Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1959, fifty-nine years ago, to a shopping trip to London that saw Princess Grace of Monaco in a short brimmed, velvet turban/cloche. I’ve been unable to find a colour photograph taken this day- do any of you know what colour this hat was?

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Photos from Getty as indicated

9 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. Thank you for the color photo – all I could find are b/w. A little off the subject, Princess Grace wore a favorite hounds tooth coat on 3 occasions. I thought that finding a color photo of it would help in the detective work for the hat – again to no avail.

    October, 1959; Paris
    Embed from Getty Images

    November, 1959; Rome
    Embed from Getty Images

    December, 1959; London (I hope this link is legal and works!)
    https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-prince-rainier-and-princess-grace-go-shopping-december-41959-file-218910290.html

  2. Good heavens, she was stunning. It didn’t matter what she wore, she looked elegant. Wish I could help with knowing the color. Given the era and the fabric, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was some shade of mustard!

  3. Couldn’t find any color photos, but she certainly did like that fur stole, I found quite a few photos of her wearing it in other locations around 1959. Looking at the photo of the couple emerging from a restaurant, my first thought was whether she kept the hat on while eating, as a hat like that would certainly do a good job messing up one’s hair.

    • Hi Matthew! I can assure you from my experience of observing my mother dressing in this style in the 1950s (hat + gloves + fur coat), that without question, a woman at lunch/ morning/afternoon tea would kept her hat on. Exactly like today’s hats, dressy hats then were firmly attached into the hair with hatpins. To take off any hat, even a small one, meant completely disarraying ones’ hairstyle, as you point out. A woman of that era did not take her hat off until she arrived home – which was the only place where she would have somewhere safe to put it down without the risk of it getting squashed, anyway.

      • My mother was a working woman, so she didn’t really go to the type of daytime social engagements that would have called for a hat, but you’re right, the ones she wore to religious services certainly would not have been taken off until she got home for the reasons you said. I remember she used to keep her hat pins in a salt shaker (pointed end on the inside) and we used to get in a lot of trouble if we were caught playing with them.

  4. I’m hoping it was blue!

    What an odd style. It looks so austere despite the velvet. I’m getting a Handmaiden’s Tale vibe, and I don’t even watch that show.

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