Guest Post: Stylist For A Day

I’m trilled to pass over the reigns of Royal Hats to a longtime reader, Baxter, whose encyclopedic knowledge of Queen Elizabeth’s hats has helped me more times than I could possibly count. He’s going to have a go at the role of millinery stylist to Queen Elizabeth for the day! 

Greetings, fellow royal hat fans!  I have been reading this blog for several years, having found it shortly after it began.  As a fan of the old Mad Hattery blog I was thrilled that this subject was taken up by another blogger.  Back in 2013, after reading some comments here stating that the Queen did not redo any of her hats, I contributed what I think was the very first reader guest post – it features comparisons of hats that have been modified over the years.

I am so grateful to Hat Queen for all the work that she put into this blog so that we can share our thoughts about royal chapeaus.  If I had my way, the Queen would wear a gorgeous wide-brimmed Rachel Trevor Morgan hat for every outing, but of course that might get a bit boring.  Last summer I greatly enjoyed seeing all the guest posts and your selections of the Queen’s favorite hats which included many I would have selected.  These posts inspired me to dust off the old Photoshop and attempt to see what the Queen would look like in hats made by other milliners and in styles we do not see Her Majesty wearing much today.

Should the Queen don creations by Britain’s most famous milliner, Philip Treacy?  I think Her Majesty looks smashing in these designs.  Or has this look become too associated with the Duchess of Cornwall?

Here’s a natural straw hat by Lock & Co. with a lovely shape.  I think this is a nice change from seeing the same color from brim to hem, especially when it is very saturated.

This beautiful hat, the Dulcie from Annabel Allen Millinery, reminds me of hats the Queen wore in the early 2000s. Its shape is similar to some recent Angela Kelly creations but the trim is so much more elegant.

For the first five decades or so of the Queen’s reign we saw a wide variety of hat types but that has not been the case in the past few years.  Turbans, toques, pillboxes, and the like have all but disappeared from Her Majesty’s wardrobe despite still being made by many milliners today.

How about this modern felt turban from Jane Taylor?

In my opinion, this feathered pillbox from Rosie Olivia suits the Queen perfectly.

Another Treacy hat, but this one in a brimless design.  Perhaps a bit too modern?

This is the Scandal design from Lock & Co. It’s actually a headband but I have reimagined it here as a pillbox.  To be honest I am a bit undecided on this one, but I do love the idea of a hat made of a printed fabric worn with a solid colored outfit.


Finally, strictly for laughs, I could not do a photoshop post without seeing what the Queen would look like in the most infamous royal hat of recent times, the Philip Treacy concoction worn by Princess Beatrice to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding.  I am not sure Her Majesty would be quite so amused if presented with this design!

Please let me know what you think of these suggestions in the comments.  During the Queen’s summer break I am planning a couple more posts.  One features tweaks I would make to hats already worn and another will show hats I would like to have seen on major occasions.

Thanks again to Hat Queen for allowing me to share my ideas with you all!

No Baxter- thank YOU. Many of the hats Angela Kelly designs for the Queen are covered in fabric (especially the winter ones) and I really love the idea of a patterned silk on the hat contrasted with a solid colour on her outfit, rather than the same fabric head to hem. Your suggestion to break up saturated coloured ensembles with a natural straw hat is also a fantastic one I wish we’d see happen. This has been such a fun post- my sincere thanks to Baxter and his amazing millinery imagination!

45 thoughts on “Guest Post: Stylist For A Day

  1. In my humble opinion, I think the Queen looks better in hats with a brim. The shape of her face and her hairdo are better framed in a brimmed hat. I think the first two Philip Tracey hats work better on Camilla because her hairdo is wider. I like better the hats the Queen in wearing in recently… so much more regal in my opinion

  2. Goodness, what a fabulous post and great comments!! I’ve really enjoyed this! Baxter, this is a great idea for a game!! There are lots of (ahem) women and men of a certain age that still love to play dolls and wish there were a fun way To play without opening up their boxed Barbies! I would pay money for this app, just saying! Thanks, everyone, Baxter, and our Dear Hat Queen for this fabulous post!

  3. Glad to see this post, and from another reader from the Mad Hattery days as well (I was also a fan and delighted to find Royal Hats after its demise).

    I think the saturated purple Treacy hat works surprisingly well at the angle you’ve placed it! The lavender one is nice also, but this one definitely is Camilla’s signature style.

    I too, am a fan of having hats that could go with different outfits or breaking up monochromatic looks, but I’m not so keen on the one you chose, but I still support the concept, and look forward to the next post that explores this more! The Dulcie hat definitely reminds me of one hat in particular from the 2000s (which I can’t find a photo of right now, argh), and I thought of it even before I read your description. This definitely would be a good choice for HM.

    So great to hear from other readers and see their contributions to the blog! More of this please!

    • Jake, the Dulcie hat reminded me of this one. Could this be the one you had in mind? I’ve always thought that HM looked particularly elegant in this ensemble, and the striped jacket is awesome.
      July 27, 2004, new Stock Exchange.
      Embed from Getty Images

  4. I like the very first pic – the Camilla shape is soft lavender. Most of the others I find hideous, not necessarily because of the hat, but because of the Queen’s hairstyle. Those tufts around her hears have a distinct koala vibe.

  5. Great fun Baxter! love the photoshopping, you’ve done it beautifully. Can’t wait for your next post!
    The black feathered pillbox makes me think immediately of a senior royal who HAS worn all-feathered hats in more recent years — Princess Beatrix. After all, Beatrix and HM do share similar hairstyles and ages (although Beatrix is admittedly 12 years younger than HM). Do you think Beatrix would also be an interesting subject for virtual hat try-ons ….? now that I think of it, there is no shortage of royals who I’d be curious to see given the “virtual hatting” photo treatment. You could be busy with this project for years, Baxter :)!

    • Thanks, mcncln! Princess Beatrix would indeed make an excellent subject for a post. Perhaps one day, but as you said this could turn into a full time job as there are so many royals I would love to play stylist with.

  6. Excellent choices, Baxter! Perhaps the lavender punch bowl is a little too associated with the DoCo, but I really like the other purple Phillip Treacy on HM. I agree that the natural straw would be a great choice for some of her less formal summer ensembles, and the Dulcie is just beautiful.

    I’ll go as far as “maybe” for the Rosie Olivia and the brimless Phillip Treacy since I think they’d have to be positioned back a little.

    Regarding the Princess Beatrice hat, I’m conjuring up a scenario in which HM has purchased this hat from the charity auction and has set it aside to eventually wear at Bea’s eventual wedding. Better yet, she gives it to the DoCa to wear!!! Both ladies are much too polite to do that, but it’s fun to contemplate, isn’t it?

    Thanks so much for the entertaining post.

  7. Oh, my goodness, what a pleasure to see so many ideas, most of which I quite like! And, of course, it would have been worth a look just for the laugh at the last photoshop with HRH P. Beatrice’s famous hat!

  8. This was a great post. Love the last one–so cheeky. Personally I like to see the Queen in a hat with a brim, and I prefer the down-turned brim with her face and hair. Thanks for the post.

    • The idea that Baxter could actually change the color of the coat in order to “pair” it electronically with a particular hat just blows me away! I think the next thing we should do is look at full-length photos of HM and see if we can swap in different hats from her own collection than the one she chose, if we think it might look better. (My goodness, how nervy we would be if we did that!)

  9. Oh, this is amazing! I understand that the Queen goes for more or less the same desing but it’s fun to see these photoshops. Especially the Philip Treacy ones are great. She can carry it of quite well if you ask me.

  10. I really appreciate seeing these options on HM, expanding her hat wardrobe as it were. My favs are the Treacys and the Dulcie like many others but I do think the turban or feathered pill box is do able if they sat a bit lower on her head. Of course this is photoshop and limits the look a bit, but I can imagine it..

  11. What fun!

    I think the deep purple and the Rosie Olivia are my faves for HM.

    I especially like the expression you chose to go with the “Royal Flush”.

  12. for what it’s worth…the first three are classic Duchess of Cornwall headwear: and yet….you could actually yes see them on QEII and they would look good. now, someone ‘shop a classic headscarf on DoC and see what we get… just sayin. thank you to Hat Queen and to Baxter.
    ps. I remember my mom wearing head scarves. perhaps that generation?

  13. Baxter, this is such a fun post, with some great ideas! I wish I was familiar with Photoshop – I’m at the age where I need to ask a kid for help! HAHA! The 2nd D of C is more successful, IMO, and like you said, the lavender one is a signature style for the duchess. Both of the neutral hats are fantastic, and very wearable on HM. I’d like to see the original photos of HM when she is wearing the buttery yellow coat, and the following photo of her in the green coat. I can’t recall what hats go with those coats. The only hat I don’t like is the one of the porcupine or dead cat perched on the royal head. The inclusion of the “Royal Flush” at the end made me LOL! GREAT POST today, thanks a lot.

    • Jimbo, in the photos you mentioned I changed the colors of the coats. The yellow coat is actually lime green and the photo is from the outing with the Duchess of Sussex in Cheshire. The other pic with the green turban was taken at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2015. And the “dead cat” hat is one of my favorites, haha! To each his own, I suppose.

      • At the risk of revealing my ignorance, could someone please clarify which hat is the “dead cat” hat? I tried Googling that phrase and only came up with the performance schedule of a band by that name!

        • Matthew, I hope I didn’t come off as snarky or disrespectful, but I’m referring to the black feathered pillbox. It actually reminded me of one of HM’s fur hats from the past, but trimmed back a tad. What do you think?

          Christmas Day, 2013
          Embed from Getty Images

          • Not snarky at all, Jimbo, only I don’t think that a big furry hat and a little feathered pillbox look the same at all! This Christmas hat resembles the porcupine more than the dead cat, IMO – for dead cats, I think we need to look at those fur hats worn by Kate and Pippa last winter!

          • I have had several private messages from readers in distress that the Queen and other British royals wear hats made from cat fur. I can’t believe clarification on this is needed but here we go- this reference in this line of conversation is clearly meant as a joke. While the Queen has worn fur hats, I can assure everyone that none are from cats. Also, the Duchess of Cambridge’s fur hats are alpaca, which is sheared off animals like wool off sheep, without harm coming to the animal.

            This conversation has been amusing but in the interests of avoiding further confusion, let’s move on.

  14. I like the Dulcie very much. I’m afraid none of the others hold any appeal. The green turban looks rather dated – my grandmother had one just like this in velvet and tweed in the 70s. The feathered pillbox makes me think of a toupee. The Scandal design reminds me of Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street – the long-running British TV soap – although I do like the idea of a patterned fabric as a change.

      • I’m sure not, but as they say with fashion “what goes around, comes around”. I think we’ve seen this style of hat (unsuccessfully) on the Queen before and I keep thinking it was fuschia. Have tried to find it unsuccessfully.

        • My mother always said that when anything old came back into style, it always was just a touch different than the previous time around — just different enough that you could not make use of your old ones that were still up in the attic without having some alterations done. She was speaking of clothes, but I’m sure the same is true of hats.

          Of these examples, the one I would most like to see HM actually wear is the black feathered pillbox. Not at all what she presently wears, but I think it would go nicely with her hairstyle and wonderful white hair.

          Looking at Beatrice’s famous hat superimposed on someone else, I’m wondering now if it might have looked better if it had been worn horizontally rather than vertically.

          Thanks so much for putting this group of photos together, Baxter, it was a lot of fun seeing them!

          • I think your mother was right. The black feathered piece is too stark – maybe if it was set back further but then it would look like a yarmulke. Beatrice’s hat never upset me as much as it did others, as I loved the rest of her Valentino outfit and shoes (that outfit, minus hat, is I think the best she’s ever worn) and she handled the kerfuffle with good grace.

        • The Queen wore a red version in 2002 to the Commonwealth Day Observance Service with the Grima Ruby brooch. It is hard to find usable photos. Not a style I would necessarily want her to resurrect.

          • Kew Gardens hatter, if this is the hat you are referring to, I agree with you. I never saw it as particularly attractive on HM.

            March 11, 2002
            Embed from Getty Images

          • Thanks so much – yes, this is the hat. I hope it’s never retrieved from the back of the wardrobe.

          • Jimbo & Kew Gardens – Thanks so much for the information on the 2002 hat. I wonder if it’s an Angela Kelly hat? It seems to have the slanted, oversized crown which has grown (unfortunately) to gargantuan proportions in recent years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.