British Royals Attend Armistice Centenary Service

Queen Elizabeth was joined by members of her family last night at Westminster Abbey for a service marking the 100th anniversary of the Armistice which ended WWI. For this service, she repeated I suspected might have headed into retirement- her purple felt stylised Homburg with layered purple and black hatbands and black velvet oak leaf trim.

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While the masculine hat shape isn’t my favourite, I’ve always loved this saturated purple on Her Majesty and admire how the black trim on the hat links with that splendid velvet coat collar. The brass buttons on the coat give a slight military nod, most fitting for this event,  and the overall look is good one. I had suspicions this hat had been sent into retirement but I’m very pleased to see it has not.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: Dec 21, 2014Nov 21, 2013May 13, 2013Feb 3, 2013Nov 26, 2012; Oct 25, 2012Nov 11, 2009 

The Duchess of Cornwall wore repeated a magnificent purple velvet felt boater hat with oblique crown and brim trimmed with double rows of raw-edged pleated silk and a spray of purple feathers. There’s so much to love here- colour, texture, sheen, presence, whimsy, shape, scale- I could go on and on. When a hat is done as well as this one, I’m happy to see it trotted out again.

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Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: Mar 13, 2017;  Oct 27, 2016Mar 3, 2015Mar 21, 2013Dec 25, 2012Mar 26, 2012Mar 12, 2012Oct 26, 2010;  Mar 8, 2010 

Duchess of Cambridge topped her green coat with a tall bandeau headpiece of black velvet.

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This is the third kokoshnik shaped bandeau we’ve seen on Kate in recent months and while I applaud her experimentation with new millinery styles, I think this is a difficult shape to wear. Yes, it frames the wearer’s features in a lovely way but it also exaggerates elongated oval-shaped faces like Kate’s and I’m just not sure it flatters. I think a royal hat should look good from all angles- some views of this bandeau (like the one below) are great but others (some of the side views above) show it to be a bit clunky and awkward. Far away views are lovely but close up…. I need help seeing it as something other than an oversize black banana.

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Designer: Jane Taylor. It is the “Velvet Headband” from AW 2018
Previously Worn: This headpiece is new

Duchess of Sussex wore a black felt blocked beret hat with center ‘stem’. The connection between berets and the military make this hat style a fitting choice for this event; its pairing here with a navy suit makes for a fittingly solemn ensemble that’s a welcome step away from head-to-toe black. This hat is a simple and streamlined one that I might consider boring at another event but here, works well.

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Designer: My guess is Stephen Jones
Previously Worn: This hat is new
I’ve often commented about the challenges that memorial events such as these pose to royal fashion and thought the use of deep, jewel tones seen here hit a brilliantly appropriate balance. What do you think of this quartet of hats yesterday at Westminster Abbey?
Photos from Getty as indicated

13 thoughts on “British Royals Attend Armistice Centenary Service

  1. I’m glad Patricia clarified the time of this event because I know it gets dark quite early in London this time of year, but I was a little surprised hats were worn; I wonder if it is because it’s a church service?

    At any rate, I’m glad we got to see all of these! HM looks splendid in this vibrant purple, especially in a hat we haven’t seen in a while. I still miss the larger brim, but I suspect it would overwhelm HM a bit now, especially as she is a little more hunched over these days.

    When I first saw photos from this event, I couldn’t believe both HM and Camilla both wore purple, but ultimately, why not? Both looked fabulous, and I’m happy to see this hat out again on Camilla. This one just proves how well she can wear bold colors, something she needs to do more often.

    I, for one, don’t mind this bandeau hat on Kate. I don’t think it’s the best choice for her and maybe could use a little trim of some sorts to liven it up a bit, but it worked well for the event and the time of day; it also tied in with her black shoes and clutch.

    Meghan’s beret suits her well, as this style usually does, and I would guess it’s Stephen Jones as it feels very reminiscent of her mother Doria’s white hat at her wedding; it’ll be a good working hat for sure. It probably is just me, but when compared with the coats the other royal ladies are wearing, Meghan’s open neck on her outfit makes me feel chilled.

  2. I do not like Kate’s bandeau. It seems too large and thick and high. From the front it looks more like a halo and from the side it looks very awkward. If it were for me to choose she wouldn’t wear these anymore. Her hat in the morning was so outstanding, I was hoping for more in that perfect realm. I wonder if she went a little more “casual” because of the time of day?

  3. I can’t un-see the black banana now! I am new to the hat-watching scene, but these tall headbands seem to me such an unusual choice for Kate. I am curious if it is a brand new trend, or if it was once popular with royalty in the past? I am ignorant on these matters, but the silhouette looks like a Russian style to me.

    Completely agree with the compliments for Camilla’s hat, and the thoughtful comment about Meghan avoiding an all-black ensemble. Although I tend to prefer different styles from Meghan’s tastes, I remember how hard it was to dress in the early stages of pregnancy. Before you have a full “bump,” it is difficult to keep from just looking rumpled.

    Two final thoughts- I too was (happily) surprised to see hats in the evening, and thank you HatQueen for the best photos from the weekend, hands down! It is fun to see the detail of the beautiful hats and updos.

    • Stay tuned- there’s a guest post on these Kokoshnik shaped headpieces coming to you soon! And thanks for your compliments on the photos. I do my best to bring you all photos from all angles! Posting a day later usually allows for better photos.

  4. Since the event started at 6 pm I wasn’t sure if we’d see hats or not? But I like all these, even Catherine’s “headband”. It seems a good compromise for an evening church event and I like that she’s experimenting a bit.
    Camilla’s purple extravaganza is everything! How does she manage to pull off such a lot of hat and look so great? Can you picture anyone else wearing this hat?

  5. I love this site and your a fantastic source of millinery knowledge but have you considered changing the blog format slightly so that whole posts don’t load on the front page. One of the reasons I don’t visit as often as I would like is bevause it is very image intensive and I find sometimes my phone or computer can’t cope and it slows them down massively. It would be easier if each post had 1 or 2 images on the main page and then clicking on the title or comments the whole post opens. This would mean less scrolling and heavy images when one first opens the page.

    I am really liking Kate’s bandeau headbands. They wre uniqie and there is something regal and classic about them. They remind of the beautiful Tudour french hoods. I think they suit her face beautifully but I would like to see Kate wear with hair down or in a looser style.

    The Queen looks wonderful in this colour.

    I don’t mind the various trimmings on Camilla’s hat but combined with all the frou frou on the matching coats too is a bit much.

    There’s nothing to much to say about Meghan’s beret. It’s fine.

  6. I was very happy to see HM’s Huggy Bear hat again. It’s such an unexpected look for her, very modern and I have always loved it.

    I don’t get Kate’s headband. For a start it should have been dark green to pick up the trim on the fab coat. And you’re right, it just isn’t quite right for her face shape.

    Camilla and Meghan got it bang on though!

    • I don’t object to headbands and liked the ones Kate wore for Louis’ baptism and to her friend’s wedding. However, I don’t think this one goes as well with this tailored coat as the green hat she wore for St Patrick’s day in 2017.

    • Are you sure the trim on Kate’s coat is dark green? On both my computer monitor and my tablet, it does look black to me.

      I didn’t see a black banana until HQ suggested it, but now I can’t see anything else, LOL! I agree with the comment that this bandeau looks good from the front but not so much from the side.

      Camilla’s hat gets an A+ from me, as well as Her Majesty’s hat both in styling and that wonderful shade of purple. Also, for a different hat with black velvet trim, we were discussing the difficulty of the lighting highlighting the details of the velvet, and this is another example of that — in this case, the lighting perfectly shows off the wonderful details.

      Meghan’s hat is fine and suitable for the occasion, but doesn’t she already have another black beret from the engagement period? As we often say regarding royal hat wearers, how many totally similar hats does any one person need?

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