RAF Centenary Part II

While the entire British royal family attended yesterday’s service at Westminster Abbey and watched the Royal Air Force  flypast town The Mall, the group divided with half attending a Buckingham Palace reception and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent attending an RAF reception on Horse Guards Parade.

The Countess of Wessex repeated her cream striped crin hat. Built on a straw button base, this variation on a saucer shape features a wide fold that flutes the left side of the design. The hat is trimmed with grey and cream twists and a pair of black feathers.

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The streamlined colour palate on this design gives it an air of sophistication, especially paired with Sophie’s textured cream dress. It’s a great look for her.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. Dress by Suzannah
Previously Worn: Feb 4, 2018May 10, 2016;  June 17, 2015

Princess Anne repeated a hat that’s been around the block a few times. The design features an angular, diagonal crown in almond straw with contrasting chocolate straw underbrim and tall wrap around the crown along with chocolate raw silk stacked hatbands. The piece is completed with a mass of cream and pheasant feathers.

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While hat coordinates well with Anne’s ensemble, I’m not a great fan of any of the pieces, which all look pulled from different decades. While removing those horrid chocolate gloves (bottom photo) helped immensely, the mix of overly trimmed hat, fussy jacket and pleated skirt just aren’t a winning combination. Put the hat with a streamlined chocolate shift dress and I think, it would work much better.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 10, 2016May 20, 2016; June 19, 2015November 19, 2007June 2006

After her recent streak of stunning new wider brimmed hats, the Duchess of Gloucester returned to her familiar taupe straw beret hat with stem. I have to admit, the hat is a great fit for this event, its shape referencing military berets, and coordinated well with her navy coat and dress.

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Designer: unknown. I still guess Lock and Co.
Previously Worn: March 9, 2017June 18, 2015June 15, 2015November 6, 2013June 19, 2013June 5, 2012

Princess Alexandra repeated her pale pink straw wide brimmed hat with square edged crown, trimmed with a hatband in the same striped silk as her dress and a mass of candy pink feathers. It’s a hat I think works better without Alexandra’s jacket, when the pink straw provides a bit of contrast and the hatband can link with the stripes, which are placed in multiple directions, on the dress.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: June 28, 2018; June 15, 2010

Princess Michael of Kent repeated her wide black picture hat with shallow crown and mushroom shaped brim, trimmed with a giant black feather. It has always been a great statement hat on Marie Christine and it’s great to see her trot it out again.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: June 13, 2015September 11, 2014; June 18, 2010

The Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, Duke of Gloucester, Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent all wore caps linked with their individual military ranking in the RAF while Vice Admiral Laurence was in his naval uniform (I believe he does not hold rank in the RAF, honorary or otherwise).

The event saw such a wonderful array of British royal hats- which ones stood out to you most?
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Photos from Getty as indicated

11 thoughts on “RAF Centenary Part II

  1. The mixing of all the brown and cream tones of Princess Anne’s outfit make it go very autumn. I think pairing the hat with a simple, cream outfit would make it feel more spring/summer. And those chocolate gloves have to go. Every time she wears them they always seem to detract from the outfit in my personal opinion. On a positive note, the Countess of Wessex looks chic and perfectly put together. Loved her outfit, and absolutely one of my favorites of her hats.

  2. Sophie always makes me smile – she has such a happy face that I don’t always notice what she’s wearing 😉 love the hat !
    Anne is one of my favourites I can’t help it … even when she isn’t perfectly suited to her outfit – she still looks fine to me !
    Alexandra is and always will be the Edwardian lady of our memories.!
    Duchess Glo is such a star royal – always there always looking good – this hat seems to be a favouite and why not ?😉
    Princess Michael isn’t as flamboyant as she used to be but still likes to look good !

  3. Sophie: Nice to see this hat again; however I would have liked to have seen a touch of black in her accessories, so that the choice of hat would seem less random. Not a fan of the dress, which seems too casual – like a cotton jumper which grew. I prefer the striped coat-dress she wore with this hat on previous outings.
    Anne: Oh, those almost-matching browns! I agree HQ, this hat just needs to be worn with a simple one-colour dress; but though The Princess Royal’s wardrobe apparently contains an abundance of items, somehow I doubt that such a dress could be found.
    Birgitte: Another lovely wearing of this versatile hat.
    Alexandra: When she wore this hat in 2015, the Princess had the feathers facing the other way, at the back. It’s nice that she’s tried something different this time.However the hat looks as if it has slipped down on her forehead; perhaps it has gotten a bit big for her? (that is something that can happen with age, or from thinning hair). BTW, that twisted pearl necklace and embroidered clutch are pretty trendy.
    Marie-Christine: Fabulous hat, and I feel this is the best styling of it so far, (though I think a jacket colour other than red would have better suited this particular palace balcony assembly). I wonder if the jacket is a recent acquisition, or one she has kept from the eighties …it is unusually long (by current standards), but the length works really well with the midi-length dress.

  4. I quite like the Princess Royal’s outfit – gloves excepted. The hat I liked least was the Duchess of Gloucester’s, which was completely unobjectionable, just rather plain.

  5. I think Sophie looks absolutely elegant here, and I think this neckline is much more flattering for her and her hat than the crew necks she often prefers. The hat is beautifully designed and she has it perched perfectly. I do wish she had worn black shoes instead of beige.

    Has it really been 2 years since Anne last wore this hat? It seems like it was just last month, which is the problem as she’s been wearing a lot of cream and brown recently, which is generally not flattering or exciting as a color scheme. I don’t think the execution of this whole ensemble is a problem, I just an really over her wearing these colors so often!

    Birgitte has usually worn this hat with outfits of lighter colors, so it’s refreshing and new to see it paired with navy. I wish she had worn grey shoes instead of beige to coordinate better with the rest of her accessories; seriously, why only beige shoes for everyone?

    Lovely hat for Alexandra and great to see it out again (I do prefer it worn this way, with the trim in the front). If her jacket was more structured, I think it would work much better, but as is, it’s a bit unrefined and detracts from the overall look.

    I’m glad to see Marie-Christine in something other than white/beige/cream! Definitely not my favorite hat for her (I’ve never cared for this Treacy design, with the small brim in the front and massive brim in the back; it looks unbalanced), but I do welcome it back for something different, and the black paired tomato red jacket is a delight!

    Does anyone know who the woman in the pink cocktail hat and dress is? It’s a wonderful outfit, and interesting to see her sitting right in the middle of the extended royal family.

  6. It’s not a bad hat, but it’s a continuing mystery to me why someone as outdoorsy and unfussy as Princess Anne typically wears such fussy clothing for her public appearances. She would look so wonderful in pared back, streamlined styles and this would seemingly be closer to her personality.

    • You read my mind Patricia! I was thinking the same thing as I looked at Ann’s pleated skirt and textured jacket. The style of the clothes seemed too swishy and embellished for austere Ann. Except for the color it didn’t look like Ann at all.

    • When I look at Princess Anne’s hat, going back through all the years, that mass of feathers reminds me more than anything of a Swiffer duster! Looking at some photos that show the hat from either side, I think it could have stood alone without any of these feathers at all, or certainly with many fewer of them. And regarding her outfit, I actually do like the jacket, though it isn’t as well fitted as it might have been, but the skirt seems more “dressy” — being of a more sheer fabric, it might look great with some other top, but does not go with either this jacket or this hat.

      And by the way, who is that with Anne in the pink hat in the 2006 photo, is that Sophie? That is some huge floral embellishment on that hat!

  7. I really don’t know why but I’ve never liked this dress of Sophie’s – I find it a bit frumpy compared to some of her other frocks. And I’m not 100% on this match with the hat, the dress is creamier than the hat, and I just miss that pairing with the white striped dress.

    Now I (controversial!) don’t hate Anne’s outfit. It’s the one she wore for Peter Phillip’s wedding, but the collar has had a trim down. It’s a good match with this hate, and the cream / brown colourway I find elegant. The jacket could do with being less bulky but it’s not a bad outfit for a lady of a certain age!

    Birgitte, Alexandra and M-C all true to form, good to see M-C in bold colour instead of her usual creams.

  8. The Countess of Wessex is my favorite of the Royal Family. However, I’m still not a fan of this dress. In my opinion, The Princess Royal and Princess Michael overall looks are good. I wish Princess Michael will always wear something like what she has worn today.

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