Princess Alexandra in Shropshire & Suffolk

Princess Alexandra has had a busy last few days two day-away visits in Shropshire and Suffolk, interestingly, in the same hat! Last Friday, July 20, she headed to Shropshire to visit the Mayfair Community Centre in Church Stretton and a teddy bear factory, Merrythought Limited, in Ironbridge. For these visits, she wore a pale grey straw hat with gently sloped cartwheel brim and a straight sided crown with domed top. We don’t often see Alexandra in completely unembellished hats but it’s smooth lines are a great counterpoint to her patterned jacket.

 The hat reappeared Tuesday this week when Princess Alexandra  visited opened the new FitzRoy UK Stepping Stones home, a supported living program for which she has been Royal Patron for 33 years, near Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk.  She repeated the same grey straw hat but surprised by trimming it with a wide hatband in the same teal silk paisley print as her suit. While I’d have preferred a plain teal hatband (this repeat of the paisley but it into ‘matchy’ territory for me), it’s a quick makeover that transforms the hat from its outing just four days earlier.

Something about the hat seemed familiar to me so I dove into the archives and was even more surprised to find it with a different grey hatband embellishment (I think, its original), worn to Ascot in 1994.

We’ve discussed this kind of serious hat recycling here and I think, if you’re going to wear a 20+ year old hat, this how to do it. This hat shape is a classic one for Alexandra and really doesn’t stick out amidst her many other tall, straight-sided crown designs. The original trim dates the piece and by removing it, the hat becomes the hat becomes a blank canvas that looks fresh today. I’ll admit- I initially thought it was a new piece and did not expect to learn that it’s at least two decades into service. Well done.
Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: July 5, 20181995June 17, 1994; and undoubtedly numerous others as well 
What do you think about this chameleon hat on Princess Alexandra?

14 thoughts on “Princess Alexandra in Shropshire & Suffolk

  1. I actually prefer this hat just plain; it’s true versatility shines through then and doesn’t allow it to be subjected to an outfit when a matchy-matchy band is used. The shape is similar to most hats Alexandra wears, but it’s a shape that obviously has long flattered her, and the grey color works with practically anything!

  2. I’m uncertain that the hat worn to Ascot in 1994 is the same hat as the pale grey one we see for July 20, 2018, on July 15, 2018, and in 1995; the 1994 suit seems to be a perfect colour match for the hat, and they both read on my screen as pale blue; does anyone else’s screen give that effect?
    At any rate, the hat shape is indeed just right for the princess. It’s fun that Alexandra changes trims; and it’s great to see her revisit her 1995 “no-headband ” styling which I agree looks lovely, and modern too.
    There’s a very clear side-view pic of the recent hat-minus-headband look on the Merrythought facebook page; click on “Photos”.

      • I will admit that prior to joining this blog, I thought a lot more royals did a lot more “quick changes” like this than they actually do! (That was of course before I started learning about all the subtleties of crowns and brims!)

    • I agree… I guess I meant more ‘dated’ in terms of recognition from wearing it in the mid 1990s, which then dates it to that era.

    • I agree. The original trim makes it a classic look. The matching-the-dress trim looks “after market.”

  3. This elegant Princess would look good in a paper sack. Many of her hats and clothes are so classic that they easily stand the test of time. This hat is certainly one of them.

  4. Good for Princess Alexandra – she’s Queen Mary’s granddaughter alright …she likes to “mess around ” with old things to make them look new again !!! 😊😊 looks like she made a good job of it to me 😉

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