Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day in 1989, twenty-nine years ago, and a wide brimmed hat I don’t recall seeing before. The late Princess of Wales donned this shallow crowned design in deep purple, with a coordinating Catherine Walker coat, for a visit to St.Bride’s Church in London.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Photos from Getty as indicated

7 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. A year later, Christmas Day 1990 — definitely not the same hat, but very similar:

    Embed from Getty Images

    (Deborah, I don’t see the resemblance to Princess Anne, but I’m astounded at how blue her eyes look in that second photo!

    • Re that second photo you mention Matthew: we can clearly see Diana’s blue eyeliner of the period (which she insisted on applying every day with her own hand, with more enthusiasm than skill or discrimination, to the despair of her makeup artists) but there’s no question that it did achieve her goal of making her blue eyes pack a punch.

  2. A gorgeous outfit, in my opinion: the colour is brilliant on her and the high neck of the blouse combines with the breadth and shallowness of the hat to create an almost Edwardian feel. Proving that one does not need to bare flesh to look stunning!
    In the second photograph, strangely enough, I seem to see a faint resemblance to Princess Anne.

    • Deborah, could it be that the scarf-like neckline of the blouse is what invokes Princess Anne? it’s a quaint fashion detail that Diana rarely wore– but for Princess Anne it’s a permanent style signature.

  3. Diana must have been very fond of that suit — she wore it three times between September and December that year (with 2 different blouses and once with no blouse), plus a 4th appearance that I’m still working on identifying, but this was the only time she wore it with a hat. Also, I don’t think she ever wore that hat in public with any other outfit. This ensemble is one of those colors that is really affected by the lighting — I have seen photos of it appearing to be every shade from medium blue to deep purple. I’ll leave it to others who are better with the terminology to exactly describe the hat, but she did wear a number of somewhat similar wide-brimmed hats that year in a variety of colors.

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