Queen Elizabeth’s Iconic Hats: 1990s

 After last week’s most entertaining discussion and look through the 1970s, we continue our quest to identify Queen Elizabeth’s most iconic hats with a look at those worn during the 1990s. Again- we’re looking for hats “widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence” and each suggestion you make must be qualified as such. If you agree with a suggestion made by another, add your voice of support! As always, feel welcome to link to articles, youtube videos or photo galleries featuring a particular hat but please avoid pinterest links and any hotlinked photos.

The 1990s brought colour, pattern and a bit of drama to the Queen’s millinery. Are there hats from this decade that you consider to be iconic looks for her?

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Photos from Getty as indicated

49 thoughts on “Queen Elizabeth’s Iconic Hats: 1990s

  1. The third picture in the left hand set is my best of for that group. Love the hat, love the suit.
    The second one of that set has that soft-set ice cream swirl look that she also has in a pink hat, iifc.

    I like more of the right hand set.
    1. Take off the rattan weave trim and that’s a winner.
    2. Calling Princess Mabel of the Nederlands!
    3. I love Halloween too, Your Majesty.
    4&5. Suessical.

    And a shout out to the beautiful brooches! #teambrooch

  2. These are all iconic hats to me as this was the beginning of my royal watching days. But one that pops into mind is a solid royal blue saucerish hat with the a chevron patterned bow that was on both the top and underside of the hat. I haven’t been able to find a picture but I thought she wore it in Spain.

  3. When I saw the pictures of the Queen in a headscarf and raincoat after the fire at Windsor Castle in 1992 – my heart went out to her 😥
    They were iconic pictures that’s for sure – but do they qualify to be included in this post ? I think so!

  4. Not being able to fully participate, (I’m on holiday down south in Florida) I’ll vote for the USA talker, even though I’ve always thought the circumference appeared to be too big, and the green horribilus. HM looks soooo regal and tastefully refined in any and all her black ensembles. She is Class with a capital C!

    • The talking hat is iconic, I suppose, in that it’s widely known, but I too think it’s too wide, and in most photographs the purple in the hat really is redder than in the suit. It’s well known but not for its beauty, I’m afraid.
      The annus horribulus hat is good, both in its shape and its coordination with the outfit. The Scottish parliament hat, however, is my overall favorite. A lot of effort went into that entire outfit. (Any time the Queen wore shoes that were not black — or in those days white — was a special occasion.)

  5. I love the blue and pink hat she wore to the Epsom Derby – (the year she was excited to win the Royal Box sweepstakes !! 😊) it looked like pink chiffon threaded through holes in a blue woven hat ! at first I thought it was a pink turban with the blue on top – until I saw the back of it … very attractive !

    • This one?
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      • That’s the one ! I like to think of it as a happy hat … she just seems happy wearing it ! (sounds silly I know but although it’s not iconic – it’s a hat that is meaningful … plus she won money that day 😊 that made her happy !)

  6. I agree with the green hat for the 1992 “Annus Horibilis” speech, the Scottish parliament opening purple hat and the two black hats in 1997 for Diana’s funeral.

    The other hat that is iconic for me is the funny shaped red one she wore when Britannia was taken out of service in 1997. One of the few times the Queen has wept in public. I always wondered why she chose such a bright and whimsical hat to wear for an event that was so personally sad for her.

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  7. The hats I would count as memorable are the purple and white “talking hat”, as it led to the fantastic line the next day, and I quite like its style; the “return to London” hat just because it brougt back vivid mental images; the “Annus Horribilis” hat for similar reasons though I like its design too; and the Scottish Parliament hat for the insouciance of its feather trim and suiting to the occasion.

    A side observation….the Queen chose styles which swept back from the face with no sheltering brim for the Return and the Annus speech. The woman may have wished otherwise but a Queen does what needs to be done and shown …however sad or difficult.

    • I agree,with those 3 hats Catherine. I also need to add the black hat with the side bow that Queen Elizabeth wore to Princess Diana’s funeral. It’s instantly recognizeable, because of the shape and the bow, as the hat she wore that sad day.

      If there were ever two days when the Queen deserved to hide behind a big brim, it’s those two. Her choice to go with hats that showed her face speak volumes about her character and duty.

  8. Whoa, those polka dots! I don’t remember that one! I will agree with the commenters who have chosen the “boater” type ones, like the purple & white striped one worn to the U.S. and the blue & white similar one worn to the Isle of Arran in 1997. I would also choose this type, HM seemed to wear a lot of these in the 90s, thankfully she may have realized these were too similar to those worn by QEQM and that shape was abandoned. https://royalhats.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/new-hat-from-the-past-22/ The Annus Horribilius speech hat gives me the same vibes as these though the brim is slightly different.

    • Here’s the white hat with blue trim worn to the Isle of Arran on August 9, 1997 you cited – so smart!

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  9. The Scottish parliament hat was the first one that came to my mind, though I was not a particular fan. What about the deep green hat for The wedding go the Princess Royal in 1992 or the lilac hat for Prince Edward’s wedding. Of the hats shown, I like the blue from the Greek royal wedding best and the one worn to Diana’s funeral would certainly merit the word iconic.

    • How did I forget about the fascinator HM wore to Edward & Sophie’s wedding?? I certainly think it’s iconic as a quite a departure from normal hat styles, and a good to start the fascinator era of the 2000s:
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    • Interesting that the definition of iconic doesn’t include requirements of likability or, in this case, attractiveness.

      The purple feathered bandeau at Edward and Sophie’s wedding is only a handful of fascinators we’ve seen her wear- that in itself is memorable!

      Embed from Getty Images

      I can’t find a shareable photo of the green hat worn to Princess Anne’s wedding on Dec 12, 1992- here it is on video.

  10. I agree about the Annus Horibilius hat, both lovely and worn for a high-profile occasion, and the purple striped for its memorable appearance. Both of these deserve a place on the short list.

    And look what I found featured in Hats From the Past: https://royalhats.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/closer-look-somerville-scottish-hat/ What do you think of this beauty? Historic occasion, dramatic use of feathers, strong colors — I think it’s worth consideration!

  11. Wasn’t there a purple hat she wore on the Great Wall of China? I can’t remember when that was but I think it was her first visit there, maybe her first visit to CHina?

  12. I SO SO ADORE that polka dot hat. It’s definitely of it’s time, but I really really love it. I wish we saw more pattern on hats today, especially if the shape is suitably simple. Really a great hat.

  13. JamesB, I agree about this decade of HM’s millinery – it’s the one I find hardest of all to connect to. When I looked, I could hardly find a single hat I liked from 1990 to 1995, although there was no shortage of big occasions. The styles HM wore then were very similar to what P Diana was wearing, but I don’t feel those styles suited HM at all, neither the smaller nor larger styles.
    From 1995 onwards, the brimmed style that would become HM’s signature for the 21st century began to emerge, so I did find hats I like in that period, especially the Ascot ones. My iconic choice is from the cusp of that change, the hat HM wore to Crown Prince Pavlos’ wedding in 1995, (and also to meet Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1996). The hat itself is simple, but the overall ensemble has an elevated look that I associate with big events. Check out Queen Sylvia’s millinery too:Embed from Getty Images
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    In the video, see HM at 0:12 and 0:56, plus other faces you’ll recognise. The mystery royal whose face is obscured under a giant flower pot hat next to Constantine is Princess Alexia.

    The next hat wouldn’t count as iconic, but I include it just because I really like the design :). Ascot 1996. https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-queen-elizabeth-ii-queen-of-england-16-july-1996-28383695.html july 1996 ascot? lovley aqua
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    • I agree that the hat worn to Pavlos & Marie-Chantal’s wedding is one of the first hats I choose when thinking back on HM in the 1990s. Simple portrait hats with not a lot of trim seem to exemplify 90s millinery for me (granted, this was the period of my childhood, so hats didn’t make the biggest impression on me then, especially as they were quite lacking in rural Ohio haha).

      I would also say the hat worn when HM viewed the flowers laid outside Buckingham Palace after Diana died is also iconic:
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      Along the same line, I also think of the Breton style hat she wore to David & Serena’s wedding: https://royalhats.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/linley-wedding-guests/.

      • I agree – the Queen’s return to London was really a turning point in the public mood after Diana’s death and I associate this hat with that so closely, that makes it iconic. Here is a slightly better view: Embed from Getty Images

        • A few more views of the “return to London” hat:

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          She had also worn this hat at Balmoral prior to leaving for London, earlier that day.

      • Here’s the Linley wedding hat:

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  14. For me the 90s wasn’t her best decade, in more ways than one. Sticking to style though, I feel it was before she got into a new style in the noughties; her hats were often small in scale and a tad, well frumpy.

    That said, I can think of two which I like, AND which were worn at iconic occasions. Both stunning colours and strong designs. But they’ll be remembered for more unfortunate reasons I fear!

    The ‘talking hat’ in the US state visit https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p-8pz7Ot-WI

    And the Annus horibilis hat. https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/queen-elizabeth-ii-at-the-guildhall-in-london-making-her-news-photo/52118345

    • The Annus horibilis hat- GREAT catch on that one, JamesB Not only a beautiful hat but made iconic by that infamous speech
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    • And the purple straw boater worn May 14, 1992 in Washington, DC (the “talking hat”):


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      • I agree with the black hats at Diana’s funeral and for her return to London and the Annus Horibilis hat. And the talking purple hat. I remember that talking hat made all the headlines! The next day she wore an orange hat with ruffled top to give a speech to the joint session of congress. I remember what a huge deal that was to have a foreign leader speak in congress and when she opened with that joke, she charmed everybody and the orange hat was on the front page of every newspaper in America the next day.

        • Additional views of this hat:
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        • Trish, I’ve seen this video many times, and delight in it every time! HM seems so at ease, and just like one of us, like the charming scene with the decaf coffee for President Reagan. Thanks for sharing this.

  15. The black hat with the bow at the side that the Queen wore for Princess Diana’s funeral was a different but very smart hat for the occasion – (in fact her whole outfit that day was a little different for her !)The shape and scale were just right – I don’t remember seeing it again though !

    • Embed from Getty Images

      This is the same outfit though with a different hat that was worn at the Belgian King’s funeral in 1993.

      • Here are two more views of this hat. The brim is certainly a unique shape, punctuated by that bow.
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        • Unlike hats for regular engagements, the black hats for funerals and other somber occasions can’t really be specifically planned for in advance, and yet the ones I’ve seen over the years are pretty much in keeping with whatever is in style at that time. Do you suppose HM just has a black hat or two made up each year or so just in case they’re needed?

          • She knows she’ll need a black hat at the Sunday Remembrance service at Whitehall around November 11 each year- she often debuts a new black hat there. But yes, she has numerous black hats in rotation. Most are repeated numerous times before they are retired.

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