Queen Hosts Palace Garden Party

The third garden party of this summer season was held today in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, hosted by Her Majesty, The Queen.

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For the occasion, Queen Elizabeth repeated a hat we’ve not seen in nearly three years. With a dark blue silk covered crown, the design features a double straw brim (turquoise on top, dark blue on the bottom) with turquoise silk covered kettle raised edge. The hat is trimmed with diagonal pleats of overlapping dark blue and turquoise silk and a pair of peacock feathers at the side.

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The colour and contrast in this piece is lively and energetic and the dark blue, with its wonderful purple undertone, grounds the bright turquoise so well. If I’m honest, I don’t exactly love the crown shape – the diagonal slope and the pleated trim give two sharp peaks that if softer, could be more flattering. This, however, is not a soft hat and I suppose the shape is meant to mimic the punchy colour scheme. The last time we saw this hat, it was worn primarily with a matching coat which made for almost too much graphic contrast. Today’s outing, with the printed dress, is a really lovely pairing on the Queen.

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Designer: Angela Kelly made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: June 25, 2015

The Queen was accompanied by the Duke of Cambridge, in morning dress and a top hat

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Princess Eugenie topped her navy summer coat with a black straw boater hat trimmed with a silk hatband, a wide swath of dotted net tulle veil and a message of love hand beaded in silver beads. A quick look through Eugenie’s millinery history shows this is her first publicly worn boater, a shape that works very well with her face shape and hairstyle. The other first- I think this might be the first word we’ve seen written on a royal hat! The hat is perfectly timed after one family wedding, months before her own, turning what might be a cheesy statement into a rather sweet one. If there was ever a time for Eugenie to wear a declaration of love, now is it.

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Designer: Misa Harada. It is the “Nina” design from SS 2018
Previously Worn: this hat is new

The Duchess of Gloucester looked to be wearing a new straw pillbox in vibrant blue that paired beautifully with her pumpkin shirtwaist dress. I love how the Duke matched his silk tie to this hat!

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

Princess Alexandra repeated a hat with tall, squared navy straw crown and upswept brim in almond straw printed with navy dots and bound in a stripe of black straw. The hat is trimmed with a multi-knotted bow in the same dotted straw as the brim and a handful of trimmed navy feathers. It’s a great pairing with her dotted skirt and jacket, which highlights the uniquely patterned brim.

Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 3, 2012
That’s a handful of handsome millinery designs, don’t you agree?!
Photos from Getty as indicated

27 thoughts on “Queen Hosts Palace Garden Party

  1. The Queen’s hat does look much better without the coat it was originally worn with. Alexandra’s hat, is as always, very elegant. The Duchess’s hat is fine and seems her style and again it is fine with the dress but I would have thought something more springy in color to go with the hat would have been better. Eugenie’s hat is a fun example of her youth and I love a boater style on her. The dress is dark and even some white somewhere would have made it lighter for the season but I do like it. The only other detail for me was I thought it too short in the front. But overall a good day!

  2. You can see a close-up of Princess Alexandra’s hat here

  3. I just wanted to put my two cents down on team #lovethepeacockfeathers. I love the way the turquoise and blue of the feathers coordinate with her outfit. Lovely colors! I was also happy to see the hat with the dress sans the coat. Funny that with the coat the dress looked too busy with the hat, but without the coat it looks just right. Princess Alexandra looked coordinated (and not too matchy), Princess Eugenie’s hat looked fun and age appropriate, but dark for a Garden Party. I have never thought of pairing electric blue and pumpkin together, but the Duchess of Gloucester makes it work. I am not an expert on the fit of the men’s hats, but I did think William’s hat looked nice and shiny which I thought showed good quality from what I’ve learned on this blog.

  4. Like the contrast colors on the hat and it goes well with this dress (which I think flatters HM’s figure). The had needs to loose the feathers. They just don’t go with it design wise. The feathers are sort of hippy looking to me and the hat and dress are very tailored and structured.

  5. Well, when you’re the 20th comment, there’s not a lot left to say except for “I agree” or “I disagree”, but I’ll post anyway. I am not very fond of this hat of Her Majesty in terms of styling — I find it very severe, and don’t think the removal of the feathers would change that — but I do like the color combination, and it’s a pleasure to see her in a summery dress rather than the usual coat.

    Speaking of dresses, Eugenie’s hat is unique and fun but based on how everyone is dressed, it must have been quite warm that day, and her dress seems a bit too autumnal — I would have preferred the hat combined with something a bit lighter and more summery.

    The Duchess of Gloucester’s blue and pumpkin is one of my favorite color combos, so naturally I like it, although around here, you couldn’t get away with wearing those colors unless you are an avowed fan of the Florida Gators! (Though agree that her hat is quite plain and wonder if a pin or other removable decoration might make it repeatable without always looking the same.)

    Princess Alexandra’s hat, my favorite of the group! I also like that pinkish hat on the left of the Rockinghorse Instagram post, though I realize that woman is not a royal.

    As for the fit and positioning of the gentlemen’s top hats, I will leave that to the experts, but it’s always nice to see them dressed formally at a garden party.

  6. The Queen looks like she really enjoyed her day ! I love the colours though the hat’s shape and feathers make her look like Mary Poppins (especially if you look at picture #6 😊) Eugenics hat is a great shape for her but it looks a little silly on a 28 year old woman … DoGlo looks so good in her blue and pumpkin ,- kudos to the Duke for coordinating with her ! DoGlo and Prince Richard are two of my favourite royals Princess Alexandra looks terrific love the polka dots she’s back in fashion again isn’t she ? Love that William matched his tie to his flower in his lapel … boy he’s got long legs in his morning suit doesn’t he ? I never noticed before 😊

  7. A thought on Eugenie’s “Love” adornment to her hat – could it be that Eugenie was inspired by the sermon at her cousin’s wedding? I want to think that is the reason she’s expressing her sentiments of love!

  8. I love the peacock feathers on this hat, and was delightfully surprised to see this make a return! This crown shape/design and color scheme is unusual for HM, and we almost never see peacock feathers in hats, so visually this is a treat for me. My only complaint is I’m not such a fan of the brim and agree with Bristol that a gentler, slightly sloped brim could soften the whole look. Also interesting to get a rare outdoor appearance of HM sans coat.

    I agree with others that in this outing, this top hat looks to suit size-wise William much more than it has in the past. The purple tie is also a good color for him. The Duke of Gloucester is always in fine form, but this tie color is especially great for him (the color goes with his wife’s hat, but the polka dots also go with this cousin’s hat haha). The Duke of Kent was also in attendance wearing his trusty grey top hat:

    A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on May 31, 2018 at 9:35am PDT


    Something about Eugenie’s face shape lets her pull off boaters better than Beatrice IMO. This is a nice hat for Eugenie in general, but I just can’t get behind words written on a hat. Also, the black hat with veiling paired with her dark outfit makes this look a bit funereal and less garden party for me. I hope she experiments with this shape again, especially with her hair down, as it softens the severity of the boater.

    This color blocking by Birgitte is what I’ve been waiting for! While the hat isn’t terribly exciting shape-wise, it suits her well as a go-to shape, and this cerulean-teal color is beautiful for her. Also, orange and blue is a favorite color combo of mine, so there’s my bias haha. More of this please!

    It’s a lot of polka dots, but only someone like Alexandra could pull this off so elegantly! I’m surprised she hasn’t worn this more often.

    • Maybe the Dukes of Cambridge and Gloucester should try swapping hats. It seems the DoC’s hat “fits” fine (possibly a bit too close to the top of his ears) but the overall scale of the hat is too large for him – and that’s hard to believe since he is quite tall. Somehow, the DoG has outgrown his hat completely! It seems Prince Richard could use the larger scale of Prince William’s hat, and vice versa.

  9. I think the Queen’s hat would be just fine without the peacock feathers. Without them one could concentrate on the overlapping pleats of the hat, and that perspective might soften the hat’s peaks and the flat brim. But instead there are those feathers that keep one from concentrating on the rest of the hat. Nonetheless, I find this to be a beautiful color scheme, and when viewed from the side without the feathers, the whole outfit, including hat, look good.
    I like Princess Alexandra’s hat too although not the dress or its color scheme. The Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Eugenie both look surprisingly good.

  10. Queen Elizabeth: I, too, while liking the color combination and shape, would prefer the feathers be returned to its rightful owner.

    Prince William: I love how his tie pin, as well as others, gives a 3-dimensional quality to the tie. The tie kinda juts out of his waist coat. Gawd forbid, I would never poke holes in my silk ties, though. Looking at the last photo of Eugenie, one sees how a top hat should and should’nt be worn. Even though the gent’s on the left could be grander in height, the poor bloke on the right has his ears squashed down! I know it’s an optical illusion, but William’s hat seems to fit better here. It seemed too big in his Ascot wearing last year.

    June 20, 2017; Royal Ascot
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    Princess Eugenie: Mcncln, you beat me to the L. A. hat on Eugenie’s mum – that’s the price I must pay for not living in an earlier time zone, and not suffering from insomnia, which goes hand-in-glove with clean living. Are you Aussies the first to read HQ’s posts? BTW, I find the netting superfluous and too fussy, but that’s just me.

    Princess Alexandra: Well done, as always.

    • Jimbo, see my comment above re the Duke of Cambridge’s hat. Yes, the poor, poor man on the right in that photo. Simply too large, but he gets major props from me for the fact he wore a hat at all. You wouldn’t believe the number of poor fellows at Ascot whose hats look like buckets on their heads.

    • Jimbo, like Matthew, I tend to leave comments about the gentlemens’ hats to the experts, so I’m glad to see your comment about P William who to this untrained eye, looks effortlessly polished (hat included), and most importantly, physically at ease in his clothes.
      Yes, I do live in a Goldilocks timezone where North American bloggers are concerned. It’s the middle of the day here in Oz when they post; though I’m not always at liberty to read posts at that time of day. Also, we Aussies have our bread buttered on both sides where royal weddings etc are concerned; most of us were comfortably curled up at home with dinner and a glass of wine for Meghan and Harry’s nuptials — since for us the event began at 7pm on a Saturday night! it certainly doesn’t get more civilized than that :). Our free-to-air TV channels surrendered wholeheartedly to the implications of this event falling on peak viewing time, so we were spoiled for choice with pre-wedding docos, specials and live-streams.
      PS. As an insomniac, I only wish I could say that my affliction was due to a riotous lifestyle.

  11. It must have been a very warm day for HM to go without a jacket! Agree with all about the many faults of the hat, especially the unnecessary peacock feather, but it is a splendid match for the dress.

    Eugenie looks great in a boater. I give the milliner credit for thinking beyond the usual flowers, feathers and bows. Great use of complementary colors for Brigitte and excellent repeat for Alexandra!

    I enjoy seeing how non-royals manage to turn out so well for these occasions without the benefit of the royal budget. I especially appreciate the woman in the third picture who is wearing a percher over her headscarf — nicely done!

  12. Let’s all just pause for a second and, together, do a “hat cheer!” One of the photos of the Duke of Cambridge shows him and four other men (five total!) wearing top hats – and it’s not at Royal Ascot. Hip, hip, hooray!

  13. Peacock feathers are considered by many as bringers of bad luck. And they look simply awful on a pretty dreadful hat.
    In the elegance stakes, it’s Princess Alexandra who wins hands down, which is not surprising, as her mother was always the epitome of sartorial elegance and good taste.

    • I have never liked this hat and it isn’t improved by the feather whether it brings good or bad luck. The Queen does like a feather in her cap though doesn’t she?

    • I was hoping one of you would remember this! Somehow, in my mind, these letters were inserted into her hair (I’m clearly mixing them up mentally with those butterflies) and I had forgotten they were actually on her hat!

      I think it’s worth mentioning also that while Princess Beatrice has worn Misa Harada before, this was the first time for Princess Eugenie. It’s great to see them experiment with new milliners.

  14. I really love the colours of the Queen’s hat, but to me there is something unsettling about the crown, and on thinking about it, I think it’s the contrast between the very flat brim, which then draws attention to the slightly angled crown shape – perhaps a softer brim would have looked better (or a straight-sided crown), I’m not sure.

    Eugenie’s hat looks very jaunty, and this is about the only royal occasion when the message wouldn’t seem too frivolous!

    The Duchess of Gloucester looks as always very appropriate. It’s a shame that the new hat doesn’t seem very exciting, but I guess the Duchess approaches new hats as acquiring a new workhorse (she doesn’t seem to buy very many new ones), and so anything too memorable or specific won’t be as useful in years to come.

    Princess Alexandra’s hat and outfit also look elegant as always.

  15. I like the contrast on colour of the queen’s hat, the crown is a tat too high for my liking
    princess Alexandra looks wonderful and classy
    as for Eugenie I am sorry I don’t like the colour nor the shape of the hat on her

  16. I’m quite surprised to see the peacock hat come back, I thought it would have been a one wear for HM as it’s got a novelty feel to it. At the very least I thought the feathers might have been plucked, they’re the element that is too much for me here.

    Eugenie’s boater is fun, I much prefer this shape on her than on Beatrice. I’m not crazy on her look though, the dress isn’t doing a lot for her.

    Loving Birgitte and Alexandra’s old style elegance. This is a lot of colour on the DoG – at last!!

    • I agree JamesB, the olive-green and rust elements in the feathers don’t relate to anything else in the outfit, and somehow peacock feathers tend to appear neither crisp nor soft and fluffy, but a bit the worse for wear — they bring a boho vibe which I don’t think suits the stiff appearance of this hat.
      Birgitte’s blue and pumpkin palette is just fabulous!

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