Hat From the Past

Royal Hatsto this day in 1989 and a young Duke of Sussex acting as pageboy for his uncle, Earl Spencer’s, first wedding. His ensemble, including wide-brimmed hat, was inspired by a 1786 ancestral painting of John Charles Spencer, Viscount Althorp by Sir Joshua Reynolds. From hatted head to silk slippered toe, it’s quite a look, even for a prince.


Photo from Getty as indicated

10 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. Interesting – we don’t often see pageboys in hats. here are more pics (cheeky ones this time) of Harry at this wedding; plus some bonus pageboy pics of William in an old-world straw sailor hat. https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/g9536203/prince-william-harry-page-boys/
    I feel it’s near impossible to critique pageboy/flowergirl outfits, because all children look adorable when dressed up in costume, regardless of the style, or even the fit. Say the outfit is too big? In this instance, the hat brims are arguably too wide for their wearers, and the sashes are so huge that the boys remind me of boxed Easter eggs– but that just adds to the charm; the oversizing reminds me of Tom Sawyer, or the boys in Oliver Twist. 100% cute.

    • Mcncln:
      Thanks for the great gallery of 12 pictures! Almost every one warrants a funny comment! 6, 9, and 12 are great. 12 shows the kids at their breaking point, and perhaps Margaret having a costume mal-function? Ha ha. BTW, we recently attended a wedding where a LOT of children were in attendance. I almost left before the garter was thrown, or the cake was cut! But Mrs. Jimbo was holding the car keys, and I don’t have an Uber account! I spent most of the time at the bar.

      • Good call on Margaret, I think you might be right about that.
        Children and formal occasions are never an easy mix. I hope you managed to enjoy the wedding despite the kids and their antics. Having your other half be the designated driver, while you availed yourself of the bar facilities, sounds like a strategy with advantages!

    • Mitten Mary, more likely because he’s been firmly told to stay neat and tidy rather than due to the nature of the costume!

      Janice in Alaska, yes, I believe you are correct — I have also seen it exclusively as Earl Spencer rather than Earl of Spencer — with their father too, before he passed away. I’m no expert on aristocratic titles, but I wonder if that is because Spencer is the family’s actual surname, rather than an Earldom that is a place name conferred later, such as the Earl of Wessex?

  2. What a sweet snapshot of Prince Harry as a child. His costume matches the family portrait very nicely except for the color of the silk sash. The hat is also spot-on and the boys probably had fun wearing them. Does anyone have a picture of Princess Diana on this occasion?

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