Epsom Derby Day 2018

The Investec Derby Festival was held at Epsom Downs Racecourse today and as in years past, a number of royal spectators were in attendance. Queen Elizabeth repeated her lavender straw hat with tall crown and flat brim, trimmed with silk leaves and peony blooms.

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It has been four years since this hat’s last outing and today’s reappearance reminds me of some of its best features- the delicate, trimmed green feather leaves, the perfect summery shade of purple, and the wonderful contrast provided by those silk peonies. The crown is slightly higher than what we usually see on the Queen but the molded shape is unique and balanced by its diagonal slope and the wide straw hatband.

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An interesting note, the coat paired with this hat today is usually paired with a different purple hat (see here). Coat swaps aside, the floral trim on the hat clearly links with the ensemble’s floral print dress- a mix I think works best with a glimpse of the dress peeking out from the coat rather than side by side, although it’s always a treat to see the hat directly against its matching dress.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 28, 2013; March 30, 2012; June 17, 2010

Princess Alexandra used the occasion today début a very sharp new hat.

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In pale pink straw, the hat follows a traditional boater shape with flat crown and brim. Its design flourish is a wide pink straw hatband, edged on both sides in a stripe of black straw and jauntily twisted at the side. This is an entirely new shape for Alexandra, who usually favours hats with much higher crowns. The scale and shape are fantastic on her and the hat’s styling today, with her elegant pink suit and patterned scarf, was spot on.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Today’s top race was won by jockey William Buick on Masar, a horse from Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin stable. For this victory, Princess Haya was head-to-hem in red, a colour she always looks spectacular in. Her hat, a vertical saucer, is trimmed with a giant silk bloom tucked beneath the brim of the raised side. We often see Haya in larger, wider brimmed hats and the smaller scale of this one, thanks in part to its vertical position, is especially flattering for her.

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Designer: Philip Treacy. It is OC-445 from SS 2018
Previously Worn:

Sheikha Al Jalila and was also on hand to celebrate the Dubai royal family’s win in a small cream button hat with straw twists.

Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan wore a grey felt top hat while Sheikh Mohammed repeated his top hat in black silk.

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Designer of Jalila’s hat: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: this hat is new

Lady Carolyn Warren, daughter of Queen Elizabeth’s late friend and racing manager the 6th Earl of Carnarvon (known by his nickname “Porchy”) and wife of Her Majesty’s current racing manager John Warren, wore a wide brimmed cream straw hat with angular shaped crown and slightly upswept brim on one side. The hat is trimmed with a slim multi-layered hatband, cream silk roses and feathers. It’s an elegant design that pairs beautifully with her aqua tailored suit.

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Designer: Philip Treay
Previously Worn: This hat is new 

The races at Epsom always provide a taste of racing hats to come later in June and wow- what a way to whet our appetites! If this group of royal hats is anything to go by, we’re in for a fantastic month ahead.
Photos from Getty as indicated

24 thoughts on “Epsom Derby Day 2018

  1. Princess Alexandra looks phenomenal. This is quite literally the first boater hat I have ever actively liked. Brava!! HM the queen looks lovely as well, though I don’t care for the coat. The hat and dress look fabulous together and I’m so glad we got to see the wonderful dress.

  2. For some reason the trim on HM’s hat seems to overwhelm it in my eyes – the flowers seem a bit too big. But since no one else has mentioned it, it’s probably just me. Great colour, though.

  3. Now we’ve seen all 4 combinations of the 2 lavender hats and 2 coats. You are awesome, HQ, for even updating the previous post which had only 3 combinations! Maybe we could vote again on our favorite duo.
    Yesterday’s Epsom Races must have been a wonderful way for HM to spend the 65th anniversary of her coronation yesterday. She looked sensational, as did Princess Alexandra. JamesB, Jake, and I are all in agreement – we love when HM roots back further in the closet to dazzle us with an old favorite, feared to be in retirement. As I stated this morning in the previous post, seeing her hat and dress without the coat is a visual bonus.
    What a sight it must have been seeing Helen Mirren climbing out of her car with such an elaborate chapeau!
    Lady Warren looked very elegant and beautiful as well.
    Happy anniversary, Queen Elizabeth; long may you reign!

    June 2, 1953; HM’s coronation

    June 2, 2003; 50th anniversary of HM’s coronation
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    • Thanks for noting the anniversary, Jimbo. I’m not even British, but I’ll throw in a “God save the Queen!”

      • MM, I’m not British either, nor are quite a number of the regular commenters on this blog. We Yanks will never see such stability, loyalty, and selfless call to duty as our British friends enjoy in Queen Elizabeth, and hopefully it will continue for them with the next generation. And as an added bonus, she gets to look beautiful every time she steps out of her palace!

  4. I also loved HM’s hat and thought it looked great with and without the coat. I loved the way her raspberry lipstick brought out the color of the flowers on her hat. Love, love, love P. Alexandra’s hat with scarf and suit. Perfection! Helen Mirren’s hat was a wow! P. Haya’s hat was wonderful to give her more height although I would have liked a little more contrast in trim.

  5. What a way to start off the month of June! Thank you everyone for the lovely pictures of royal hats. My favorite overall outfit and hat is Queen Elizabeth’s with second choice of “Queen Elizabeth” , Ms. Helen Mirren! Love the lavender on Her Majesty and the whimsy on Ms.Mirren.

  6. I would usually find the combination of pink and purple much too sweet for anyone over the age of five, but the crisp lines of the coat and hat keep this ensemble sophisticated.

    Cheers to Princess Alexandra for keeping it fresh! I’m intrigued by the contemporary look of the hat and twist.

    Princess Haya’s hat is a variation on a style so many royals have worn — I’m thinking of CP Mary’s Ascot appearance. Doesn’t the Duchess of Cambridge have a similar one, too?

  7. The queen never looks more cheerful and enthusiastic than on the race course. mcncin is right about that straw twist though–its placement was purposeful, but it looks accidental, and bit raw.

    Princess Alexandra’s hat is a treat. Lively and elegant at the same time. What verve she has!

    I can’t say I think that the honorary queen’s hat suits her, but perhaps it is the angle of the photo. I think the way that the darker areas of the hat contrast with the brim is too abrupt. But it is a daring hat, and, in particular, the pattern looks well with Ms. Mirren’s dress.

  8. It’s nice to see HM dig back in her closet and bring out a hat we haven’t seen in a while. I like the wider brim on this, and the lavender was great for the sunny day. Normally I’m not as big of a fan of HM’s patterned dresses, but this pairs excellently with the hat!

    Surprised to see even Alexandra jumping on the boater trend, but she can rock this one! I was very happy to see her in a new hat, one that I think is pretty versatile, but I also love the styling of the outfit and it’s coordination with the hat. Brava!

    Not a new design from Philip Treacy, but Haya does wear this vertical disc shape well, and I like her hair down and flowing as a contrast to the height of the hat. Red is especially good on her, and I’m glad she’s one royal who doesn’t shy away from it.

    The placement of Sheikha Al Jalila’s cocktail hat could be improved, but it’s a good piece for her as she continues to mature towards adulthood. Sheikh Hamdan looked good in his grey top hat, but his jacket was much too wide at the neck for him. Sheikh Mohammed always wears his top hat well, but his morning suit was a bit big for him once again; I do wonder if this is because the traditional Dubai clothing is worn more loosely, and then this fit gets translated into western-style suits?

    Like mcncln, I also thought Carolyn Warren’s hat looked similar to Camilla’s most recent hat (well, many of her hats actually haha), but she wore it well, and it paired beautifully with her outfit.

    Overall a great start to the mad hattery month that is June! Looking forward to what the rest of the month brings!

    • Oops, I forgot I was also going to post a photo of the great hat on an honorary queen (of sorts), Helen Mirren:
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  9. I can’t help myself – seeing the copy about the 6th Earl of Carnarvon’s daughter makes me think about my last trip to Royal Ascot when, on Ladies Day, we were standing awaiting a race and I turned around to see none other than the 7th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. I spoke to them, thanking them for opening their home for the last several years for the filming of Downton Abbey. And then I said, “do you know anything about the horses?” LOL!!! In the moment, I didn’t put together Porchy with his son, etc. and made one of the best blunders ever! Lord Carnarvon was gracious in his response, saying he knows a bit about the horses but doesn’t have horses good enough to run at Royal Ascot. I’m sure he thought “who is this American nut job!” Too funny!

    • What a great story, Chuck! It is conforting to know other people make gaffes, as I do, and also comforting to know others are gracious enough to shrug them off.

    • Chuck, as I remember your posts from this event, you were impeccably dressed for this event. I’m sure the Earl knows that many attendees are in it more for the occasion that the horses.

  10. Thank you for so many pictures of this group of well coordinated and lovely hats. What a pleasure to see! I especially like the pictures of the Queen in her floral dress. It must be a fun job to pick out fabrics for the Queen. And Rachel Trevor Morgan does such wonderful flowers for her hats.

  11. Lovely to see this hat out again, I assumed it had been retired. Possibly one of my favourites of HM’s in recent years, it’s just so pretty. Love it against the dress too; could she look any more like an English country garden.

    And Alexandra’s boater is a great spin on her go to style. What a stylish pair they are!

  12. so many wonderful looks, HM hat looks lovely and just like Q Margaretha’s hat, they make me feel happy
    I don’t see P Alexandra with a boater very often but she looks lovely in it,
    Haya always looks polished and appropriate and for her daughter, I remember last year she also wearing a very nice hat, this one seem to be a little more mature, she looks great
    As for Julia Budd it might seem from a different era but somehow it is still modern, nice hat.

  13. Interesting note- Queen Elizabeth was greeted by Julia Budd, chairman of the Epsom course, who was also in a Stewart Parvin outfit and Rachel Trevor Morgan brimless hat.

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  14. HM:Lovely hat, and I adore those flowers; but I’m niggled by one thing. I’m just not sure about the spoon-shaped straw twist poking out on her right. I get why it is there — something is needed in that space to balance the angled crown — but it draws my attention for all the wrong reasons.
    P Alexandra: isn’t she The One To Watch? after her on-trend experiment with nearly-matching pattern-mixing at the recent garden party, we see a boater that looks straight from current racing collections, and very stylishly paired with a colour-matching pattern-mixing scarf. She’s putting stripes-with-a-floral in accordance with the very latest fashion advice. I don’t even know if I like the effect, but it’s a very fresh look, topped by a lively and confident hat. Way to go, Alexandra.
    P Haya: looking predictably terrific in Philip Treacy. I agree HQ that this hat, which emphasizes height as opposed to width, is a very flattering choice for this petite Princess.
    Sheikha Al Jalila: Cute hat, just the right size for a 10-year-old.
    Lady Warren: The crown reminds me of Camilla’s most recent Treacy hat, worn to the royal garden party on May 22. I agree that pairing this white hat with that aqua suit is a winning look; I would just prefer to see it differently placed- probably further back on her head.

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