Ascot Day 2: Prince of Wales & Duchess of Cornwall

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were on hand for the second day of racing today with the Duchess repeating the cream straw sideswept hat with angular crown she debuted last month.

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Today’s outing gives us a much better view of the piece and shows the exquisite layered lace floral cutout applique trim.  Couture millinery is all about fine detail and finishing- completely smooth lines, no wobbles on the finished brim edge(thanks Wies!) –  things that certainly impact the overall impression of a hat but details that one can only really appreciate from close view.

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The scale of this piece is spectacular on Camilla, who wears these substantial brims better than any other royal I can think of. When we first saw the hat, I wasn’t a great fan of the angular crown shape but here we see how beautiful and unique it is. With her green coat, the hat tops a beautifully considered ensemble.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: May 22, 2018
Prince Charles repeated his black antique silk hat today and looked very dapper, indeed.
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As you can already tell, I have become a major fan of this hat on Camilla. What do you think of it at the races today?
Photos from Getty as indicated

26 thoughts on “Ascot Day 2: Prince of Wales & Duchess of Cornwall

  1. Somehow the crown shape doesn’t bother me as much this time around, but I’m so disappointed to discover this hat is not actually white, which lessens my love for it. Honestly, it doesn’t pack the same punch in cream as it would in white. At any rate, colorful outfits like this should be worn much more often with her cream/beige hats. Honestly, I was hoping this would be the year we got a repeat of the parquet floor outfit and hat, but alas, my hope for such a repeat slowly fades with each passing year.

  2. I had to laugh at the reference to Chico Marx — I hadn’t thought of that, but it really is right on! That being said, I love the brim of this hat and the applique trim, and the way they frame the Duchess’ face and go well with her hairstyle, but I do not care for the tilted crown — to me it just looks like it was intended to be upright and perhaps got damaged in transit!

  3. Well, there are some pretty steep and sharp angles going on with this hat – and the crown shape, like all exaggerated crown shapes, will date quickly – but I think Treacy has very skillfully kept the experiment within the bounds of what is flattering and works for Camilla. I enjoy the novelty aspect, and particularly the all-white effect. The trim is especially gorgeous; I would love to see this trim on one of HM’s hats. And I love the fresh mint green colour of Camilla’s outfit – although the kitten’s ears (or is it futuristic?) shoulders are best forgotten.
    Charles absolutely rocks the summer morning suit look (as we saw at the royal wedding too) — his palette of pale grey, white and pastel contrasts nicely with his black hat, umbrella and shoes, and coordinates very well with Camilla’s style. It’s a wonderful change from the darker colour suits we usually see gentlemen wear.

  4. That pointed crown makes me think of Chico Marx. I’m nota fan of the hat/coat combo either. It’s nice to see her wear some color, I just wish it was some other color. It’s not that I don’t like green, I love it, but not this shade.

  5. That is a lot of frippery right there! But somehow Cams makes it almost work. The shape of the crown is still offputting to me though. Charles, elegant, as always!

  6. I love the lavish lace trim on this hat, although I’m not a fan of the shape of the crown.
    But Hat Queen, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, yet it can’t be helped: I’m very sorry to have to contradict you. The brim of this hat was not blocked on the bias. Philip Treacy’s hats are always beautifully executed, the quality of his workroom is obviously outstanding and so there are no wobbles on this brim, but still, it was blocked in one piece and not from a strip of bias material. I still haven’t figured out how to share Instagram pictures on this blog, so all I can do is post a link to try and show an example. When the brim is blocked on the bias, the fibres spread out, fan wise.

    • Thanks, Wies- this is very helpful. I suppose all crowns are blocked on the bias, by the very nature of their round shape! I now completely see what you mean about how blocking a brim on the bias creates the beautiful fan shape in the weave of the straw.

      • Yes, in a way. A crown would be blocked in three layers, mostly. For this, imagine you cut out three squares of woven material, say sinamay. The first one would be blocked with the axis middle/front to middle/back on the biais. The second one, on top of the first, would be positioned with the axis front/back on the grain. The third one, on top of the other two, would again be blocked as the first, with the axis on the bias. By changing the direction of the weave, the crown will be stronger once finished. Of course this is a rough guideline: it all depends on the shape of the crown, the material used and the preferences of each milliner!

        I have often noticed that milliners like Philip Treacy and Rachel Trevor Morgan do not block their brims on the bias. Yet nobody could pretend they are not first class milliners, or have doubts about the quality of their workroom staff. Maybe it is due to the great number of hats they produce: blocking brims in one piece is quicker, and so work is more efficiënt. The inconvenience of this method is that you can not adapt the shape anymore afterwards. It comes of the block the way it is. The old fashioned method would be to have a fitting with the client (before sewing crown and brim together) and see if the brim needs altering. An upturned brim could be raised more, or less. Or one could make a movement in the brim, like a wave just above the eye for instance. You could still model the brim in a different way after blocking, because it would be cut on the bias. In this way the shape of the hat would be personalised to fit the shape of the wearers face.

        The trouble (to come back to our original discussion) with Fabienne Delvigne is, I think, that she is not a milliner herself (at least, I can find no mention of her having had any real training in millinery) and that therefore she depends entirely on the skills of her staff. Maybe there has been a change of staff recently, which would explain the uneven quality of her hats. (When the sinamay is used on the grain and it isn’t stretched tightly enough on the block or if it isn’t stiffened enough, this will show up in the finished product.)

        I take the opportunity to thank you for all the beautiful Ascot pictures; you must be working overtime!
        I haven’t added any comments because many people before me have already done so and it’s no use repeating what has alteady been remarked upon, but I’m enjoying your posts very much!

        • Wies, this is totally off-topic but I looked at your website and your Pasquita hat is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen – the colour is sublime.

          • Thank you Lesley. I happened to have this piece of taffetas silk, picked up in a sale, that turned out to match beautifully with a bit of sinamay I had laying around. Sometimes it doesn’t take more than that to come up with an idea for a hat!

  7. I’m not the kind of person that think people should “change it up” and I can appriciate finding something that works and stickning to it. I’m also not the type that gets mad if a royal buys a new blue coat when they already have a blue coat. But now it’s just getting silly! I’m bored out of my mind with all of her beige/cream hats and sig every time you note a new one. I get her wanting to keep a fairly unassuming profile but then I just would like repeats instead of “copies”. Sorry that I sound so negative! She looks wonderful! Just, same wonderful as the last 5 years!

  8. The hat is lovely. The close up shows the texture of the crown and brim so we’ll because of the bias cut. I so appreciate HQ for helping us understand couture technique and why it matters.

  9. I really like the trim on this hat. My quibble is with the angled shape of the top. There is something of a “Crooked Stovepipe” vibe with this hat for me.

  10. This is a very nice hat, with balanced proportions, unusual trim and a perfect match to the outfit. Duchess Camilla has found her regal style and it suits her very well. I personally love a huge flower for trim, or a big feather poof or “wind blown” ribbons, but she has these and more, and this may be her version of the Queen’s Wedgewood blue outfit, going with the lace appliqué.

  11. Well I’m going to go against the grain and say I think she looks terrific !! I !ove the hat – it’s unusual shape is what endears it to me – I bet no body else at Ascot has one like it ! I love her green outfit it’s fresh and smart – – all in all – like I said I think she looks terrific ! Charles is looking good too !

  12. I’m still not a fan of this hat. I think it’s the pointed top on the crown that does it in for me. If she were in Mexico, this could go for a take on a Mexican sombrero with that typical caved in side of the peak of the crown. Maybe it’s just too hard of lines for her – I don’t know. Something just is not a good look – I think this hat should be retired.

  13. I like the hat. It isn’t something I would wear, but it looks great on her. I like the color too, and it is very flattering on her. Not a fan of the coat. I don’t like the sleeves, but it is a lovely color on her. She and Charles look great together.

  14. I am fine with Camilla’s outfit. I like the pastel color with the white. The hat is the style she favors though this one has a bit of a cowboy hat shape to me. Overall I like the color instead of the almond color she wore yesterday.

    Charles looks handsome as always. Would it ever be correct for a gentleman to wear a gray top hat with the gay morning suit?

  15. The hat in itself is very flattering, but I do not care for it in combination with the coat. As Lesley says, the hat is at war with the style of the coat. And for my taste, too many white flowers overall. (I think the duchess’s choker also detracts from this ensemble. )

  16. Beautiful hat, the outfit colour doesn’t appeal and the exaggerated puff sleeve at the shoulder fights with the angle of the hat. Charles, as always, looks very dapper.

  17. I’m not a fan. The way brim and crown are tilted towards each other creates some sort of millinery vertigo. From certain angles it gives off M. C. Escher vibes. And all those white flowers add to the spooky feeling.

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