the coverage of the non-royal guests arriving, I didn’t realize she was even there, though I was sure she must have been invited. I thought she looked very nicely put together yesterday, among the best fashion looks I’ve seen on her in a long time, and I agree with others, one of my favorites of the event.

    The Countess of Wessex — A+. She always gets it right, and yesterday was no exception. Perfect color and styling. And unlike Autumn’s hat, it was well-placed, she was not peering out from under it. (This would be a good time to ask why some of the ladies were wearing long skirts and others street-length. The wedding was at noon London time I believe — that seems a little early to me for long dresses.)

    • I’m very tired, quite frankly, of media and commenters wishing “normal” hats for Princess Beatrice. If you look at the hat choices she has worn over the past three years, for example, we see a number of refined button base perchers with beautiful trimming, four very streamlined boaters, and several saucers that don’t have any hint of bizarre. Every one of them could EASILY be described as “normal”, whatever ‘normal’ is! By all means, make observations, but let’s not fall into inaccurate stereotyping. Defining a person by a few choices made years ago simply isn’t fair.

      • HatQueen, I apologize for breaking the norms of this blog, and I’ll try not to do it again. However, I do feel the need to defend myself against the accusation of stereotyping. I have a daughter almost the exact age as Beatrice who, for many years, had her hair dyed blue and wore only black. Had she been an invited guest to this wedding, I would have made the same comment about her (and probably also TO her), even though it’s been many years since the blue hair and black clothes have been retired. Beatrice, like my daughter, is maturing, and that maturity and accompanying taste is being reflected in her more recent wardrobe. Unfortunately, her odd hats have gotten much more press over the years than her more standardly stylish ones, so it’s easy to make the mistake of forgetting about the more refined choices. That being said, it was not that long ago that commenters on this very blog were praising her mass of butterflies from several years ago, which suggested to me that there were still those who hoped that she would wear a hat of that type this time, though I did not agree with them. So I apologize for my use of the word “normal” and salute Princess Beatrice’s fashionable choice for this wedding.

        • No rules were broken! I was just disheartened yesterday, hearing multiple commentators bring up Princess Beatrice’s hat from 2011 over and over and over. I was thrilled when British milliner Vivien Sheriff reminded a CNN reporter that Beatrice has worn a string of beautiful hats in the years since (including a Sheriff design to Ascot last year!) and that no woman should be defined by a single fashion choice made in her 20s.

  9. I think all of these are very successful hats. I know many are saying that Beatrice’s isn’t really a hat, but I think it counts. And it is a lovely frame for her beautiful face. Some of her more unusual hats don’t enhance that as much as they should. I like Eugenie’s pillbox, it’s a good scale for her. I think in combination with that dress (which I think doesn’t do her any justice) it all reads a little too retro. I like how the feathers swirl around on Sophie’s hat. It’s been great to watch Louise’s hats become more grown up with each event! I like Sarah’s ensemble very much, I think she did very well.

  10. Before commenting on the hats, I have a question unrelated to hats, and this seems as good a place as any to ask it.

    At the time of their marriages years ago, Prince Andrew was made a Duke, and Prince Edward, the younger brother, was made an Earl, and I assumed the same would happen with William and Harry. Was there a particular reason that anyone knows of why Harry was made a Duke and not an Earl, aside from just HM wishing to do so? If I’m remembering correctly, Edward at the time of his marriage was no further down the line of succession than Harry is now, so it doesn’t seem like that was the reason.

  11. I really liked the York princesses hats. They still manage to be creative and have a certain touch of whimsy, but just in a more refined style now. I did not care for the Duchess of York’s hat. The netting and feathers made the straw look like the bow was fraying falling apart. The netting was overkill. The Countess of Wessex had a great piece and this was another favorite of the day and she always looks good in ice blue. I am glad to see Lady Louise in a more adult piece. It looks good on her.

  12. liked Sophie’s hat very Sophie,
    Lady Louise looked lovely
    didn’t like Fergie’s hat, don’t know what is going on up there, sorry, looked messy

  13. Hi Royal Hats,
    I love your posts today on the royal wedding. Any post coming on other royal members – Zara, Autumn and especially Serena and Sarah, who both looked lovely but I cannot find a single pic? Thanks

  14. I thought all of these hats were great! Beatrice and Eugenie’s hats were the exact opposite in style from William and Kate’s Wedding but I love these. These two should be showing their more mature side.

    Sophie as always looks impeccable! Louise is emerging …bravo for her new hat!

  15. I thought all five hats were lovely. My only cavil was that the Duchess of York, who looked much better put together than she did at Ascot, still needs to get a triple mirror and a good tailor to examine problems of fit and maintenance. In the videos, the dress, which definitely was along the right lines, looks rumpled and badly fitted. Her hat is super.

    The duchess’s daughters looked lovely. Though Princess Eugenie was perhaps a trifle bland in her color choices, her dress and hat suited her, and the fit of her dress perfect. Princess Beatrice looked as well as I’ve ever seen her–really lovely and chic. That hat was the perfect choice for that dress, and what a great color.

    As to the Countess of Wessex, perfect as (nearly) always. Lady Louise’s hat struck me, as it struck another commenter, as somehow too old for her. You expect to find an mature lady’s face under that hat.

    Not a bad showing from the ladies of the York and Wessex families.

  16. I agree with JamesB: my favorite is Fergie. I thought she looked absolutely fantastic today: hat, hair and dress. The Countess of Wessex looks fantastic too.

  17. Love that Lady Louise wore a trendier dress than usual, but somehow the hat seems a little too grown-up? I can’t quite pinpoint why…

    Countess of Wessex is well-hatted, as always, and the Duchess of York looks great.

  18. As I tweeted earlier this morning, I think Beatrice and Eugenie went too far in the other direction this time. I love Beatrice in the cerulean dress as it is really a unique design, but her headpiece hardly registers; it would be great as a working hat, but it’s too low key for a wedding IMO.

    Eugenie looked quite fantastic in this hat and outfit, and I love the 1960s vibe of it all, but the hat is too simplistic for me, at least for a wedding.

    Their mother, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, looked absolutely lovely in her streamlined outfit (love that collar!), and her cocktail hat softens the whole look to just the right degree. One of my favorites of the day.

    Sophie looked great also, and I love how the feathers frame this percher disc hat so well. My major complaint (and I think this is what has bothered me with many of her outfits over the last year or so), is how plain and simple her collar is. There is nothing to help draw your attention up towards the hat or down to the rest of the outfit; the crew neck just is there. Otherwise I have no complaints!

    Fantastic to see Louise in her first cocktail hat, and she wore it well. My only complaint is I think another hairstyle would’ve shown off and balanced the hat better.

    • I quite agree with you Jake, about the neckline of the Countess of Wessex dresses. A slightly lower collar would make the neck look longer and show of the face, hat and hair better. Beautiful hat though!
      Same complaint for Eugenie, the dress is very well cut, but the high collar isn’t flattering her (leaves her with no neck at all) and the ensemble is a bit too plain for a big society wedding. Beatrice’s dress is gorgeous , perhaps the headband would have looked more sophisticated with her hair up?

  19. As always, the Countess of Wessex was beautiful and charming. She made the right choice with this hat and outfit.
    I’m glad to see the Duchess of York in attendance.
    Princess Eugenie looked really lovely.
    I was disappointed in Princess Beatrice’s choice of dress.

  20. In a shock move my favourite of all these is Fergie. She looked so chic and well put together.

    I loved Bea’s dress but the hat was bit too tame, it could have handled a little more oomph. I didn’t think Eugenie’s look did her any favours, it was a bit grumpy I thought and didn’t show off her figure. Sophie was going for that fifties vibe I normally love, so I can’t pin down why I didn’t go for this. Louise is showing promise.

    I nitpick. They all looked great, but I’ve seen looks from all of these ladies that made me gasp, just not today.

  21. These were all extremely successful hats, in my opinion. I liked the way Princess Beatrice’s hat allowed her dress to take centre stage. I think this is the hallmark of a successful outfit, the combination of dress, hat, shoes, and accessories into one cohesive look. All of these outfits were roaring successes under “my rules”

  22. The ladies looked wonderful, but I wasn’t enamored of Beatrice’s bandeau hat. It smashed her hair down and initially looked like a kerchief. Sophie was the star, but all the ladies looked lovely.

  23. I was not a big fan of Beatrice’s hat, finding it to be far too kerchief like when seen from the side. That being said, I was so excited to see Lady Louise in a grown-up hat and thought it was smashing. The other three ladies were charming as well.

  24. You are spot on! All the hats featured here were lovely! While I didn’t care for Princess Beatrice’s hat, I love her dress! I can see why she wore that hat- as you said, so as to allow her dress to be the focal point. I loved seeing Sarah Ferguson in attendance! And loved Lady Louise’s hat, too!

  25. I loved Princess Beatrice’s dress and her headpiece was the perfect choice.
    Princess Eugenie looked great and I think the pllbox style is really becoming on her.
    The Duchess of York looked great and I thought it was so lovely to see her. I also caught a glimpse of the Earl Spencer’s first wife Victoria Lockwood. Very nice of Harry to invite her as well.
    Lady Louise looked so tall and elegant and her hat was lovely.
    What can you say about the Countess of Wessex except perfection. Such a great hat!

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