Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1940, 78 years ago, when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited several bombed areas of London. Queen Elizabeth’s dramatically sideswept brim hat (with swirled pleats on the underside of the raised brim) is all kinds of wonderful and shows, again, how a brim shape we think of as rather contemporary isn’t truly so.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Photos from Getty as indicated

13 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. This hat is very typical of Queen Elizabeth’s style in that era – it’s a shape she wore quite frequently. When paired with her elegant, figure-flattering outfits, this striking, expansive hat style provided the petite queen with extra height (unlike the less flattering cloche styles of the ‘twenties HM had worn in her early years as a royal) strengthening the impression she made during her public appearances that she was a woman of inner certainty and assurance.
    There is a lot that reminds me of the then Queen Elizabeth, in Duchess Catherine’s more recent hat-wearing ensembles. I feel Duchess Catherine’s formal day style now conveys a similar quality of assurance. The Duchess now has a strong, elegant, beautiful, and recognisable signature style for her hatted outfits– and it is an absolute pleasure to see. There’s a formula at work which enhances Catherine’s strengths, as Queen Elizabeth’s did, and I’m looking forward to seeing that formula evolve, just as the Queen Mother’s style evolved. I wonder what hat styles Catherine will be wearing in 15 years’ time…?

    • I agree with your comments. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother had a wonderful personal style that was unique and she looked confident in all her ensembles. I love Catherine’s approach to her position with the poised fashion sense of her hats and outfits.

  2. I love that video Jimbo !! …I’m amazed at how much our Queen looks so much like her Mummy ! 😊 I guess it’s because when I was growing up we never saw news feels unless we went to the cinema !! So regular photos were all we had … I’m still smiling at how she interacted with the children !! 😊

  3. We hear of how the royal family kept morale up during WWII, and this photo is a perfect example. The Queen is dressed to the nines despite the devastation. People look so happy to see her.

    I love the swirls on the underbrim, too. Doesn’t it seem as though this concept could be used on contemporary hats? But I don’t get the fur on her coat — pockets?

    • Hi Mitten Mary! if the sheer number of coats trimmed with fur worn by the then Queen Elizabeth in the 1940s is any guide, HM couldn’t contemplate a winter coat without a bit of fur trim.
      Those fur pockets do look unusual,, but they are by no means the quirkiest of her fur trims. Q Elizabeth’s 1940’s fur sleeve trims, whether positioned around her forearms, elbows(!) or upper arms(!), are often so gigantic, they remind me of fluffy learn-to-swim inflatable armbands. Here’s an eye-catching fur sleeve trim which is actually small by Q Elizabeth’s standards, but makes up for its lack of super size with a striking design of…er, 2 minks climbing up her arms? http://members2.boardhost.com/royal-jewels/msg/1488528007.html

      • Oh, my, that was a lot of look! Of course, it was cold, and the ladies didn’t have fleece and down to keep them warm as we do today. But I’ll never understand the appeal of animal heads as decorative elements.

      • Those furs were so awful ! they weren’t very attractive but they were all the rage because the Queen had them ! (a bit like the Kate effect !) I remember I had an aunt who always wore a fox fur … I dreaded her coming for a visit … my Mum would say ‘take Aunty Vera’s coat …those beady eyes would look at me – oh shiver !!😕

  4. Oh I love this hat! It would be fabulous on Sophie or Camilla or any number of people. Love those swirls.

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